Friday, September 7, 2012

MMT needs more catchy phrases, soundbites, better and more effective ways to communicate

We must move beyond wonky economic articles and find ways to market these ideas more effectively to reach the mainstream.

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bill Mitchell communicates very effectively on his latest video on the JG Mike. Surprised you've not got it posted yet.

Mike Norman said...

Is it on his blog?

Mike Norman said...

Bill Mitchell is awesome. I love him. He's the best. But I can't even finish one of his blog posts, they're way too long. Watch TV. See how it's done. Quick, fast. Soundbites, catchy phrases.

I know that's superficial, but it's what grabs people's attention. Maybe what I am saying is not true; maybe it's not a problem. Perhaps we can just keep growing as we have been. It seems to be working. I can tell you from this blog alone, readership is way up. I just think more savvy and effective communication would help.

I know there are those among us who feel we shouldn't "dilute" the message, that complicated concepts cannot be dealt with in a trivial way. They could be right, I don't know. I also know something about how TV and how the media works and there's a reason why people like Warren, Bill Mitchell, Randy Wray and others are not featured regularly on CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg, etc. There's a reason. And as bad as those networks are, they still have the power to spread the word and influence a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

A video Mike. Well worth a look.

JG presentation to the European Commission - Jobs for Europe conference

Bob Roddis said...

This was a pretty snappy and easy to digest slogan easily demonstrating that MMT is based upon "elitist" dictatorial diktats:

Our history DICTATES that here in the West, "money" is nomisma, or a medium of exchange solely based on the DICTATES of the authority of our civil law. Those who assert otherwise are some sort of interlopers or usurpers of our Western traditions and advocates of lawlessness.

And what's so hard to understand about "the government can never run out of dollars" (just goods and services)? You guys make the hoax part of the Keynesian Hoax easy for everyone to understand.

Dan Kervick said...

I agree Mike.

But I think there is also something needed that falls halfway between the economic articles and the TV soundbites: that is a policy agenda - a clear "how to" roadmap or paint-by-numbers instruction kit that a representative or staffer could appeal to to understand what is actually being called for.

For example, Jack Kemp back in the 80's took some academic economics and turned it into a supply side economics agenda. Once there is an agenda, then you can focus on how best to soundbite it and sell it. But right now, the agenda is very vague and incomplete.

Telling people what to think is not telling them what to do. It doesn't matter whether they understand sectoral balances, endogeneity, demand leakages, central bank monetary operations and the rest if they don't understand what to make of it.

A congressional staffer needs to know how to turn economic insights into a basket of legislative proposals.

Jerome U. said...

Re: "But right now, the agenda is very vague and incomplete."

I thought Warren's suggestions are quite specific and certainly cover the main economic problems.

Bob Roddis said...

“Obama Gives Up on Demand”.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/09/06/obama_gives_up_on_demand_in_his_convention_speech_the_president_gives_no_hint_the_country_suffers_from_a_demand_problem_.html

That’s because “it’s not where the electorate is”.

Obama: Look, I get the Keynesian thing. But it's not where the electorate is… p. 338.

http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2012/08/the-buzz-from-michael-grunwalds-book-about-obama-economic-policymaking.html

Indeed.

That’s because the people don’t buy the Keynesian Hoax, which has always been quite obscure to most people.

And the vast majority of people still do not understand that inflation is a purposeful government policy and not some bizarre force of nature. You MMTers are such a great help in educating the public to understand that diluted funny money and unpayable debt ARE PURPOSEFUL GOVERNMENT POLICIES. The purposefully obscure nature of the scam is made clear by the MMTers.

Thanks again.

Dan Kervick said...

Jerome, there are like 10 different versions of the Job Guarantee proposal.

Joe said...

I can easily get people to understand that their income is someone else's spending. But they are almost always unable to make the jump to the macro economy and see how spending=income sets strict constraints on the macro economy, how it leads to sectoral balance and how govt deficit=private sector surplus.

So I propose 5 minute youtube vids that can be passed around facebook which visually show the above. People need the visuals. This stuff is important, as we're destroying our society simply because we can't understand how money works. (and your captcha sucks balls, I'm on my third or fourth try here)

Matthew Franko said...

Bob,

Just because you are a Libertarian does not mean that you are correct all of the time.... there is an authoritarian pov and it is just as legitimate as the libertarian pov...

rsp,

Matthew Franko said...

Bob,

"Rothbardville" NEVER existed in the west and hopefully never will...

rsp,

Dobby Dobbis said...

Bob you're such a twat.

So full of ignorant rage.

paul said...

(and your captcha sucks balls, I'm on my third or fourth try here)"

You're a lightweight. I got a 6 the other day.

BTW I agree with your comment and your proposal.

Last year about this time I wrote a script re "A conversation with Ed" and someone over at Mike Sankowski's blog put it to an Xtranormal video and posted it at Pragmatic Capitalism. It got about 250 comments over there and Cullen put it up on his Youtube page.

During the MR fiasco Cullen threatened to ban me so I asked him to take the video down. You are welcome to use it if you want, I can re-make the video. I think th escript is simple and easy to understand in a relative sense.

The script is here (rev. slightly from the original:

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s82/sh/d1995b82-525f-4bba-a3da-7ebade4e90e6/1062a557dfa0ffbcf3910b4d4ce87cfa

Joe said...

hey Paul, you wrote that? I saw it a while back a loved. Just a few days before I saw it I had a conversation with my dad that was almost identical, he's like "I dunno, my head's spinning now", is that xtranorml vid still on youtube? I was searching for it just a few days ago.

Rob Boddis said...

The people don’t buy the Austrian Hoax, which has always been quite obscure to most people.

And the vast majority of people still do not understand that Gold Standard is a stupid government policy and not some bizarre force of nature. You Austrians are such a great help in educating the public to understand that Gold Standard and unpayable debt ARE STUPID GOVERNMENT POLICIES. The purposefully obscure nature of the Gold Standard scam is made clear by the Austrians.

Thanks again.

Butch said...

1. When people say something negative about the government printing money, I just ask (as an opener,) "how else are you gonna get it?"
2. J.D. ALT knocked another one out of the park today over at NEP. http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/09/new-sense-common-sense.html

paul said...

Joe,

The video is gone, I would have to re-make it. Simple enough using XtraNormal, I just didn't have a place to post it where anyone would see it.

Bob Roddis said...

Good thing then that neither I nor the other Austrians support "a gold standard".

Tom Hickey said...

Most of the electorate knows nothing about economics, finance, etc., and doesn't want to. Most economists don't know much about monetary economics. The problem looks like something that needs explaining and the solution a convincing explanation.

But what is actually needed are a simple policy slogans that sounds intuitively credible. The "just cut taxes and regulation" to solve every problem sounds credible to a whole lot of people. Many of the MMT-based slogans are simple — Warren is very good at that — but they don't come across as credible intuitively, but seem to run against common sense.

