Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Bill Mitchell — How to create a divided society

I am travelling a lot today and using my spare time to catch up on things. I have two major end-of-February deadlines impending for publishers – my book with Thomas Fazi, which will be published by Pluto Press and launched in London in late September (more details soon); and our new Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) textbook (with Randy Wray and Martin Watts) which will be published by Macmillan later in 2017. Both manuscripts have to be delivered by the end of this month. So busy busy. Today’s blog is thus a little different and considerably shorter than usual. It loses nothing in its brevity. The main text is from a friend of mine (who wishes for professional reasons to remain anonymous) but succinctly captures the anger and angst that many progressive thinkers are feeling about how things are turning out. The culmination of several decades of neo-liberalism has been an eroding of material well-being for workers, a massive financial then economic crisis, which the world is still enduring, and, then Donald Trump as President of the United States. And the progressive political voices have been largely complicit in all of this. Sure enough, they sprout about child care, gay rights, inequality, and all the rest of it, but at the core, they have embraced the neo-liberal economic lies and gone along with or even initiated and overseen fiscal austerity, privatisation, welfare cuts, deregulation – it is just, we are told, they do all that in a more moderate and fairer manner. They don’t stop for a second to think that they also have become captive to capital. Something big has to happen to stop all this. History tells us that it will. And the longer the progressive political voices remain complicit, the probability that that ‘something’ will be violent, increases.…
I agree with Bill's last sentence. Anyone with minimal familiarity with history can read the tea leaves. The screws are coming loose before the wheels fall off.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
How to create a divided society
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

50 comments:

GLH said...

We are truly living in 1984.

Greg said...

While I want to believe that the "arc of the universe bends toward justice" I dont like how things seem to be lining up right now.

On one side you have people who believe in equality and justice for all and are willing to die for it and on the other side you have those who want little to change and are willing to kill for it.

One side says we will die fighting for our values and the other says "okay, we'll oblige and be the ones to kill you"

Andrew Anderson said...

And the progressive political voices have been largely complicit in all of this. Bill Mitchell.

It was Progressives who gave us government insurance of private liabilities even privately created liabilities ("loans create deposits") - an obvious source of unjust inequality since the rich are the most so-called worthy of what is then the PUBLIC'S CREDIT but for private gain.

But being a Progressive apparently means never admitting they've been wrong since their solution is ALWAYS more power in Progressive hands - not repentance when their errors become evident.

Matthew Franko said...

I dont think people are dressing up like 5' tall human vaginas because they are unemployed....

Matthew Franko said...

Bill is applying different generational criteria to the current situation...

Bill is still in the Boomer mode, the people with the problems today are Millennials...

RATM are GenX/GenY....

"New Deal!" policies mean nothing to the Millennials they take those policies for granted...

Tom Hickey said...

I dont think people are dressing up like 5' tall human vaginas because they are unemployed....

Well, a peripheral reason is that women tend to be underemployed or underpaid in comparison with men and that appears to them to be the result of discrimination in the workplace.

The proximate reason is overt sexism, that is intersectional with racism, and other forms of discrimination.

A lot of people are reacting dialectically to what they view as the alt right's in-your-face display of white privilege and white power that is epitomized by the "pussy-grabber" in chief.

They are really, really pissed.

Ryan Harris said...

The vocal outrage turns to silent determination.

Matt Franko said...

"Sure enough, they sprout about child care, gay rights, inequality, and all the rest of it, but at the core, they have embraced the neo-liberal economic"

He may have it backwards... they look at the economic issues as secondary (we are manifestly in massive surplus of everything and they know this....) and the "core" issues are the female, LGBTQ, and "the rest of it"...

Kristjan said...

Yes Tom, the snowflakes are really pissed that their opponents will be silenced no more. Talking about the right being anti science about climate, the left does the same thing when It comes to sex and gender. Here is a good takedown of the pseodoscience that is pushed in Western universities. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiJVJ5QRRUE
Anything against this paradigm is labeled hate. Men's Right Activists are labeled hate group. I have no doubt that men have issues too like high suicide rate etc, they are being shut up on College Campuses.

