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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:38 PM

The Archeology of Decline: Debtpocalypse and the Hollowing Out of America


from TomDispatch:




The Archeology of Decline
Debtpocalypse and the Hollowing Out of America

By Steve Fraser


“Debtpocalypse” looms. Depending on who wins out in Washington, we’re told, we will either free fall over the fiscal cliff or take a terrifying slide to the pit at the bottom. Grim as these scenarios might seem, there is something confected about the mise-en-scène, like an un-fun Playland. After all, there is no fiscal cliff, or at least there was none -- until the two parties built it.

And yet the pit exists. It goes by the name of “austerity.” However, it didn’t just appear in time for the last election season or the lame-duck session of Congress to follow. It was dug more than a generation ago, and has been getting wider and deeper ever since. Millions of people have long made it their home. “Debtpocalypse” is merely the latest installment in a tragic, 40-year-old story of the dispossession of American working people.

Think of it as the archeology of decline, or a tale of two worlds. As a long generation of austerity politics hollowed out the heartland, the quants and traders and financial wizards of Wall Street gobbled up ever more of the nation's resources. It was another Great Migration -- instead of people, though, trillions of dollars were being sucked out of industrial America and turned into “financial instruments” and new, exotic forms of wealth. If blue-collar Americans were the particular victims here, then high finance is what consumed them. Now, it promises to consume the rest of us.

Scenes from the Museum

In the mid-1970s, Hugh Carey, then governor of New York, was already noting the hollowing out of his part of America. New York City, after all, was threatening to go bankrupt. Plenty of other cities and states across what was then known as the “Frost Belt” were in similar shape. Yankeedom, in Carey’s words, was turning into “a great national museum” where tourists could visit “the great railroad stations where the trains used to run.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175623/tomgram%3A_steve_fraser%2C_the_national_museum_of_industrial_homicide/#more



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Reply The Archeology of Decline: Debtpocalypse and the Hollowing Out of America (Original post)
marmar Dec 2012 OP
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #1
ROBROX Dec 2012 #2
Coyotl Dec 2012 #3
just1voice Dec 2012 #4

Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:44 PM

1. The privatize-everything people are harvesting public assets and shipping jobs to foreign countries.

 

Who, in Washington, has any interest in stopping this?

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 02:00 PM

2. SAVE SOCIETY AND CANCEL ALL DEBTS PUBLIC AND PRIVATE

 

Give society and chance to build after the chains of bankers are cut. Society has paid their debt and those that exist today are just paper. iceland was smart to let the debt go and NOT give the debt to the people. Today the bankers have given years of debt to society. Now the time is right to CANCEL all debts public and private and let society build on their freedom from DEBT.

Both small and large countries require freedom from debt or we will be held back and suffer as a very few have a merry life. Without debt this world could finally get out of the dangers of evil people who live to see people suffer.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 11:51 PM

3. We grew up on the Monopoly board game and learned nothing

It is no fun to play a game that goes on until only one person has all the money and property.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 01:47 PM

4. "the national museum of industrial homicide" -- well said

 

Great article, sad as it is.

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