Friday, June 22, 2012
Can't See the Situation for the Money
While we're limiting currency supply - by foolishly trying to hoard it, and to stabilize the "buying power" of a dynamic asset - we continue to spawn both more people AND more options.
Oxymoron: noun; e.g., stabilizing fiat. Might as well stabilize evolution or thermodynamics, or quantum mechanics for that matter.
Our prime failure involves failing at situational awareness.
Our Output Gap is growing by leaps & bounds. Warren Mosler's phrase describing our current conditions, "Good for stocks & bad for people" mentions a dynamic that cannot be actually tracked with currency.
It's not just failure to understand currency operations that is troubling us.
We're also failing to understand the role of monetary policy subservient to national policy, which Warren typically calls Public Purpose.
Marriner Eccles described this vividly, back in 1932.
"We shall either adopt a plan which will meet this situation under capitalism, or a plan will be adopted for us which will operate without capitalism."
".. what can be done under communism or socialism, can be done under capitalism in the United States, if we have sense enough to set up an adequate flow of currency and credit in the right channels."
"YOU have got to take care of the unemployed or you are going to have revolution in this country."
"When you get enough unemployed they will control the Government and change our present political, social, and economic system."
How close we get to that sort of revolution is a social metric that CANNOT be accurately measured via currency, stocks or by bankers & financiers, either at the ECB or on Wall St.
We cannot peg all other policy to monetary policy. If we try, a time will come when the bankers will be the last to know that they're being swept away by a revolution. Then, the situation will quite suddenly be bad for both stocks and people, before we return to putting our own people before stocks.
There is a better way. It only requires a more informed policy staff, appointed by a better informed electorate. Does no one read in this country any more? Why isn't the following common knowledge for every highschool sophomore?
'"Our leadership has delayed far too long in attempting to deal intelligently with our problems, which can be met only by the bold and courageous [and coordinated] action of .. our entire people."
"[We] can mobilize the resources of the Nation for the benefit of its people. "
"Unless the Government soon recognizes its position as the only stabilizer of our economic system and acts accordingly, unemployment relief required is due to Government failure to act sooner."
"Is there any program of economy and Budget balancing on the partof our Government as important as to stop this great loss and all theattendant human suffering, devastation, and destruction?"
"We have a complete economic plant able to supply a superabundance of not only all of the necessities of our people, but the comforts and luxuries as well. Our problem, then, becomes one purely of distribution. This can only be brought about by providing purchasing power sufficiently adequate to enable the people to obtain the consumption goods which we, as a nation, are able to produce. The economic system can serve no other purpose and expect to survive."
"The nineteenth century economics will no longer serve our purpose - an economic age 150 years old has come to an end. The orthodox capitalistic system of uncontrolled individualism, with its free competition, will no longer serve our purpose."
"I can conceive of no greater waste than the waste of reducing our national income about half of what it was. I can not conceive of any waste as great as tha t. Labor, after all, is our only source of wealth."