Tag Archives: Credit

Hope and Ka-ching

Hope and Ka-ching
Finance, as Martin sees it, is the key to getting significant control of wealth into workers’ hands. “There is this myth of capitalism that says that the 1 percent invest productively, but the fact is, we don’t need them,” Martin explains. “They said, ‘If you don’t bail us out, there won’t be jobs.’ But their aim isn’t to make jobs; it’s to make money for themselves. Finance, as it is currently set up, is parasitic. It’s extractive. But what ... Read more

The coming ‘tsunami of debt’ and financial crisis in America

The coming ‘tsunami of debt’ and financial crisis in America
The US Congressional Budget Office is projecting a continued economic recovery. So why look down the road – say, to 2017 – and worry? Here's why: because the debt held by American households is rising ominously. And unless our economic policies change, that debt balloon, powered by radical income inequality, is going to become the next bust. Our macro models at the Levy Economics Institute are showing that the US economy is about to face a ... Read more

Creditocracy or Democracy?

Creditocracy or Democracy?
The formula used to trap personal debtors today is much the same as the International Monetary Fund’s formerly controversial lending arrangements to poor countries — loan installments are made so that borrowers can service existing debts, while the principal is rolled over. With average incomes stagnant or falling, households have no alternative but to follow the same path. The likely consequence is that they end up performing a lifetime of ... Read more

Welcome to the Creditocracy, Where Your Debt Piles Up Forever

Welcome to the Creditocracy, Where Your Debt Piles Up Forever
Last month, the Federal Reserve confirmed the ominous news. The decline in US household debt from sky-high 2008 levels has halted, and the figures are on the rise again – up by $241bn (or 2.1%) in the fourth quarter of 2013, following a smaller increase in the third quarter. Unlike auto loans, mortgages, and credit card balances, student debt never fell at all, and is fast approaching $1.2 tn. Economists seem to have decided that the “debt ... Read more

Debt Refusal Essential to Rebuilding Popular Democracy

Debt Refusal Essential to Rebuilding Popular Democracy
Ultimately Ross’s call for debt resistance is about energizing democracy, since debt stifles “our capacity to think freely, act conscientiously, and fulfill our democratic responsibilities.” Because debt limits democratic participation and decision-making, “economic disobedience is justified as a protective deed on behalf of democracy.” Although it has material effects, debt resistance, then, also functions symbolically, providing an image ... Read more