Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bill Mitchell — Front National – seems confused on its monetary proposals

Please do not interpret in what follows any hint of support for FN from this blog other than as a ‘cat among the pigeons’ force in European politics, anything that upsets the right-wing, neo-liberal, corporatist elites that run the show is to be welcome.…
FN’s policy proposals are outlined in its – 144 Engagements Présidentiels (144-point manifesto).
The opening statements talk about regaining France’s freedom and mastery over their own destiny (“Retrouver notre liberté et la maîtrise de notre destin en restituant au peuple français” and defines sovereignty in terms of “monétaire, législative, territoriale, économique”, which would suggest a return to its own currency.
Critics seem to characterise those who advocate a return to national currency sovereignty as ‘small vision’ as opposed to the European Union which is claimed to be ‘big’.  It is big on corporatism and anti-democratic bullying and certainly big on the unemployment it has created.
My view is that a return to national currency sovereignty, that is exiting the Eurozone and floating one’s currency is a grand vision for full employment and reduced inequality.
Of course, the neo-liberals can take control of a nation that is sovereign in its own currency (as in Australia or the UK at present) and use the capacity that currency independence brings to bad effect.
But a truly progressive government cannot really exist in the Eurozone or in a nation that pegs its currency or accepts legal dictates from an undemocratic bloc (such as the EU)....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Front National – seems confused on its monetary proposals
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

45 comments:

GLH said...

If Marine Le Pen loses in France maybe she will come here and run for office. She sounds better than anything we have.

Matt Franko said...

Sheeesh two "neo-liberal conspiracy!" blogs in as many days now from Bill....

André said...

Matt, Bill doesn't believe in a neo-liberal conspiracy. He believes in what he calls "groupthink", some sort of generalized and self enforcing ignorance.

Conspiracy theories go like this: "they know that what they are doing is bad and wrong, but because of their vested interests they plot to do it anyway".

The problem is the "they know it's bad and wrong" part. That's simply not true. And Bill doesn't seem to think in that "conspiracy theory mode" as a lot of MMTers do.

Matt Franko said...

Then how do you explain this:

"Neo-liberals hate the idea. They magnify a sense of fright among the population, by demonising what are otherwise sensible and viable explanations of economic matters.

They know that by elevating these ideas into the domain of fear and taboo, they increase the probability that political acceptance of the ideas will not be forthcoming.

That strategy advances their ideological agenda. They have vested interests in ensuring that the public does not understand the true options available to a government that issues its own currency manipulate that suspicion."

Just because we can't communicate our theory properly is no reason to go all Alex Jones....

Matt Franko said...

I realize this is all frustrating but we have to dig in and get tougher and resist resorting to just making excuses...

Kristjan said...

GLH wrote:

"If Marine Le Pen loses in France maybe she will come here and run for office. She sounds better than anything we have."

She does, if you present the positive talking points that Bill uses to describe her program to a leftist, then all she/he has to say is "her racist past". She is the most progressive political force in France today. FN has a very bad reputation I agree because they were xenophobic racists. You cannot say that about FN under Marine Le Pen.

Matt Franko said...

K,

Here in US currently there is that racial rift between the alt-right (to whom race matters) and the remaining right who don't look at race...

This is still playing out here currently... it's like "nationalists" vs "white nationalists"...

Alt-right is highly critical of those on right who do not include a discrimination on race... I blame Title 7...

Imo the Trump crew does not include the racial discrimination ...

Penguin pop said...

Just to be safe, I always attribute "running out of money" behavior as being due to a combination of stupidity, ignorance and sometimes just psychopathic behavior on the part of some politicians. Even well meaning people, even some left-wingers I talked to the other day, are still trapped in the running out of money vortex and use that kind of "tax and spend" logic to justify their positions.

I have not looked into Marine Le Pen much. All I've heard about her is whining from
Keith Olbermann about her being some far right loon or whatever. Keith Olbermann being a tinfoil crackpot makes me want to doubt his BS.

Penguin pop said...

Criminally incompetent seems to be the term I'm looking for. Like that Ayn Rand influenced idiot who destroyed Sears. I bet he was so cocky and thought he knew everything when he didn't and like Steve Bannon said the other day, people like that don't live in reality. They truly do have their own set of "alternative facts."

Noah Way said...

people like that don't live in reality. They truly do have their own set of "alternative facts."

Vast amounts of money create alternative realities (or should I alternative unrealities?).

Footsoldier said...

Neil Wilson makes a valid point in the comments section.

