Book Review: Killing the Host

I finally got around to reading Michael Hudson’s Killing the Host. I think it was released over a year ago. Hudson is a professor of economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, which is where some of the most progressive work is being done, particularly in monetary theory.

This book is not especially well written. The editing was downright sloppy, in my opinion.

But it’s written well enough to follow and the content is valuable. Hudson’s central thesis is that economic policy has moved in the exact opposite direction of what economic philosophers of the 19th and early 20th century foresaw. They believed the world would become increasingly egalitarian, as economic and tax policy would favor industrialists and labor. Instead, it has favored rent seekers, particularly those in the finance sector.

Hudson likens the relationship of the finance sector to the economy to that of parasite to host. Eventually, the parasite drains the life out of the host.

For those interested in economic policy, Killing the Host is an important read. There are insights in this book I’ve not seen elsewhere. So, even though it could have been better written, I recommend it.

 

12 Responses to Book Review: Killing the Host

  1. John Huppenthal

    So, just throw false slurs.

    Here is a fact, the more government the less prosperity. That’s a fact. It’s also the definition of a parasite.

    You spend all your time on this blog attempting to persuade people that more government is better.

    And, oh yes, I have received thousands of paychecks from the private sector. I worked my first 24 shift when I was in 3rd grade (my older brother and I owned 2/3 of a company and he had submitted a bid on short turnaround).

    Your response is predictable. When intellectually cornered, slur.

    Let’s go back to the accusation of crimes.

    When you don’t have a chain of custody, the gold gets stolen. When you don’t have a chain of custody in evidence, the cocaine gets stolen.

    Guess what? Ballots are more valuable than either gold or cocaine per ounce, when you don’t have a chain of custody, those votes get stolen.

    Deny that and you are a moron. I am simply stating the obvious. It’s absolute truth by irrefutable logic.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      False slurs! Awesome!

      You truly lack any shred of self-awareness! You have accused liberals, aka “Other Americans”, and government, aka “democracy”, of being parasites and criminals!

      Every word that spews from your racist little mouth is a slur against someone! You constantly post insults. Your hate and lies are posted under your name and your sway-doo-nyms going back years.

      Your debate style is “I know you are but what am I!”

      I don’t want government to be any bigger than it needs to be, or any smaller than it needs to be.

      You’re party has full control at the federal level, and you fully control over 30 of the state governments, so we all look forward to your incoherent defense of your complete failures over the next 4 years.

      If you don’t have any proof of a crime then please, STFU, and let the grownups talk.

  2. bob the history of economics is reform follows economic disasters 1929 and 2008 being the most glaring;but earlier ones were even worse! on 1510am the austrian school xealots rant and rave about supply side economics and think a greedy capitalist like hillary clinton is a communist and want bernie sanders arrested as an economic terrorist! I have said this before liberals want to be reasonable with unreasonable people. you want them to care when they don’t! the other side does not behave itself out of decency :but will behave itself out of fear. greed not economic policy is what they care about. the next time they bring on economic disaster remember the words of the prussian commander at the battle of waterloo. “I will shoot the first man who shows mercy!” next time should be their LAST TIME!

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Thanks for the book review Bob Lord.

      Captain Arizona, the reforms enacted after 2008 were weak, and later weakened further due to an infestation of Teabags in Congress caused by a Blackening of the White House scaring lotsa’ insecure wypipl.

      We cannot rely on anything since 2008 to protect the American economy from another recession/depression, we did not get a new Glass-Steagall, we got the weak Dodd-Frank. Dodd-Frank is an annoying to them but is not stopping the banks from robbing us all blind.

      Now the Party of the Parasites is in complete control, so pity the Host (middle class) and expect the next recession to be worse than 2008.

      Trump spends more time on his hair and wears more makeup and lipstick than Caitlyn Jenner, and if he’s transitioning more power to him, but at least he’s Orange and not Black, so maybe after the Trump recession we’ll get real reforms.

