Interview with Michael Hudson: Some Modest Proposals for Reforming the U.S. Financial and Tax System (including a Public Banking Option)

Michael Hudson • New Economic Prospectives • November 18, 2011

On November 3, 2011, Alan Minsky interviewed me on KPFK’s program, “Building a Powerful Movement in the United States” in preparation for an Occupy L.A. teach-in. To clarify my points I have edited and expanded my answers from the interview transcript.

Alan Minsky: I am joined now by Michael Hudson. He is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and also is president of the Institute for the Study of Long Term Economic Trends. Welcome to the show, Michael.

Restore America’s past prosperity and rescue the future from the financial grabbers

Michael Hudson: …The idea throughout the nineteenth century was to create this kind of public option. There was a Post Office bank, and that could still be elaborated to provide banking services at cost or at a subsidized price. After all, in Russia and Japan the post office banks are the largest of all!

The logic for a public banking option is the same as for governments providing free roads: The aim is to minimize the cost of living and doing business. On my website,, I have posted an article just published in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology on Simon Patten. He was the first professor of economics at the Wharton Business School. He spelled out the logic of public infrastructure as a “fourth” factor of production (alongside, labor, capital and land). Its productivity is to be measured not by how much profit it makes, but by how much it lowers the economy’s price structure.

Read the article here.

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One Response

  1. I just want to add to your remarks that the Post Office bank was cancelled not too long ago. Our government’s decision under Nixon or Regan was met with consternation by who didn’t “trust” banks. How did they know?

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