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Michael Hudson (economist)

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Europe is to be turned into a banana republic by taxing labor – not finance, insurance or real estate (FIRE). Governments are to impose heavier employment and sales taxes while cutting back pensions and other public spending. ... The financial privatization and credit-creation monopoly that governments have relinquished to banks is now to really pay off – at the price of breaking up Europe. ... The unelected members of the European Central Bank have taken over planning power from elected governments. Beholden to its financial constituency, the ECB has convinced the EU commission to back the new oligarchic power grab. ... In sum, the Neoliberal Revolution seeks to achieve in Europe what the United States has achieved since real wages stopped rising in 1979: doubling the share of wealth enjoyed by the richest 1%. This involves reducing the middle class to poverty, breaking union power, and destroying the internal market as a precondition. - October 2010

 
Michael Hudson (economist)

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In America, despite the amazing rise in productivity we’ve had in the last 30 years, real wages have actually gone down. All of the increase in productivity has been taken by the finance, insurance, and real estate sector, called the FIRE sector, almost all of it by the financial sector. ... So instead of having industrial capitalism a century ago, we have a finance capitalism that actually is stifling industrial capitalism here. So what Alan Greenspan and others call the postindustrial economy is really neo-feudalism. It’s a financialized economy where all of the surplus goes to the banks. - December 2010

 
Michael (economist) Hudson
 

Economic and monetary union...is incompatible with independent sovereign states with control over their own fiscal and monetary policies. It would be impossible...to have irrevocably fixed exchange rates while individual countries retained independent monetary policies...such a system could never have the credibility necessary to persuade the market that there was no risk of realignment. Thus EMU inevitably implies a single European currency, with monetary decisions...taken not by national Governments and/or central banks, but by a European Central Bank. Nor would individual countries be able to retain responsibility for fiscal policy. With a single European monetary policy there would need to be central control over the size of budget deficits and, particularly, over their financing. New European institutions would be required, to determine overall Community fiscal policy and agree the distribution of deficits between individual Member States...It is clear that Economic and Monetary Union implies nothing less than European Government...and political union: the United States of Europe. That is simply not on the agenda now, nor will it be for the forseeable future.

 
Nigel Lawson
 

Around the world governments have an obligation to respond to their citizens.  That's true here in the United States; that's true in Asia; it is true in Europe; it is true in Africa; and it’s certainly true in the Arab world, where a new generation of citizens has the right to be heard.
When I was in Cairo, shortly after I was elected President, I said that all governments must maintain power through consent, not coercion. That is the single standard by which the people of Egypt will achieve the future they deserve.
Surely there will be difficult days to come. But the United States will continue to stand up for the rights of the Egyptian people and work with their government in pursuit of a future that is more just, more free, and more hopeful.

 
Barack Obama
 

So the game plan is not merely to free the income of the wealthiest class to “offshore” itself into assets denominated in harder currencies abroad. It is to scrap the progressive tax system altogether. ... How stable can a global situation be where the richest nation does not tax its population, but creates new public debt to hand out to its bankers? ... The “solution” to the coming financial crisis in the United States may await the dollar’s plunge as an opportunity for a financial Tonkin Gulf resolution. Such a crisis would help catalyze the tax system’s radical change to a European-style “Steve Forbes” flat tax and VAT sales-excise tax.... More government giveaways will be made to the financial sector in a vain effort to keep bad debts afloat and banks “solvent.” As in Ireland and Latvia, public debt will replace private debt, leaving little remaining for Social Security or indeed for much social spending. ... The bottom line is that after the prolonged tax giveaway exacerbates the federal budget deficit – along with the balance-of-payments deficit – we can expect the next Republican or Democratic administration to step in and “save” the country from economic emergency by scaling back Social Security while turning its funding over, Pinochet-style, to Wall Street money managers to loot as they did in Chile. And one can forget rebuilding America’s infrastructure. It is being sold off by debt-strapped cities and states to cover their budget shortfalls resulting from un-taxing real estate and from foreclosures. Welcome to debt peonage. This is worse than what was meant by a double-dip recession. It will be with us much longer. - December 2010

 
Michael (economist) Hudson
 

Europe resolved a great problem – the problem of the Zionist danger. The Zionists, who constituted a strong political party in Europe, caused much disorder there. Since they had a lot of property and controlled an empire of propaganda, they made the European governments helpless. What Hitler and the German Nazis did to the Jews of Europe at that time was partly due to these circumstances with the Jews. They wanted to expel the Zionists from Europe because they always were a pain in the neck for the governments there. This is how this calamity fell upon the Muslims, especially the Palestinians, and you all know this history, more or less.[...]The first goal was to save Europe from the evil of Zionism, and in this, they have been relatively successful.

 
Hashemi Rafsanjani
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