The US Hindenburg is going down.
Under the not-really-suppressed sanctimoniousness and judgmentalism (bad hoi poloi!) of this NYTimes article on average people who’ve stopped paying banks (moral hazard contagion?) on foreclosed homes, is a sign about where the post-1969 ascendance of financial capital is headed.
At this point, 40 years on, the only way the financialized capitalism of the US can keep it up is by stripping the working class of any capacity to consume for the world market. Without mass consumption, the dollar won’t be the global exchange currency anymore. When that happens, the strip-mining goes into overdrive.
There’s only one rational course for the working class and smallholders now: People are partying before the fall. Why not? Because whatever consumption (past or present) we throw our tiny, suppressed incomes at, there’s not enough in our wallets to pay for it all. Kind of like a drained aquifer.
Here the NYTimes lamely suggests debt-riddled working class people should get more jobs. What’s the hurry for us to kill ourselves in overwork now? Ha! As if there were not gigantic –and more hidden!–unemployment. As if that treadmill of pain were not also headed off the cliff. It’s not a debt-management strategy. It’s a desperate debt collection ploy, for the benefit of the rich who are dimly beginning to suspect that they’ve been shitting in their kitchen for a number of decades, if not as a fundamental capitalist practice.
We will be in a lot of pain, and by and large people believe they can’t do anything about it. The militarized law’n’order state has crushed both pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will. There’s no Left left to plan and push from the other direction; there’s complete repression. We can’t organize and push for change anymore. There are no tools but our elites.
Where do you want to be when the bolts of fascism are all screwed in? I’ll tell you one place I don’t want be: The US.
There seems to be some fringe elite economic policy thought to de-financialize the US economy (cf Christina Romer of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors; James K. Galbraith on definancializing Europe). But they won’t be able to do it in time–because, as with the environment, the insular, self-satisfied political-economic elites can’t get it together to see that the tank wheels of this leviathon are spinning hard for the edge of the cliff.
In the meantime, here’s a link to how to declare bankruptcy protection (!Si, se puede!) from student loan collections.
Right: Christina Romer allegedly once publicly mentioned reducing financial capital’s role in the US economy.