Debt: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

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  • Song Name: Debt: Can't Live With It, Can't Live Without It
  • Artist: Kevin Carson

Intro/Outro by Jeff Riggenbach
Written by Kevin Carson
Read by Mike Godzina
Edited by Nick Ford

Online article:


"The capitalist system was characterized from the beginning by an alliance between propertied classes and the state. Wealth was concentrated in the hands of the economic ruling class, through state-enabled robbery and enslavement; and the propertied classes continued to collect rents on this stolen loot with the help of artificial property rights and monopolies enforced by the state. This meant that most income tended to go to people who would reinvest it rather than spend it on consumption goods, while the people who tended to spend most of their incomes on the necessities of life had incomes limited by the monopoly rents they paid to the ruling class. As a result there was a chronic tendency towards the accumulation of capital with a shortage of profitable outlets for investment, because of insufficient demand to make new production facilities profitable.

On top of this, the economic system that emerged in the late 19th century — of giant industrial corporations in alliance with the state — further encouraged over-investment in large, capital-intensive industrial facilities that could not dispose of their full output when running at capacity.

As a result, throughout the twentieth century and right up to the present the state has played a central role in keeping corporate capitalism afloat, with deficit spending to stimulate demand. And the enormous public debts accumulated by government provide a guaranteed return to surplus capital that would otherwise have no profitable outlet."

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