      • John Huppenthal

        Let’s be clear as to the party of the parasites: Democrats are the party of government, more government and even more government. Government is the parasite. There is a direct linear relationship between the quantity of government around the world and economic growth and prosperity of the citizens – a direct negative relationship.

        You all hate cross sectional analyses because they are so glaring, the conclusions so evident.

        At a government load of 25%, economies grow at about 6% per year at 40%, economies hover at about zero.

        There is variance about these numbers because governments at each level vary in effectiveness, but those are the means.

        Government is clearly a proven parasite and so are democrats by extension.

        • herr huppenthal you are very lucky the democratic party is run by wimp corporate liberals who won’t send you and wall street and the rest of the republican party to the re-education camp you so richly deserve like I would. bernie sanders and elizabeth warren is the best we can hope for. at least for now. as long as they do not fear being sent to the re-education camp if their greed brings on economic disaster. as count blucher said at waterloo shoot the first democrat that shows them mercy!

        • For Sure Not Tom

          Huppenthal, Master of Sockpuppets, man who uses government property on government time to pretend to be other people on the Internets, you have no credibility.

          You have accused literally thousands of people of thousands of crimes, and you have no evidence to back up your accusations.

          You have never received a paycheck from the private sector, you have always suckled on the warm breast of the taxpayer.

          Now you post here without understanding your own words.

          Let me help you. We do not live in a Dictatorship, we live in a Democracy.

          So when you say “Government is the parasite,”, what you are literally saying is “”Democracy” is the parasite.”

          I realize understanding words is difficult for you, but you’re basically complaining about the US Constitution and the Founders.

          Think before you post.

          • I’ll make sure that I let all the teachers, police officers, members of the armed forces, firefighters, and their various support staff know that the former State Superintendent thinks they’re all a bunch of mooching parasites.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.
            – Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
            November 19, 1863

            “Most people don’t even know he was a Republican. Right? Does anyone know? A lot of people don’t know that. We have to build that up a little more.”
            – Donald J. Trump, leader of the GOP, speaking about Abraham Lincoln at a fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, aka “The Party of Lincoln”
            March 21, 2017

          • John Huppenthal

            Smear away, I am a private citizen now. You can’t damage me any more.

            There is an optimal amount of government, less than we have now.

            I think of a future where public education has vanished, where schools exist that don’t create criminals like our current public education system. Where we don’t just say we are all equal, we have an education system that makes it true.

            The drop in crime eliminates 40% of our current police force.

            We adopt Bob’s and Ed’s guaranteed income system, eliminating the welfare trap – eliminating another 40% of crime and another 40% of our police force.

            A future where we finally recognize that we don’t have fires anymore and we can eliminate half the firefighting force by attrition and replace them with a system designed to be optimized for emergency medical care.

            Right now, as a result of government, only a fraction of our emergency vehicles are equipped with what is called a 12 lead system. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in America. Yet, despite the incredible expense of our public safety system we are decades behind in simple technology that could save hundreds of lives every year. Obviously, not their priority.

            A future where economists correctly calculate the revenue maximizing tax rate and we have steady 5% growth.

            We can get government down to 10% or less, maybe even 1%. We could get economic growth up to 8% a year. And, be an example for the entire world.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            So, in other words, you still have no proof for your libelous claims and are just going to deflect.

            Par.

          • John Huppenthal

            B.S. There is a direct negative correlation across all levels of government and growth in gross domestic product. That by definition means that the optimal level of government is something less than the smallest level of government that exists right now.

            That means that government is incrementally parasitic, severely parasitic. More of it is poisonous and detrimental across all existing levels.

            Does that mean that many heroic people aren’t beating those means? Absolutely not, there are many governments above that regression line, constrained and choked by government culture, but greatly beating the mean.

            I live in two great examples. In the Chandler Unified School District, we might have the greatest leaders in education in the nation. They are just incredible.

            In the City of Chandler, we have one of the more mediocre leadership teams in the nation.