It’s a monetarist bubble that is popping under the global economy argues Asia Times economist Henry CK Liu, and throwing future debt into past debt is only going to result in a decade of hard times.
From Liu’s point of view, 2008 was a year mis-spent. First there was complacency and denial. Then, future debts were applied directly to past debts in a colossal waste of wealth and opportunity.
In the end, says Liu, the average taxpayer is being forced to assume “risks” made by financial elites. In return, the same elites will demand leaner capital budgets. The result? Average workers will soon be financing their own unemployment.
At some point, says Liu, emergency attention needs to turn to average worker wages. This is where the battle for economic health will be lost or won.
On the supply side of the argument, as we hear daily from CNBC, the “bailout” funds are being tossed onto assets that will some day recover their worth, keeping the tax burden low.
Since banks are now asking for even more billions, it seems sensible that taxpayers should demand assets in return for any money spent upon a banking institution. If worse comes to worst, banking functions should be nationalized.
Trillion dollar priorities are being reordered at a rapid rate these days, and workers are feeling the pain of being left outside. Yet as Henry George very sensibly observed, there is no good reason why busy people cannot be merged into an economy where each busy person helps to meet some other busy person’s needs.
Henry CK Liu puts it this way:
When unemployment of 6% of willing workers is accepted as structural in an economic system, the fault is with the system, just as if a hospital accepts an annual mortality rate of 6% of its curable patients as structural, the hospital’s operation needs to be reexamined. The fundamental flaw in market capitalism is its inherent failure to deliver full employment as a social goal.
The hard times are already hitting our Texas neighborhoods, and everyone who knows anything about it only promises that times will soon get harder.
Against the hard times we have voices that can demand: keep us working together for the things that all of us need. The average worker can afford to pay for a program like that.–gm