If you read one thing about political economy all year, read this interview with Michael Hudson
Stumbled across this interview with one of my favorite economists, Michael Hudson. He is not from Harvard or MIT or Chicago, so he doesn’t get as much attention as the Paul Krugman’s of the world, but he punches well above his weight when it comes to his abilities to articulate what is happening within the political economy of the world.
The interview is long but you should read the entire thing. It is honestly the best piece I have read on political economy in at least 2 years. The tl;dr version is that Obama long ago sold out the Democratic constituency to Wall Street, the deficit debate is all political theater, the bailouts vested the power of Wall Street in the same way that the railroad land giveaways vested the power of the robber barons, Greece will default and get kicked out of the EU, the financial estate is essentially at war with the public… it’s all stuff you’ve probably heard before, but Hudson does an exceptional job of tying it all together.
I feel like most people are still asking “How did it all happen?”, when what we really need to do is ask “What is happening right now?”. The vast majority of people believe the propaganda pushed out by the media. No one reads or listens with skepticism and objectivity anymore, and I don’t mean to rant, but maybe they never did. Is there just too much noise? How can you explain the entire political economy without debasing your argument by making it sound like a wild conspiracy?
I think this is the point that a lot of mainstream middle Americans don’t get: it isn’t that there is a group of Illuminati who sit in a lair somewhere and have discussions about how well their plan is going, it is that there are outsiders and insiders: the insiders understand what is happening and do their best to work within the system and profit from it, while the outsiders, some of whom know what is happening, are the majority who get screwed.
The only thing we can really do about it is stop caring about money; stop caring about year-over-year GDP growth; most of all, stop believing what you are told. You are not “informed” because you watch both MSNBC and Fox News, you are not one of the people who “get it” because you vote Democrat, read the Huffington Post, and have a Noam Chomsky book or two sitting on your bookcase that you probably never read. I’m stoked that you are at least a social progressive, and I am glad that you read more books than the Bible, but do yourself a favor and divorce your conceptions from the pop cultural memeosphere. We all have an emotional and cognitive investment in the world as we see it, but we are often unaware of exactly how and when these investments were made… and we sure as hell don’t check on them with half the alacrity we reserve for our financial investments.