It raises a lot of interesting questions that need to be addressed. What you would have in this situation is a country that is ‘dollarised’ (in this case with the ‘foreign’ Euro) into which a state is trying to introduce its own currency.

MMT has been thinking through the same scenario in relation to Scotland (which is ‘dollarised’ with the British pound). Could local currencies be introduced at city level to give the city the ability to introduce a city wide Job Guarantee?What would it mean to float the Bristol Pound for example?

Local currencies could be introduced with ZIRP, tight, usually land based, taxation and asset lending restrictions on the banks and credit unions that deal with the currency. Margin trading restricted on the exchange (less capital controls and more sensible market management) so that we work out how free those can be to get the trade benefits without the capital flow pollution. And discover the root cause of volatility.

Could that be made to work? If it can then it provides the escape route for countries like Greece and France, it provides assistance to anywhere that is fighting against dollarisation (developing nations) and a way for regions of a country with different political views to drive their own path.

If they get it to work from the bottom up, and currency is the expression of legal power then nation’s borders will reshape to fit the political realities of the 21st century rather than the 19th.

Certainly it is a fascinating area that is ripe for research.

Neil Wilson said...

"Just because we can't communicate our theory properly is no reason to go all Alex Jones"

There's no Alex Jones about it. The economists advising the elite are pushing a religious belief and the elites lap it up because it fits with the way they see themselves. The rest follows from that Groupthink.

It's the same group delusion as any Religion. And just as difficult to shift.

Matthew Franko said...

I dont think that is what happend with Obama wrt 'the coin'....

I think Obama didnt understand it and just deferred to who he viewed as experts and they recommended he not do it... so he didnt...

The people he looked at as experts were not technically qualified to examine the process so they went with status quo...

so it wouldnt be correct to go all Alex Jones and say "Obama is a neo-liberal!" blah, blah.. which many on the left are doing... Obama is hardly a "neo-liberal!" .... he is an academic lawyer not qualified to examine any of these systems technically by himself and he didnt have anybody else there who was....

Penguin pop said...

I remember how Obama was also a community organizer and referred to this a while ago in another comment of mine. He seemed very clueless on these matters and combined with his centrism and not wanting to look like the angry black guy running the country, he was very underwhelming from this POV. He also relied on morons like Larry Summers to give him advice rather than having people like Romer be closer to his hear from what I see.

Matt Franko said...

Like many of us will say "it's just Accounting!" when you can get a bachelor of science in Accounting...

So not correct to use the adjective "just" against anything you can get a BS degree in... not many people out there who were never formally trained in Accounting science can even understand basic bookkeeping ...

We assume most out there can work in abstractions like we can and this is a big mistake...

GLH said...

I agree that it is like a religion but neoliberalism has a lot of money behind it along with the intelligence agencies and the media. What is going on in Europe didn't just spring up from a bunch of dummies that just tried to unite Europe. Bankers knew what they were doing and it is working according to plan. I started to say that after they finish asset stripping Europe they will bring the plan home but I don't think that they are going to wait that long.

Matthew Franko said...

And another thing with you fanboys of govt infrastructure:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/christie-associates-sentenced-jersey-bridge-scandal-100415547.html

"Bill Baroni, 45, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was found guilty in November of plotting to close down access lanes at the heavily used George Washington Bridge in 2013 in an act of political retribution."


Show me a PPP that was EVER operated, and I repeat, OPERATED, in a criminal fashion...

Go ahead list the PPPs below:

Neil Wilson said...

PPPs that went wrong

The Calderdale PPP near me has drained the local health trust of so much money that it has had to close one of the accident and emergency units

"For example, while the capital cost of rebuilding Calderdale Royal Hospital in Yorkshire is £64.6m, the scheme will end up costing Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust a total of £773.2m.”"

Penguin pop said...

"Like many of us will say "it's just Accounting!" when you can get a bachelor of science in Accounting..."

I was fortunate enough to take basic intro level accounting, but understand there are lots more people who have not at all and come from completely different backgrounds outside of IT, accounting, business, and other more technical fields where an understanding of these sorts of structures is necessary to succeed. So I'll have people agree with me on a topic like austerity, but then go around and say MMT is a way to steal your money because they're not truly understanding how all of this can be logical and make any sense.

Penguin pop said...

I had good luck explaining a lot of these concepts to a marketing/business school graduate the other day BTW. That's why I'm saying in general if you have some understanding of business, it may be easier to understand where a lot of this stuff comes from and why it works unless they were already in some kind of box standard economics program that didn't involve much of the accounting at all.

Six said...