No doubt the postmodernist brainwashed snowflakes believe in the righteousness of their cause. Meanwhile the rest of us cannot say pregnant women without someone being offended, we have to say pregnant people etc. Alt-right is reaction to this. There is lot more to the gender pay gap than just sexism Tom.

Matt Franko said...

Here this is the one guy who gave a beat down at the Berkeley thing with Milo, FBI has it now:

http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/06/uc-berkeley-rioter-identified-as-university-staff-member/


He has a good job with the University and does external consulting so no "neo-liberal conspiracy!" sorry....

Tom Hickey said...

I am not talking about morality, fairness, etc. Nor am I promoting any particular cause here.

The point is that divisiveness is rising to the point that it is threatening the social fabric and political stability.

The next step is that the wheels start coming off domestically or the country goes to war internationally.

The signs are pretty indicative that his direction lead over a cliff.

Tom Hickey said...

The Daily Caller is hardly an unbiased source of information.

From what I have read elsewhere the guy involved doesn't appear to be one of the black bloc.

There are always minor altercations at protests but the issue here is the organized action of an identifiable cohort dressed after the manner of black bloc.

My sense is that they are actually black bloc rather than agents provocateurs masquerading as black bloc. The FBI may be able to resolve this.

But now the creditability of the intelligence services is being questioned, as is the media.

There are no publicly agreed upon criteria of truth in the country at this point and that is a huge danger signal. This is the basis for "alternative facts."

Where there are "alternative facts" and now agreed upon criteria there is is no basis for rational argument and informed debate. All that is left is violence.

Matt Franko said...

Well if you dont trust Daily Caller then it was also reported on Breitbart, alt-right.com, Alex Jones, twitchy, rebel media, etc .... ;)

So is Bill trying to posit that Title 7 and Title 9 and Student and HB-1 Visa programs are a result of bad monetary understanding?

c'mon... no way....

Ignacio said...

Matt yes millenials are fine with crappy jobs, low income, employment insecurity, unemployment, increasing renting prices, staying at home with parents past their 30s etc.

Yeah no one cares about the economy.

Signed: not a millenial

/sarc

Matt Franko said...

Tom,

Here at 9:00 minutes in, the alt-right break down the list of those arrested in the DC thing by just looking at the names that the police published:

https://altright.com/2017/02/06/counter-signal-2-the-bannoning/

They are trying to break it down via identity.... not much on economic policies...

We've created a whole generation of identity people... they could care less about economics....

Tom Hickey said...

Well if you dont trust Daily Caller then it was also reported on Breitbart, alt-right.com, Alex Jones, twitchy, rebel media, etc .... ;)

You are making my point.

There is a recent poll showing that American trust in the media is at a low. This is somewhat misleading however. Different cohorts trust different media venues so it is not really a general distrust of all media.

For example, the Fox news cohort trusts Fox and distrusts CNN and MSNBC, and vice versa.

The Trumpistas trust the source cited above and distrust others.

This is not exactly new. Now the divisions are getting more stark.

Previously, when I would something out I would notice that war often reported on only the red sites or the blue sites and the would be recycling the same partisan source.

Matt Franko said...

Ignacio yes they at some level care about those things but it is not primary...

Tom Hickey said...

Good persuasion is based on identity. This is why identity politics rules.

Scott Adams:

I need to add one level to the BOTTOM of the persuasion stack. That level involves arguing about the definition of a word.

Persuasion Stack

Identity (best)

Analogy (okay, not great)

Reason (useless)

Definition (capitulation)

You’ll see a lot of debate on whether Trump is a true conservative or not. That is argument by definition. It is the linguistic equivalent of throwing your gun at a monster because the magazine* is empty.

Tom Hickey said...

