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  • FOTIS shared from Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth
    Since there are usually more debtors than creditors at any given time, and since creditors are by definition people with money to lend, democracy has, according to some, an inflationary bias. The politics of cutting inflation therefore take of the form of restoring the “real” value of money by pushing the inflation rate down through “independent” (from the rest of us) central banks. Creditors win, debtors lose. One can argue about the balance of benefits, but it’s still a class-specific tax.
    Note: About Inflation
  • FOTIS shared from Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Blyth
    Both the reasons given for why we all have to be austere (we have spent too much, etc.) and the logics expounded for the supposed positive effects of austerity as a policy—that cuts lead to growth—are, as we shall see, by and large dangerous nonsense. Yet they remain the governing ideas of the moment.
  • FOTIS shared from Neptune's Brood by Charles Stross
    Any authoritarian polity – and ultimately that includes all money-based states, for of necessity they all have the capability to resort to violence in order to force people to honor the debts that the government deems worthy of respect – requires organs that exist for the purpose of injecting terror into the minds of their subjects. Those that pay lip service to the rule of law may conceal such raw and hideous institutions behind a scented mist of euphemisms – interrogation facilities, debriefing centers, extraordinary rendition – but ultimately, they boil down to the same thing.
  • FOTIS shared from Keynes Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics by Nicholas Wapshott
    “If you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three,”7 a remark often attributed to Winston Churchill. Keynes’s apocryphal response was, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”8
  • FOTIS shared from THE BUBBLE AND BEYOND by Michael Hudson
    An important predecessor of Adam Smith, the merchant Mathew Decker, emigrated from Holland to settle in London in 1702. In the preface to his influential Essay on the Causes of the Decline of the Foreign Trade, published in 1744, he attributed the deterioration in Britain’s international competitiveness to the taxes levied to carry the interest charges on its public debt. These taxes threatened to price its exports out of world markets by imposing a “prodigious artificial Value … upon our Goods to the hindrance of their Sale abroad.” Taxes on food and other essentials pushed up the subsistence...