Adam2 said...

I know that reddit has many MMT advocates in the economics section. I try to post there at times but there is always someone there more articulate than me pouncing on the Austrian and mainstream nonsense.

Major_Freedom said...

I recommend that MMT begin to integrate economic science.

Right now it's just composed of sterile accounting tautologies.

widmerpool said...

I doubt the average voter has even heard of "Austrian" economics.

1. You need high profile financial writers like Salmon, Surowiecki, Wiesenthal, etc to have MMT in some of there articles. They don't have to subscribe to it. I know they are only read by a certain type of reader but 99% of those readers think the deficit is necessarily bad.

2. Redesign this website for a start. It's effective but not very clean.

I agree about Bill Mitchell. He's great but the tangents drive me nuts.

Bob Roddis said...

Come on now, Major Freedom. MMTers are proudly acatallactic. They don't want to get confused with trivialities like human beings, production and voluntary exchange.

http://www.econlib.org/library/Mises/msTApp.html

Bob Roddis said...

And let's make sure we don't "dilute" the message of diluted fiat funny money.

Dobby Dobbis said...

"Good thing then that neither I nor the other Austrians support "a gold standard".

What do you support then?

Tom Hickey said...

paul "Simple enough using XtraNormal, I just didn't have a place to post it where anyone would see it."

Create a YouTube channel for yourself and start putting stuff up!

paul said...

Tom,

I have one, who's gonna go to my site?

Makes better sense to start an MNE YouTube page and post info there. It's natural choice and Mike has pretty high visibility.

paul said...

"Right now it's just composed of sterile accounting tautologies."

Question. Is an accounting tautology different than an accounting identity?

BTW this is an honest question.

Bob Roddis said...

The government can definitely reduce its debt while people save more and the trade imbalance remains. Because there is no necessity for the government or the foreign sector to run a deficit for people to save.

When someone says, "people should save more," they are almost never saying that the entire private sector should "net save." They are saying that working people should consume less than their income, so that they will have some money to spend when their income shrinks because of unemployment or retirement. People can do this by putting money in savings and money market accounts, or by buying stocks and bonds.

This type of savings doesn't create new net financial assets for the private sector, since every purchase of this kind of asset is someone else's liability. But that doesn't mean people aren't saving.

Any time someone tells you an accounting identity means that something you see going on all the time is impossible, you can be sure that guy has the accounting wrong.


http://www.cnbc.com/id/46579498/Accounting_Identity_Errors_and_MMT

Tom Hickey said...

" Is an accounting tautology different than an accounting identity?"

Important point. Accounting identities are tautologies because they can be known a priori just by looking at the accounting procedural rules.

This is at the heart of my previous emphasis on the foundation of MMT being in accounting. Accounting is tautologous, since it is simply following rules in data entry on journals and then in to ledgers, and data transformation into reports. This can all be deconstructed analytically right back to the rules, which guarantees stock-flow consistency. This and descriptions of monetary ops, is the basis on which the rest of MMT is built. No theory here yet, and no assumptions. Just following rules.

Neoclassical economics starts with equations. Equations are not tautologies when they are interpreted, because they make empirical claims right off the bat. The math the model is analytic but its consistency does not guarantee the truth of the equation when interpreted in relation to reality.

So neoclassical economists are faced with the dilemma choosing consistency or correspondance. They can construct consistent models that are too simplistic to represent reality, or they can try to construct complex models that represent reality but so far the math eludes them, especially when they try to include the role of money, banking and finance into the model, which is the back-breaker. So they exclude it as well as simplify the non-financial, with the result that the math is impressive, but the predictive power falls flat. This is the Post Keynesian critique in a nutshell.

Tom Hickey said...

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46579498/Accounting_Identity_Errors_and_MMT is beside the point because it is argue against a straw man. MMT is not saying that individuals "should" or "should not" save more. It is saying that when non-government saving in aggregate changes due to fluctuating saving desire, this affects the sectoral balance so that government "saves" more. That is to say, the economy adjusts in such a way — could be many different ways this happens — that the identity always holds. Because it is an identity, i.e., that's just the way that double-entry accounting works. There is no policy here, no should's, and no assumptions. Anyone who understands the most rudimentary accounting know this.

Where the "should" comes in — that is, the policy recommendation — is in designing an fiscal policy that automatically produces a "good" deficit when non-government saving desire increases, so as to maintain a full employment budget. A "bad" deficit is one that results from falling tax revenue and rising automatic stabilization that is insufficient to offset the change in saving desire, and therefore results in an under-full employment budget.

It seems that some people need to study their MMT more, or less then are unable to get MMT because it doesn't fit their fixed ideas about economics.

Bob Roddis said...

Where the "should" comes in — that is, the policy recommendation — is in designing an fiscal policy that automatically produces a "good" deficit when non-government saving desire increases, so as to maintain a full employment budget. A "bad" deficit is one that results from falling tax revenue and rising automatic stabilization that is insufficient to offset the change in saving desire, and therefore results in an under-full employment budget.

That's just your basic Keynesian nonsense free of humans, production, hopes, dreams, plans and voluntary exchange.

Bob Roddis said...

Of course the government should not be taxing so much as to create a so-called "surplus". However, "deficit spending" via funny money creation does nothing but shift purchasing power to those getting the new money first from those holding the existing money and also distorts the price, investment and capital structure by impairing economic calculation. MMT purports to solve a problem that does not exist and is the cause of the alleged problem it seeks to cure.

Bob Roddis said...

Since creating funny money via government "spending" does nothing but shift and steal purchasing power and distorts economic calculation, MMT impairs peoples' ability to account for their wealth and the wealth of others. MMT impairs accounting.

Tom Hickey said...

That's just your basic Keynesian nonsense free of humans, production, hopes, dreams, plans and voluntary exchange.

No, this is just Bob Roddis's nonsense based on his idea of Mises, Rothbard, and Libertarianism aka anarcho-capitalism. In other words, it's not realistic.

Bob, I think we probably agree on a lot of basic values like freedom of choice, self-authority, liberty and the like. But we live in the United States at a particular time, in a specific culture with specified institutions. MMT is not saying that this is the best of systems or even a good system. It is saying that it is the system we have and there are ways of dealing with the system that produce greater distributed utility.

Of course, if someone thinks that distribution is something that should be left to "the natural order" then they will want to deconstruct the system and start over with fewer rules imposed. Many of us would agree with that sentiment if not about the details, but we don't see it as likely to happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, there are ways to make the best of what we've got we just a few tweaks that can be accomplished practically.

Letsgetitdone said...

Paul, please e-mail me at eisai@comcast.net. I'd like to correspond about your script and other matters. Thanks!

jeg3 said...

