Hudson knows the history of economic thought and economic history. Reading The Bubble and Beyond lets readers see how economic ideas developed in ways that leave economists unable to perceive the real character of the problems that are challenging them. Trapped in the matrix that they have constructed for themselves, economists are unable to devise solutions.
Hudson writes that western economies are at a turning point. GDP growth consists increasingly of the build-up of financial overhead. The wealth gains are paper gains, not gains from real plant and equipment, and are increasingly concentrated in the hands of the one percent. Financial earnings are extracted from the earnings of tangible capital and labor. Matt Taibbi captured the point with his imagery of Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."
My suggestion is that you read Hudson along with Taibbi's Griftopia, Nomi Prins' It Takes A Pillage, Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner's Reckless Endangerment, and Daly and Cobb's For the Common Good. Then if you ever do study economics, you will be armored against being ensnared in the matrix that produces economists as shills for finance capitalism, environmental destruction, and the offshoring of the economy.
Everyone always wants a solution. Hudson offers suggestions how to reconstruct the economy in order that it serves the needs of the 99% instead only of the needs of the 1%.
Get busy. Reading these books will do you much greater good than playing video games, watching TV or hanging out in bars. Our country needs a larger informed younger generation to replace the smaller informed older generation.
Note to readers: Accompanying my column today is an article in the guest section by Herman Daly (titled: "Nationalize Money, Not Banks"). For those looking for solutions to the banking crisis, this astute and highly experienced economist tells you what can be done.
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