Lucerne, Pa., and “Kids for Cash”

One local P3 that may qualify for “the ugly” example in this talk involved a “Kids for Cash” scandal between the operator of two private juvenile detention centers and two judges in Pennsylvania’s Lucerne County. Actually, it goes beyond mere ugly into downright evil. As such, it’s more an example of rank corruption than a good faith effort that went awry, but this too is relevant to any discussion of PPPs.

In 2002 one of those two judges arranged to shut down a state-run juvenile detention center and use county money to “lease” the function out to a private firm that would build and operate the facility. According to The New York Times, the deal was done in secret and the lease was worth some $1.3 million per year plus millions more for operational expenses.

The two judges were accused of pressuring the facility’s owners for kickbacks in return for funneling misbehaving juveniles into the operation with punitive sentences. Both judges were eventually sentenced to lengthy prison terms (28 and almost 18 years, respectively), while the detention center co-owner and builder were treated less harshly. A documentary on this subject was released in February of this year and is titled “Kids for Cash.”

Six said...

Matt's Bridgegate is an example of standard issue corruption and has nothing to do with whether PPPs are a positive or a negative.

Matt Franko said...

Six that is financial corruption...

For a prison operation, you'd have to find one where they let the people go free to save their meal costs or something ... or let somebody go to curry political favor... nice try...

Matt Franko said...

Like in the bridgegate they blocked off lanes of the bridge that were working fine...

Matt Franko said...

Six you don't think cops pull people over for speeding just to get the munnie?

Just install speed governor systems that prevent the car from exceeding safe speeds...

Matt Franko said...

I'm saying the PPP form has inherent incentives to optimize operations for efficiency and effectiveness.... vs for instance the manifestly corrupt NY Port Authority here with bridgegate...

Matt Franko said...

I.e. A ppp would never back the bridge up on purpose because they get more revenue munnie if more people cross the bridge...

Six said...

Yes Matt, but a PPP has incentive to lock people up if they are getting paid for the amount of people that they have locked in their prison. They could influence a parole hearing leading to a negative outcome (the person remains locked up).

Matt Franko said...

Financial fraud has to always be considered when you set up the incentives...

For instance with a roadway if you have a 20 mile road and it costs 50c /mi to operate an auto but the toll is over $10 then you are looking for trouble...

Matt Franko said...

The jail example is due to corrupt Judges not the ppp, cut the judges balls off and that should set an example for others....

Jeff65 said...

Matt, if the govt can't act in good faith running a bridge, why would it do so in negotiating a PPP contract?

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but both the public and private partners have common interests contrary to the public good. Often they switch sided through the revolving door.

It's as if your systems thinking ends when it comes to seeing these relationships. If you only see the numbers you're missing critical information.

And if we're cutting off balls, why only the judge? The kickbacks didn't walk themselves up to the bench.

jrbarch said...

I don’t think you have to look much further than the schoolyard.

Everyone understands who a ‘bully’ is, through either firsthand experience or through witnessing.

Bullies get a kick out of causing suffering, exercising power, expropriating and extorting. It’s not hard to understand.

Ignorance is when the bullies cloak their behaviour in some ideology or train of ‘logic’ and the rest of the schoolyard believe them (groupthink). The bullies may even believe it themselves. But everyone knows who the victims and bullies are – they know themselves. Bullies delight in ‘tricking’ people. Two or more bullies working together is a conspiracy.

Bullies always believe they are better than their victims; but whether you eat caviar or fish, it all comes out as excrement.

Both bullying and accepting bullying do not reach into the nobility in human nature.

Sharing, doing no harm, kindness, inner strength, are the simple human solutions. Bullying is an absence of these.

In each human being there is 50% bad and 50% good. It all depends on which side we feed.

What is needed is a presence .... to feel the peace, that is the living Light of human nature!

This solution has been around for as long as mankind, and longer. But we need to believe in ourselves first, and feel.

jrbarch said...

"Words are a bridge; feeling is the destination".

Bob said...

What do we understand of those who are bullied?
Why was I protected from being bullied?

Greg said...

"The jail example is due to corrupt Judges not the ppp, cut the judges balls off and that should set an example for others...."


Thats total BS Matt.

Privatizing prisons at ALL is a frikken ridiculous idea. Having "investors" who are looking for a return off other peoples misery guarantees that those profiting will look to induce more misery. The only thong that should matter in incarceration is efficacy not efficiency.

"For a prison operation, you'd have to find one where they let the people go free to save their meal costs or something ... or let somebody go to curry political favor... nice try."