Same advice to be taken by any technical field (technical as in not libertarian ideological nonsense):

The Synopsis summarizes key points.
http://www.dontbesuchascientist.com/

Example of technical background and training in public presentations.
http://www.climatecentral.org/videos/web_features/the-new-normals

Mike can make a video debunking myths and falsehoods, Bob seems to be filled with ideas in that area.

In order to relate to the vast majority of people a connection between economic policy and real goods and services needs to be made.

Instead of debt call the spending what it is, a net value. E.G. roads, dams (some), research & development, regulators (when they actually investigate wrongdoing & fraud) can have a valuation associated that is higher than the government cost. Replace the debt clock with a valuation clock showing the government spending and the actual valuation of that good or service.

Bob Roddis said...

Mike can make a video debunking myths and falsehoods, Bob seems to be filled with ideas in that area.

I'm holding my breath awaiting the Mike Norman video that addresses subjective valuation, objective prices, voluntary exchange, Cantillon Effects, economic calculation and the distortion of the price, investment and capital structure by diluted fiat funny money.

BfO said...

Let me be frank: Bill and Randy are not charismatic speakers. They lack energy and do not seem to be able to communicate to the common voter.

But I believe you can, Mike. Please, find an agent. If I had connections like Ted Turner, I'd get you a gig in a second. Even try a segment on MSNBC, or writing a regular column on Huffington Post like Mohamed El-Erian.

I would love to contribute some ideas as to how to spread the word. And if you fellow MMTers are willing to do the same, I'd donate to get Mike proper representation.

Bob Roddis said...

Hayek: The sentence, "stopping the printing presses," is a figurative expression, because it is being done now by creating credit by the Federal Reserve System. But this is government action — all inflation is ultimately the result of activities which government determines and can control. And all inflations have been stopped in the past by the government stopping creating money, or preventing the central bank from creating more money.

Hayek: No country can go bust. All that happens is that economic conditions of daily life are getting much worse, so there will be scarcities. People will find that their income is no longer sufficient to maintain their standard of life. They will come to distrust first the present government and present policies, and may then be willing to return to an altogether different system. But I'm no prophet

http://mises.org/daily/3311

Bob Roddis said...

How’s this for a snappy phrase:

The fundamental aim of socialism is not the abolition of private property but the extension of democracy.

From Abba Lerner’s Big Red Book on CONTROL.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bob_roddis/5560086644/in/set-72157626353319778

Neil Wilson said...

Mike,

Pithy and succinct is our job, not the economists.

And that means moving MMT from an academic theory onto a political platform.

We need to put together The Alternative.

Neil Wilson said...

"I'm holding my breath awaiting the Mike Norman video that addresses subjective valuation, objective prices, voluntary exchange, Cantillon Effects, economic calculation and the distortion of the price, investment and capital structure by diluted fiat funny money"

We'll let you bore people with that Bob.

We'll concentrate on telling people how we can guarantee them a job.

Neil Wilson said...


"People can do this by putting money in savings and money market accounts, or by buying stocks and bonds.

This type of savings doesn't create new net financial assets for the private sector, since every purchase of this kind of asset is someone else's liability"

Big fail there.

People also save by paying down debt. At that point the purchase isn't anybody's liability, because the asset and liability have come together inside the creator and annihilated each other.

Saving can destroy money things just as borrowing creates money things. In reality the bank can buffer eliminating the co-incident of wants problem between saving and borrowing.

No bank with a central bank account is going to tell you to come back next month for your loan when they have some money to lend.

And similarly they are not going to tell you that you can't save because nobody wants to borrow.

Tortured Soul said...

Libertarianism leads to Anarcho-Capitalism which leads to Feudalism which leads to the Nation State. Therefore Libertarianism is regressive.

It has good ideas to cherry pick but so do a range of other ideologies.

If we applied any of them in whole it leads us to a certain well known fallacy.

Bob Roddis said...

If you are trying for a snappy line to impress and gain new cadre, why not start with explaining why anyone should give a rat's ass about increasing "net financial assets"? As opposed to worrying about increasing the amount of REAL assets, a topic that seems to escape you guys. The actual subjects of economic analysis, production and voluntary exchange, are missing from your strange "model", such as it is.

Rob Boddis said...

Gold Standard does nothing but shift purchasing power to those hoarding the gold from those doing the work, and also distorts the price, investment and capital structure by impairing economic calculation. Gold Standard purports to solve a problem that does not exist and is the cause of the alleged problem it seeks to cure.

Since Gold Standard does nothing but shift and steal purchasing power and distorts economic calculation, Gold Standard impairs peoples' ability to account for their wealth and the wealth of others. Gold Standard impairs accounting.

The fundamental aim of anarcho-capitalism is not the extension of private property but the abolition of democracy.



paul said...

"about increasing "net financial assets"? As opposed to worrying about increasing the amount of REAL assets, a topic that seems to escape you guys."

Bob, increasing the amount of real assets is a direct function of spending.

As funds available for spending are "retired" to saving the pool of funds available for spending gets smaller leading to lower spending.

The only sustainable way to replenish the shrinking pool is to create new funds and spend them into the system.

This is a very simple mathematical reality. I am interested in hearing your alternative solution in the same detail I just presented to you.

Bob Roddis said...

Bob, increasing the amount of real assets is a direct function of spending.

As funds available for spending are "retired" to saving the pool of funds available for spending gets smaller leading to lower spending.

The only sustainable way to replenish the shrinking pool is to create new funds and spend them into the system.


As Regis used to say, is that your final answer? When people save or refrain from "spending", that shrinks the pool of funds so the government must inject more fiat funny money into society?

y said...

'new funds' either come from government spending or private debt.

Tom Hickey said...

Neil "We need to put together The Alternative."

Exactly. Takes a different expertise.

For example, the GOP pays Frank Luntz very well for his advice in how to do this for their politicians — and he delivers. The talking points are then distributed among politicians and to Roger Ailes, who sends them down the chain at Fox. The echo chamber — rest of media — pick them up and disseminates them widely, while the opposition responds individually to the attack, instead of countering it their own message, which just reinforces the GOP points they are mouthing in opposition. It's a good model, both positive and negative, to keep in mind.

Tom Hickey said...

Tortured Soul "If we applied any of them in whole it leads us to a certain well known fallacy."

This is a key point. Fallacies of composition arise when it is presumed that what is true of individuals is true of groups of individuals. It leads to the age-old problem of social and political philosophy of balancing individual rights with social responsibility. There is no simple solution. The best solution tried so far is in the political maxim, "liberty (individual freedom of choice and action), equality (justice), and fraternity (community, solidarity). No society has yet perfected balancing this trifecta yet, and societies with strong tendencies toward methodological individualism based on the assumption of ontological individualism and difficult with justice and community in the attempt to maximize individual freedom. This leads inevitably to conflict within the society.

Tom Hickey said...

