flow of aggregate demand (was Re: What Greenspan says)

alec ramsdell a_ramsdell at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 16 19:01:21 PDT 1998

Seth Ackerman writes:

>Today, Greenspan told the House Banking Committee:
>``I think that I can safely say that at the moment there is no endeavor
>to coordinate interest rate cuts.''
>Why should we assume the ruling class will be able to defer this crisis
>when they seem so oblivious?
>seth ackerman

I'm wondering about this.

Presumably lowered interest rates will add to aggregate demand, or purchasing power, by encouraging borrowing. Right? What about s****** [edited for SurfWatch] like me who are on Chexsystem's s*** [edited for SurfWatch] list, and can't even have a bank account, let alone a line of credit?

In a neighboorhood like the Mission in SF, my old neighboorhood, one finds a racial concentration intersecting an income bracket: lower incomed blacks and hispanics. One also finds many check cashing stores, where those with bad credit and bad banking records must go to cash checks (and pay for it). Just as there are many bail bond stores around a jail, there are these check cashing stores in lower income neighboorhoods.

Galbraith says in _The Good Society_: "interest rates can be reduced by central-bank action, thus encouraging business and consumer borrowing and investment or expenditure, which add to the flow of aggregate demand." (p. 36) Great, for whom? If "social decency" and "compassion" and "a rewarding life" (what do these abstractions mean?) are what the good society should be about, what about the sector of the population with bad credit, no credit, and no banking?

Does anyone know what percentage of the population inhabit this sector: those for whom lowered interest rates would *not* mean what Galbraith says?

Credit seems to be a nasty wedge between poor and rich: once one crosses the line, gets bad credit, no banking . . . Living can get really expensive supporting the check cashing industry. Then one starts buying into those payday loan schemes. Then one is on some serious slippery f****** [edited for SurfWatch] slope.


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