Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Government Interest Spending is Regressive Fiscal Policy




So with all the criticism of ZIRP we've seen lately, lets take a look at just who the Govt is no longer giving free money to. As you can see from the chart above, US TSY CDs are held in roughly equal amount by three groups of savers:

The Federal Govt itself (including the Fed because no matter what the orthodoxy or Fed truthers say, the Fed is a Govt agency)
Foreigners
Domestic Savers (including State & Local Govts)

So if you are concerned about the economy not getting enough free interest income from the Sovereign, thereby causing you to oppose ZIRP, you should probably have a superficial idea of who gets the free money if Govt interest spending goes up.

If we look at the article that provided the Chart above,  we'll find those sections further broken down. Here is the foreign sector:


Before we even start looking at the Domestic owners, ZIRP critics have to acknowledge that foreigners have more US TSY CD savings than domestic savers. Pretty tough political sale to convince a fairly anti-foreign (especially against China) electorate that we should be giving more free money to foreigners unnecessarily.

Now that site didnt break down the domestic component into enough detail so I found another site which is from 2013 that does just that: http://www.factcheck.org/2013/11/who-holds-our-debt/
You can see their sources clearly at the bottom of the page.

The remainder of the total federal debt is spread among mostly private, domestic investors, including 6 percent owned through mutual funds, such as money-market funds. Another 3 percent is owned by state and local governments. The remaining 17 percent is spread among banks and other depository institutions (2 percent), owners of U.S. savings bonds (1 percent), private pension funds (3 percent), state and local pension funds (1 percent), and insurance companies (2 percent), with the remaining 9 percent held by various “individuals, Government-sponsored enterprises, brokers and dealers, bank personal trusts and estates, corporate and non-corporate businesses, and other investors,” according to the Treasury.
According to this, just about 14% of all TSY CDs outstanding are held by Non-Federal Govt pensioners and individuals. So for every 14 cents some people want to give to pensioners and individuals you have to give 86 cents to foreigners, the federal Govt itself, banks, and insurance companies : (Note: the percentages are different if you ignore the what the Federal Govt owes itself).

I cant imagine a more wasteful way to fund pensions and individual savers. Give $86 to people who the Govt should not be giving any free money to in order to give $14 to pensioners and individual savers who I would argue are more likely to be the already wealthy. I dont think alot of working class people are buying alot of TSY CDs given their non-existent savings, but hey maybe someone can provide some info on this to change my mind.

But if you are really concerned about Pension funds, the numbers are even worse. You need to convince the country to give $10 to foreigners, the Govt, banks, wealthier individuals and insurance companies just so we can give $1 to pension funds.

This is a political loser.

If you want retirees to have more income, then advocate for that. I support that. But if you think its a good idea for the Govt to use whats probably the most regressive way to spend dollars possible in order to give free money to pensions, then you are on your own.

P.S. Personally, I want to do away with the hodgepodge system of Non-Sovereign pensions and just have a universal retirement system paid for and funded by the Feds, so I dont really care that pension funds arent working.

38 comments:

Andrew Anderson said...

I agree. Interest paying sovereign debt is welfare proportional to how much spare fiat one has, not welfare proportional to need. It's an abomination.

Likewise, government subsidies* for private credit creation are welfare for the rich too since the rich are the most so-called creditworthy.

*eg. government-provided deposit insurance instead of inherently risk-free accounts for all at their central banks.

Auburn Parks said...

Andrew-

While I agree that the govt should provide some free banking services (maybe post office banks and State banks) I disagree entirely with your hatred of commercial bank services and the necessary deposit insurance that underlies that system. I dont want the Govt to operate 50,000 bank branches, I am perfectly happy for BofA, Chase etc to operate those businesses.

Matt Franko said...

Auburn the data looks dodgy....

Look at the z.1 tables L.107, L.110, L.115, L.116, L.117...

State and local govts, US Depository Institutions, Insurance Cos, Public and Private Pensions have approx $4T...


and look here foreign official is 4T

http://ticdata.treasury.gov/Publish/mfh.txt

So it is about 50/50 split...

The foreigners share could be handled via trade policy as that is where the foreigners get the USD balances... ie the trade deficit which is what Trump wants to go after and now everybody else is trying to glom on to....

create special accounts at the Fed that pay ZERO interest to foreign official USD balances....

There is no reason to pay interest to foreign official accounts...

Advocating ZIRP across the board in order to withhold interest to foreigners is AT BEST a sophomoric policy proposal...


