I recently published a new video entitled "That Ancient Rot: Our Duty to Oppose Austerity, Privatization, and Oligarchy."
Please check it out, and share it with anyone else who might find it valuable.
In it, I discuss:
- Why fiscal policy sounds like a boring subject but is actually incredibly important, and why certain interested parties don't want you to understand how powerful it is --
- Why Professor Michael Hudson says that "modern religion is the opposite of Bronze Age religion" and that modern religion has become the handmaiden of oligarchy to "justify their theft of the public domain" --
- How fiscal austerity leads directly to greater indebtedness among the population and gives governments a false "justification" to sell off the "right" (actually a "wrong") to private parties to institute private taxation --
- Why libertarianism sounds seductive but is actually completely misguided, and --
- What we need to do in order to turn the situation around before it's too late and before "all that was once green and good in this world will be gone."
I also make the assertion that Michael Hudson is one of the most important economists you can be reading and listening to right now (others would include Warren Mosler, Bill Mitchell, and Stephanie Kelton -- see previous post here).
This topic has very ancient roots, as Professor Hudson explains (see his website and his books for more detail), and relates to the suppression of the world's ancient wisdom given to all cultures as a precious inheritance in the form of the myths, in my considered opinion.
In saying that, I do not intend to imply that Professor Hudson agrees with my research or any of my opinions, and it should also go without saying that I do not necessarily agree with all of the opinions asserted by any other researcher, analyst, historian or economist that I choose to cite in any of my work either (personally, it is my opinion that no two individuals on the planet ever share all of the opinions of any other individual who has ever lived).
Finally, I also touch on the fact that there is an undeniable "religious" component to the way many people, particularly in the US, are responding to the current crisis. There is a mistaken opinion that a national government "can't afford" to create a safety net which could easily mitigate the impact of measures that leaders choose to take in dealing with a public health situation.
As I explain in the video, there is absolutely no reason why a national government could not run as significant a deficit as necessary in order to deal with virtually any crisis -- just as it did during World War II (when the deficit grew to more than 26% of GDP) and just as it did during the Vietnam War (which lasted for over eleven years by even the most conservative of estimates).
However, there is a strong current of false teaching which declares that government budgets which are not either balanced or even in a surplus are somehow "immoral" or even "sinful."
That is a completely misguided and in fact dangerous error, and one which leads to the increased impoverishment of the populace and the increased indebtedness of the people (witness the out-of-control student debt situation in the US, which was not even a factor when my generation went to college, but which has now had a devastating impact on the ability of all successive generations to form families, start businesses, buy houses, and become financially independent and secure), situations which are in fact extremely immoral and which represent a complete failure of leadership to do what they are supposed to do, according to the ancient understanding articulated in the world's myths and described by Professor Hudson in the quotation cited during the video.
That dangerous error (the "religious" conviction that government budget deficits are immoral, an opinion held even by those who do not consider themselves religious at all) also leads directly to the selling off and subsequent privatization of the public domain -- which tremendously impoverishes the people, while enriching a privileged few. Rampant privatization and austerity are exactly why so many people are economically distressed, and were economically distressed even before the current crisis.
The current crisis exposes the problem in ways that might not have been as obvious to everyone previously. In doing so, it exposes the fact that we have a choice: the default position is to let the same kinds of austerity and privatization continue -- and in fact, this crisis will cause these disastrous trends towards austerity and privatization to accelerate exponentially, if we do not make a deliberate change in policy.
However, the other available choice is to recognize how the disastrous policies of fiscal austerity have made a huge percentage of the population economically insecure while enriching a very small percentage of the population -- a precarious situation and one which the ancient scriptures and myths actually address quite extensively.
As the current crisis exposes just how badly the austerity policies of the past thirty years have impacted men and women (not to mention the health care system), it creates an opportunity to wake up to the real root of the problem and address it, and to begin to combat the problem right away, before it is too late.