The Politics of debt in America: From debtor’s prison to debtor nation

by Steve Fraser Shakespeare’s Polonius offered this classic advice to his son: “neither a borrower nor a lender be.”  Many of our nation’s Founding Fathers emphatically saw it otherwise.  They often lived by the maxim: always a borrower, never a lender be.  As tobacco and rice planters, slave traders, and merchants, as well as land and currency speculators, they depended upon long lines of credit to finance their livelihoods and splendid ways of life.  So, too, in those days, did shopkeepers, tradesmen, artisans, and farmers, as well as casual laborers and sailors.  Without debt, the seedlings of a commercial economy … Continue reading The Politics of debt in America: From debtor’s prison to debtor nation

Money and the turning of the Age

by Charles Eisenstein As the economic meltdown proceeds to its next phase, we begin to see the unreality of much that we thought real. The verities of two generations become uncertain, and despite a lingering hope that a return to normalcy is just around the corner — in “the third quarter of 2009” or “by the middle of 2010” — the realization is dawning that normal is not coming back. When faced with an abrupt shift in personal reality, whether the death of a loved one, or the Gestapo coming into town, human beings usually react first with denial. My … Continue reading Money and the turning of the Age

Getting serious about politics

by Zoltan Zigedy Economic relations clarify politics just as politics can return the favor. In truth, it is impossible to fully understand one without an understanding of the other, and especially without a grasp of their inter-relationship. No doubt that explains the wisdom of the classical economists (and Marx and Engels) in describing their studies as “political economy.” Similarly, the failure to systematically integrate the two social domains explains the frustration of the modern-day academic economists, even Nobel laureates, who fume about the politicians standing in the way of their ready solutions to the current global economic crisis. A case … Continue reading Getting serious about politics

Taking notes 1

The US dollar’s (USD) continued decline in international standing took the next inevitable step reflecting the systemic failure of capitalism. The predictable effects of unbridled capital accumulation in America manifests itself yet again in recent media reports that China and Japan are promoting direct currency exchanges to facilitate commerce and profits for their enterprises and boost bilateral trade. The move essentially is to replace the USD as a reserve currency and allows both East Asian economic giants to convert yuan and yen directly, and so by-passing currency conversion via USD. This also saves on currency conversion costs. The move effectively … Continue reading Taking notes 1