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Thu, 21 Jun 2018
The World for People who Think


'Creating Wealth' Through Debt: How Parasitic Finance Capitalism Hijacked Productive Industrial Capitalism

This is the text of a speech Michael Hudson presented at Peking University's School of Marxist Studies, May 5-6, 2018.
finance economy
Volumes II and III of Marx's Capital describe how debt grows exponentially, burdening the economy with carrying charges. This overhead is subjecting today's Western finance-capitalist economies to austerity, shrinking living standards and capital investment while increasing their cost of living and doing business. That is the main reason why they are losing their export markets and becoming de-industrialized.

What policies are best suited for China to avoid this neo-rentier disease while raising living standards in a fair and efficient low-cost economy? The most pressing policy challenge is to keep down the cost of housing. Rising housing prices mean larger and larger debts extracting interest out of the economy. The strongest way to prevent this is to tax away the rise in land prices, collecting the rental value for the government instead of letting it be pledged to the banks as mortgage interest.

The same logic applies to public collection of natural resource and monopoly rents. Failure to tax them away will enable banks to create debt against these rents, building financial and other rentier charges into the pricing of basic needs.

U.S. and European business schools are part of the problem, not part of the solution. They teach the tactics of asset stripping and how to replace industrial engineering with financial engineering, as if financialization creates wealth faster than the debt burden. Having rapidly pulled ahead over the past three decades, China must remain free of rentier ideology that imagines wealth to be created by debt-leveraged inflation of real-estate and financial asset prices.

Comment: Lots of food for thought here. The left-right socialism vs capitalism debaters would do well to look up and observe the parasitic 'ultra-liberals' devouring everything.

And we're certainly in dire need of new indices of economic health: Western leaders would have everyone believe all's hunky-dory when in fact all's in dire straits.

Wine n Glass

Celebrate Loud, Long And Unapologetically When Psychopath McCain Finally Dies

wizard of Oz scene death certificate
Arizona Senator and murderous psychopath John McCain is rumored to be at death's door, and already the world is being admonished by high-profile empire loyalists not to voice any criticism of his blood-saturated, obnoxiously long career.

"Anti-McCain twitter seems to have reached new heights (or depths) of repulsiveness," tweeted Iraq-raping PNAC founder Bill Kristol to thunderous applause from #Resistance Twitter. "In the hope that a few of the haters see this, let me say: I'm proud to have voted for John McCain for president three times (2000 & 2008 primaries & 2008 general), and for Donald Trump...never."

"John McCain reminds us that American greatness is made by those who understand that character is the sum of one's hardest choices; that reality is not a TV show; that fame is mist but honor granite; that heroes don't need fixers on retainer," the Washington Post's David Von Drehle preemptively eulogized in a nauseating article titled "John McCain isn't the ideal messenger. He's the ideal message."

Comment: Lest you think the author's opinion is extreme, here is a tiny sample of the havoc McCain has wrought over his blood-soaked too-long political career.


Vanessa Beeley on the McCain-White Helmets connection, and whether the 'funding freeze' is real

John McCain
© AP Photo/ Rick Rycroft
On the 3rd of May Sputnik published a report exposing potential U.S plans to stage another 'chemical weapon' provocation in Syria. Preparations allegedly began on April 23rd to ship civilians to "to a territory near Jafra oil field to participate in a staged filming of an attack scene"...
"US security services are planning provocations with the use of prohibited substances in Syria. The operation is led by a former militant of the Islamic State *[Daesh], Mishan Idris Hamash. The aim is to stage a chemical attack against civilians to be further spread in the media," the source told Sputnik.
Yes, this is a report from an anonymous source and has been belittled by the mainstream media in the West whose knee-jerk reaction to any information issued by a Russian media outlet is outright denigration and ridicule. However, the subsequent sequence of statements issued in relation to an alleged funding "freeze" for the U.S/UK White Helmet intelligence assets operating under their "regime change" coalition rules in Syria is worth remarking upon.

Among the first to publish the "U.S freezes funding for Syria's White Helmets" story was CBS News, describing the terrorist-affiliated group as "one of the most important humanitarian rescue groups in Syria". There was then a flurry of activity in corporate media and on social media with anti-war activists and journalists celebrating what appeared to be a change of heart from the Trump administration.

We should not, however, forget that on the 19th April US State Department spokesperson, Heather Nauert, had issued reassurances that wages would continue be paid to the White Helmets while the funding of the Syria stabilisation program was under "review":

Comment: More research by Vanessa Beeley on the White Helmets:


WaPo Outraged That Trump Lies About Everything That Doesn't Matter

trump funny
Everyday I am thankful, because everyday I have something to be outraged about. Thanks to that bastion of truthfulness and objectivity - the Washington Post - I now have 3,001 more things to be outraged about: President Trump, they claim, has made precisely 3,001 false or misleading claims so far in his presidency. That should last me until middle age. If he keeps it up, at this rate I should be set for life. And for that I'm super thankful. For without WaPo's studious fact-checking, I might otherwise neglect to be outraged that Donald Trump said not once, not twice, but a full twenty-nine times that the U.S. trade deficit with China is $500 billion, instead of $300 billion. Can anyone truly read that without the blood flowing to the face? Without one's delicate hands clenching into outraged fists?

What about the fact - the FACT, dagnabbit - that Trump had the audacity to claim that FDR served as president for 16 years, when he only served 12? Surely an involuntary guttural cry is beginning to escape the sanctified space of your larynx. No? Well what about the time he said Henry Ford invented the assembly line? Henry Ford! Everyone knows it was Ransom Eli Olds. Well, maybe not everyone knows that. But they should. And I'm ready to smash something breakable now that I know that Trump didn't know that too.

