Massimo De Angelis — Next Lap in the Rat Race? From Sub-Prime Crisis to the “Impasse” of Global Capital.

Why is it that fuel prices are increasing, home values are falling, credit is squeezed and job insecurity increasing? Why is it that more and more of U.S. working class families are suffering the pinch of this crisis?

 My answer might sound very cynical: It’s so the system that links their working lives to those of billions of others around the world can continue, in new ways, to divide working people here and around the world; to devalue their work and reward those who bet on the “right” asset; pit one livelihood against another in condition of endless competition; and thus reproduce scarcity in the midst of plenty. The many current crises that are hitting the world are interlinked, and what started in the U.S. as a sub-prime and foreclosure crisis, is now appearing in other parts of the world as a food and energy crisis which is now, in turn, rebounding in the U.S. To put it bluntly, the current crises create the conditions for a planetary restructuring to allow the planetary rat race to continue, and continue producing scarcity in the midst of plenty. Unless, of course, people from around the world set limits on this madness, and together restructure from below the way they produce the world’s wealth. Let us explore some of these linkages. 

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