The Best Analysis of the State of the World at the Moment

28 Sep 2021 11:19 - 28 Sep 2021 11:35 #393885 by Billy Shatine

China’s Fortune Cookie Crumbles : Michael Hudson and Renegade Inc.

Michael Hudson: Well, you put your finger on it, Ross. People think that China’s advantage is its abundant, low priced labour force, or the government building infrastructure. But what’s guiding this is an understanding of the kind of economics that goes back even beyond Marx, to Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill and the other classical economists.

They realise that there’s a difference between earning income and creating wealth by employing labour to produce goods, to sell at a profit and then reinvest these profits and more capital formation, in contrast to simply buying a rent-yielding property, buying land and letting it rise in price without the landlord doing anything, buying a monopoly and just raising the price – charging monopoly prices like the US pharmaceutical companies are doing.

China understands the difference between earned income and unearned income, between productive investment and unproductive investment.

In the United States, if they do recognise this difference, they realise that via unearned income you can make wealth by parasitically much quicker than you can actually create real wealth. It’s cheaper to be a parasite than a host.

And so most of the financial strategy of Wall Street involves how to get something for nothing. How can we get a free lunch?

Well, to do that as a major policy, we have to begin by telling people what Milton Friedman said: There is no such thing as a free lunch. But the whole of Wall Street is looking for a free lunch. They’re looking to grab Chinese assets on the cheap, like Soros has grabbed post-Soviet assets. They’re looking for monopoly rights.

They’re looking for lending money and letting China do the work, to pay the interest to the Americans that are going to be providing it with money that the Federal Reserve ends up creating on its computers, or that George Soros already has saved largely by how he got the free lunch from the Bank of England betting against that and driving Sterling down.

Michael Hudson: They’re beginning to look at it that way. Most Chinese Marxists focused on Volume 1 of Capital, which is about employers hiring workers and putting them to work and making a profit off the mark-up. Only in the last couple of years have Volumes 2 and Volume 3 of Capital moved into central discussion in China. And it’s Volumes 2 and 3 that talk about economic rent.

And so China has come to realise that the United States is not an industrial economy. We’re not going to understand what’s happening in the United States, in England or Europe by looking only at what Marx wrote in Volume 1 of Capital, because they’re not making money industrially anymore. They’re making money by being a rentier economy, by landlordism, by monopolies and by bank credit, which Marx discussed in Volume 2 and 3.

So they’re now broadening the discussion. For the first time, you’re having, especially in the last month, China asking, “Do we want to let Chinese investors make money, financially, by buying housing, becoming absentee landlords and hoping that there is going to be a housing price inflation like you have in the United States? Or, do we want to keep housing low priced and not to bid it up by credit creation and finance?”

They’re now realising that to keep China’s cost of living low, you have to keep the price of housing low. That means that you don’t want housing to become a commodity, an investment vehicle for absentee owners and landlords to make money. You want housing to be for Chinese people to live in. That means low-priced housing, not debt-leveraged housing as they’re seeing in the United States.

Michael Hudson Well, they’ve been discussing this regarding Hong Kong for the last 10 years. Hong Kong is the typical example of multi, multi-billionaires in real estate. They think that a socialist economy is not one that gets rich by creating absentee landlords.

There’s been a large outflow of Chinese investment to the West. You have it in New York City on the west side, all very dark apartments with no lights on at night because they’re absentee-owned. Thorstein Veblen in 1923 wrote a book, Absentee Ownership, saying that housing should really be for living, not a speculative vehicle.

But in America, real estate is all about civic development. It’s about how to increase real estate prices and create a bubble for speculators to find someone to flip the property to. I’m not sure it’s going to happen much longer and in London now that Brexit has occurred.

But I think that what China is trying to do is asking how to create a domestic economy where Chinese people make money productively. They can not only afford a house of their own, but if they invest, they can invest in making China richer, not in buying income-yielding, rent-yielding, assets in America, England or Europe.
Last edit: 28 Sep 2021 11:35 by Billy Shatine.

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29 Sep 2021 08:30 - 29 Sep 2021 08:36 #393912 by Billy Shatine
] Umair Haque

Here are Google pages of the who of Umair Haque

And here is a link to the article in question that describes the true state of America


And here is an example of what Haque argues in his commentary

"I’ve recently moved to the States — shudder — for a year or two. And I’m shocked at how expensive just life is. For no good reason at all.

When I put my economist hat on, a fact becomes clear to me. American life is a gigantic rip-off, one of the world’s biggest, and that’s why America is now effectively a country of poor people, and that makes it a nation of angry, cruel, and selfish ones, too.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start over. American life is the biggest ripoff in the world. Or at least one of the biggest, in the top five, certainly. Just…existing. It costs way, way more than it should. So much so that America cannot ever move forward as a society. So, trapped in a cycle, which economists call a “poverty trap,” Americans now stay poor.

Americans don’t quite get this, though. Why would they? They’ve never lived anywhere else. So let me give you a few examples which, especially if you’re American, might be illuminating. We’ll begin with basic bills, and then zoom out from there.

How much do I pay for internet and TV in Europe? About thirty dollars, give or take. How much do I pay in America? $150. That’s five times as much. And what I get in America is way, way worse. At least half of the junk on TV is ads, I don’t get the wonderful and illuminating and sparkling stuff that European TV makes on a regular basis, from good coverage of global affairs to politics to economics to ground-breaking shows and movies. I’m getting massively, massively ripped off. Why? Let me answer, with another example."
Last edit: 29 Sep 2021 08:36 by Billy Shatine.

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29 Sep 2021 11:23 #393919 by TRINI_DADDY
Umair Haque is pro-vaccine, and routinely criticizes anti-vaxxers and the people who push your conspiracies.



...he labels anti-vaxxers as clinically insane.

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