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Forum Post: Monopoly Capitalism: At The Breaking Point?

Posted 6 months ago on April 7, 2018, 10:13 a.m. EST by agkaiser (2194) from Fredericksburg, TX
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An interview of Michael Hudson by Laura Flanders

...

Laura Flanders: The infrastructure plan. It’s a shady scheme to privatize, that bit of infrastructure we have left.

Michael Hudson: I knew that it was going to be privatized, but nobody could have realized it would have been quite as awful as it is. When people think of infrastructure, you think of how America got rich. It got rich in the 19th century and early 20th century by making free roads, by really providing all of the costs that are the structure of the economy, so roads and stores and railroads.

Laura Flanders: Free to us, free to the corporations, but at some cost to the people.

Michael Hudson: Right, well, the whole idea was to provide these at either no cost, like roads, or at a subsidized price. The whole idea that was taught in business schools in the 19th century was American can out compete other countries by lower[ing] the cost of doing business, lowering the cost of living, by providing free schooling, free roads, free, they didn’t use the word infrastructure, but free of all of the things that were monopolized in the medieval period.

What Trump has done is all of a sudden, instead of using infrastructure spending to make America the low cost economy, which is how we got rich enough to compete with England and Europe and undersell other countries, this plan is designed to make America so high cost economy that it actually ends any hope America had of ever exporting manufacturers or the things that Trump said that he was going to do.

Laura Flanders: What’s in it for him and his constituents?

Michael Hudson: What we call economic rent seeking, a free lunch, a give-away to the financial sector. The Trump model is the Indiana Toll Road or the Chicago parking meters that we talked about last time.

Laura Flanders: Privatized.

Michael Hudson: Yes, the private capital is going to come in and demand such a high rate of return that nobody really can use the Indiana Toll Road. Most people use the side roads that are free that take longer. ...

https://youtu.be/dXqL1Hp42k0

18 Comments

18 Comments


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[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8330) from Phoenix, AZ 6 months ago

I propose a radical plan to take over the levers of power to prevent this. I propose we start by knocking those most supportive of the super rich out of public office and by doing so scare the shit out of the rest. I believe that when sufficient numbers of pro capitalist capitalist politicians this can be changed. The biggest concern is that we will not reach for the top MOST supportive and settle fort some lesser easier to attack person maybe less evil than the very top but easier to beat, that path strengthens the pro capitalist power and makes shit like this more likely to happen.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2194) from Fredericksburg, TX 6 months ago

Michael Hudson: Well, a post-capitalist scenario was supposed to be an evolution into socialism. It was supposed to be social democracy. It was supposed to be infrastructure. What we’re seeing now is the opposite, not only of socialism, but of everything that made capitalism productive for the first 100 or 200 years of its life. We are seeing the end of capitalism, but it doesn’t look like it’s evolving into socialism. It’s looking like it’s lapsing back into neo-feudalism.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33678) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 months ago

Like any previous revolution where the following society does not strictly regulate greed, that society will only see the rise of new abusers and go back through the destructive cycle again till the new society revolts same as the previous society!

This country was founded (for one of many purposes) to rid society of Royalty and it's abuses - problem being this society has allowed NEW royalty to arise - called the wealthy of business/industry & their creation's Golems/corpoRATions.

This country's Government was supposed to be Of The PEOPLE By The PEOPLE For The PEOPLE - BUT has been let taken over by the FEW and so we now have a new ruling class that is every bit as bad as the worst of Royalty!

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2194) from Fredericksburg, TX 6 months ago

Zero Sum: Upword spiral of the elites minus the downword spiral of the people equals zero.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33678) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 months ago

History repeats = the wealthy shoving the face of the population into the mud - ends up with a society that fails and will be replaced/overthrown - a continuous destructive cycle which is fated to repeat endlessly till all life on the planet is impossible or until the cycle of the wealthy/powerful few ruling the masses is broken.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2194) from Fredericksburg, TX 6 months ago

fated to repeat endlessly till all life on the planet is impossible or until the cycle of the wealthy/powerful few ruling the masses is broken.

The former is the odds on favorite to win that race. But I'd have to say most, not all, life. The cockroaches and maybe rabbits are probably the meek referred to in the Sermon on the Mount.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33678) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 months ago

But I'd have to say most, not all, life. The cockroaches and maybe rabbits are probably the meek referred to in the Sermon on the Mount.

Perhaps . . . . bacteria?

