Debt and the value of college education in the US

Buzzfeed, Feb 2019, excerpt …Student debt in the US is a collective $1.5 trillion debt load. The weight of all that student loan debt is markedly different than the feeling of the weight of mortgage or credit card debt — after all, those borrowers can declare bankruptcy, an option unavailable to student loan borrowers. Not even death can absolve you or …

Study Shows Two-Thirds of Personal Bankruptcies Still Caused by Illness and Medical Bills

Despite Promises of ACA, Study Shows Two-Thirds of Personal Bankruptcies Still Caused by Illness and Medical Bills, by Julia Conley, staff writer, CommonDreams, Feb 7, 2019 “We need to move ahead from the ACA to a single-payer, Medicare for All system that assures first-dollar coverage for everyone.” A majority of personal bankruptcy cases examined in a new study were brought about …

The latent, unused power of citizens—and the production of public collateral

The latent, unused power of citizens—and the production of public collateral, Ann Pettifor, Democracy Collaborative and Next System Project, January 24, 2019, MONEY & BANKING Introduction It was just a montage of words uttered over a video in the summer of 2018. Soon the words went viral. They helped unseat a Wall Street-friendly Democrat—one primed to be the next congressional leader. They …

Real development vs. an extractive economy or colonization

So what happens if we measure global poverty at the low end of this more realistic spectrum – $7.40 per day, to be extra conservative? Well, we see that the number of people living under this line has increased dramatically since measurements began in 1981, reaching some 4.2 billion people today. Suddenly the happy Davos narrative melts away. And on Bill Gates’ …

“Taming this beast called capitalism”

‘This is about saving capitalism’: the Dutch historian who savaged Davos elite:  Rutger Bregman never intended to take billionaires to task over tax at World Economic Forum,  Larry Elliott Economics editor, The Guardian, Fri 1 Feb 2019  What innovation remains in a rentier economy is mostly just concerned with further bolstering that very same economy…Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. Tollgates can …

How Cities Make Money by Fining the Poor

In many parts of America, judges are locking up defendants who can’t pay — sometimes for months at a time. By Matthew Shaer, NYTimes.com, Jan. 8, 2019 On a muggy afternoon in October 2017, Jamie Tillman walked into the public library in Corinth, Miss., and slumped down at one of the computers on the ground floor. In recent years, Tillman, who is …

Billionaires’ harms

The situation is much the same elsewhere.  Since the 1980s, the share of national income going to workers has been dropping significantly around the globe, thereby exacerbating inequality in wealth.  “The billionaire boom is . . . a symptom of a failing economic system,” remarked Winnie Byanyima, executive director of the development charity, Oxfam International.  “The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow …

End Stock Buybacks, Save the Economy

By William Lazonick and Ken Jacobson, Aug. 23, 2018, nytimes.com Since the 1980s, corporate boards in the United States have embraced as dogma the position that companies should be run primarily for the benefit of their shareholders. The stranglehold of this doctrine of “shareholder-value maximization” over corporate decision making has been a leading cause of inequitable incomes, unstable employment, and sagging productivity. The principal …

Students as debt slaves, more of an indication of social breakdown. Meanwhile, “What Medicare for All is to the health care debate, or Fight for $15 is to the battle about inequality, 100% Renewable is to the struggle for the planet’s future.”

Excerpt from Students as Debt Slaves, at CommonDreams.org 23 Apr 2018.   Interview those fifty-ish high school educated male workers whom Ann Case and Angus Deaton revealed are dying prematurely from diseases of despair. In a meticulously documented essay on the origins and purpose of money, University of Missouri-Kansas City economist Michael Hudson points out that historians and anthropologists can find no examples of …