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Robert Kuttner on the Failures and Successes of the Stimulus: Democracy Now!

Economists Michael Hudson and Robert Kuttner (Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency) weigh in on President Obama’s economic stimulus plan in this video from Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.

The biggest problem of all is the Geithner plan to try and bring hedge funds and private equity companies with loans from the federal reserve as a way of propping up banks. It’s resuscitating the same system that got us into this mess. It’s totally wrong-headed. All of the economists who I respect—from Joe Stiglitz to Paul Krugman to Nouriel Roubini—all argue that sooner or later we’re going to have to nationalize the banks, clean out the bad assets, make the bad actors take a hit, replace corrupt management, and clean the slate so that we start out with viable banks that can get the credit system operating again. And the longer we defer that with more pyramid schemes financed by the Fed or the Treasury or the taxpayers, the deeper the hole is.

You asked the question why we’re not doing it right—the problem is political. On the one hand, Obama has hired a lot of Bob Rubin’s protegés, who aren’t even advocating the right policy. On the other hand the Republicans are stonewalling him across the board, and so people like Susan Collins, Senator from Maine, who are pretty conservative, get to block this thing. The only way to end this blockage is for Obama is to go to the country and to become a lot more radical, because the times demand radical solutions.

Watch the video on Democracy Now!


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..