Ignacio yes they at some level care about those things but it is not primary...

I'm not sure that is the case.

Bill Clinton: "It's the economy, stupid."

The premier political question is, "Are you better off now than five years ago?"

"Voters vote their pocketbooks."

It's not the economics is not of great importance. It's that one's economic understanding and policy preferences are largely determined by identity, e.g., Libertarians overwhelmingly favor Austrian economics.

Matt Franko said...

Tom those are boomer memes....

Matt Franko said...

These kids are 4 generations removed from the Great Depression inclusive... 4 .... their "new deal" they want is based on identity...

Noah Way said...

The inverse correlation: Trump didn't win because of his identity, he won because he's wasn't HRC. Still identity politics.

Reason would be powerful if the media wasn't bought and paid for. Without investgative journalism and critical analysis there is no basis for reason or rational discussion of any issues. If that existed the 'persuasion stack' would be inverted.

Matt Franko said...

They may want a new Title 11,12, 13, 14, 15 for each of the corresponding LGBTQ identities...

Let the economics take care of itself...

Spencer: "white people could have figured out another way to pick cotton....", etc... ie the details of the economics are not important...

We are probably wasting time with Millennials...

Tom Hickey said...

These kids are 4 generations removed from the Great Depression inclusive... 4 .... their "new deal" they want is based on identity...

Uh, for this younger cohort spanning a couple of generations we are in the Second Great Depression.

The boomers, not so much.

Great if your a younger person with boomer parents that will take you in. Not so much if you don't.

Andrew Anderson said...

... their "new deal" they want is based on identity... Franko

So sexual deviancy is an inherent part of their identity - and not symptomatic of an unjust society? Sounds like blame the victims to me - e.g. "Dem darkies wouldn't know what to do with freedom even if we freed them" - and a bit too convenient from a defender of that system.

You're well named, Franko.

Tom Hickey said...

Reason would be powerful if the media wasn't bought and paid for. Without investgative journalism and critical analysis there is no basis for reason or rational discussion of any issues. If that existed the 'persuasion stack' would be inverted.

One reason there isn't any real news based on investigative journalism anymore is that it's market value is much less than the cost to produce.

Rupert Murdoch showed that in spades and changed the media into a tabloid format that was profitable. The others eventually followed suit or went under.

Ignacio said...

Matt is a «social justice» cohort, this includes economic and noneconomic issues.

See primary Spencer complain there was that companies were not hiring enough white young people. That is at core an economic issue.

Not caring about details is not the same as not caring.

Ignacio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Hickey said...

We are probably wasting time with Millennials...

Millennials are the next Boomer generation in terms of population size, hence impact socially, politically, and economically.

Pew: Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation/

As the Boomers bow out, the Millennials will be taking over.

The Millennials are the first generation to grow up in the digital age, although they span the ending the analog age and the onset of the digital age.

Matt Franko said...

Its that it represents a disrespect of white people... there may not be enough qualified white people to actually fill the jobs ... but Spencer complains that the published POLICY is to discriminate against white people... "there is like 17% wasp males at Ivy League and 20% Jews, blah, blah", etc...

They dont like the specific identity policies, not that they want to get rid of those identity policies completely....

Matt Franko said...

"So sexual deviancy is an inherent part of their identity"

Yes it is what is wrong with that? That is how they look at themselves... if they are within the CIVIL law then let them alone who cares?

Reading your OT again AA??????

Matt Franko said...

Here AA is Mike Pence on Conversion Therapy maybe this would be interesting:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/us/politics/mike-pence-and-conversion-therapy-a-history.html

Good luck!!!!

Ignacio said...

Gotta stone to death those deviants! Gosh...

Tom Hickey said...

