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Trying to understand the debt ceiling issue from a socialist perspective

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yoda's walking stick
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Joined: 6-04-11
Jul 30 2011 19:25
Trying to understand the debt ceiling issue from a socialist perspective

Can anyone point me in the direction of an article that could help me out? Thanks in advance!

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mojo.rhythm
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Jul 31 2011 10:10

The "socialist" perspective would mainly prescribe raising taxes on the wealthy and nationalizing health care to get the deficit down.

The debt ceiling issue is mainly a red herring anyway. Its purpose is to get everyone to look the other way as the state forces draconian shock therapy onto the population.

Samotnaf
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Joined: 9-06-09
Jul 31 2011 13:13

I started a blog on this over a month ago:
What happens if the USA defaults on its debts??????????

thomas.mas
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Joined: 23-12-09
Jul 31 2011 16:10

I haven't posted on here in a while. But here's my take:

The United States and Denmark are the only countries in the world that I'm aware of that have debt ceilings. The reason most countries don't have it is because they make the decision to spend more than they tax when they approve their budgets. The debt ceiling is saying: although we've already agreed to spend more than we have revenue for, we're going to not allow ourselves to do what we agreed to and force ourselves to run out of money.

The short-term capitalist solution: eliminate the debt ceiling, it's not necessary because you're making that decision with your budget already. The medium to long-term capitalist solution: create a situation where there isn't a deficit (or it's much more resonable when there is one) that is to say...make revenues come closer to expenses, i.e. raise taxes and/or cut spending.... or grow the economy enough where revenues from taxes increase enough even if tax levels don't increase.

The libertarian socialist perspective: this is another front in the class struggle. The elite classes want to minimize what the popular classes get and minimize what they pay for a social wage (the public services provided). The libertarian socialist perspective in the short-run: build working class power to make gains that favor the working class on this front (increase taxes on the rich & and increase spending on social services for the working class, i.e. education, healthcare, parks, public transit, etc.) The libertarian socialist perspective in the long-run: build working class power, solidarity, capacity and consciousness to the point where it can create a revolutionary situation in which it expropriates all capital, abolishes the state, strikes severly and attempt to destroy all hierarchical institutions (though some cultural institutions will likely linger on and will have to continually be attacked over time), and in its place run society along directly democratic and socialist (and most people on here, including me, would argue communist) lines.

thomas.mas
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Jul 31 2011 16:14

Deleted: Accidental Double Post

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knotwho
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Aug 1 2011 20:27

The impression I get is that the debt 'crisis' is a manufactured scare to loot the 20th century entitlements (Social Security, Medicaid, etc.) Raising the debt is just a routine thing. Apparently Bush II did it 20 times. By raising a fuss, the Repubs are forcing a 10+ year policy plan to sell off the welfare state.

David Graeber has given some interesting interviews, partly promoting his new book on the history of debt:

http://inthearena.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/05/david-graeber-studied-5000-years-of-debt-real-dirty-secret-is-that-if-the-deficit-ever-completely-went-away-it-would-cause-a-major-catastrophe/

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20110730084024

This liberal economist also gave an interesting take on the debt ceiling:

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/22/pushing_crisis_gop_cries_wolf_on

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Malva
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Aug 1 2011 20:44

@knotwho Thanks for the links. I just read up on Graeber and ordered two of his books on Amazon!

Aflwydd
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Joined: 22-05-11
Aug 2 2011 00:28

I love Michael Hudson as much as I can love a liberal economist. He manages to convey the absurdity of the economic climate in such a way that you find yourself laughing about it. You can see in that interview, and others i've seen with him, that he finds it hard to take this farce seriously because it's so illogical, irrational, and can't be understood by dispatching logic.