Monthly Archives: January 2017

Bigger Picture

From the mid-1970s to 2008, the US economy had kept global capitalism in an unstable, though finely balanced, equilibrium. It sucked into its territory the net exports of economies such as those of Germany, Japan and later China, providing the world’s most efficient factories with the requisite demand. How was this growing trade deficit paid for? By the return of around 70% of the profits made by foreign corporates to Wall Street, to be invested in America’s financial markets.

To keep this recycling mechanism going, Wall Street had to be unshackled from all constraints; leftovers from President Roosevelt’s New Deal and the post-war Bretton Woods agreement which sought to regulate financial markets. This is why Washington officials were so keen to deregulate finance: Wall Street provided the conduit through which increasing capital inflows from the rest of the world equilibrated the US deficits which were, in turn, providing the rest of the world with the aggregate demand stabilising the globalisation process. And so on.





Etymology: < apocalyptic adj. + -ism suffix.

An apocalyptic doctrine or belief, esp. one based on an expectation of the imminent end of the present world order.

1884   Encycl. Brit. XVII. 842/2   No one has dealt such deadly blows to Chiliasm and Christian apocalypticism as Origen.

1948   J. L. Adams tr. P. Tillich Protestant Era ii. 23   Later apocalypticism emphasizes those miraculous elements, thus breaking through all limits of time and space.

1952   Sc. Jrnl. Theol. 5 120   Apocalypticism threatened to paralyse the life of the Church.

No Daylight

Betsy DeVos, Trump nominee for Secretary of Education, asked by Bernie Sanders about tuition-free higher ed:

“Senator I think that’s a really interesting idea and I think it’s really great to consider and think about, but I think we also have to consider the fact that there’s nothing in life that’s truly free. Somebody’s going to pay for it.”

John Lewis, civil rights icon and Democratic congressman from Georgia, about tuition-free higher education:

“I think it’s the wrong message to send to any group. There’s not anything free in America. We all have to pay for something. Education is not free. Health care is not free. Food is not free. Water is not free. I think it’s very misleading to say to the American people, we’re going to give you something free.”