"why anyone should give a rat's ass about increasing "net financial assets"?"

For one thing, financial assets are claims on real assets, which is their fundamental value. The are not "just numbers" or "just pieces of paper." Take your house. No title, no proof of ownership. "No tickee, no shirtee."

Secondly, if you understood national accounting, sectoral balances, and systems, it would be obvious why EVERYONE should give a rat's ass about increasing "net financial assets"?

Tom Hickey said...

Bob Rodis "When people save or refrain from "spending", that shrinks the pool of funds so the government must inject more fiat funny money into society?"

What do you think will happen if saving erodes the amount of money for consumption? Let me guess. "Prices will decline."

Well, we know what actually happens. Prices don't decline fast enough to offset, so unplanned inventory builds, businesses cut back production and lay of workers so that unemployment rises.

y said...

*government deficit spending

(which could mean higher expenditure or lower taxes).

paul said...

'new funds' either come from government spending or private debt.

Yes. It is a fact that private debt expansion must be slower than the growth in income, meaning credit expansion has a limit and is thus unsustainable.

That leaves only one viable option.

There is another option, tax or confiscate all "excess" savings and spend it back into the economy.

This would significantly lower the rate of decay caused by saving leaving a much more stable "steady state".

paul said...

Don't know if anyone noticed but Bob's response to the argument I framed was basically "is that all you've got?"

Bob's just mailing it in, he's not even trying.

If he somehow became an advocate for MMT he would probablly do more damage than good.

Bob Roddis said...

For one thing, financial assets are claims on real assets, which is their fundamental value. The are not "just numbers" or "just pieces of paper." Take your house. No title, no proof of ownership.

Thanks for proving my point that you have been denying for months. The whole point of MMT is to shift, swipe and steal purchasing power and apparently titles to assets from those who presently possess them to others WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW, without the victims knowing what hit them and without any recourse in law.

Matt Franko said...

Paul,

I'm starting to think Bob has little (perhaps extremely VERY little) true mathematical cognition.. this is disturbing to see...

do you see this too??

rsp

Tom Hickey said...

paul, "There is another option, tax or confiscate all "excess" savings and spend it back into the economy.

Yes, and in a saner system this would be SOP in the case of gain through rent-seeking, from which most of the saving in excess of reasonable provision for future need (hoarding) arises.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob Roddis, "Thanks for proving my point that you have been denying for months. The whole point of MMT is to shift, swipe and steal purchasing power and apparently titles to assets from those who presently possess them to others WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW, without the victims knowing what hit them and without any recourse in law."

Sorry, Bob, but the law is based on proof of ownership, not mere possession.

Anonymous said...

MMT needs better trolls.

The Muney Mistery said...

Mr Toddis spends $1 coin in a shop. Shopkeeper puts the $1 in a piggy bank and leaves it there (he saves it).

There is now $1 less in circulation than before.

Assuming the overall supply of goods and services remains constant, there is now $1 less demand for the same quantity of goods and services.

In theory prices fall. In reality unemployment rises.

Now a $1 coin is introduced into circulation through either government spending, or private debt.

Spending increases by $1. Unemployment falls. Prices remain the same.

No theft. No shifting or stealing involved.

paul said...

"I'm starting to think Bob has little (perhaps extremely VERY little) true mathematical cognition.. this is disturbing to see...

do you see this too??"


Yep. I've been trying to give him the opportunity to prove otherwise.

Bob seems only capable of reciting ideological boilerplate.

Tom Hickey said...

MMT needs better trolls.

Bob and Major are good enough. They pretty much assert the commonly held view of Rothbardian Libertarianism vis-a-vis Keynesianism, Post Keynesianism, and MMT. This is entirely sufficient to provide practice in meeting those objections.

Austrian economist Robert Murphy mounted a professional argument and responded to comments in the ensuing blog debate. A record of that is at the MMT Wiki here.

At least the Austrians-Libertarians are noticing us.

These debates are significant because Austrian-Libertarianism is now a fad spreading among the young as Marxism was in the Sixties and early Seventies. It's something that MMT proponents have to take seriously and meet as MMT becomes better known. So don't just slough it off. We are getting practice here.

John Carney was correct, too, in suggesting that we focus on the similarities and relatively minor disagreements instead of just the deep differences that will likely always remain.

paul said...

Tom,

The fundamental rejection of the role of math and systems by these guys makes it difficult to mount a serious argument against their claims.

They reject the most important part of the system.

"We can have a discussion but logic is out of bounds".

Tom Hickey said...

They reject the most important part of the system.

Being methodological individualists, they reject system effects. For them there is no such thing a "society," and if you think there is, you are a "collectivists." In their thinking, every group is an aggregate of unique individuals that behave subjectively, that is unpredictably — no social relationships that exhibit patterned behavior, no knowable cognitive-affective effects that are similar, no cultural and institutional influence that distinguish among groups behaviorally.

paul said...

"For them there is no such thing a "society,"

Funny, I've always been a "loner" socially but the idea of no society is foreign to me.

It makes no sense for anything other than small groups.

Seems to me I read somwhere Noam Chomsky is an anarchist but recognizes it wouldn't work under current conditions.

Bob Roddis said...

Being methodological individualists, they reject system effects. For them there is no such thing a "society," and if you think there is, you are a "collectivists."

Lies lies lies. Such pathetic lies. Voluntary relationships and respect for others is the foundation of civilization. Forced associations and government theft at the point of a gun, the essence of MMT, are the end of civilization. Your true colors always seep out.

Anonymous said...

Tom i think we have to use Ronny Barker´s methods :)!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuwzxSQycqo&feature=related

Tom Hickey said...

ROFL

dilbertgeg said...

Comments, approx 500 char, for & from youtube.

someone else said: the vast majority of people still do not understand that Gold Standard is a stupid government policy and not some bizarre force of nature. Austrians economists are such a great help in educating the public to understand that Gold Standard and unpayable debt ARE STUPID GOVERNMENT POLICIES. The purposefully obscure nature of the Gold Standard scam is made clear by the Austrians.
--------------------
Yes, Gold Standard is "fiat" agreement by Govt that set mandated price of 1 Dollar vs 1/35 oz of Gold. Gold Std was commitment by Govt to give Gold for Dollars -- reliance on foreign mining operations of shiny rocks for fiscal solvency. FDR & later Nixon de-coupled "fiat" linkage decades ago. Contrary, what we call "fiat money" floats on Market prices, and Fed only sets interest rates by "fiat" manipulation of "fed funds rate" for bank-to-bank lending.
--------------------
INFLATION:

How scary. In an era of an epidemic of hyper DE-flation, with massive deleveraging and massive bankruptcy & unemployment with insufficient aggregate demand to support normal profits in most non-monopoly non-Wall Street businesses, worrying about the risks of INflation ought to be top priority.

