Thursday, October 16, 2008

Via couterpunch

Jonathan M. Feldman: Before the Second Wave of Crisis
...The state might play a role in a solution to our multiple crises by investing $100 billion in subsidies for college students, $100 billion for public housing to pay for low-rise garden cities, $200 billion in capitalizing land banks that stabilized the value of housing and made non-predatory loans, and $350 billion in an infrastructure and industrial development bank. This bank could promote a diverse set of activities including electrification of railways and modernization of tracks, R&D in alternative energy, mass transportation and robotics research. Not all liquidity has the same political impact, but most established financial experts do not understand politics.

As many have now noted the rational solution would be to rally around “Green Collar Jobs,” demilitarization, reindustrialization and infrastructure investments. This alternative banking system could also lend workers and local communities funds to purchase now-devalued stocks in their corporations (like G.M., Ford and Chrysler) to enhance decision-making power vis-à-vis management. All could be paid for by taxing the rich and cutting back the multi-billion dollar military machine, but that itself would require not simply unilateral budget cuts, but disarmament plans (to leverage cut backs in multiple countries), changing U.S. foreign policy to embrace peaceful diplomatic engagement, and converting defense firms from their addiction to government spending. The environmental movement should push for disarmament, but many in the movement have made the Pentagon their ally, thereby becoming patrons of the system which brought us the financial crisis. Who holds such individuals to account?...

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