Auburn Parks said...

Matt-

Creating special accounts just to give more money to one small group of US TSY CD holders is at best a sophomoric policy proposal and one that will never pass since its bad politics. Using interest spending as fiscal policy is simply bad policy, theres no way around it. And the more Govt IOUs outstanding the worse it gets.

Expand SS to everyone and increase benefits, no need to subsidize foreigners, banks, wealthy individuals etc via interest spending. Its a political loser

Andrew Anderson said...

I disagree entirely with your hatred of commercial bank services Auburn Parks

I never said I hated commercial banks; I hate government privileges for banks since it's welfare for the rich.

and the necessary deposit insurance that underlies that system. Auburn Parks

Let's all be allowed accounts at the central bank and the need for government-provided deposit insurance disappears.

So why do you insist on it anyway?

Auburn Parks said...

Because Andrew of the part of my comment you ignored. There are 10s of thousands of bank branches. This is necessary because banking is not a digital only business. You need physical access to banks. So just giving someone an account at the Fed is not that helpful unless you are going to open 1000s of branches and or ATMs for people to use. I dont support that.

As for deposit insurance, it doesnt cost the Govt anything and its the only way that Bank IOUs can be guaranteed to the public. Banks dont work without it as the Euro crisis and the dozens of banking crises pre-FDIC insurance demonstrate.

I have yet to see you or anyone else describe why deposit insurance is bad. We have energy guranatees for public utitlities even though Comed is a private company, well the banking and payment system specifically is also a public utility so the guarantee is no different than that in my mind.

Michael Norman said...

We're not afraid to rumble here! ;)

Like the Dadaists in Europe in the 20th century. We're throwing paint on each other. It's not pretty, but it's pretty damn entertaining!

Michael Norman said...

Auburn,

Some of that interest income is spent. It flows to consumption so there is an indirect, yet real, economic benefit to those other than the wealthy.

Salsabob said...

"I cant imagine a more wasteful way to fund pensions and individual savers. Give $86 to people who the Govt should not be giving any free money to in order to give $14 to pensioners and individual savers.."

This is a great example of how a little understanding of our monetary system can be so very dangerous. First, nearly half of the "$86 to people who the Govt should not" is actually the government itself - it's just moving funds around within the same monetary sovereign. Do you also get upset with people who move their wallet from their left pocket to their right pocket?

Then another 1/6 of your $86 is for state and local governments. Given the bad shape that many state and local governments are in and trying to get them to do the right thing (e.g. expand Medicaid for the poor), we should applaud as much transfer of dollars from the monetary soverign to these other government entities - it costs us NOTHING.

Then there's the amounts that are in the banks and insurance companies, what's the breakdown between financial assets held by those entities that are representative of the wealth of actual middle class folks and the hated financial elites? And what level of stability do these government securities provide to the financial sector that allows it to meet the capital requirements so they can lend money for folks to buy cars, homes and open businesses? How much impact would there be on the economy if we willy-nilly remove that stability?

At best, your beef is with foreign investor holdings. You do realize that the principle they hold, that far exceeds their relatively meager interest income, is from people buying crap at WalMart, a car from Japan or Germany, or an iPhone made in Vietnam? And where would they put those massive funds if they could not earn some interest on their accumulated dollars? Can we say asset inflation? Is that what you really want?

Auburn Parks said...

Mike you can make that argument for any trickle-down policy. doesn't mean it's not regressive. Hell tax cuts for the rich work a little bit too

Auburn Parks said...

Salsabob

Understanding the monetary system has nothing to do with this this is all straight politics and distribution. the vast majority of Treasury CD owners are foreigners Banks wealthy people and the minority is pensioners from either state local governments or private companies. so if you want to provide interest income to the minority of Treasury CD holders whom you personally view as good causes and you have to give even more free money away to people who don't need it and don't deserve it.

pretty much the definition of a regressive fiscal policy

Michael Norman said...

Auburn,

I, for one, never claimed it was "equitable" or "fair." It is what it is and it's certainly not "fiscal drag" or, inflation "damping" as the mainstream views it. That's all I said.

If you have been following my posts, I am all about more direct spending on infrastructure, education, health care, alternative energy, public transportation, basic sicience and research, etc.

Auburn Parks said...

Mike

Of course i follow your posts and of course mainstream explanations of monetary policy uber Alles is garbage. But that doesn't change the cold hard reality of who owns Tsy Cds and as such who stands to gain most when govt increases interest spending. Its definitely fiscal policy its just regressive.

mmcosker said...