Personally, I spend most of my day securing against the looming risk of getting eaten by wild tigers.
--------------------
Central bank policies since inception (of the Fed) came with intentional assumption that moderate inflation is GOOD, so PRODUCERS like farmers and manufacturers have sufficient PROFITS to pay off loans @ harvest.

Producers had faced periodic crises of price collapse, bankruptcy, foreclosures, WIPED OUT.

Anti-inflation hype is historically by bankers & finance AGAINST industry & consumers, going back to conflict of Gold "hard money" vs Silver, WJ Bryan's Cross of Gold, meaning of Wizard of Oz.

If FISCAL spending, that is, creation of more BASE money, was massively boosted --- as *should* be done to compensate for $12 Trillion of credit-money and equity that vaporized @ 2007 Crash --- and that boost quickly led to a huge parallel takeoff of now idle labor and industry -- i.e. we assume normal response of "business" and "capitalism" to surge in demand -- do we now fear that SUCCESS causes hyper-inflation? So let's aim for failure?
--------------------
Our failures come from the 100% reliance on and mostly uselessness of core of Neo-classical econ. Everyone from Hayek to Krugman to Mankiw, the entire "mainstream" operating on fantasy of "principles" of Markets that make no sense on close examination. Krugman is just most leftward or reasonable actor within flawed paradigm.

Check out Steve Keen, Debunking Economics, debunking Bernanke & Krugman.

NC Theory also says its harmful to have rules against financl fraud, hence epidemic of fraud. (W. Black)
--------------------
Quantitative easing, explained by Mike Norman, is a huge policy of NOTHING.

QE is a SWAP of ONE form of US Govt debt --- bonds --- with another form of US Govt debt --- cash --- in the mix held by commercial banks. Operationally, this is moving account balances from "securities" accounts to "reserves", all on the Fed's computers.

QE SHOULD boost lending, but it CAN'T. Banks do not NEED reserve balances to create loans. It's pushing a string. QE does not increase base money - which we NEED.

QE did abso nothing to increase base money, NOR to increase bank lending of credit-money. Banks are able to create infinite loans for "credit-worthy" customers, with no relation to reserves balances, and DID during Bubble. Even that did not cause hyper-inflation, but inflated housing & ASSETS.

Swapping the mix of bank assets can't even cause re-inflation. It's a failure, from the Fed's perspective and aim, to rescue Wall Street's debt crisis via asset (housing) inflation.

dilbertgeg said...

When I was first exposed to reading Rothbard & Mises, I was initially a bit intrigued.

One thing I noticed right off the bat was the peculiar manner economics was discussed in terms of "The Businessman" and "The Consumer" but never "The Laborer" and most certainly never the national or global Corporation.

I have since read up stuff like Kotz - Bank Control Of Large Corporations In The United States (1978).pdf and on how Corporate Law was used by US/Nazi corporations to shield them from scrutiny of collusion, eventually uncovered & prosecuted by J. Edgar Hoover.

I read a Corporate Ohio History Quiz by American Friends, how local law enforcement was so harsh on corporate crime and mere malfeasance -- incl harsh prison terms for bank crimes -- that Capitalists actively sought federal govt protection from (a) states and (b) upstart entrepreneurs.

I'm aware that the first instances of "Affirmative Action" for "Artificial Persons" was via "Corporate Personhood" rulings by federal judiciary "activist judges" where giant national corps were equated with recently freed Negro slaves w regards to the 14th Amendment for "Equal Protection" under the Bill of Rights.

I read stuff by POCLAD, and Ted Nace (a business owner) on the Rise of Corporations and Disabling of Democracy.

But Austrian econ completely ignores MOST of that reality -- some complaints about occasional "crony" capitalism -- for extreme reductionism of Macro Econ to Micro.

Steve Keen later clarified what I already understood roughly about Macro not being an extension of Micro w empiricism & details & math.

(This was not my short "soundbites".)

Bob Roddis said...

But Austrian econ completely ignores MOST of that reality -- some complaints about occasional "crony" capitalism

What another load of crap. What a complete and total lie.

Libertarian and Austrian writings have been relentless and voluminous over 40 years in attacking special corporate privileges. Indeed, the Federal Reserve has always been attacked as a creature of the super-rich to loot the public and fund wars.

Further, the central theme and founding principle of libertarians is the total and complete prohibition against the initiation of force, with special emphasis on abuses by the rich elites and their government lackeys against the poor and powerless.

http://lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard269.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard156.html

http://antiwar.com/

http://scotthorton.org/all-interviews/

http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-arch.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard174.html

dilbertgeg said...

I sometimes re-compile quotes by Mosler with Wray and others:

The Treasury, under current institutional arrangements, is not allowed to run an overdraft in its Fed account.

[Fed is not permitted to purchase T-bond in the primary market, only secondary, from banks. But "primary dealer" banks (global banks) that willingly purchase "debt" from the Treasury, ARE permitted to run overdrafts, purchasing Treasury debt "on credit", with money they do not have. Smoke a joint and think about that one.]

This is one of many of what I call ‘self imposed constraints’ that are legislated by the US govt. but are not inherent in the monetary system. These include debt ceilings, budget limits, etc.

That’s why I always state it this way- ‘govt spending is not operationally constrained by revenue.’ ~ Mosler
------

dilbertgeg said...

this is not a soundbite, but a longer response to a few folks:

National debt is good!!!

Yes, you're being sarcastic, but you're absolutely right. YOU don't owe that. The Govt owes that to YOU (us).

What's bad is our HOUSEHOLD debt to the financial sector, which is about 20 times larger than the "National Debt".

HOUSEHOLD debt is not always bad, nor is BUSINESS debt always bad, but a $300 Trillion Debt overhang owed to the Finance Sector at the same time as the collateral (housing values) are crashing, where most of our credit is tapped out and we can't borrow more (even young doctors couldn't get house loans I was told), and yet there's no way out of this massive debt burden except through bankruptcy, THAT is an extreme crisis.

When someone owes a $1200 mortgage payment or a $5000 "balloon" ARM, and their job doesn't pay enough, if they even have a job, and they can't re-fi and commit their higher equity to the loan, like EVERYONE WAS TOLD BY THE MORTGAGE SELLERS, because their Loan-to-Value ratio is now "upside down", there is one outcome:

Bankruptcy & Foreclosure.

And if they DO manage to keep paying, then they have no money to SPEND as consumers. That means BUSINESS loses sales.

I wish you could understand the simple difference between the private sector vs the public sector.

Which sector within the economy do YOU and ME operate in, the private sector? Or are you in charge of the Treasury?

If you are in the private sector like the rest of us, why do you NOT care about the debt burden on millions of other Americans -- and including the businesses that are affected --- yet you are obsessed with the public sector?

Govt finance is really none of YOUR business and you don't understand it anyhow.

