Cory Doctorow: America's economy is cooked

Originally published at:


“For thousands of years, governments have understood that crises can only be weathered through debt forgiveness. The Anglo-American madness that insists that debts that can’t be paid will someday be paid has hit bottom.”

There’s Biblical precedent for this - the periodic “jubilee years” where debts are forgiven.

Fat chance of that happening now.


Cory’s really been storming ahead with Pluralistic - the daily mails are long and full of strong, angry detail… I can hardly keep up sometimes but they’re highly recommended.


Well yeah, lots of people have been saying this since the beginning of the shutdown: this is a case where what Americans like to call “socialism” is the only really safe way to keep everything going without massive unemployment and homelessness: debt forgiveness, “government handouts” etc. Trump has been pushing the problem down the road either because he doesn’t understand the economics involved, or because he doesn’t want to deal with the reality staring him in the face (probably both).

The free market has spoken, and the free market said “Fuck you, pay me.”


It’s surreal, watching the stock market seem to not care that tens of millions of Americans are out of work for what seems to be years. How do they expect to profit off the misery of others if those others don’t have any money to give them?


Debt forgiveness aside it feeeeeels like Putin’s goal (because it’s his game right?) is to ultimately completely devalue the dollar and collapse the US economy for good. I mean where is this going other than the drain?


Dems have abandoned efforts to provide relief to working people.

Bullshit Bothsiderism. Democrats passed a $3 trillion package months ago. Democrats negotiated in good faith with the White House and the GOP Senate on a bill that could pass the Senate until the GOP decided people on unemployment were Welfare Queens.

Democrats have precisely zero to do with inaction by Washington.


# …and Forgive Them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year (TYRANNY OF DEBT)
by Michael Hudson

Hudson’s book is fascinating and offers a real solution to today’s debt deflation. The break even point for most Americans is way too high to establish even a modest surplus. This was not the case a generation (or two) ago.


The fucked up thing is that, beyond the cruelty-by-design aspect of this supposed “free market”, it has to insist upon payment because it is built on the fragility of inequality. Everyone has known for decades it’s unsustainable, so everyone in the know has been short-selling us and waiting for just the right moment to pull assets completely.


I daresay those who rule couldn’t care less about money, they care about power, and owning the world. They don’t even “pay” for things like we do, they only need speak their desire and get whatever their power can afford. For folks like you and me, the dollars are basically company scrip. The ruling class want our heads down, and money is just a tool to achieve that end.


It’s NOT a free market. It’s crony capitalism in which the 1%rs have bought the government (literally) and are using it to return this country to the days of serfdom. By the time the virus has been brought into check well enough that people can go back to regular work without risking their lives just by walking into their places of employment, there will be so many businesses and people failed, so many properties and assets seized by banks and finance companies, that only the 1%rs will actually own anything and everyone else who survived has to rent or lease from them. The ultrawealthy and their puppets in Washington are cold-bloodedly using the pandemic to run a wealth and power grab unparalelled in human history. The crony capitalists are destroying capitalism. When they are finished, the very concept of private ownership of property will be destroyed. 99% of the population of the country will be, literally, peons. There will be no such thing as the middle class. There will only be the ultrawealthy, the bridge dwellers, and serfs.


The only thing the stock market cares about right now is volatility and volume - which there is a huge amount of currently - along with trillions of dollars of virtually free money being pumped in by the Fed. What you’re seeing is pure profit siphoning.

It’s the classic sugar high before the crash.


Lux bunkers aren’t going to buy themselves now are they?

More teet sucking…

And delaying the inevitable…

(The CDC?? WTF)


Christ, what Capitalists?


Well, except that there is no “free market” involved here. The banks, hedgies, private equity, and large corporations receive massive (near) free money, outright subsidies, and a promise of more should they encounter “issues”.

All others are left to financially starve, if that’s what’s called for. No market discipline here, just pure authoritarian dictate and lemon socialism.



Comin’ for ya.

Hope you’re ready to say “Jeez, okay, okay. Guess that new yacht will have to wait till next year. What was that? You’re out of bread? Well just eat cake instead!”.

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I read how Bill Ackerman came out the other day suggesting that one solution to income inequality is mandatory investment accounts for children. This makes me want to take the metaphorical “when all you have is a hammer” hammer upside Ackerman’s thick cranium.


Grim outlook. If we don’t remove trump in Nov, trump and the GOP will destroy what is left of the US.


Timely that you brought this up. Last night, I ran into a BBC article about Child Trust Funds that were a thing earlier this century in the UK. Read about it in the article below, but what I want to point out is that they were started in 2002 “by the Labour government to encourage parents to save for their children,” but then “The scheme was watered down, then scrapped entirely by the coalition government in January 2011.”

That’s exactly what would happen in the US. Flash in the pan, ain’t gonna work because of the rampant greed.


Sounds pretty apocalyptic, but there is a non-zero chance that the US in 2021 will be involved in a still-raging pandemic, a nascent civil war, and a 30s-style economic collapse.

Unfortunately, if the US collapses, this will send shockwaves throughout the global economy. So, even if we escape, we might still be fucked.