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2194) from Fredericksburg, TX 6 months ago

Yeah! And let's not forget coyotes. They're a lot smarter and have been around a lot longer than people.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33678) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 months ago

Otters are pretty meek, but I don't see them nor coyotes surviving what is being done to this planet by the un-dead corpoRATions.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2194) from Fredericksburg, TX 6 months ago

Well, a super-volcano or a 0.1c asteroid from another star system could upstage all the other possible extinction scenarios.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33678) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 months ago

The Fuckers keep fracking around the Yellowstone Caldera and they just might open up a super volcano.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5197) 6 months ago

They frack near the Yellowstone Caldera because of the geological formations there. Of course, we being the very smart-ass and stupid "the-impossible-takes-a-little-while-longer" Americans makes me worry a bit about triggering the supervolcano there.

I have always wondered why North America being the original home of the horses, the camels, and myriad dinosaurs ended up being so devoid of their descendants. Could we be like the Pompeii inhabitants who had discovered a very fertile and vacant land for farming only to be incinerated and buried alive to create a message for posterity by the resident volcano. Near Pompeii the volcano was Vesuvius. In North America the supervolcano was Yellowstone. Will we join anytime soon the ancestors of the horses, camels, and the dinosaurs? There are many dinosaur fossils in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. I do wonder why we don't have many alpacas ( a kind of llama and camel with excellent quality wool ) here in the U.S. but they are there in South America. This place was eerily absent of diverse large-animal faunas, could it be a cemetery? And become one yet again when Yellowstone erupts with gusto?

I hope the ones fracking around Yellowstone don't frack up a supervolcanic eruption. It seems that a good heat-resistant temperature probe with cable along the fracking piping can help avert disaster if monitored well but I'm not particularly optimistic knowing that corporate culture such as that of General Motors had opted for its cars crashing and killing people rather than recalling the car keys and fixing the very cheap under-one-dollar part! It's the culture, yeah, the most inventive ever if we don't frack ourselves up first, maybe a bit like the very techno-sexy And bio-sexy M.I.T.

My mind sometimes veered off on a tangent when I heard of the Broad Institute studying biology. I couldn't help it because I had a preschooler Uro-Institute collaborative experience with my neighborhood-boy playmate co-researching "the channel passage of the golden liquid excretum in the tri-hole human female" after he had enrolled me in his under-the-bed class studying "advanced auto-genito-stimulation techniques for the bi-hole human male." Yeah, the impossible takes a little while longer. May knowledge and pleasure from our work increase.

I think that some of us have never outgrown our childish inquisitiveness but I did learn quickly that we the two preschoolers had behaved as two mad scientists when we tried to ascertain how the topological distinction between the human male and female uro-genitalia had affected the channel passage of the golden liquid excretum in our field-research neighborhood-girl experimental subject who blushed and became embarrassed. We backed off. There is such a thing as moral restraints, despite the fiery desire to know.

Here's why science needs openness. What we the two preschoolers had been trying to figure out was long- and well-known to other people. There was no need to duplicate/replicate the research. Of course, we knew how to draw and interpret drawings but we didn't even know how to read texts at that time. We were "precocious" but we didn't know that other people had already known. For a kid ( a dopamine addict? do the levels of dopamine differ between children and adults? if they differ, why and for what purposes? ) just about anything new can become a scientific frontier.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33678) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 months ago

Pompeii was not a super volcano - it was just a regular volcano.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5197) 6 months ago

Pompeii was the name of the ancient Roman city near the volcano called Vesuvius. That's of course a technicality that should not detract from your point of the volcano near there not being a SUPER volcano. Vesuvius is a normal volcano but I think there is a supervolcano in the Mediterranean Sea near southern Italy where the italic leg kicks the balls.

Turn a map upside down and look at the Mediterranean Sea and Indonesia. The fresh perspective can hit you with the realization that these terrains seemed to have suffered quite a bit of trauma. Africa looks like a gigantic sitting duck with the Iberian peninsula poking at its behind. Indonesia has its Toba supervolcano so I thought that Mt. Vesuvius could be the one in the Mediterranean Sea but I made a mistake. I duly corrected it.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2194) from Fredericksburg, TX 6 months ago

I sometimes muse that oil lubricates the movement of tectonic plates and that removing it will cause them to stick then catastrophically snap. Then we'll really be fracked.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5197) 6 months ago

The main lubricant cannot be oil lubricating the movement of the tectonic plates because the deeper one drills into the Earth, the hotter it gets. Oil fractionates at higher temperatures into gases and cabonaceous residues, not much lubricating property being left there. Much more plausible is the widely available seawater.