Anyone sensible should be concerned with Local Business and Local Consumers, OUR finances, out here on "Main Street", NOT what Geithner's spreadsheet looks like.

dilbertgeg said...

more commentary to the "folks"

It just occurred to me, the people who would understand this best are new car and used car salesmen at major dealerships.

Frequently, customers walk in who are "upside down" on their loans. They bought a used car for more money than it was worth. Maybe the place they bought it LIED to them about the value. Maybe it was a Lemon.

Now they want the Dealership to buy their used car off them, and roll their remaining balance into a new bigger loan. They will be even more "upside down" or "underwater", but maybe have a better car they can drive longer.

Dealerships do that --- or used to do that --- all the time. They'd happily re-fi old car loans.

This is essentially what's wrong with our economy. MILLIONS of consumers bought "Lemon" houses and invested in "Lemon" commercial real estate or "Lemon" condos from mortgage brokers and banks. These were not "Lemons" in the sense of a bad transmission or (maybe) a leaky basement.

They were "Lemons" in the sense they were TOLD the house would ALWAYS rise in price (as Alan Greenspan and every economic pundit said), and they were TOLD they could re-finance it in a few years and NOT be "underwater" anymore.

But that depended on ongoing house price inflation that was IMPOSSIBLE to sustain, ridiculously impossible.

So millions of Americans are "underwater" or "upside down" in the biggest loans they ever get. From "Ownership Society" the shift is "Rentership Society". Anyone could see that coming. Thomas Jefferson saw that coming.

On top of that, not only are the HOMES "upside down" vs the mortgage loans, these shaky and shady loans were re-sold to people's pension funds and 401Ks as "solid AAA investments" when they were known by sellers to be rotten

This is how between $11 Trillion and $12 Trillion of our total social wealth VANISHED. It was essentially stolen. That's how Wall St bank CEOs got to pay themselves $500 Million in Bonuses, on top of Salary and stock options.

This ripoff was way more than the Govt would ever DREAM of taking from us in Taxes. The ripoff was more than our ENTIRE GDP for a single year. When has the Govt ever taxed us at 120% of everything?

TELL ME NOW, what on earth does that have to do with the "National Debt"?

Not much. Except that portion of the National Debt that went to bail out the Wall Street criminals so they could keep PAYING THEMSELVES what they called "oversized salaries".

You and Your neighbor's problems are what they owe and what their neighbors owe to the 6 major banks that hold or control 80% of our mortgages, NOT what the Fed Govt spends and the purpose of "debt instruments" by Govt and banks, which is some abstract complex financial relationships you are probably incapable of understanding.

dilbertgeg said...

Joe, see what I told X about the difference between PRIVATE sector debt like what MOST of us owe to banks

(and if you don't personally owe a lot but your neighbors are so deep in debt they can't spend on normal consumption to keep Akron business alive)

versus this bugaboo of PUBLIC debt which is what the Fed Govt owes to *someone*, about half Americans and half foreigners.

WE have to GET dollars somehow, mostly by work, to pay OUR debts, or the sheriff comes and takes our stuff and kicks us out. Scary stuff.

We need Dollars just to eat, or go to the doctor.

The Fed Govt CREATES dollars, it does not have to GET dollars from you and me or anyone.

The Fed Govt "borrows" but it does not NEED to borrow in order to spend, since it creates Dollars. The Fed Govt "borrows" like a bank does, to give rich people a place to store their excess Dollars in a spiffy Treasury Securities Account.

See what I told X about so many Americans being "upside down" in their assets (homes, etc) vs what they owe, and how I compared that to people who buy a Lemon car for too much money. That is a real crisis. It's a personal crisis if it's just a few idiots, but when such a HUGE portion of our population is affected, it's obviously SYSTEMIC fraud.

We didn't ALL get stupid and greedy at the same time, at least not for no reason or collective madness. The financial sector and Greenspan and all the experts TOLD people to go nuts on mortgages and go on vacation by using your house as an ATM.

Everyone was RICH!!! That was the miracle of "creative finance". Creative is another word for LYING.

The fact that the Govt looked the other way or actively helped the financial sector commit massive systemic fraud, that is not good.

But it has very little to do with "budget deficits" or "national debt". About the only connection is when the real economy WE live in has a massive blowout and near-collapse, the use of emergency programs goes up and tax revenue goes down, AS EXPECTED, as it SHOULD.

Except for collective stupidity at the top and mean people who want you to starve in retirement or work at McDonalds, this has no effect on the ABILITY of the Treasury to make payments on whatever it "owes" you for Social Security, and it could easily pay you and everyone much MORE. That would only mean that old people would have more money to spend, and THAT is GOOD for business, ain't it?

One thing Bush had right --- even though it sounded crass --- was after 9/11 when he told Americans to go shopping or go on vacation, that this was a good way to fight the terrorists, not stay home and hide. That was Bush's version of "The only thing we have to fear is ... FEAR ITSELF." (FDR)

So there was minimal economic downturn directly caused by 9/11.

Of course the Bush admin came back with Terror Alerts because they had a war in Iraq to sell, but I'll give him credit where due.

I don't agree with all that massive spending on "Homeland Security" and domestic surveillance with all that corporate welfare, but I now have to admit that from a narrow financial perspective it was better than NOT spending. People with "security" jobs go shopping too, so everyone benefits a little. It's a stupid vicious way to benefit the economy. I would rather they just GIVE more money to retirees and more education for children and other nice stuff, but ... you catch my drift.

If you want to see YOUR retirement slashed in half, keep complaining about "budget deficits".

y said...

"government theft at the point of a gun"

You mean taxes?

I don't consider tax to be theft.

Therefore your overblown rhetoric strikes me as being completely irrelevant.

dilbertgeg said...

"We cannot continue to spend money that we do not have.' Paul Ryan
------

Since 1971 anyhow, the Federal Govt never has ANY money at all, nor does it NOT have money. "Have" is not the operative term.

The Federal Govt only creates money or doesn't create money or destroys money.

Therefore, we WILL "continue to spend money that we do not HAVE" because THAT is the system design. The most powerful capitalists in America designed this monetary system and modified it over the years to fit current needs, as they see it.

Money does not float down from the sky or grow on trees.
God might grow trees and create birds, but only Uncle Sam creates our BASE money.
Does China create Dollars? Not a single one. If they did, it would be illegal, counterfeit.

Yet Uncle Sam never has any problem paying for anything, ESPECIALLY for the military-industrial complex, and it never will have any problems with that.

PS. Some confused people think BANKS lend out money they actually HAVE, but banks do not lend money they HAVE, banks create loans.
No one says "banks cannot continue to lend money that they do not HAVE."
Wonder why Ryan does not say that?
Some confused people think BANKS create money, but actually they create credit, which works a lot differently, but similar, to how the Govt creates money.