Identity politics, also called identitarian politics, refers to political positions based on the interests andperspectives of social groups with which people identify. Identity politics includes the ways in which people's politics may be shaped by aspects of their identity through loosely correlated social organizations. Examples include social organizations based on age, social class, culture, dialect, disability, education, ethnicity, language, nationality, gender identity, generation, occupation, profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, settlement, urban and rural habitation, and veteran status.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_politics

emphasis added

Andrew Anderson said...

if they are within the CIVIL law then let them alone who cares? Franko

Not me. I care about economic injustice - a very probable cause of all sorts of unhealthy behavior. Rats, for example, iirc, resort to homosexual behavior when overcrowded.

Speaking of the OT, what sins isn't the US guilty of? From the murder of innocents to systematic oppression of the poor?




Ignacio said...

Matt, see above for an example of why people reacts against this sort of behaviour.

Specially if you antagonise 50% of the population (the other sex).

Is not that you don`t care about economic issues.

Noah Way said...

One reason there isn't any real news based on investigative journalism anymore is that it's market value is much less than the cost to produce.

Further evidence that money is a bad value system.

Andrew Anderson said...

Ignacio,

I neither blame NOR PATRONIZE, like Franko, the victims of economic injustice.

Matt Franko said...

AA,

Homosexuality aint going away even if "everybody gets a bank account!" or the Fed sets rates at 0% or wtf... hate to break the news to you...

And the OT crowd is still going to be identifying and condemning those people which is going to create blow back...

Matt Franko said...

What are you saying that people are gay because they dont have a bank account that pays 0% at the Fed?????

Andrew Anderson said...

And the OT crowd ...

What crowd? Otherwise why, for example. the war on drugs contra Proverbs 31:6-9?

Ignacio said...

Oh you patronize them calling them unhealthy or deviant.

You are an idiot.

Andrew Anderson said...

Unhealthy is a fact - at least among male homosexuals.

Let it lay, please. I've got no axe to grind wrt the victims of social injustice but don't expect me to kiss politically correct butt either, - I won't.

Matt Franko said...

Street drugs are illegal under CIVIL law not because it says so in "Proverbs!" or wtf... they are unregulated and dangerous and criminally trafficked, etc...

WE say they are illegal under OUR laws...

AA, it was re-set to t=0 approx. 2017 years ago...

Youre as bad as these people who think we are still operating under the column 11 metals...

Ignacio said...

Nothing about political correctness: people who pity other people who do not need to be pitied are idiots generally speaking.

"Victims", as Matt would say: whaaaaaaat???????

Andrew Anderson said...

Youre as bad ...

Says a defender of a system whereby the poor are forced to lend to depository institutions to lower the borrowing costs of the rich, the most so-called "credit-worthy".

Matt Franko said...

They dont "lend!" they deposit... that is why they are called "Depository Institutions"...

If they are "poor" how can they lend in the first place they dont have any munnie....

Andrew Anderson said...

Apparently you don't know the difference between destitute and poor.

I expect my mind to get better and better as I read and heed Scripture. You should do the same, if you claim to be a Christian.

franco said...

Matt, most millennials were born in neoliberal fish tank. People before had opportunity to see tank being changed.

Not so much that they don't care, most of us just have neoliberal mindset internalised by culture they grew up in.

There is still yearning for change and general feeling that the system on the whole is rigged but priorities have become individualised. There is little solidarity on class issues because of the notion that if you work hard enough you'll make it (or so it is said).

Internet/information age helps to address the issue by providing alternative reading of history (particularly economic). For me understanding political economy since 20s (not in true depth, but more than a rote understanding) helped to break the spell, although I've always been a relatively atypical person in my interests so maybe it was inevitable.

The alternative seemed to better fit state of the world as I saw it.

Question to me is how to disseminate that information in a palatable, non-partisan way. I think Tom is right to point out Scott Adams list on persuasion. Views and opinions here need to be shared with a broader crowd in a way that doesn't challenge their identity, but encourages them to mold it to fit with the information.

Random said...

"Unhealthy is a fact - at least among male homosexuals."

What the hell does "unhealthy" mean then Andrew? Not literally (unfit!)