Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Real News Network's Series "Address Unemployment, Then Debt"

Five Part Video below the fold

The Real News Network just finished publishing a 5 Part Video Interview with noted Political Economist Robert Pollin, Professor of Economics at University of Massachusetts-Amherst, who says 'There is no Debt Crisis'.

The crisis he says, is continued high unemployment and a continuing and increasing political mindset about the economy that thinks cut backs are the solution. Cut backs and union busting measures at the Municipal State and Federal levels are removing Trillions of dollars of spending power from the economy - making a double dip recession inevitable - and a global depression likely.

I couldn't agree more. An invented crisis, flowing out of the real Financial Crisis of 2008, is creating a mind set that is then feeding the root of the problem, high unemployment, a shrinking middle class and tight household budgets - a catch-22 that could, in a worst case scenario, lead to a World War.

This austerity mind set is gaining steam as it feeds the rich and powerful's Lust and Greed for more and more - out of Fear at a time of inceasing uncertainty - in a world caulk full of change on many levels (many of which imho, are really cool!).

Pollin points out that this "politik" mirrors the reaction to the Stock Market Crash of 1929 - after which a series a austerity measures then lead to the global depression known in North America as the "Ten Lost Years" or "The Great Depression".

People who experienced this time (my father, my grandmother) referred to the experience as life altering - it informed everything they were and were to become, and it was a topic that was regularly referred to as I grew up. People displaced by a 10 year drought, as well as a 30% unemployment rate, and in addition, the complete absence of a social safety net, were forced to wander the country looking for work in a state of perpetual slow starvation. A crisis that lasted for a generation.

The global depression ended only after the United States 'spent forward' with massive public infrastructure spending over 10 years. This included the construction of a national electrical grid (and the power generation facilities to feed it, ie. The Hoover Dam, and others) which brought electricity to millions of American farms.

Many anti 'Welfare State' theorists say it was the Second World War that ended the Great Depression - I respectfully disagree. The view belittles the President Roosevelt, Keynesian "New Deal", and President Lyndon B Johnson's 1960's "Great Society" as part of an attempt to dismantle the liberal democratic state.

Here's the Home Page for the Series entitled, "There is no Debt Crisis".
(each headline is a link that takes you to the Part in question at the TRNN website)

The Home Page, "There is no Debt Crisis" at TRNN is here.

Why Austerity and Not Stimulus?
Bob Pollin Pt5: Main objective of austerity is to demolish the welfare state and public ownership 
August 7, 2011
Address Unemployment, Then Debt
Bob Pollin Pt.4: Unemployment has evaporated in Washington policy discussions 
August 5, 2011
The Real Danger is Deeper Recession
Bob Pollin Pt.3: None of the fundamentals that led to the crash in '08 have been corrected  August 2, 2011
No Emergency, But Long-Term Debt is a Threat
Bob Pollin Pt.2: There is no debt crisis, but debt is a long-term danger to the economy  July 31, 2011
Interest Payments at Historic Low - There is no Debt Crisis
Robert Pollin: Interest payments on US debt well below average, there is time to deal with long-term debt 
July 29, 2011


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