It's only due to massive ignorance about our country and our laws and institutions that Paul Ryan can get away with saying that and not be jeered off the stage, combined with his massive CONTEMPT for the very institutions that helped the USA finance the defeat of Hitler and the USSR, and the rise of the Middle Class.

It takes a whole lot of HATE for America to hate everything good and powerful about our systems and our Way of Life.

dilbertgeg said...

Several decades ago, George Bush Senior said he would NEVER compromise the American Way of Life. I think he said that in context of selling a war.

Bush sounds better to me today than he did back then. There is absolutely no need whatsoever to compromise or destroy our American Way of Life, prosperity AND sane capitalism, but top Presidential candidates are leading the charge to do so, and are considered "patriotic" for having the "guts" to threaten the destruction of our American Way of Life.

In other words, what George Bush Senior was describing was apparently 'Socialism', in the mindset of Ryan, right?

dilbertgeg said...

Bob Roddis,
I'm definitely still a fan of Rothbard, I love Rothbard on the Cold War and George Orwell. I'm a fan of Left and Right, his time close to SDS and his views. I have a copy of Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy by Murray N Rothbard.

I also can see where he was wrong, or limited, or stretching.

I get the point that central banking will invariably entail corruption, but ALL large human endeavors involve some corruption, and many small ones too.

I get the point that Govt does not "issue" gold and why Rothbard likes that, but
(A) our society is NOT going to willingly revert to bartering gold bullion
(B) we're not going to check momentary spot prices of gold for every transaction
(B2) Lysander Spooner explained that what he opposed was Govt FIXING the price of gold by stamping a coin-value on a fixed quantity of gold, that the value was always wrong, and more stuff about how Gresham's Law caused people to hoard or melt down gold coins created by Govt which rose in value as the very result of govt demand for coinage (seniorage?)
(C) we TRIED the "free banking era" and it was a disaster. Many banks leveraged their capital at far greater risk than the Fed allows (normally), and regularly went bust and depositors lost all or most of their savings
(D) there was no FDIC to rescue depositors and make them safe, so people did not trust banks to hold their money
(E) transacting business at a distance meant carrying a private bank note and paying HUGE discounts to remote banks that were wary of other distant banks' solvency, or else carrying physical gold on horseback or other means
(F) these scenarios are utterly stupid and pointless to discuss as serious possibilities
(G) the current craze of "gold certificates" may or may not be fraudulent

As Steve King stated, because gold is a physical ASSET, like a car or land or bowl of rice, it CANNOT be "money". It may be traded or bartered, but money is not physical assets.

As Gresham's Law explains, "good" or "hard" money is hard because it is SCARCE, credit is scarce and more expensive, meaning higher profits for bankers. Hard money is hoarded for it's ASSET value, which removes it from circulation for commerce and investment.

Soft money has little or NO asset value, the less value the better. Hence, money stored as electronic notation is bad for hoarding but "bad money" is great for commerce. People SPEND "bad" money, not rare silver or gold coins.

Money has historically been Nomisma.
--------------------
I also like William Norman Grigg of the Birch Society and frequently quote him for heretic "conservatives" who are nothing more than fanboys for Republicans based on nothing deeper than hating Democrats, and therefore LOVE WAR because they think hippies hate war.

I like Scott Horton too.

Lew Rockwell had the most cogent and powerful articles slamming the Iraq War.

I like many of these people but I also know that in some ways they are wrong, or at least they are wrong to ME as I've examined their ideas closely.

Kevin Carson is a huge fan of Rothbard, an anarchist who writes about "Vulgar Libertarianism" the crude version resembling the idea of "Vulgar Marxism".

Many of his articles show self-professed Libertarians and Austrians who DO ignore crony capitalism in that it's become an invisible backdrop to what they think is an otherwise "free market".

Monopoly Capital
An Austrian and Marxian Synthesis
http://www.mutualist.org/id10.html

dilbertgeg said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7iK4DHPr9E

on "Human Nature"

vimothy said...

I'm not sure whether Tom's distinction between MMT and mainstream economics is a good one.

If MMT is nothing more than a bunch of accounting identities and descriptions of monetary ops, then it's completely empty. Like Oakland, there is no there there and there's nothing to discuss.

Because accounting identities are tautologies, they're true in every state of the world. This means that they are consistent with Austrian theories, with Marxian, with neoclassical--with all theories.

In order to say something meaningful about the economy you absolutely must commit to some theory in one form or another.

The attempt to portray MMT as resting on accounting identities is really an attempt to give it a higher epistemological status than the rest of economics. It's better, because it rests on identities that must be true rather than hypothetical theoretical constructs like demand functions.

paul said...

"The attempt to portray MMT as resting on accounting identities is really an attempt to give it a higher epistemological status than the rest of economics. It's better, because it rests on identities that must be true rather than hypothetical theoretical constructs like demand functions."

vimothy, I think (I'm certain) you are missing the bigger picture here.

If the accounting tautology is true then much if not all of neoclassical economics must be suspect if not downright false.

All of the social science, supply/demand, financial and other dynamics are meaningless if the underlying machine isn't able to run at full capacity.

Those dynamics run on top of the machine they don't define it.

Policy/human behavior can't move money if there is isn't an adequate supply of it in the right places.

The only mystery to me is how anyone could not see this. It should be obvious to anyone of average intelligence.

Aitor Calero García said...

Hello, my first comment here ever. I totally agree with you Mike, without good marketing MMT message will simple vanish.

My 50 cents are here, in the form of a fable to kids:

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/09/the-fable-of-the-marbles-and-the-teacher.html

I'd love to get your feedback. Thanks!

vimothy said...

Paul,

Mainstream economics uses the same set of identities. The nature of an identity is that it is always true. So it's difficult to appeal to identities to settle substantive disputes--they will be always be satisfied, regardless of who is right.

Anonymous said...

the main technical disagreement with the mainstream seems to be over whether 'money financed' government spending is more inflationary than 'debt financed' spending.

Anonymous said...

("debt financed spending" isn't really the correct term as borrowing your own liabilities can't really "finance" spending. All government spending is essentially "money-financed").

Shaun Hingston said...


Great video Mike, I salute you for questioning the direction MMT takes.

Establishing ideological bases, by invading forums

I think that it would be a good idea to invade a forum and establish a strong MMT presence there. This would allow MMTers to channel there energies towards laymen and gain experience at dealing with opponents. Ideally, senior MMTers would encourage and support this, so that MMTers feel that they will be in some way recognized for their efforts.

I really believe that there is man-power that can be mobilized for ideological purposes. I think that it is all well and good for MMTers to sit on their blogs and talk between each other, but in the long term we need to be actively searching and engaging new communities.

Additionally, by selecting the right forums we can gain access to additional support. If we need skills in specific areas invading a forum that specializes in such skills provides us with an opportunity to persuade people to help.