Or where they stop feeding prisoners or providing them with health care.... to save "munnie" and keep their stock prices from falling. When the decision is made based on how it will affect the bottom monetary line instead of the bottom human line things have gone awry

Tom Hickey said...

There's no Alex Jones about it. The economists advising the elite are pushing a religious belief and the elites lap it up because it fits with the way they see themselves. The rest follows from that Groupthink.

This could be written off to ignorance except for the orchestrated opposition to oppositional ideas and alternative approaches that are based on reason and evidence.

Waving off and failing to engage is not only unprofessional by has ever appearance of being disingenuous.

If one is looking for a "conspiracy" use the tried and true principle of "Follow the money." Who is funding the "experts" that are promulgating this failed approach in spite of the evidence and faulty logic involved in the reasoning.

Tom Hickey said...

I explained the basics of MMT to a CPA friend some time ago. He just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Of course."

Tom Hickey said...

In some cities in Iowa, the city council has engaged private companies to install traffic cameras and pay a portion of the profits to the city to supplement taxes. Needless to say, it is controversial. The matter went to the state legislature and they sided with the cities.

Tom Hickey said...

I'm saying the PPP form has inherent incentives to optimize operations for efficiency and effectiveness.... vs for instance the manifestly corrupt NY Port Authority here with bridgegate...

Non-sequitur. That had nothing to do with operations. It was political payback, and not even corruption ("munnie").

It was later suggested that the lanes had been closed to intentionally cause the massive traffic problem for political reasons, and especially theorized that they were a retribution attack against Fort Lee's Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who did not support Christie as a candidate in the 2013 New Jersey gubernatorial election. The ensuing investigations centered on several of Christie's appointees and staff, including[8][9] David Wildstein, who ordered the lanes closed,[10] and Bill Baroni, who had told the New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee that the closures were for a traffic study.[11]

The United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman launched a massive federal investigation,[12] resulting in a sweeping nine-count indictment against Bridget Anne Kelly, the deputy chief of staff, Baroni and Wildstein.[13] Wildstein entered a guilty plea, and testified against Baroni and Kelly, who were found guilty on all counts in November 2016.[14] David Samson pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy in July 2016, for acts unrelated to the lane closures but unearthed by the federal Bridgegate investigation.[15]
Wikipedia

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, come clean, have your been reading Murray Rothbard? :)

Penguin pop said...

Tom, now I'm hearing that people are trying to call MMT "supply-side economics" and fascism. I said this on Twitter, but I think we're now in the fighting stage now that this stuff is becoming more mainstream as the old Gandhi quote goes and it's important to have rational rebuttals to the nonsense being thrown around, even by left-wingers who don't understand any of this and inadvertently undermining their own cause.

I even heard the insult "left-wing teabagger" thrown around. Oh boy. Expect more stuff like that in the future. I remember when I saw Mike's video on RT years ago about how there is no national debt as we know it. I remember all the dislikes that got and feel that situation is playing out again somehow.

No joke.

http://www.techimoto.com/2017/03/18/real-progressives-and-their-fascist-economic-crusade/

Penguin pop said...

"MMT Propaganda" is another one I'm hearing get thrown around. Man, so many people think just like Schiffbots. It's sad. They don't even know what functional finance is. It's official. The Flat Earthers are still heavily prevalent in economics and it's widely accepted as "science."

Tom Hickey said...

Politics as usual.

Neil Wilson said...

The only way you could make PPP work is to rent the assets to the operator. So the capital goods are owned by the state and the employees are owned by the state. The operator leases them and runs to contract. If they fail then their leases are cancelled and the assets are handed over to somebody else.

Owning the assets and the employees means that the operator has to find productivity improvement and investment improvements to make a profit, not rentier profits from asset ownership or by slashing wages of the employees.

When the cost of finance to the state is zero there is no justification for public assets being owned by anybody other than the state in common hold for the citizens of the nation.

André said...

Matt, I like to differentiate between people that know that what they are doing is bad and wrong (conspirators, intellectual dishonest ones, criminals, etc), and people that don't ("dumb" ones).

Some will say that it's all the same, but I have trouble in agreeing with that...

People who don't know what they are doing is bad and wrong should be educated, and people who know should go to prison. In simplistic terms, that's more or less the way I see it.

Both groups will have vested interest in achieving their goals and will manipulate other people to get there, because "the end justifies the means" is the rule in the political arena. I don't think that's the point.

The point is that some people know that the "end" is bad, while other people believe in an almost religious way that the end is good (but they are unfortunately wrong).

I think they should not be treated the same way morally or in practice...