I was unaware that Donald Trump plays loose with the facts and tends to wildly exaggerate. That comes as a complete surprise to me. I had no idea he was a bombastic persuasion peddler. But in his 466 days since taking office, WaPo sez, he has made "false or misleading" claims an average of 6.5 times per day. WaPo even has an interactive graphic displaying the ebb and flow of his fibs.

Red Flag

Alternate Reality: British Media Spins Corbyn's Labour Victory in English Local Elections as Defeat

jeremy corbyn

They fear the man, not the ideology
The British media is currently demonstrating a masterclass in how to present fake news, alternate facts, and post-truth as 'reality'. On Friday, local elections in England produced a marginal increase in the number of Council seats held by the Labour Party in England, delivering Corbyn's party with its best local election tally since 1971, and its second-best ever.

If the results were translated into a General Election result, Jeremy Corbyn would have become the UK's new prime minister. But that's not what the British media is telling Her Majesty's Subjects. Instead, the message across all mainstream media - right and left - is that Corbyn's party failed dismally.

Bashing Corbyn non-stop, since he was first elected leader of the Labour Party in 2015 - as 'unelectable', as 'anti-Semitic', as 'pro-Russian', as a 'Communist Czech agent' - the media now lambasts him for not delivering a comprehensive victory - evidence, again, that he should resign!

The last time the Labour Party won local elections by such a wide margin over the Conservative Party was in 1994. Three years later in the UK General Election, it was a landslide victory for Labour. The big difference between now and then is that this time there's no 'third-way', no Tory-lite leader like Tony Blair leading the party - there's Jeremy Corbyn, the British Security Services' "number 1 national security threat."

2 + 2 = 4

Who's Buying Votes in the Lebanese Election?

Beirut, Lebanon

On this lovely morning here on the coast of the Mediterranean there is not a cloud in the sky. In less than twenty-four hours voting will begin. However, on this day before the election, a howling wind is blowing from the south making the thousands of posters, banners and building-sized placards that feature the faces of the scores of potential Lebanese parliamentarians dance and sway wildly above the throngs of tomorrows voters.
Lebanon election poster 2018
But this wind, one that just yesterday seemed to bring the promise of a new future for Lebanon, will it be an ill wind that instead dashes this attempt at populist democratic reform, one cast from nine years of progress, onto the rocks of US-backed history?

Judging from the past twelve hours on the streets of Beirut, there is suddenly strong pause for concern. Someone is buying votes!

And just about everyone knows it.


Joe Quinn on Sputnik: 'Skripal Affair Part of Anglo-American Ideological War Against Russia'

sputnik radio joe quinn
London says it still considers Moscow to be the perpetrator of the attempted poisoning of the Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. This comes despite the statement by Czech President Milos Zeman, who said that a small amount of A230 toxic substance, similar to Novichok, was produced at the Czech Defense Ministry's Research Institute in 2017. The toxin was then reportedly destroyed. According to the Czech president, his country's intelligence service did not consider the A230 nerve agent to be Novichok, because this name is contributed to A234 agent. However, its military intelligence service reported that A230, too, is named Novichok.

Radio Sputnik discussed London's attempts to convince the world that Russia is the perpetrator of the attempted poisoning of Skripals with Joe Quinn, Sott.net editor, internet essayist, researcher, author.


Ben Swann's Reality Check: Who's funding the White Helmets?

white helmets
© Agence France-Presse/Amer Almohibany
Members of the Syrian Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets, take a selfie with their certificates after taking part in a training session in the rebel-held eastern Ghouta area, east of the capital Damascus, on November 22, 2016
As the U.S. moves closer toward all out war in Syria, a lot of what our government seems to base its intelligence on, especially claims of chemical weapon use by the Syrian government, is the claims of an allegedly impartial humanitarian group called the White Helmets. You've no doubt, heard of the White Helmets. They have been praised in the media as heroes and have reportedly saved more than 100,000 lives as of April 2018.

But who are the White Helmets really? Are they a legitimate organization, or pawns in a plot to implement regime change in Syria?

Let's give it a Reality Check you won't get anywhere else.

Despite a recent U.S. funding freeze for humanitarian aid for Syria, the U.S. continues to fund the controversial group.

Evil Rays

The Most Important Election in the World! Lebanon?...What Election?

Lebanon elections 2018

Election posters cover buildings and walls in Tripoli’s Bab al-Tabbaneh neighbourhood
In a matter of mere hours, a new election will take place. Unlike seemingly all other national elections worldwide, this election will bring real "hope" to a needlessly impoverished country. This election will see real "change" come to a country far too long restricted and controlled by external foreign powers. For this is an election that is steeped in real democracy; not the US-inspired definition - the one based solely on the archaic shards of what little is left of a desperate empire struggling to hold onto its waning influence. This election will showcase, finally and thankfully, a return to the true definition.

This Sunday, May 6, 2018, is the most important election in the world!

Proving the point, why is this election being swept under the rug of worldwide US media control? Here, unlike the remaining hapless world, there is a very bright future awaiting for all... an example for an anguished world begging to finally be set free. It will be this democracy, correctly re-defined and judiciously administered, that will, on this coming day, succeed for all.

World! Welcome to Lebanon.

2 + 2 = 4

Armenia's People-Power Revolution, Russia, and the Western Bloc

As we write this, massive peaceful civil actions against Armenia's establishment have continued under the leadership of Nikol Pashinyan, a National Assembly (N.A.) member who is part of the opposition Yelk (Way Out) Alliance. Though widely unpopular Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan has been forced to resign, his Republican Party (RPA) still has a narrow majority (58 of 105) in the N.A. Most observers believe that the RPA members were elected through fraud, bribery, and intimidation.