At the same time it will represent a challenge for the MMT community to coordinate resources for a particular goal. This will have obvious benefits in the long-term.

I truly believe that there is human resources that aren't being effectively utilized. To me it appears that the blogs are strongly defended from external ideological attacks, and thus it is not necessary to waste energy on such things.

By invading other web-based communities we are not only persuading new people, but also keeping the MMT community fit & ready for external ideological attacks.

I guess I'm a bit of critical towards MMTers simply staying on our blogs. We need to give new-comers something to do. Make them feel apart of the revolution rather than an idle observer.

Tom Hickey said...

vimothy If MMT is nothing more than a bunch of accounting identities and descriptions of monetary ops, then it's completely empty.

I said that MMT is based on a foundation of accounting and monetary rules and ops rather than questionable assumptions that don't accord with reality. MMT build a superstructure of causal hypotheses (theory) on that foundation and makes claims about policy formulation based on this.

The point is to reduce the stipulation of assumptions are not empirically grounded, hence, result in models that are non-representational.

Tom Hickey said...

Aitor Calero García said... My 50 cents are here, in the form of a fable to kids:

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/09/the-fable-of-the-marbles-and-the-teacher.html

I'd love to get your feedback. Thanks!


I thought that the marbles metaphor was an excellent teaching story.

Tom Hickey said...

vimothy, Mainstream economics uses the same set of identities. The nature of an identity is that it is always true. So it's difficult to appeal to identities to settle substantive disputes--they will be always be satisfied, regardless of who is right.

The mainstream doesn't start with money and monetary economics but rather either ignores it or misunderstands it. The Post Keynesian point, which was also Keynes's point, is that it is impossible to adequately model a monetary economy while ignoring its fundamental role or misunderstanding it.

dilbertgeg said...

In baseball, there's rules on the height and distance of the pitcher's mound, and many other things.

It's a rules-based game.

Federal Govt is operating as a rules based game created by Congress, with an eye towards benefiting VIP private parties, i.e. rich people.

Because of that, and because of an artificial rule called "the gold standard", operating rules were implemented years ago that the Treasury MUST borrow from private banks that borrow from the Central bank that creates money. Treasury cannot get money directly from it's own Govt bank --- even though that's what ultimately happens.

Congress could abolish or change a few simple rules or a more drastic system change regarding Govt and banking such that these OS rules would reflect the fact that the rule that Govt would give out scarce shiny rocks in exchange for nominal dollars was abandoned and rejected EIGHTY YEARS AGO.

It's pretty dysfunctional that Congress can't wrap it's head all the way around EIGHTY YEAR OLD SYSTEM DESIGN CHANGES IN OUR OPERATING SYSTEM that previous Congresses implemented.

More to the point, I'm quite sure quite a few Congress critters and other economic experts are fully aware of how the Govt's OS changed dramatically in 1933 with another major upgrade in 1971, and all sorts of interim upgrades and improvements and software revisions, but they CHOOSE to PRETEND that none of those upgrades have occurred so they can continue to control a political and ideological feifdom based on scarcity and peasant feudalism.

NATIONAL DEBT IS OUR TOTAL NET SAVINGS.

DEFICIT SPENDING IS CREATING MONEY FASTER THAN DESTROYING IT.

TAXING IS TO REGULATE THE ECONOMY AND BANKING, NOT FOR REVENUE. BORROWING IS NOT FOR REVENUE EITHER.

Imagine if our military had all these advanced weapons systems and information technology available, but CHOSE to limit usage to late 1800s technology on purpose, for political control instead of economic freedom.

DENIAL of the system in place, and collecting taxes the Govt does not need or use, amounts to the same kind of thing Stalin did when he confiscated food and starved people, except there were hard-coded reasons the Soviets did that, primitive accumulation of capital from agriculture to build industry.

No such excuse today in America.

dilbertgeg said...

Mike asked for SIMPLE stories and soundbites that people can grasp. I'm trying to contribute that.

years ago i read, The Tao of Physics. One point made was that Tao parables explained intuitively and simply what could not be grasped at the time intellectually, and that modern particle physics could explain things in the language of highly abstract mathematics with total accuracy, but in plain English with only partial accuracy and contradictions.

I see some of the same limitations here that Paulo describes with communicating MMT to Joe Average than to economists. Neo-classical wins because it DOES use "plain English" examples that are wildly inaccurate and WRONG (Steve Keen) but plausible and easily digestible.
--------------------
a response to an infotech guy:

Too much false information and false paradigms out there.

I also see Romney, Ryan, and the Tea Party pushing for scarcity economics and poverty seemingly out of just bitterness, hate, and class war or a religious preference for scarcity for us "sinners" over abundance and freedom.

We've had major revisions in our Govt's operating software in 1933 and 1971 along the lines of defining money domestically and globally as INFORMATION, not scarce shiny rocks. But certain vested interests or maybe just ignorance is trying to drive us back to a previous, more primitive era, and scarcity.

I might not agree that everything about globalization is equally good or beneficial. I see some races to the bottom instead of to the top. But com'on. Get with the program. It's 2012 not 1912.

Tom Hickey said...

dilbertgeg said... More to the point, I'm quite sure quite a few Congress critters and other economic experts are fully aware of how the Govt's OS changed dramatically in 1933 with another major upgrade in 1971, and all sorts of interim upgrades and improvements and software revisions, but they CHOOSE to PRETEND that none of those upgrades have occurred so they can continue to control a political and ideological feifdom based on scarcity and peasant feudalism.

Right, this is the libertarian-anarchist critique of government. Governments are run by "interested men" (Tom Paine), disingenuous cronies, and useful idiots to further the purpose and interest of TPTB. And it will remains so until the level of collective consciousness rises sufficiently. We aren't there yet, although history does have a liberal bias and the oppressiveness is getting more mitigated over time.

Yuu Kim said...

"MMT needs more catchy phrases..."

what about the "musical chairs" analogy?

compare the amount of federal spending to the number of chairs in a musical chairs game. less spending is like having less chairs for people to sit on...

if you have 10 people and 5 chairs, regardless of how motivated and hard-working people are, 5 of them automatically will not have a seat when the music stops playing.

the federal government, of course, can afford to provide a chair for all the people to sit on.

i realize it sounds hokey, but i think it's a simple enough analogy that anyone can understand. and you can go wherever you want with it.

dilbertgeg said...

federal taxation merely deletes money, tosses it into the digital incinerator.

dilbertgeg said...

Yuu Kim: what about the "musical chairs" analogy?

Very good, re Jobs.
People can't get jobs that don't exist when the job market is shrinking.

dilbertgeg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dilbertgeg said...

RESPONSE

http://fearmongering.blogspot.com/2013/01/normal-0-government-theft-at-point-of.html

(some error caused by MS Word coding, but seems to work)

(some of the writing on there is very old, please be kind)