At ZIRP the best way to get more money to retirees is increase social security benefits, not increase interest rates.

Andrew Anderson said...

"This is necessary because banking is not a digital only business. You need physical access to banks. So just giving someone an account at the Fed is not that helpful unless you are going to open 1000s of branches and or ATMs for people to use. I dont support that." Auburn Parks

The proper services a central bank should provide to the public*, including to depository institutions, aka "banks", are very basic and entirely routine:
1) Risk-free storage of fiat via account balances there.
2) Risk-free transactions between accounts.
3) Accepting and dispensing physical fiat, aka "cash."

Not included in these proper services is lending which, to avoid unequal treatment under the law, should be left to the private sector.

So little in additional infrastructure or personnel should be necessary and local Post Offices and the Internet should easily suffice.

"As for deposit insurance, it doesnt cost the Govt anything and its the only way that Bank IOUs can be guaranteed to the public. Banks dont work without it as the Euro crisis and the dozens of banking crises pre-FDIC insurance demonstrate." Auburn Parks

With convenient accounts for all at the central bank and the end of government provided deposit insurance, all remaining deposits at the banks, etc. would be, by definition, at-risk, not necessarily liquid INVESTMENTS, not co-mingled with the funds for, say, next week's groceries which should be "stored" in inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank.


"I have yet to see you or anyone else describe why deposit insurance is bad. We have energy guranatees for public utitlities even though Comed is a private company, well the banking and payment system specifically is also a public utility so the guarantee is no different than that in my mind. Auburn Parks

You have things backwards. The proper question is why citizens aren't allowed to use their country's money, fiat, via convenient, inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank but instead are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) their fiat to a usury cartel or be limited to unwieldy, unsafe physical fiat, aka "cash"? Cui bono? The rich and banks at the expense of the less so-called creditworthy? Yes, indeed.

*Of course the monetary sovereign is a special case.

Andrew Anderson said...

"This is necessary because banking is not a digital only business. You need physical access to banks. So just giving someone an account at the Fed is not that helpful unless you are going to open 1000s of branches and or ATMs for people to use. I dont support that." Auburn Parks

The proper services a central bank should provide to the public*, including to depository institutions, aka "banks", are very basic and entirely routine:
1) Risk-free storage of fiat via account balances there.
2) Risk-free transactions between accounts.
3) Accepting and dispensing physical fiat, aka "cash."

Not included in these proper services is lending which, to avoid unequal treatment under the law, should be left to the private sector.

So little in additional infrastructure or personnel should be necessary and local Post Offices and the Internet should easily suffice.

"As for deposit insurance, it doesnt cost the Govt anything and its the only way that Bank IOUs can be guaranteed to the public. Banks dont work without it as the Euro crisis and the dozens of banking crises pre-FDIC insurance demonstrate." Auburn Parks

With convenient accounts for all at the central bank and the end of government provided deposit insurance, all remaining deposits at the banks, etc. would be, by definition, at-risk, not necessarily liquid INVESTMENTS, not commingled with the funds for, say, next week's groceries which should be "stored" in an inherently risk-free account at the central bank.


"I have yet to see you or anyone else describe why deposit insurance is bad. We have energy guranatees for public utitlities even though Comed is a private company, well the banking and payment system specifically is also a public utility so the guarantee is no different than that in my mind. Auburn Parks

You have things backwards. The proper question is why citizens aren't allowed to use their country's money, fiat, via convenient, inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank but instead are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) their fiat to a usury cartel or be limited to unwieldy, unsafe physical fiat, aka "cash"?

*Of course the monetary sovereign is a special case.

Andrew Anderson said...

At ZIRP the best way to get more money to retirees is increase social security benefits, not increase interest rates.

Amen.

[also testing to see if I'm banned]

Andrew Anderson said...

"This is necessary because banking is not a digital only business. You need physical access to banks. So just giving someone an account at the Fed is not that helpful unless you are going to open 1000s of branches and or ATMs for people to use. I dont support that." Auburn Parks

The proper services a central bank should provide to the public*, including to depository institutions, aka "banks", are very basic and entirely routine:
1) Risk-free storage of fiat via account balances there.
2) Risk-free transactions between accounts.
3) Accepting and dispensing physical fiat, aka "cash."

Not included in these proper services is lending which, to avoid unequal treatment under the law, should be left to the private sector.

So little in additional infrastructure or personnel should be necessary and local Post Offices and the Internet should easily suffice.

"As for deposit insurance, it doesnt cost the Govt anything and its the only way that Bank IOUs can be guaranteed to the public. Banks dont work without it as the Euro crisis and the dozens of banking crises pre-FDIC insurance demonstrate." Auburn Parks

With convenient accounts for all at the central bank and the end of government provided deposit insurance, all remaining deposits at the banks, etc. would be, by definition, at-risk, not necessarily liquid INVESTMENTS, not commingled with the funds for, say, next week's groceries which should be "stored" in an inherently risk-free account at the central bank.


"I have yet to see you or anyone else describe why deposit insurance is bad. We have energy guranatees for public utitlities even though Comed is a private company, well the banking and payment system specifically is also a public utility so the guarantee is no different than that in my mind. Auburn Parks

You have things backwards. The proper question is why citizens aren't allowed to use their country's money, fiat, via convenient, inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank but instead are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) their fiat to a usury cartel or be limited to unwieldy, unsafe physical fiat, aka "cash"?

*Of course the monetary sovereign is a special case.

Andrew Anderson said...

"This is necessary because banking is not a digital only business. You need physical access to banks. So just giving someone an account at the Fed is not that helpful unless you are going to open 1000s of branches and or ATMs for people to use. I dont support that." Auburn Parks

The proper services a central bank should provide to the public*, including to depository institutions, aka "banks", are very basic and entirely routine:
1) Risk-free storage of fiat via account balances there.
2) Risk-free transactions between accounts.
3) Accepting and dispensing physical fiat, aka "cash."

Not included in these proper services is lending which, to avoid unequal treatment under the law, should be left to the private sector.

So little in additional infrastructure or personnel should be necessary and local Post Offices and the Internet should easily suffice.

"As for deposit insurance, it doesnt cost the Govt anything and its the only way that Bank IOUs can be guaranteed to the public. Banks dont work without it as the Euro crisis and the dozens of banking crises pre-FDIC insurance demonstrate." Auburn Parks

With convenient accounts for all at the central bank and the end of government provided deposit insurance, all remaining deposits at the banks, etc. would be, by definition, at-risk, not necessarily liquid INVESTMENTS, not commingled with the funds for, say, next week's groceries which should be "stored" in an inherently risk-free account at the central bank.


"I have yet to see you or anyone else describe why deposit insurance is bad. We have energy guranatees for public utitlities even though Comed is a private company, well the banking and payment system specifically is also a public utility so the guarantee is no different than that in my mind. Auburn Parks

You have things backwards. The proper question is why citizens aren't allowed to use their country's money, fiat, via convenient, inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank but instead are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) their fiat to a usury cartel or be limited to unwieldy, unsafe physical fiat, aka "cash"?

*Of course the monetary sovereign is a special case.

Neil Wilson said...

"At ZIRP the best way to get more money to retirees is increase social security benefits, not increase interest rates."

^This

Similarly the best way to get people on income guarantees is to lower the age at which you get a state pension.

You won't see many BIG advocates pushing that one, even though it is by far the most politically acceptable way.

Ask yourself why.

Neil Wilson said...

"I am all about more direct spending on infrastructure, education, health care, alternative energy, public transportation, basic sicience and research, etc."

Which is all well and good. But first you have to identify who is going to *do* those things and whether they are currently tied up doing something else.

If they are, then you have to propose how you stop the 'something else' being done via sovereign power - whether taxation, delay or banning.

The unemployed are not infinitely fungible and infrastructure is not something that gets done on overtime.

I see the 'spend money on infrastructure' argument all the time. But money doesn't build bridges. Machines and stuff build bridges - directed by skilled engineers who generally already have a job.

Tom Hickey said...

Bill Mitchell says be done with it and nationalize banking. The Bank of England was founded as a private institution in 1664 and not nationalized until 1946. No reason that all banks cannot be nationalized.

Bill is probably the furthest to left of all the MMT economists, and so for him to recommend nationalizing the banks is uncharacteristic. He has obviously thought deeply about this and has come to the conclusion that there is no way to get a handle on private banking.

There would still be credit but there would be no state guaranteed liquidity for private lenders, who would be risking their own capital.

Andrew Anderson said...

[this comment refuses to post - one more try]

"This is necessary because banking is not a digital only business. You need physical access to banks. So just giving someone an account at the Fed is not that helpful unless you are going to open 1000s of branches and or ATMs for people to use. I dont support that." Auburn Parks

The proper services a central bank should provide to the public*, including to depository institutions, aka "banks", are very basic and entirely routine:
1) Risk-free storage of fiat via account balances there.
2) Risk-free transactions between accounts.
3) Accepting and dispensing physical fiat, aka "cash."

Not included in these proper services is lending which, to avoid unequal treatment under the law, should be left to the private sector.

So little in additional infrastructure or personnel should be necessary and local Post Offices and the Internet should easily suffice.

"As for deposit insurance, it doesnt cost the Govt anything and its the only way that Bank IOUs can be guaranteed to the public. Banks dont work without it as the Euro crisis and the dozens of banking crises pre-FDIC insurance demonstrate." Auburn Parks

With convenient accounts for all at the central bank and the end of government provided deposit insurance, all remaining deposits at the banks, etc. would be, by definition, at-risk, not necessarily liquid INVESTMENTS, not commingled with the funds for, say, next week's groceries which should be "stored" in an inherently risk-free account at the central bank.


"I have yet to see you or anyone else describe why deposit insurance is bad. We have energy guranatees for public utitlities even though Comed is a private company, well the banking and payment system specifically is also a public utility so the guarantee is no different than that in my mind. Auburn Parks

You have things backwards. The proper question is why citizens aren't allowed to use their country's money, fiat, via convenient, inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank but instead are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) their fiat to a usury cartel or be limited to unwieldy, unsafe physical fiat, aka "cash"?

*Of course the monetary sovereign is a special case.

Andrew Anderson said...

... that there is no way to get a handle on private banking. Tom Hickey

Disagree since we've never really had private banking.

Why? Because in retrospect it is obvious that a monetary sovereign should allow accounts at the central bank for all its citizens and not just for depository institutions, aka "banks."

So we've never, at least in the US, ever had truly private banks since our monetary sovereign has never allowed such accounts for all at its central bank. Indeed, we haven't even had a central bank or equivalent for a lot of our history.

Neil Wilson said...

"So we've never, at least in the US, ever had truly private banks since our monetary sovereign has never allowed such accounts for all at its central bank."

You have an account at the central bank when you hold cash. That's what it is. A receipt for a deposit at the central bank.

So we've had accounts at the central bank for a long time - even when it was part of Treasury.

Andrew Anderson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Anderson said...

You have an account at the central bank when you hold cash. Neil Wilson

Really? Anyone else agree?

Regardless, you know that unsafe, inconvenient physical fiat, aka "cash", is not to be compared with inherently safe, convenient account balances at the central bank.

Otherwise, why would the population ever have had convenient yet inherently risky accounts at so-called private banks? Rather than use physical fiat, aka "cash", exclusively?

Andrew Anderson said...

[Sorry for delay, this comment keeps getting deleted by a system bug I suppose]

"This is necessary because banking is not a digital only business. You need physical access to banks. So just giving someone an account at the Fed is not that helpful unless you are going to open 1000s of branches and or ATMs for people to use. I dont support that." Auburn Parks

The proper services a central bank should provide to the public*, including to depository institutions, aka "banks", are very basic and entirely routine:
a) Risk-free storage of fiat via account balances there.
b) Risk-free transactions between accounts.
c) Accepting and dispensing physical fiat, aka "cash."

Not included in these proper services is lending which, to avoid unequal treatment under the law, should be left to the private sector.

So little in additional infrastructure or personnel should be necessary and local Post Offices and the Internet should easily suffice.

"As for deposit insurance, it doesnt cost the Govt anything and its the only way that Bank IOUs can be guaranteed to the public. Banks dont work without it as the Euro crisis and the dozens of banking crises pre-FDIC insurance demonstrate." Auburn Parks

With convenient accounts for all at the central bank and the end of government provided deposit insurance, all remaining deposits at the banks, etc. would be, by definition, at-risk, not necessarily liquid INVESTMENTS, not commingled with the funds for, say, next week's groceries which should be "stored" in an inherently risk-free account at the central bank.


"I have yet to see you or anyone else describe why deposit insurance is bad. We have energy guranatees for public utitlities even though Comed is a private company, well the banking and payment system specifically is also a public utility so the guarantee is no different than that in my mind. Auburn Parks

You have things backwards. The proper question is why citizens aren't allowed to use their country's money, fiat, via convenient, inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank but instead are forced to lend (a deposit is legally a loan) their fiat to a usury cartel or be limited to unwieldy, unsafe physical fiat, aka "cash"?

*Of course the monetary sovereign is a special case.

Andrew Anderson said...

Otherwise, why would the population ever have had convenient yet inherently risky accounts at so-called private banks? AA

To answer my own question: Because of interest received on those account balances?

Then what need for government-provided deposit insurance if the population is willingly accepting interest in exchange for risk?

Tom Hickey said...

Theoretically it's possible to have a single financial institution with a single digital payments system using exclusively digital currency, along with total financial transparency so that it is impossible to hide any transaction. That could be done on a national level or globally. I would say that there is a good chance that this is what will happen in the future.

Taxes would be computed and deducted automatically. Every entity would have a credit score and suitable line of credit, etc.

After coding, no human input would be required other than to monitor the system and upgrade the code.

The penalty for trying to hack the system would be death by drone.

Almost zero transaction costs.

What's not to like about that.

Andrew Anderson said...

Straw man Tom, since commercial banks, credit unions, etc. would still exist and provide as much privacy as they may and as much entirely private credit as they dare extend.

But if we end up with a "666" system in our generation it won't be fault of those who advocate for equal protection under the law wrt accounts at the central bank but the fault of those who oppose it.

Every entity would have a credit score and suitable line of credit, etc.
Tom Hickey

No because that violates equal protection under the law since the rich are automatically the most so-called credit worthy. Therefore private credit creation should be entirely a private matter.

Otoh, public credit could be equally distributed to individual citizen accounts at the central bank to accommodate the need for new fiat beyond that provided by deficit spending by the monetary sovereign.

What's not to like? Fairness?

Tom Hickey said...

There is always going to be credit. Anyone is free to lend their assets, real or financial to whomever they choose.

But the issue now is transparency. The world is headed toward full transparency of all financial transactions, which will be required to be exclusively digitally recorded.

Some encryption may be allowed to protect proprietary information and the system itself, but not from the authorities, who will have the ability to know everything in real time in the digital panopticon. Avoidance or hacking will be considered prima facie evidence of financial "terrorism."

It's now obvious that it is not possible to do anything of significance without access to the financial system. TPTB are now in the process of extending that and locking it in, ostensibly because "terrorism" and "rogue states."

This is the present reality with the USD as the global reserve currency in which the vast majority of transactions are cleared. To a large degree there is already only a single global currency. And the US has the ability to monitor the system and to exclude "undesirables" from it.

Andrew Anderson said...

There is always going to be credit. Anyone is free to lend their assets, real or financial to whomever they choose. Tom Hicky

Of course but why provide government subsidies for it (private credit creation) such as exclusive access to accounts at the central bank and government-provided deposit insurance when clearly neither are necessary?

Tom Hickey said...

Addendum: The "terrorism" (non-state actors) and "rogue state" memes are important here. There is going to be a mighty battle between the liberal/freedom/privacy cohort and the authoritarian/transparency/control cohort.

The reason that "terror" and rogue states" are important is because in the final analysis politically, security (war on terror and national security) trumps order (war on drugs, police militarization), and order trumps liberty (freedom of choice, civil liberties, privacy).

The other argument is efficiency ("lower tax burden") due to reducing corruption transaction costs and eliminating corruption.

Tom Hickey said...

Of course but why provide government subsidies for it (private credit creation) such as exclusive access to accounts at the central bank and government-provided deposit insurance when clearly neither are necessary?

It's a political choice, just like the creation of a central bank. The UK choose to nationalize its cb, which had been private since 1694.

In democratic republics, governments choose policy through the people's representatives.

Alternatives are contested based on ideology and interests.

If enough people come to understand the operational reality and tradeoffs, then the choice can be informed choices rather than being based on beliefs and assumptions. But there are almost always tradeoffs and that's where different interests come into conflict.

Andrew Anderson said...

But there are almost always tradeoffs Tom Hickey

I guess the abolition of slavery involved trade-offs as well?

Have you ever heard of justice for justice's sake? Or the fear of the Lord?

Tom Hickey said...

I guess the abolition of slavery involved trade-offs as well?

Of course there were tradeoffs and choices based on economic interests. It was the largest destruction of capital in one fell swoop ever seen. It certainly was not Pareto optimal. The US fought a civil war over it, never really adapted to it, and now we are in the process of re-conflicting over it pretty big time.

Andrew Anderson said...

Well, now the population are largely debt and wages slaves, if they are "fortunate" enough to have a job.

It's time for a new emancipation, hopefully a peaceful one.