Debtors' Prison

Debtors' Prison

The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility

Book - 2013
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"A timely, broadly revisionist, essential book by one of our foremost economic observers takes down one of the most cherished tenets of contemporary financial thinking: that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government--"austerity"--is a solution to the current economic crisis. Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, too much of our conversation about economic recovery has centered on the question of debt: whether we have too much of it, when to forgive it, and how to cut the deficit. Robert Kuttner makes the most powerful argument to date that these are the wrong questions and that austerity is the wrong solution. Blending economics with historical examples of effective debt relief and punitive debt enforcement, he makes clear that universal belt-tightening, as a prescription for recession, simply defies economic logic. Just as debtor's prisons once prevented individuals from working and thus being able to pay back their debts, austerity measures shackle, rather than restore, economic growth as the weight of past debt crushes the economy's future potential. Above all, Kuttner shows how austerity serves only the interest of creditors--the very bankers and financial elites whose actions precipitated the collapse. Lucid, authoritative, provocative--a book that is certain to be widely read and much debated"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307959805
Characteristics: 331 pages ; 25 cm


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Dec 28, 2014

The idea of government as regulator of economic activity is of course not new. This book provides clear evidence that ideas of the right developed since the 1960's have led to growing inequality, despair and growing incarceration of surplus labour in developed capitalist countries.

It provides a lot detail on the process of global capital and the declining political power of nation states as earlier detailed by Philip Bobbitt's' Terror and Consent.

Sep 16, 2014

Although this is somewhat of a good book, Kuttner doesn't appear to grasp the overall design, the underlying agenda, this is simply not a matrix of unintended consequences, after all! One must understand the relationship of globalism to the transnational capitalist class, the connections between TNEC, United States v. Morgan et al. court case, Wright Patman's congressional studies of foundations and trusts, etc. etc., the explosion of offshore finance centers in the 1960s, and 1970s.


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