FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Three Dimensions of a Complete Stimulus Plan

In a world where one class manufactures credit and the other class clings to hope, how bad can a debt economy be?  Of course, we could have that long-awaited revolution where the hopeful class clobbers the lending class and puts an end to the disparities that make borrowing necessary.  But what would happen the week after that?

On the other hand we could recover the wisdom of the legendary Jubilee by placing the lending class on notice that every seven years we’re going to have a write-down party, beginning with the summer of 2009.

I offer this as a “mustard seed” (with kudos to Larry Kudlow for the Gospel term that he applies to the salvation of capitalism).  Jubilee Vouchers could be sown into “green shoots” and harvested as part of the next stimulus plan.  If such debt-relief were offered directly to all the people, all at once, you would surely short the future of any politician who tried to get in the way.

The only moral problem with this idea is how to respect and reward all the good people who didn’t get caught up in debt mania.  We should acknowledge their moral superiority and sacrifice.

***

Therefore, the Federal Reserve Bank shall distribute to each taxpayer a book of Jubilee Vouchers totaling $10,000 which shall be accepted by any creditor in return for debt relief.  Any unused Jubilee Vouchers held by people of moral superiority and good sense may be presented to the IRS for tax credits that will be good for as many years as the balance may last.

We’ll let the big brains at the Federal Reserve Bank work out the technicalities of what happens next.  Maybe they can open up a $2.25 trillion jubilee line of credit to be paid down with interest from the lenders they support.  They could call it The People’s Bank.

Or the Fed could refuse to redeem Jubilee Vouchers from lenders who have proven to be predatory, forcing them into immediate bankruptcy.  Where the Fed is concerned the world has full faith that when it comes to credit, if there’s a will, there’s a way.  (Cap and trade on the national debt anyone?)

***

Perhaps there is a moral concept of modern economics that will be transgressed by the revival of Jubilee wisdom, but since we’re borrowing our financial language from the Gospel, why not invite those without financial sin to cast the first stones?

For example, there are people who get paid by huge broadcasting conglomerates who sometimes puff themselves up as saints–as if the whole credit scheme never leaks into the advertising budgets that fund their creditable livelihoods.  We could invite them to stone us, but they’d stone us anyway.

The point is that credit mania became a thoroughgoing social mood that ate and fed all of us with the same collective spoon.  Nobody stopped it why?  Because we were all hooked into the accelerated experience of the leveraged life.

Since we haven’t got the appetite to prosecute debt pushers or their officious collaborators, and since it is probably true what Greenspan says–that we will never outlaw greed–at least we might offer some meaningful ritual comforts to all the addicts who get left with nothing but the spasm of withdrawal.

***

In addition to Jubilee Vouchers, two other fronts need funding–which we can visualize via that odd couple at CNBC, Cramer and Kudlow.

Jim Cramer says we need a real New Deal jobs program.  Kudlow says we need business tax cuts.  Publisher Mortimer Zuckerman has joined issue with Cramer in calling for a real job-stimulus program.  And any number of old supply-siders are lining up along the Kudlow-Laffer axis to fight for Capital first.

But enough of the bickering already.  Do we need labor or capital?  Cramer or Kudlow?  Why not both?

At any rate let’s not do as a nation what the readers of the Wall Street Journal did in their online responses to Zuckerman’s sober proposal.  Zuckerman stayed focused on the needs of the people and how the government might do its duty.  The readers of the Wall Street Journal diverted precious pixels into a childish blame game of whose fault?

Fact is, there are very few of us behaving like part of the solution these days, and Congress could probably get all this done in early August if we make it a condition of their summer break.  Get Zuckerman to print the bill, roll it down the aisle in a wheelbarrow, and nothing of the usual diligence or transparency of American democracy would be sacrificed

But if we don’t get a serious world-historical plan in place before the real Bear Market hits we’ll soon be thinking of “mere unemployment” as the good old days.

GREG MOSES is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review.  He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
Howard Lisnoff
How James Comey Became the Strange New Hero of the Liberals
William Blum
Anti-Empire Report: Unseen Persons
Lawrence Davidson
Missiles Over Damascus
Patrick Cockburn
The Plight of the Yazidi of Afrin
Pete Dolack
Fooled Again? Trump Trade Policy Elevates Corporate Power
Stan Cox
For Climate Mobilization, Look to 1960s Vietnam Before Turning to 1940s America
William Hawes
Global Weirding
Dan Glazebrook
World War is Still in the Cards
Nick Pemberton
In Defense of Cardi B: Beyond Bourgeois PC Culture
Ishmael Reed
Hollywood’s Last Days?
Peter Certo
There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria
Dean Baker
China’s “Currency Devaluation Game”
Ann Garrison
Why Don’t We All Vote to Commit International Crimes?
LEJ Rachell
The Baddest Black Power Artist You Never Heard Of
Lawrence Ware
All Hell Broke Out in Oklahoma
Franklin Lamb
Tehran’s Syria: Lebanon Colonization Project is Collapsing
Donny Swanson
Janus v. AFSCME: What’s It All About?
Will Podmore
Brexit and the Windrush Britons
Brian Saady
Boehner’s Marijuana Lobbying is Symptomatic of Special-Interest Problem
Julian Vigo
Google’s Delisting and Censorship of Information
Patrick Walker
Political Dynamite: Poor People’s Campaign and the Movement for a People’s Party
Fred Gardner
Medical Board to MDs: Emphasize Dangers of Marijuana
Rob Seimetz
We Must Stand In Solidarity With Eric Reid
Missy Comley Beattie
Remembering Barbara Bush
Wim Laven
Teaching Peace in a Time of Hate
Thomas Knapp
Freedom is Winning in the Encryption Arms Race
Mir Alikhan
There Won’t be Peace in Afghanistan Until There’s Peace in Kashmir
Robert Koehler
Playing War in Syria
Tamara Pearson
US Shootings: Gun Industry Killing More People Overseas
John Feffer
Trump’s Trade War is About Trump Not China
Morris Pearl
Why the Census Shouldn’t Ask About Citizenship
Ralph Nader
Bill Curry on the Move against Public Corruption
Josh Hoxie
Five Tax Myths Debunked
Leslie Mullin
Democratic Space in Adverse Times: Milestone at Haiti’s University of the Aristide Foundation
Louis Proyect
Syria and Neo-McCarthyism
Dean Baker
Finance 202 Meets Economics 101
Abel Cohen
Forget Gun Control, Try Bullet Control
Robert Fantina
“Damascus Time:” An Iranian Movie
David Yearsley
Bach and Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail