Friday, June 10, 2016

Paul Craig Roberts Endorses MMT

I have never heard PCR mention MMT before, but in this interview with Peter Lavelle he talks about MMT in glowing terms. It's interesting interview in its own right, but go to just before 24 minutes and that's wherabouts he talks about MMT and mentions Michaul Hudson. With PCR being concerned about climate change, and against neoliberalism and privitization of public assets, I doubt if there is much I differ with him on.

Oh, and Russia isn't bankrupt, that's Western propaganda.

Published on 2 Jun 2016
Peter Lavelle from The Duran interviews Paul Craig Roberts.

117 comments:

Tom Hickey said...

Unfortunately PCR gets his understanding of MMT via his understanding of Michael Hudson. But this is huge progress from where he used to be.

Bob said...

From where does Michael Hudson get his understanding of MMT?

Detroit Dan said...

Thanks for the link and commentary.

Basics of MMT have certainly proven correct in recent years, as monetary policy has been a big nothing burger. Good to dee that a least some people are beginning to catch on.

GLH said...

Tom Hickey:
I am interested in what is the matter with Michael Hudson's understanding of MMT.

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

Me too. It seems Michael Hudson's university is one of the main ones endorsing MMT.

I'm glad PCR is a proponent for MMT now, but it seems he hasn't studied it, and like me, has got as far as the introduction.

I've been looking at some cartoons made by students of MMT, but it is still confusing. The cartoons were saying that the government can create its own money to spend and that national debt really means that we have a good supply of money. I liked that cartoon but when I went to post it on youtube, aiming at libertarians, I realised it left more questioned unanswered than it answered:

The government borrows money from the public by issuing bonds. The public gets the money from the fed (mainly the bankers borrow it real cheap from the fed to buy bonds which yield a much higher interest than what the fed charges {so in other words, the bond holders get free money}, or they re-lend it to the public to buy the bonds making a good profit in the loans { more free money}. Then the government now gets it money to spend on public services (or more then likely, the war machine). But why can't the government just create the money it needs in the treasury?

There's no such thing as free money. The government can create the money and spend it on public services, like hospitals. So lets keep it simple:

So the government pays hospital staff every month to run the hospital with money it has created. Now debt free money gets put into circulation via the wages of the hospital staff and this drives the private sector, when the hospital staff spend. All is well and good, until the economy reaches maximum capacity and everyone who wants work is working. But if the government keeps paying the wages of the hospital staff every month it can start to put out too much money into the economy which can drive inflation. So the government taxes to take the excess money out of society. When people work to obtain money but have to pay some of it back to the government, the public is now paying for the hospital service.

I have to tie in all of the above with the MMT they I have learned. I had a good question about national debt vs the money supply. I wanted to take the libertarians out when I realised there was something else that needed explaining first about national debt. I will look at those cartoons again and come back. It might make good article to post in this site.

Andrew Anderson said...

But why can't the government just create the money it needs in the treasury? Kaivey

It can, those "trillion dollar coins" which could then be deposited at the Fed for an increase in the Treasury's account balance there.

And what do you mean by libertarians? The ones I've dealt with wish to force us to use gold for fiat and thus score an enormous profit from their gold holdings. But fiat needs no additional backing since it is backed by the authority and power of government to punish for non payment of taxes with it.

Kaivey said...

I was going to use the video to prove that the libertarians were wrong. But I needed to study it more so that I could have answers to their questions.

Tom Hickey said...

I am interested in what is the matter with Michael Hudson's understanding of MMT.

On of the big one's is "taxpayers on the hook." MH knows that government doesn't tax or borrow to get munnie for operations under the current monetary system, but he often uses common misconceptions strategically to carry point. MMT economists don't do this.

The most significant matter in my view is that MH and some others close to or sympathetic to MMT lead with a different angel of approach to analysis rather than SFC sectoral balance analysis and functional finance.

So it would not be correct to say that they represent MMT or are MMTers.

Even Alan Greenspan knew that he central bank, which is the fiscal agent of government, issues the currency.by crediting its liability account. That doesn't make him an MMTer.

Andrew Anderson said...

MH knows that government doesn't tax or borrow to get munnie for operations under the current monetary system, Tom Hickey

Yet price inflation is a constraint. Then why isn't the MMT crowd for eliminating privileges for the usury cartel since that cartel is a major source of price inflation when it isn't cowering in a corner afraid to lend?

Tom Hickey said...

According to MMT economists and others that know, government already does create the currency through issuance. The central bank is the currency issuer, although the Treasury mints coins that are distributed to non-government through the cb in the same way as notes (see below). Coins are a very small portion of the money supply, so I will disregard the accounting here and focus on cb issuance.

In the US the Fed issues the currency by crediting its liability account in the payments system, increasing its liabilities as settlement balance. The corresponding entry increase asset account held in the payments system run by the Fed on its books. This is increases the most highly liquid asset of non-government. This is called high power money or HPM. These assets are also called "bank reserves" in that the central bank sets a reserve requirement (even when it sets the amount to zero).

Member banks can exchange balances at the Fed for physical cash to meet window demand. Held by the bank this constitutes vault cash and included as bank reserves. When notes and coin pass through the window they are deducted from vault cash and become part of currency in circulation, which is a portion of M1 money supply.

These central bank liabilities are zero maturity. Government also issues liabilities of non-zero maturity in the form of interest-bearing securities. Both zero maturity and non-zero maturity government liabilities are financial instruments issued by government based on its constitutional power.

The Treasury correspondingly issues Treasury securities that are non-zero maturity liabilities bearing interest. Thus they are less liquid than HPM.

Entities holding zero maturity government liabilities forego interest by holding them instead of saving in securities that are default risk free and pay interest.

When nongovernment entities exchange zero maturity HPM for non-zero maturity securities, member banks' accounts at the Fed are drained of balances and the balance are credit to time accounts rather than demand accounts. The amount in time accounts no longer counts toward settlement balances (reserve balances) in the payments system (base money).

Government also withdraws liabilities that it alone issues through the cb by taxation in the case of zero maturity liabilities and redemption in the case of non-zero maturity.

Since government only accepts its own self-created liabilities in payment of taxes and in exchange for and redemption of its securities, government never needs to "get" its currency from non-issuers.

Government issues currency by spending and transfer, withdraws it by taxation, drains HPM into securities it also issues through the incentive of interest.

Central banks also alter the composition of government financial instruments through monetary operations that change the composition of nongovernment net financial assets but not the amount.

All of this is visible through accounting by looking at flows on respective entities' books.

Tom Hickey said...

Yet price inflation is a constraint. Then why isn't the MMT crowd for eliminating privileges for the usury cartel since that cartel is a major source of price inflation when it isn't cowering in a corner afraid to lend?

According to MMT economists, and Warren Mosler in particular (see his proposal for bank reform) banks should be regulated from the asset side rather than the liability side as now. The asset side means credit extension in the form of bank loans.

Generally speaking, credit liquifies collateral. Banks lend against the value of collateral. If they overvalue collateral then they may overland in terms of value.

Why would banks do this? Because overloading on the value of collateral drives asset prices up to the limit at which banks are willing to lend.

This result in Ponzi finance.

The way to end Ponzi finance is to more closely supervise collateral valuation.

The other issue is relaxing credit standards to generate more loans. This introduces risk into the system. Regulators need to monitor credit standards closely to ensure that they don't deteriorate, especially to the degree of increasing systemic risk.

Lenders are like kids. If "everyone is doing it," they will too. This results in a knock-on effects that can spiral toward Ponzi finance.

Regulating from the asset side can prevent this.

Andrew Anderson said...

All very well, Tom, but what I'm referring to is the ability of the government privileged banking cartel to issue liabilities ("loans create deposits") that are largely only virtual, not real, wrt to the population.

If those liabilities were real liabilities instead of largely only virtual* ones then the banks would be much more fearful to create deposits and thus the banks would create less price inflation and thus the banks would constrain the monetary sovereign less wrt ITS spending for the public good.

Or do you believe honest accounting only matters among members of the usury cartel, the monetary sovereign, a few other institutions, and the central bank itself and not between the usury cartel and the general population? That a sham** is sufficient for the general population?

*Because of government-privileges such as deposit insurance instead of inherently risk-free accounts for all at the central bank.

**That the accounting is a sham will be clearly revealed if cash is abolished since then it will be impossible for the population to redeem bank liabilities (eg, "Pay to the order .... dollars") since the general population is not allowed accounts at the central bank where the only other form of fiat exists.

Andrew Anderson said...

Regulating from the asset side can prevent this. Tom Hickey

Such as loans for more automation to disemploy more workers with their own legally stolen purchasing power?

Tom Hickey said...

Such as loans for more automation to disemploy more workers with their own legally stolen purchasing power?


Automation, robotics, and AI are positive overall in that they increase the capacity for distributed leisure. Preventing this in order to create jobs is nonsense.

The challenge is to reconfigure the system as seamlessly as possible so as to distribute widely the increasing opportunity for leisure.

Andrew Anderson said...

Preventing this [automation] in order to create jobs is nonsense. Tom Hickey

Of course it is nonsense. Who said it wasn't?

My point is that we should fund automation ETHICALLY and not steal from the workers to finance it.

And speaking of nonsense, paying people to waste their time, ie. a JG, is way up there but that appears to be all the MMT crowd has since justice is an alien concept to them, akin to religious superstition in their "pragmatic" minds.

Andrew Anderson said...

The challenge is to reconfigure the system as seamlessly as possible so as to distribute widely the increasing opportunity for leisure. Tom Hickey

We can start with accounts for all at the central bank and the proper abolition of government-provided deposit insurance. Just that will eliminate a lot of unjust wealth inequality since new fiat shall have to be created and equally distributed to all adult citizens to finance deposit transfers.

Who can legitimately object to that?

Tom Hickey said...

And speaking of nonsense, paying people to waste their time, ie. a JG, is way up there but that appears to be all the MMT crowd has since justice is an alien concept to them, akin to religious superstition in their "pragmatic" minds.

Calling it nonsense doesn’t make it so. Calgacus has presented a strong argument in several previous comments here for how the MMT JG properly implemented would undermine the wage labor system from within. My objection is that it is a tweak that doesn't change the power structure and "They'll be baaack."

The challenge is changing the power structure so that either an elite or the government can monopolize power away from popular sovereignty (government of, by and for the people).

Taking the banks power to create munnie and giving it exclusively to the government is jumping from the frying pan into the fire as far as I am concerned. Government have a horrible record historically and there is no reason to expect something different now.

Andrew Anderson said...

Taking the banks power to create munnie and giving it exclusively to the government is jumping from the frying pan into the fire as far as I am concerned. Tom Hickey

Banks could still create as many deposits as they dared but those liabilities would be genuine and not a sham.

Government have a horrible record historically and there is no reason to expect something different now. Tom Hickey

As if the so-called private banks are not responsible for the GD, WWII and 50-65 million killed?

In any case, what I'm advocating is unprecedented, at least in modern history - ethical purchasing power creation - not replacing private thieves with government ones.

Tom Hickey said...


We can start with accounts for all at the central bank and the proper abolition of government-provided deposit insurance. Just that will eliminate a lot of unjust wealth inequality since new fiat shall have to be created and equally distributed to all adult citizens to finance deposit transfers.

Who can legitimately object to that?


This is a political move that will undoubtedly be attacked as socialistic, which it is since it aggregates more power away from the private to government.

Politically it's a non-starter in the US, although it might fly elsewhere.

I would not advocate for it in the US, where the state has already been captured.

There is a reason for balancing power within government and between government and the private sector.

What needs to happen in the US before there can be meaningful change is getting the money out of politics, ending lobbying, and closing the revolving door in order to control rampant corruption and conflict of interest.

Getting rid of the two party system would also be a good move since now it is really a one party sate with competing elite factions both inter and intra party. Trump was fortnight about it, there is quid pro quo for political donations and he and other rich folks donate to both parties to cover the bases.

Tom Hickey said...

not replacing private thieves with government ones.

And you think that giving more power to government is the way to do that?

The problem is getting rid of the thieves.

Andrew Anderson said...

This is a political move that will undoubtedly be attacked as socialistic, which it is since it aggregates more power away from the private to government.
Tom Hickey

Since when is allowing people to deal conveniently and safely with what is, after all, the citizen's money, fiat, socialist? It's just common sense and it's a major oversight in the US Constitution not to provide an accounting and transaction service in fiat for ALL citizens.

Indeed it is gross violation of equal protection under the law that that service is only provided to a cartel of usurers.

But if it is socialist then let's abolish the Fed completely and let the banks haul around truckloads of physical fiat between themselves and see how they like that!

So it isn't socialist; it's common sense equal protection under the law.

Andrew Anderson said...

And you think that giving more power to government is the way to do that? Tom Hickey

The power would go to individual citizens. Example: Because they may not have accounts at the Federal Reserve and because payments are made via direct deposit, poor US Social Security recipients currently MUST lend their benefits to a member of the usury cartel, for the benefit of lower borrowing costs for the rich. That's a forced loan and is just wrong.

And what power are you talking about anyway? The power to keep accurate accounts and do accurate fiat transfers? But if you want privacy you could still deposit at a private bank, take your chances on them losing your deposit, and enjoy whatever privacy you may obtain thereby.

Tom Hickey said...

But if it is socialist then let's abolish the Fed completely and let the banks haul around truckloads of physical fiat between themselves and see how they like that!


Abolishing the Fed is actually much more likely to happen in the US political than for the central bank to be granted more power. There is a significant contingent in the US to abolish the Fed or at least to hobble it.

Ron Paul, End the Fed

Andrew Anderson said...

... than for the central bank to be granted more power. Tom Hickey

The power of the central bank should be limited to fiat creation for the monetary sovereign ONLY (via sovereign coin deposits) and accurate account keeping and transactions in that fiat. How is that more power? It's a great deal less power.

Ron Paul is a fake libertarian since inexpensive fiat is the ONLY* ethical money form for government money but he wants a gold standard!

*Otherwise the taxation power and authority of government is used to benefit private interests such as gold owners.

Andrew Anderson said...

The problem is getting rid of the thieves. Tom Hickey

How can you do that if the thievery is legal?

Andrew Anderson said...

It's a great deal less power. aa

Actually, it's no power at all but to serve the monetary sovereign as its bookkeeper.

Tom Hickey said...

How can you do that if the thievery is legal?

Make it illegal and prosecute people.

The only way to do this is to get the munnie out of politics, shut down lobbying, and lock the revolving door.

That's a political issue, and there is a lot of grassroots support for it in the US.

Tom Hickey said...

Actually, it's no power at all but to serve the monetary sovereign as its bookkeeper.

I think you are naïve about power, at least in the US.

For example, you assume that if banks only intermediate savings then credit policy will change. It won't because banks know that government will step in to save them in the event of crisis rather than let the financial system crash, blowing up the economy, and in the case of the US sparking global depression, which would piss off a lot people not at the banks as much as government for allowing it happen.

Could never happen. It just did in 2008., even though fraud so was riff that the FBI warned about it in Dec 2004. Hardly anyone of significance was prosecuted, or even fired, although forms did pay significant fines instead of the perps.

Everything remains in place for this to happen again.

Making the government the sole issuer would not change the situation since in any case, banks are risking their own equity.

If banks are intermediaries and there is no deposit insurance then banks are asking not only their equity but also depositors, loss vo which would deepen the financial crisis and ensure that government steps in.

Andrew Anderson said...

The only way to eliminate the thievery is to eliminate all privileges* for depository institutions since those force the poor, the least so-called credit worthy, to lend to the banks for the benefit of the banks themselves and for the benefit of the rich, the most so-called creditworthy.

The system is set up to steal from the poor - supposedly for their own good so as to provide them with good jobs and good consumer products. Well, good consumer products we have but where are the jobs? ans: outsourced or automated away with the poor's own legally stolen purchasing power.

It's not the people; it's the system.

What I'm saying should not even be controversial since it's only an argument for equal protection under the law. Who the hell are banks that they deserve privileges? Indeed, they deserve contempt and scorn as the embezzlers and cowards they are. Do you think maybe Dante had them pegged correctly?

*And that includes a lot of unjust private debt.

Andrew Anderson said...

If banks are intermediaries Tom Hickey

How many times must I say that banks could still create as many deposits as they dare?

and there is no deposit insurance then banks are asking not only their equity but also depositors, loss vo which would deepen the financial crisis and ensure that government steps in. Tom Hickey

Not necessarily at all since once deposit insurance has been abolished then all remaining deposits at the banks would be, by definition, at-risk, not necessarily liquid investments, not the liquidity needed for the economy to function. That liquidity would be stored outside the banks in individual citizen, business, State and local government, etc. accounts at the central bank.

In essence we would have TWO payment systems, one that depended on the banks and one that did not since it would consist of individual citizen, business, State and local government, etc. accounts at the central bank that could not fail so long as they had adequate funds in them.

So then, in that case, why should the government not allow the payment system based on the banks to fail until the wreckage can be cleared? Since the assumption for those accounts is that they are not necessarily liquid anyway? Isn't that the way capitalism should work?

Tom Hickey said...

It's not the people; it's the system.

That's where we disagree. The system is the way it is because of the people. Leave the people in place and no matter how the system is changed, "they'' be baaack." There's trillions on the table and they will never ever give up, nor will that stop at anything either. That' is just the power works.

A very wise mentor told me early on, if you want to know how the world works, study power. I have found him to be correct.

Tom Hickey said...

Hint about power. Historically it's about looting. The powerful make piracy legal and even honorable.

Tom Hickey said...

Say there are deposit accounts at the cb for all and government replenishes those accounts equally in a periodic way.

Then financial institutions have to compete for those funds by either offering investment opportunity in bank equity or by paying more attractive interest on at-risk deposit accounts.

The banks then have equity that was paid for with central bank munnie and also deposits in central bank munnie that it lend out to profit from the spread.

The banks are then in the same position as they were before, since in any case they are risking their equity and now also funds in deposit accounts that are no longer insured.

There is no incentive for banks to change behavior in extending credit. There is increased incentive for people to lend to banks as borrowers in order to receive the higher interest that banks offer in competition for funds. This would probably make loans more costly since the spread is figured on bank costs, and under the current system banks don't pay interest on demand deposits.

The way around this is to make the cb a lender to all in addition to making deposit accounts to all. That is nationalized banking.

The problem with nationalized banking is cronyism in lending unless there are some rule that requires the cb to lend without credit standards. The latter is a recipe for a huge financial distortions. If the cb uses standard credit allocation procedure, then those entities that have more are still going to receive preferential treatment over those entities that have less since they have more collateral to pledge.

Tom Hickey said...

U.S. Elites: the Original GangstersU.S. Elites: the Original Gangsters

Random said...

"The way around this is to make the cb a lender to all in addition to making deposit accounts to all. That is nationalized banking."

Tom, you need asset side regulation and you also need the commercial banks to be 'in the bank'. That way the central bank is essentially the only depositor other than current account holders. Then it has a massive say in what the banks do without being directly nationalised. Everybody else is off at national savings (or the U.S. equivalent) earning interest.

Andrew Anderson said...

The banks are then in the same position as they were before, since in any case they are risking their equity and now also funds in deposit accounts that are no longer insured. Tom Hickey

Yes, but by definition those deposits would be at-risk, not necessarily liquid investments. Should we care if gamblers lose? When the choice to gamble would be 100% voluntary?

There is no incentive for banks to change behavior in extending credit.

Yes there is since the liabilities they create would now be genuine liabilities and not sham ones. Bank runs, a form of market discipline, would be as simple as writing a check from one's bank account to one's central bank account - dragging precious reserves $-for-$ with them. There's be no need at all to deal with inconvenient, unsafe physical fiat. And there'd be no lender/asset buyer of last resort to provide liquidity. Banks would have a huge incentive to lend carefully.

There is increased incentive for people to lend to banks as borrowers in order to receive the higher interest that banks offer in competition for funds. This would probably make loans more costly since the spread is figured on bank costs, and under the current system banks don't pay interest on demand deposits. Tom Hickey

If interest rates were deemed too high then the monetary sovereign could distribute new fiat equally to the citizens to bring them down without cheating anyone.

Tom Hickey said...

IN the US, member banks are a major part of the Federal Reserve System. They are the equity holders of the regional banks and legally own them according to a decision of SCOTUS that establishes precedent. This why some claim that the Fed is privately owned, which is only partially true. It's a public-private partnership but as central bank function as part of government owing to delegation of power by Congress.

Andrew Anderson said...

If the cb uses standard credit allocation procedure, then those entities that have more are still going to receive preferential treatment over those entities that have less since they have more collateral to pledge. Tom Hickey

Which is why governments should not lend at all based on so-called creditworthiness and perhaps not all, relying instead on grants and scholarships to promote worthy goals.

Tom Hickey said...

You have a political proposal there, Andrew. Go out and sell it.

MRW said...

Andrew, read Frank Newman’s book, Freedom From National Debt. It’s short. 87 pages. He explains the logic of the US Treasury and how the Fed interacts with it. He even schooled Stephanie Kelton in its operations.

You’re all over the map, mixing up federal government financial transactions with the non-federal government world. You fail to appreciate that because the Federal Reserve is the pivot between these two worlds the Fed acts one way with the government, and another way with the national payment system.

MRW said...

The problem isn’t the Fed, although it could stand some revamping. It’s Congress. Congress has not done its job for 30 years.

Congress could have ended the recession in 2009.

MRW said...

Banks can’t just get coins and dollar bills willy-nilly from the Fed/Treasury. The have to put up 100% collateral to the “Federal Reserve Agent” at their District Federal Reserve Bank. This is statutory law.

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title12-section412&num=0&edition=prelim

MRW said...

But why can't the government just create the money it needs in the treasury? Kaivey

It does everyday.

Ryan Harris said...

"It does everyday."

This always comes down to semantics over definitions of money. So early in the arguments, 'go there' And take the argument to its logical extreme with an expansive definition of money and every participant in the economy creates "money" when they spend, borrow. You sit at a table at a restaurant and order, the restaurant creates a tab. Restaurants sell their tabs for cash advances to shadow banks and regulated banks. So you are literally creating money when you order. With the most restrictive definition, that ignores private credit as money, foreign use, and shadow banks government has an extraordinary monopoly to create and spend money and to tax and exert pure 'control' over the money supply.

Then the argument can go to explore the limits, the government can only herd cats, monetary power is always constrained by alternatives. Foreign and shadow banking systems always offer alternative payment systems and credit systems each with a set of risks. Increase the price of transactions or cost of credit and alternatives are used instead. The important point is to look at the financial risks and evaluate the costs of working within the alternative payment and credit systems.

Taxation and interest rates and banking regulation are big hammers that rarely result in the desired consequence. Lower taxes don't help unless they do. Interest rates aren't important unless they are. These seem like Koans but it helps to alleviate the zimbabwe gold hoarding crowd and central planners from trolling with their purist visions that emerge in bold statements about power of government or fragile flower views of government power.

Matthew Franko said...

"definitions of money." You cant define a figure of speech...

Ryan Harris said...

You know it when you see it.

Tom Hickey said...

Is Monopoly money money?

Bob said...

Monopoly money are game cards.

Ryan Harris said...

The fed made new us dollar bill denominations match the monopoly color scheme. So maybe you're on to something, Tom. Apple pay, PayPal deposits and Google deposits in the shadow banking and payments system trade at par with FDIC insured deposits which can be used anywhere, including for taxes. Until a blow up happens and someone loses faith.

Tom Hickey said...

Monopoly money would not make sense without already having the concept of money.

Similarly, is counterfeit money money?

Perry Mehring puts gold at the apex of the hierarchy of money in a gold standard monetary system. Is gold bullion money?

Andrew Anderson said...

read Frank Newman’s book, Freedom From National Debt. It’s short. 87 pages. MRW

Sure but I don't think it'll do anything but enable me to criticize the system more knowledgeably since my arguments aren't based on technical details but on simple accounting and equal protection under the law.

Ryan Harris said...

That's the point, you have payment systems and credit systems that use different instruments each with different risks and usages, all are money, all aren't money. Some argue gold isn't money, some say dollar bills real or counterfeits are not money. If it's used for payment or credit, it is money and should be regulated by the same rules and regs as all is.

Tom Hickey said...

What is he concept of money?

In a Wittgensteinian analysis, there is no "essence" of money.

"Money" plays a role in variety of "games" constituted of rules such that there is a "web" of uses of the term.

These uses can be viewed as "language games" with different rules that define how the term "money" is used in a game.

Is there a general set of rules regarding money that can be cited to specify the "nature" of money? Unlikely.

The rules and games they define are intersectional and some are incompatible with others depending on the game.

Monopoly money is money in the game of Monopoly, but not in the games of finance and commerce.

Counterfeit money is money that violates the rules of the games of finance and commerce into which it introduced as being legitimate. It is therefore an illegal move in the those games.

The use of Monopoly money in those games is not an illegal move like counterfeit money. it is just ruled out as a nonsense move.

Andrew Anderson said...

You have a political proposal there ... Tom Hickey

Political/judicial since equal protection under the law is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, one of the Amendments meant to end chattel slavery and which now could be used to end debt and wage slavery.

Go out and sell it. Tom Hickey

Been trying and will probably continue. If no one can seriously refute me in the blogosphere, I may write a book.

Thanks for your feedback, Tom, since:

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Ryan Harris said...

Gold has value in a credit system as collateral for payment due to intrinsic reasons of rarity, wide but low levels of usage and consumption and consistent quality. Monopoly money has no use in payments or credit, outside the game, like moslers business cards. That's why I dislike the example they use in teaching mmt. It's a bad model example.

Andrew Anderson said...

Gold has value in a credit system as collateral for payment due to intrinsic reasons of rarity, wide but low levels of usage and consumption and consistent quality. Ryan Harris

Use anything you want for private debts but inexpensive fiat is the ONLY ethical money form for government use else the taxation authority and power of government is misused to benefit private interests such as gold owners.

Ryan Harris said...

Valiant pharma fleecing Medicare demonstrates, fiat is no protection against corruption and cronyism in law making. Trillions will be made before any proposal is made to discuss fixing it. In another decade, when it finally is solved and laws are changed after carefully considering the scope of the problem, we'll have lost maybe a years GDP to the bank accounts of medical industry employees and investors, but in the meantime, free market, make money on it or just whine about it.

Andrew Anderson said...

fiat is no protection against corruption and cronyism in law making. Ryan Harris

And you think expensive fiat is?

The problem isn't inexpensive fiat, though it is often blamed, but government privileges for depository institutions, aka "banks".

In fact, we need lots of new inexpensive fiat so we can properly abolish government-provided deposit insurance via equal fiat distributions to all citizens.

Ryan Harris said...

"And you think expensive fiat is?"

No. I don't care about gold, and don't really want to argue about something I couldn't give a rat's behind about.

Andrew Anderson said...

about something [gold] I couldn't give a rat's behind about. Ryan Harris

Good to hear. Gold as money is a pet peeve of mine since I was once of the deluded myself - before I read the entire Bible.

Bob said...

Monopoly money would not make sense without already having the concept of money.

What is required to play the game of Monopoly?
The ability to read, count and do basic arithmetic. The latter two require a number system.

The concept of a monopoly would not make sense without general knowledge of ownership, rent and control. However, the rules of a game can provide the necessary framework.

The concept of money only requires a number system. The utility of money depends upon a larger framework, in much the same way that the utility of a number system depends upon mathematics.

Bob said...

Perhaps I should add that arithmetic requires a positional number system.

Tom Hickey said...

The concept of a monopoly would not make sense without general knowledge of ownership, rent and control. However, the rules of a game can provide the necessary framework.

The concept of money only requires a number system. The utility of money depends upon a larger framework, in much the same way that the utility of a number system depends upon mathematics.


This is the naïve view. People who study language have discovered that language use is socially embedded and impossible to disentangle or even to fully comprehend owing to being able to be sure to have included all factors.

In fact, this study is relatively new as a science and many of the previously held or assumed ideas are being shown not be to true, often because of taking a special case for the general case.

In learning a language a world view is embedded along with meaning and that world view generally remains submerged for this that do not study this type of analysis. People generally and naively take their embedded world view as reality. As long as they stay within their social group, they don't notice that other world views conflict, and when they do notice they concluded that the others are either mistaken, dissembling or crazy.

In fact the later half of the 20th century was occupied with this study and lately it is being informed by cognitive science.We know enough now to realize that the old accustomed ideas were wrong and why, but we are still far from having a complete picture.

See, for example, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Philosophy in the Flesh: the Embodied Mind & its Challenge to Western Thought, as well as their Where Mathematics Come From: How The Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics Into Being.
by

MRW said...

Andrew,

Sure but I don't think it'll do anything but enable me to criticize the system more knowledgeably since my arguments aren't based on technical details but on simple accounting and equal protection under the law.

You haven’t read it. You’re wrong.

MRW said...

Andrew, it’s one of those books you have to read slowly. It’s only 87 pages, but sometimes one sentence represents a lifetime of Newman’s knowledge (about accounting).

Andrew Anderson said...

I ordered the book from Amazon and started reading the introduction online.

So far, no surprises.

Btw, I appreciate feedback as to where I might be wrong. Otoh, simply telling me I'm wrong encourages me to continue since it reveals I've hit a nerve.

If you want me gone then refute me. Yves Smith couldn't so she banned me but I doubt you have that power here.

Andrew Anderson said...

it’s one of those books you have to read slowly. MRW

I will. I really appreciate concise precision.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Tom Hickey said...

If you want me gone then refute me. Yves Smith couldn't so she banned me but I doubt you have that power here.

Andrew, it's not a matter of being wrong. As I said, the issue is political.

What you are advocating is permanent "helicopter money." Your innovation is accounts for all at the central bank. It's a way to structure the system.

The Positive Money folks are advocating something similar, although not the same. They may be open to your argument as why why your approach is superior to theirs.

One matter that needs explaining is how the central bank accounts for the credits it creates. If these are booked as liabilities, as now, then unless assets increase proportionately, the cb will be reducing equity. There is no operational problem with a cb running negative equity but it is unusual and it may not be permitted institutionally in some cases.

The cb could book the balances it credits to deposit accounts there by considering them cb bank assets, the creation of which would increase cb equality unless offset by corresponding liabilities. Not standard but doable.

Since this doesn't fall under the present purview of central banks, a bill would need to be passed authorizing whatever changes to the system are introduced.

So the process is to write up the outline of such a bill and then lobby for it politically.

The major problems are:

1. Many people oppose extending the purview of the cb and would rather see it shrink. If you think it shrinks cb purview than argue for it.

2. It's non-standard, so there would have to be a very good argument that this is a significant innovation to present policy and operations.

Tom Hickey said...

cb equality should be cb equity.

Bob said...

Tom, there is no world view about money. It has its functions, which can vary according to local custom. I wouldn't expect you to appreciate "Canadian Tire Money" until you had some knowledge of it, or possessed it. Learning to play Monopoly wouldn't be that more difficult than learning chess. It would be interesting to see if game strategies developed differently according to culture. But I would expect that the rule set of most games would preclude that.

Andrew Anderson said...

... As I said, the issue is political. Tom Hickey

Yves didn't raise that argument. She was reduced to ridiculous arguments about practicality and a ridiculous argument from tradition (that the central bank was always and ever a bank for banks, not the general population).


One matter that needs explaining is how the central bank accounts for the credits it creates. If these are booked as liabilities, as now, then unless assets increase proportionately, the cb will be reducing equity. There is no operational problem with a cb running negative equity but it is unusual and it may not be permitted institutionally in some cases. Tom Hickey

Using the US as an example, the US Treasury would mint "trillion dollar coins" and deposit them at the Federal Reserve as assets. Or make them quadrillion (or larger) dollar coins to make them forever unusable in the private sector and to make the point that a monetary sovereign can never run out of its own fiat

The cb could book the balances it credits to deposit accounts there by considering them cb bank assets, the creation of which would increase cb equality unless offset by corresponding liabilities. Not standard but doable. Tom Hickey

No need to go there since Congress has the right to coin money and regulate the value thereof. But it's a cute idea since if someone wished to redeem their FRNs (liabilities of the Fed) for Fed assets, they would just be given identical FRNs (as assets of the Fed).

Since this doesn't fall under the present purview of central banks, a bill would need to be passed authorizing whatever changes to the system are introduced.

So the process is to write up the outline of such a bill and then lobby for it politically.

The major problems are:

1. Many people oppose extending the purview of the cb and would rather see it shrink. If you think it shrinks cb purview than argue for it.
Tom Hickey

It would reduce the Fed to a bookkeeper so of course it is shrinkage. Also it would reduce the banks to being much more loan intermediaries and much less purchasing power creators.

2. It's non-standard, so there would have to be a very good argument that this is a significant innovation to present policy and operations. Tom Hickey

The proper abolition of deposit insurance would require multiple billions if not trillions of new fiat to be equally distributed to all adult citizens for the xfer of at least some currently insured deposits to inherently risk-free accounts at the central bank and would reduce a great deal of unjust private debt and wealth inequality. Is that not an extremely good argument both morally and politically?

Bob said...

This is the naïve view. People who study language have discovered that language use is socially embedded and impossible to disentangle or even to fully comprehend owing to being able to be sure to have included all factors.

I'm L1 bilingual, does that mean I have two world views?
Quebec is culturally different from the rest of Canada, so it stands to reason that the dialect of French spoken there would reflect that society in some way. I fail to see the significance.

If I were to translate from French to English word by word, the result would sometimes be imprecise or misleading. As a native speaker you know this and compensate by giving the equivalent translation, not the literal one.

Language, being a subset of communication, is imprecise. Deal with it!

Tom Hickey said...

Tom, there is no world view about money. It has its functions, which can vary according to local custom. I wouldn't expect you to appreciate "Canadian Tire Money" until you had some knowledge of it, or possessed it. Learning to play Monopoly wouldn't be that more difficult than learning chess. It would be interesting to see if game strategies developed differently according to culture. But I would expect that the rule set of most games would preclude that.

Yes, but then it would not be money, only a very limited game in which some token are called "money."

For example,one of the problems with money is that some take one game with a particular set of rules in which some tokens are called "money" and define "money" in general in terms of that context.

It would be much too narrow and miss many important contexts in which "money" is used.

The is the problem with using a term of high level of abstraction without knowing the various contexts in which the terms used with different meanings determined by the context.

Meaning is determined the use of signs as symbols iaw rules relative to a particular context.

There doesn’t appear to be any general rule that applies to all uses of the term "money," or even a dominant rule.

Tom Hickey said...

Andrew, I am suggesting issues that you will meet when you go political with your plan. Yves was too.

I suspect that she banned you as troll. After one has stated one's position and then just repeats it, that's trolling.

She has a lot of comments to manage and she got tired of you.

Tom Hickey said...

I'm L1 bilingual, does that mean I have two world views?
Quebec is culturally different from the rest of Canada, so it stands to reason that the dialect of French spoken there would reflect that society in some way. I fail to see the significance.

If I were to translate from French to English word by word, the result would sometimes be imprecise or misleading. As a native speaker you know this and compensate by giving the equivalent translation, not the literal one.


I would assume you have experienced that people who speak only English look at the world somewhat differently from those who speak only French, unless the cultures are identical. But speaking only one of the languages of one's country would indicate that one is not very familiar with the culture of the other section. This is revealed in derogatory terms, for example.

BTW, being bilingual, especially from an early age, results in greater mental capacity owing to more brain flexibility.

Language shapes us in ways that we are now just discovering.

BTW, there are even differences in world view in the same language in the same locale across different classes. I know people that are aware of this and change their speech depending on context so that they fit in.

Andrew Anderson said...

Yves was too. Tom Hickey

No she wasn't. She called the idea "balmy" and banned me. Equal protection under the law is balmy???

Anyway, the idea is good and I don't claim to have come up with it since it's so embarrassing obvious it pains me to even have to explain it. But good seed isn't enough. Unsurprisingly to me, most of my generation may have to die off before it can take root.

Tom Hickey said...

Andrew, I doubt she was focused on only on "equal protection." Your proposal for central banking is way non-standard. I don't give it much of hence either, at least in the US where I am familiar with the context. Large institutional changes are unusual.

Andrew Anderson said...

I doubt she was focused on only on "equal protection." Tom Hickey

And that's the point: Tradition and bogus* practicality concerns trumped equal protection under the law.

Large institutional changes are unusual. Tom Hickey

It would actually be a vast simplification, though getting from here to there would require great care.

Anyway, I've carried the ball about as far as I care to especially since I'm accused of trolling. You can expect nothing from me except my usual, if even that much. Someone else will have go political, if they care to.


*As if mere accounting and transactions in fiat would require much in new infrastructure and personnel to accommodate the entire population.

Tom Hickey said...

The other matter is "equal protection." I am not a lawyer so I can't comment very knowledgeably about that. But "equal protection" in any specific situation is matter for courts to decide as I understand it. One can claim "equal protection," but the court has to agree that the situation fits the law. But first one must have legal standing.

Andrew Anderson said...

Anyone forced to lend a direct deposit from the US Treasury to a depository institution, "aka bank", including almost all* Social Security recipients should have standing before a court.

It's certainly NOT equal protection under the law that the poor, the least so-called creditworthy, are forced to lend to the banks to lower the borrowing costs of the rich, the most so-called creditworthy.

This country is of, by and for the banks. Indeed, they will be the only citizens if physical fiat is abolished since then only the banks will be able to deal with the remaining form of fiat, account balances at the central bank.

*Those born before 1921 may still get paper checks, iirc, but where can they cash them without a substantial fee? And why should they be required to carry cash and be in danger of robbery? Why can't they have a fiat account like the banks do?

Bob said...

Yes, but then it would not be money, only a very limited game in which some token are called "money."

For example,one of the problems with money is that some take one game with a particular set of rules in which some tokens are called "money" and define "money" in general in terms of that context.

It would be much too narrow and miss many important contexts in which "money" is used.


The game of Monopoly has been translated into many languages and is played in different cultures. It's variants might be limited, or they could be 'localized' according to culture. Game makers usually want their games to appeal to their customers as much as possible.

Games and board games tend to be dismissed as trivial. When I was younger I was obsessed with board games and would spend hours reading articles about different games from around the world. I even tried to invent my own games, or rather, my own variants.

The study of games has had implications for psychology and artificial intelligence. It's been a neglected field of inquiry.

Bob said...

I would assume you have experienced that people who speak only English look at the world somewhat differently from those who speak only French, unless the cultures are identical. But speaking only one of the languages of one's country would indicate that one is not very familiar with the culture of the other section. This is revealed in derogatory terms, for example.

I'm aware of the differences as well as the similarities. Having lived in two cultures I possess a set of experiences that allow me to make some comparisons.
For cultures I have no experience with, I would assume that they are different.

Language shapes us in ways that we are now just discovering.

So does culture. In some cases, a language is synonymous with a given culture.

BTW, there are even differences in world view in the same language in the same locale across different classes. I know people that are aware of this and change their speech depending on context so that they fit in.

Yes, if I were a union boss and were giving a speech to my blue collar members I'd use a different vocabulary and rhetoric than when I was in the negotiating room with an employer. Different strokes for different folks.

Bob said...

OT, but I can't resist:
http://www.kingpinchess.net/2015/07/arimaa-game-over/

Tom Hickey said...

Monopoly was invented by Georgist as a teaching tool about how RE works wrt to banks and land value.

Tom Hickey said...

In some cases, a language is synonymous with a given culture.

Language is embedded a culture as its context that gives it meaning. The culture is a product of language that manifests the worldview.

BTW, such differences can be utilized as secret handshakes to identify and separate groups. Shibboleths are an example.

It's difficult to impossible to disentangle language from its embedding both in the environment and brain functioning because we cannot stand outside of our language and observe it as a whole.

Wittgenstein compared this to being a fly stuck in a bottle. He held that most of our "philosophical" problems result from bumping into the glass trying to get out. The glass bottle represents the limits of our language.

His approach was to show the fly the way out of the bottle through a logical analysis that elucidates the limits of ordinary language.

This is much more difficult than analyzing formal languages where the rules are explicit and identified. In ordinary language the rules are implicit, not identified and entangled. He compared ordinary language to many overlapping games defined by different rules. Confusion results when one takes the rules of one game as operative in a different game, not realizing the difference in games.

The natural science don't mix up formal and ordinary language much in order to achieve clarity and rigor. This is not the case with economics and social science, and a lot of nonsense results from confusion and conflation.

Bob said...

Language is embedded a culture as its context that gives it meaning. The culture is a product of language that manifests the worldview.

You seem to be asserting a causality here. If you can't separate the two, then claiming that language produces culture (or vice versa) won't bring you additional insight.

And we have examples of different cultures within the same language.

Are you claiming that a Canadian English accent manifests as a worldview, while an American accent manifests another? Word and phrase usage between Canadians and Americans is similar, although there are clues revealed with some sayings.

In observing American culture I can see that is different to ours, but very little of that would I attribute to the use of American English. And AE/CE isn't a language, it's just a dialect that has developed over our geographic region.

Bob said...

It's difficult to impossible to disentangle language from its embedding both in the environment and brain functioning because we cannot stand outside of our language and observe it as a whole.

When I think and speak in French, have I stepped outside English embedding?

Bob said...

This is my English:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_English

That some of my teachers were from the Maritimes and other parts of Canada may have affected it, I don't know. I do use the term "soft drink" instead of "pop".

Tom Hickey said...

You seem to be asserting a causality here. If you can't separate the two, then claiming that language produces culture (or vice versa) won't bring you additional insight.

There is some law that causality can't run both ways.

When reflexivity is involved, this is common. Consciousness is reflexive. Conscious beings both react to environment and shape environment through feedback and learning.

Language is a social construct developed by language users interacting with each other and environments where conditions are stable enough to provide continuity and changing enough to require adaptation. Consciousness, language and culture are emergent in complex adaptive systems in which humans operate but don't yet completely understand. It's complex.

Bob said...

We just say they reinforce each other. Why do people smile and display facial expressions while on the phone? The receiver doesn't receive the visual cues. Perhaps a smile is inseparable from the associated tone of voice as well as the emotion. Can't say one drives another, but could say they are mutually reinforcing.

We just don't know. Yet.

Ignacio said...

Language does not shape necessarily thinking, most psychological studies are ambiguos at least or lends towards the null hypothesis in this regard.

Tom Hickey said...

Linguistic relativity

Tom Hickey said...

BTW, I know a person who is fluent in English and Chinese (she is Chinese). She is a translator. I once asked her about translating Western philosophy into Chinese. She said it is almost impossible to bridge the gap because Chinese people don't think that way. It is the same going from Chinese philosophy into English.

Take the Tao Te Ching. There are probably hundreds of translations into English, some very different in meaning. I once asked some Chinese (from China) students about the correctness of translation using an English translation with side by side Chinese . They said that they could not understand the ancient characters and I would have to ask a professor of ancient Chinese. It's well known that languages shift over time.

Similarly with the Bhagavad Gita. There are many commentaries and they differ widely in interpretation.

This is a difficulty in translating ancient texts, like scriptures since the context through which meaning is determined is quite different. We cannot be sure now how the people of the time would have understood fundamental concepts since we have to reconstruct the context. The people doing exegesis have to be expert not only in ancient languages but also the relevant history. And the experts frequently disagree.

Tom Hickey said...

A good example of the difference in terms for money

The English term "money," as Matt has pointed out, is derived from Latin moneta.

"coinage, metal currency," from Old French monoie "money, coin, currency; change" (Modern French monnaie), from Latin moneta "place for coining money, mint; coined money, money, coinage," from Moneta, a title or surname of the Roman goddess Juno, in or near whose temple money was coined; perhaps from monere "advise, warn" (see monitor (n.)), with the sense of "admonishing goddess," which is sensible, but the etymology is difficult. Extended early 19c. to include paper money.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=money

Most English speakers no longer connect "money" with this.

However, the situation is different in French. The French term for English "money" is argent, from Latin argentum meaning silver. Argent also means silver in French. There is still a direct connection of the concept of money with precious metal, whereas this is no longer obviously present in English.

Tom Hickey said...

When I think and speak in French, have I stepped outside English embedding?

I don't know for sure. I would say that your POV is more flexible owing to your language ability. You can probably integrate different POVs without realizing it consciously.

Here is something that may be relevant. I was listening to a conversation among several Latino teenager who mixed Spanish and English as a matter of course. I asked them why they did that. They said that some things are better expressed in one language than the other. It is just obvious to them.

Tom Hickey said...

We just say they reinforce each other. Why do people smile and display facial expressions while on the phone? The receiver doesn't receive the visual cues. Perhaps a smile is inseparable from the associated tone of voice as well as the emotion. Can't say one drives another, but could say they are mutually reinforcing.

That's the reason for emoticons.

Ignacio said...

Tom I'm aware of the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, I studied psychology and neurosceince, there are other studies that point towards null hypothesis.

As I said: language does not necessarily shape thinking, key word being necessarily.

Bob said...

Most English speakers no longer connect "money" with this.

However, the situation is different in French. The French term for English "money" is argent, from Latin argentum meaning silver. Argent also means silver in French. There is still a direct connection of the concept of money with precious metal, whereas this is no longer obviously present in English.


Both English and French speakers connect money to what it is today. If the etymology of a word is unclear, the historical record can be relied upon. Most English people are aware that money once took the form of precious metals.

We also say "piasse" in Quebec, whose etymology I didn't know until I looked it up. I don't know if the origin of that mispronunciation is explained to students in the French school system.

Bob said...

Here is something that may be relevant. I was listening to a conversation among several Latino teenager who mixed Spanish and English as a matter of course. I asked them why they did that. They said that some things are better expressed in one language than the other. It is just obvious to them.

If they are referring to swear words or cussing, that would be true. "Chalice of the tabernacle" doesn't have quite the impact that it does in French.

Or this:
https://offqc.com/2014/05/04/this-is-what-the-quebecois-french-word-quetaine-looks-like-782/

Bob said...

It is not common to hear English and French mixed speech in Quebec. Both people have to know each other and be aware that they are bilingual. I've felt encouraged to speak French when I meet someone who obviously shares similar roots to mine, who wouldn't guess that I'm originally from Quebec because I'm a "tête carré".

Bob said...

BTW, I know a person who is fluent in English and Chinese (she is Chinese). She is a translator. I once asked her about translating Western philosophy into Chinese. She said it is almost impossible to bridge the gap because Chinese people don't think that way. It is the same going from Chinese philosophy into English.

The cultural divide must be greater than between English and French. It is known that some cultures do not have words for objects they never encounter and for concepts that are outside their own experience. The Inuit have expanded their lexicon since their contact with Europeans.

There is something about Texas that resonates with people from Quebec, if the popularity of the Hank Hill Show is any indication.

Bob said...

That's the reason for emoticons.

Yes, and that might have saved Cullen Roache from having to explain his "unfunny" twitter.

Bob said...

If I was with an American and we saw something tacky, we'd use English terms. If I was in America, but with someone from Quebec, we'd use the word that would be used in our culture, which is quétaine.

Does that help you understand the mixed conversation you observed. It has helped me, having analyzed it.

Tom Hickey said...

I was in Paris in the early Sixties and went to the cinema with some friends I met there. (My French was decent at the time.) We went to see a main feature which I cannot no longer recall. But there was a bonus like cartoons used to be in the US. It was an American TV Western like Bonanza but I can't recall the exact one. Not important for the story.

The Western had French subtitles. Everyone in the theater was splitting a gut laughing even through it was not comedy. After the show I asked my friends what was up. They were surprised at the question. They thought it meant as a comedy and had a hard time believing me that it was not. they thought I was putting them on.

Tom Hickey said...

The effect of language is important in both economics and politics (and therefore in political economy). We should pursue this more, although I haven't got time right now.

Suffice it to say that there has been a lot of study wrt to language, it origins, and it's effects. These studies are from the POV of logic, semiotics, linguistics, history of language, etymology, psychology, evolutionary theory, information theory, physiology, neurology cognitive studies, etc.

@ Ignacio

Language does not shape necessarily thinking, most psychological studies are ambiguos at least or lends towards the null hypothesis in this regard.

My background is in logic of language although I have passing acquaintance with other relevant fields.

Now we know that the traditional ideas of language as a given (Adam an Eve and the talking snake, town of Babel) and free-floating (non-embedded) are wrong. But a lot of thinking remains based in the traditional views.

There doesn't seem to be much reflection in economics on this although owing to the work of people like George Lakoff, politics is more up to date — although most people are not up to date on it.

Meanwhile those into PR, advertising and marketing, and propaganda are quite up to date on it and use this knowledge sophistically for persuasion.

Bob said...

Tom, you're saying you watched a cartoon that was a Western, but not a comedy?

I have never heard of such a thing. The animated version of Watership Downe is an example of a dramatic cartoon.

Incongruity between the subtitles and original audio should have given you some clue as to what was going on. Or did the fact that it was a cartoon override the audience's perception?

Tom Hickey said...

It was a standard US TV style Western like Bonanza. The audience perceived it as so corny as to be camp. They actually thought it was done on purpose.

Tom Hickey said...

Another way of putting it is that they saw it as cartoonish.

Bob said...

So it would have been 30 to 55 minutes long, and not a series of outtakes.
I don't believe that such a reaction would occur today in Quebec. Translated versions of Bonanza are available, among other westerns and sci-fi series that are well-known in English. No issue at all distinguishing comedy from drama. One of the favourite genres of movies shown at the local town hall during my childhood were Westerns. My cousins and I used to play cowboy and Indians. That period of American culture was considered "cool" by my peers, and by adults too as far as I know.
The only complaint I've heard in relation to translations is that they were done in France. That means the accent was not Quebecois.

The translation of King of the Hill into Henri Pis Sa Gang was done in a Quebecois accent. You can google it to find some clips on Youtube if you are interested.

Perhaps back in the 1960s in France, such a genre of entertainment was a novelty. It astounds me that the audience would have ignored facial expressions and intonation typical of any drama themed story.

Was the American Wild West derided in French culture at that time?

You should know that French Canadians tend to view the French from France as snobs and buffoons. Making fun of the French Accent from France is a guaranteed way to get laughs. My mother was amazing at it, and just the memories of it make me chuckle.

Tom Hickey said...

So it would have been 30 to 55 minutes long, and not a series of outtakes.

Yes, it was a half-hour show which would have been about 25 minutes deleting the commercials.

Perhaps back in the 1960s in France, such a genre of entertainment was a novelty. It astounds me that the audience would have ignored facial expressions and intonation typical of any drama themed story.

No they thought the acting was broad and stylized as it is comedy. It was just bad acting.

Btw, this was shown in an art house and the audience was comprised mostly of aficionados and cinema buffs.

Was the American Wild West derided in French culture at that time?

No, it was actually quite popular which likely why the piece was selected as a short.

jrbarch said...

Pour moi ~ for me, mind is a lens through which the self views the world, and whatever is in it, colours the view.
Language is universal - the power of the self to express its awareness, the spoken word carrying the most power. Crows caw; nightingales sing.
Music is one idiom of language, mathematics another, speech another. Tibetan monks, it has been said, used to know how to chant mantras to prevent clouds with hail stones passing over their valley, ruin their crops.
People use speech to talk about the same things, all over the world. Just like they use their ‘money’.
Peace is the language of the human heart that clarifies mind; the heart a safe-haven, and home, of self.

Bob said...

No they thought the acting was broad and stylized as it is comedy. It was just bad acting.

Btw, this was shown in an art house and the audience was comprised mostly of aficionados and cinema buffs.

Btw, this was shown in an art house and the audience was comprised mostly of aficionados and cinema buffs.


This boils down to it being perceived as a B-movie or B-grade western. You thought it was a serious drama - your perception is just as valid as theirs.

Bob said...

jrbarch,

Don't forget poetry, prose and all of the genres encompassed by writing. The written word is not necessarily the spoken word's poor cousin.

Bob said...

If PCR were to see this thread, what might he think?

Bob said...

A western of similar caliber as Bonanza seen as B-grade schlock. Still astounding.

Bob said...

Part of the appeal of a TV series is that we become familiar with the characters. Does that mean we subconsciously 'forgive' bad acting in favor of following the story and its characters?