Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility

Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility

Robert Kuttner / Oct 23, 2019

Debtors Prison The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility One of our foremost economic thinkers challenges a cherished tenet of today s financial orthodoxy that spending less refusing to forgive debt and shrinking government austerity is the solution to a

  • Title: Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility
  • Author: Robert Kuttner
  • ISBN: 9780307959805
  • Page: 198
  • Format: Hardcover
  • One of our foremost economic thinkers challenges a cherished tenet of today s financial orthodoxy that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government austerity is the solution to a persisting economic crisis like ours or Europe s, now in its fifth year Since the collapse of September 2008, the conversation about economic recovery has centered on theOne of our foremost economic thinkers challenges a cherished tenet of today s financial orthodoxy that spending less, refusing to forgive debt, and shrinking government austerity is the solution to a persisting economic crisis like ours or Europe s, now in its fifth year Since the collapse of September 2008, the conversation about economic recovery has centered on the question of debt whether we have too much of it, whose debt to forgive, and how to cut the deficit These questions dominated the sound bites of the 2012 U.S presidential election, the fiscal cliff debates, and the perverse policies of the European Union Robert Kuttner makes the most powerful argument to date that these are the wrong questions and that austerity is the wrong answer Blending economics with historical contrasts of effective debt relief and punitive debt enforcement, he makes clear that universal belt tightening, as a prescription for recession, defies economic logic And while the public debt gets most of the attention, it is private debts that crashed the economy and are sandbagging the recovery mortgages, student loans, consumer borrowing to make up for lagging wages, speculative shortfalls incurred by banks As Kuttner observes, corporations get to use bankruptcy to walk away from debts Homeowners and small nations don t Thus, we need public borrowing and investment to revive a depressed economy, and forgiveness and reform of the overhang of past debts In making his case, Kuttner uncovers the double standards in the politics of debt, from Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe s campaign for debt forgiveness in the seventeenth century to the two world wars and Bretton Woods Just as debtors prisons once prevented individuals from surmounting their debts and resuming productive life, austerity measures shackle, rather than restore, economic growth as the weight of past debt crushes the economy s future potential Above all, Kuttner shows how austerity serves only the interest of creditors the very bankers and financial elites whose actions precipitated the collapse Lucid, authoritative, provocative a book that will shape the economic conversation and the search for new solutions.

    Debtors prison Debtors prison Destitute persons who were unable to pay a court ordered judgment would be incarcerated in these prisons until they had worked off their debt via labor or secured outside funds to pay the balance The product of their labor went towards both the costs of Debtors Prisons American Civil Liberties Union Debtors Prisons Nearly two centuries ago, the United States formally abolished the incarceration of people who failed to pay off debts Yet, recent years have witnessed the rise of modern day debtors prisons the arrest and jailing of poor people for failure to pay legal debts they can never hope to afford, through criminal justice procedures Debtor s Prison in America Today The Atlantic Debtors Prison in st Century America For many people throughout the St Louis region, the nightmare of debtors prison is a recurring one Each time a payment or court date is missed, the court issues another warrant, and the individual is subject to arrest, jail, and additional fines and court fees. Debtors Victorian Crime and Punishment from EBN Inmates Debtors The Fleet Prison Until it was technically possible to be imprisoned for being in debt and unable to pay During the th and early th centuries than half of all prisoners were debtors In some places, e.g the Fleet in London, there were separate prison Return of the debtors prison Many jailed for inability But the practice continues elsewhere in the country Special correspondent John Carlos Frey takes an in depth look at what some are calling the return of the debtors prison. Debtors Prisons, Then and Now FAQ The Marshall Project In the United States, debtors prisons were banned under federal law in A century and a half later, in , the Supreme Court affirmed that incarcerating indigent debtors was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment s Equal Protection clause. Jailed for The return of debtors prisons CBS News Although the U.S abolished debtors prisons in the s, than a third of U.S states allow the police to haul people in who don t pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care Ending Modern Day Debtors Prisons American Civil Debtors prisons waste taxpayer money and resources by jailing people who may never be able to pay their debts This imposes direct costs on the government and further destabilizes the lives of poor people struggling to pay their debts and leave the criminal justice system behind. Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons May , Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons In , the high court ruled judges can t jail people because they re too poor to

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    About "Robert Kuttner"

      • Robert Kuttner

        Robert Kuttner Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility book, this is one of the most wanted Robert Kuttner author readers around the world.


    477 Comments

    1. Very readable and interesting. I was especially interested in the criticism of the IMF/World Bank response to the Asian Financial Crisis of the 1990s. Kuttner praises Joe Stiglitz but fails to note that Stiglitz was the World Bank Chief Economist at the time. (I was a minor player on the World Bank team working on the Korean branch of the crisis and Stiglitz was with us on a few of our visits to Seoul.) However, Kuttner seems to be suggesting a highly regulated international financial system and [...]


    2. Since well before the 2008 financial crisis, the practice of economic austerity has beleaguered American and European politics. Praised by the right as a panacea of renewed financial responsibility, and decried by the left as a mechanism for dismantling the West’s already struggling middle classes, austerity signifies a critical juncture where battered economies face radically different strategies for picking up the pieces. Robert Kuttner’s Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus [...]


    3. This excellent book is an exploration of the current economic idea that national debt reduction and austerity will help us find our way out of our ongoing economic malaise. The book is meaty, looking at historic examples of austerity as a means of approaching economic downturns, and comparing those times with times of great prosperity, particularly, for the USA, during the several decades following World War II. Although he uses examples from the history of many countries, including Asian and So [...]


    4. In Malaysia, another small nation that had suffered the effects of currency speculation, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad rejected the advice of IMF and resorted to direct capital controls. This was ridiculed by Western experts as a mark of economic illiteracy, yet the strategy worked beautifully. The central bank used controls mainly to kill the offshore speculative market in Malaysia's currency, the ringgit. Outside Malaysia holders of the ringgit had to wait a year before converting the curren [...]


    5. A much needed work to demonstrate the dangerous consequences of some ill-conceived economic policies that are being formulated, nay foisted upon the helpless and the affected across the world under the ruse of 'austerity'. An unfortunate example is that of Greece. A nation that has been buffeted into virtual submission by both internal economic inefficiencies (to a good extent) and by insidious external policy diktats (to a significant extent) by the European nations headed by Germany. What Robe [...]


    6. Got the book through First Reads. Robert Kuttner's "Debtors' Prison" was a great eye-opener about austerity and why it doesn't work. Thousands are taking to the streets now in Europe, Brazil, and Egypt to show that the people will not be suppressed. People have the power to take action, and Kuttner makes a great contribution, telling us that we must oppose austerity. It only works for a very small sliver of the population, and that's why only they are the ones peddling this prescription.


    7. Kuttner's explanation of the financial crisis of '08 is something most people understand. His book delves deeper into historic situations and the European Union's debt crisis (particularly in Greece) to show what does and does not work. He ends the book with a list of things we can do to prevent another crash. Of course, Americans are doing none of them.


    8. Great beginning and ending, and one that properly illustrates the downsides and limitations of austerity and the follies of the "cut ______ government program to the bone" kick that so many politicians are promoting. Gets only a 3-star rating, though, because the author could've gotten his points across - just as effectively - in about half the time.



    9. Excellent book which offers concrete, workable solutions to our current economic problems. Unfortunately, with the exception of Senators Sherrod Brown, Elizabrth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, not many in Washington are listening.


    10. Definitely an interesting perspective, but I'm still wrapping my head around some of the points where I maintain a contrary viewpoint.



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