Yves here. In addition to watching the video below, you can encourage friends and family to see it on CUNYTV at:
Saturday, April 7th – 2:00pm
Sunday, April 8th – 10:30am
It will then continue to air on LinkTV, FreeSpeech TV and Manhattan Neighborhood Network. You can also download the podcast podcast for the episode.
Laura Flanders: Monopoly capitalism and models of resistance. This week, author Michael Hudson on Donald Trump’s fake economics, and Stacy Mitchell from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, with Joe Maxwell of Family Farm Action, on the threat of Amazon to just about everything. It’s all coming up on the Laura Flanders Show, the place where the people who say it can’t be done take a back seat to the people who are doing it. Welcome.
Infrastructure, we’re going to start spending on infrastructure big, said Donald Trump days before he unveiled his $1.5 trillion infrastructure budget proposed by his administration, but as economists have pointed out, Trump’s proposed budget requests only $200 billion in federal funds and slashes billions in transportation funding, billions more from water, energy. The rest of the funds comes, supposedly, from the private sector and states.
Well, last year I talked to economist Michael Hudson about this exact thing, infrastructure. That is our roads, bridges, all so on, being the so-called final frontier of the race to privatize. He is now back to revisit that conversation and take stock of where the economy is now a year into the Trump time.
Michael Hudson is a longtime Wall Street analyst, most recently the author of J is for Junk Economics, a Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception. He is leading a team of national income economists at the Democracy Collaborative in Washington, D.C. Michael, welcome back.
Michael Hudson: It’s good to be here, Laura.
Laura Flanders: Is this where you get to say the three most, well, I get to say the three most beautiful words in the English language, you were right?
Michael Hudson: Well, I forget what I was right about.
Laura Flanders: The infrastructure plan. It’s a shady scheme to privatize, that bit of infrastructure we have left.
Michael Hudson: I knew that it was going to be privatized, but nobody could have realized it would have been quite as awful as it is. When people think of infrastructure, you think of how America got rich. It got rich in the 19th century and early 20th century by making free roads, by really providing all of the costs that are the structure of the economy, so roads and stores and railroads.
Laura Flanders: Free to us, free to the corporations, but at some cost to the people.
Michael Hudson: Right, well, the whole idea was to provide these at either no cost, like roads, or at a subsidized price. The whole idea that was taught in business schools in the 19th century was American can out compete other countries by lower the cost of doing business, lowing the cost of living, by providing free schooling, free roads, free, they didn’t use the word infrastructure, but free of all of the things that were monopolized in the medieval period.
What Trump has done is all of a sudden, instead of using infrastructure spending to make America the low cost economy, which is how we got rich enough to compete with