Re: [OPE] David Harvey on stimulus failure

From: Jurriaan Bendien <>
Date: Thu Feb 12 2009 - 02:15:23 EST


I'v e been overposting a bit and I don't want to flame at all on the list - but: given the possibility that I make an argument which is really mistaken, would you be so kind to make quite explicit what your objection actually is, what it consists in, and if possible provide clear proof of the fault? I do not get anywhere with vague accusations or insinuations to the effect that what I say or do "could be" in error "if" it means this or that. I do my best to make my argument absolutely clear, precise and to the point, more I cannot do.

The Left generally approves of debt cancellations as intrinsically progressive, but I don't - in some cases it might be, in some cases not, and it may in fact even make things worse for the erstwhile debtors, to the extent that they do not get credit again, or not on favorable terms. My hunch is that after this crisis, a whole bunch of people will not be able to loan money at all.

We should bear in mind the specifics of the case. If it is possible to force debt cancellations, then this reinforces the idea that you can get money unilaterally for free, and that you don't have to honour your contracts. Well, you might say, who cares? But highlighting this, just aims to point to the fact that the credit crisis raises questions about the obligations which people have towards each other in society, "who owes what to whom, and why". Americans evidently cannot even agree about that.

As it happens, we simply do not have good data on how the debt burdens are really distributed, and the size of the debt problems. Hence, the talk about the credit crisis is to a large extent "speculative".


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Received on Thu Feb 12 02:21:24 2009

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