Tectonic plates move in many more places than where oil is found. The lack of good correlation between plate movement and oil casts doubts on oil being the main lubricant for tectonic plates' movement. Japan certainly has plate movement but NO oil. I'm pretty sure that the Japanese have already explored the possibility of getting oil by drilling in their own backyard because they are ( still ) importing so much of the oil that they consume.

Natural gas/methane/CH4 may be generated by the Earth's magnesium-containing rocks ( such as olivine's serpentization ) interacting at high temperatures with seawater and the carbon dioxide released from rocks with carbonates. This can explain the presence of methane ice offshore near the Cascadia subduction zone and perhaps elsewhere, too. Yes, methane/methane-ice/methane-derivatives may be common even on another planet's moons or in another star/planetary system.

Life from methane-rich celestial bodies is destined to be widespread wherever tectonic processes happen ( in yet another [ in addition to the creation of oxygen leading to the liquid with the most extraordinary properties of all -- water ] divine "coincidence" or "miracle," a quirk of nucleosynthesis in more massive stars than Sol produces carbon in great abundance { even Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disastrous sites are still producing more carbon and will continue to do so for many many centuries } so carbon-based lifeforms should be widely possible throughout the universe ) but the likeliest explanation for the lack of evidence of intelligent alien lifeforms is that achieving a certain level of intelligence kills off ( intelligent ) life itself.

A little over seven decades ago, nuclear weapons were made and we have already brushed against man-unleashed Armageddon dozen(s) of times. Extend that scenario for a few million years ( I'm being extremely optimistic by even thinking of millions of years instead of centuries; artificially intelligent "lifeforms" such as silicon-based machines/cyborgs are fundamentally at the transistor level far superior in speed by a factor of around 1000 to human lifeforms; whether they bring good or ill depends on what human lifeforms hook them up with; they already have the nuclear button; they have "joined the NRA," practicing, and improving; once they are unleashed in "autonomous mode" in let's say the new Korean War to kill human lifeforms, they may well become the new and better hunter-and-killers; another possibility is artificial lifeforms escaping from the biological laboratories; imagine that there be a hack on the mitochondria or chloroplasts { if doomsday virus hacks photosynthesis, virtually all lifeforms on Earth's surface will become extinct }; Novichok has come close to having that capability already and there has been NO moral qualm of using it in England; imagine the Russians who made Novichok smearing it on the elevator buttons and door handles of Trump Towers worldwide; scary, isn't it? in this new age of unrestrained biochemical warfare, active restraints are the only safe way forward, a little bit like gassing Adolf Hitler might have stopped him from using chemical weapons on the WWII European battlefields; mutual-assured-destruction worked to keep the peace even with nuclear weapons present but only for the people who still cared about something aside from death; in ancient Greek and Roman times, men cared about their testicles not being squeezed so they tell the truth when testifying, sometimes holding a bull's testicles symbolizing Zeus/Jupiter who had often changed into a white bull to carry off nymphs such as Europa and maidens to rape them; ergo the rather strange -- I surmise -- sight of a man's penis and testicles sculpted onto the front of the testifying witness stand in an ancient Greco-Roman courtroom.)

Then the probability is for-all-practical-purposes zero that there is any co-communicating intelligent life in our galaxy, the Milky Way. That can explain why there seems to be NOBODY else intelligent around in our galactic neighborhood. Despite social media's immense and meteoric rise to great popularity, we haven't detected anything like a galactic internet with chattering intelligent beings.

My projection is, "cockroaches shall inherit the Earth." They are the hardiest pets I've ever known or owned.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33678) from Coon Rapids, MN 6 months ago

I don't know about that = ground lubricants and tectonic plates and fault lines.

I do know that tectonic plates shift and that they do so along fault lines and that pressure does build along those plate edges, one plate pushing against another, one plate moving up and over the other underneath or they smash against each-other and push up into mountain ranges.

Fracking is a process of fracturing rock, the process sets off tremors, tremors shake fault lines and can cause plate slippage which is where quakes come from, release of built up pressure in a sudden shift (slippage) of plates.

[-] 1 points by agkaiser (2194) from Fredericksburg, TX 6 months ago

Capitalism is a deadly cancer. It could kill the human race, if we fail to remove it from our economy.