Thursday, March 30, 2017

Branko Marcetic — Democrats Against Single Payer

By May 2016, Gallup polling found that more than half of Americans favored replacing Obamacare with a single-payer system, including a whole 41 percent of Republicans.
Handwriting on the wall. Oppose single payer at your peril, New Democrats. You are out of touch and out of step.

There is also the failure to recognize the difference between the currency issuer and currency users. In the US the federal government is the issuer and states are among the users.
Most recently, as California considered instituting a state-wide single-payer system on the eve of a possible GOP repeal of Obamacare, the state’s Democratic governor Jerry Brown rubbished the idea, asking:  He compared it to solving a problem “by something that’s . . . a bigger problem,” which “makes no sense.”
“Where do you get the extra money? . . . How do you do that?” You have the federal government do it. as the currency issuer rather than putting it on the states, who are currency users and have to obtain the currency either from the federal government through transfers, or else get it from revenue or borrowing.

Jacobin
Democrats Against Single Payer
Branko Marcetic

11 comments:

Matthew Franko said...

Brown must be in on the "neo-liberal conspiracy!"....

Neil Wilson said...

You pay for it by spending the money.

Taxation is about freeing up resources, not funding. So if you don't think there are the doctors, put restrictions on private health provision to free them up so the Federal government can buy them.

Tom Hickey said...

Brown must be in on the "neo-liberal conspiracy!"....

I think that Brown is genuinely clueless about the issuer-distinction. Here he is talking about California doing single payer at the state level and saying it would break the budget. California has had a chronic problem with budget overruns, which has resulted in a high level of borrowing that necessitates high taxes for the state as user to get revenue to service.

I think that Jerry Brown is probably just misguided, which can't be said for Bernie, who had Stephanie to advise him. With Bernie, it's either being sucked into groupthink owing to the political mindset, or else supporting groupthink for political reasons. Politicians that know better but support the political mindset for strategic reasons are peripheral co-conspirators in that they know better.

Tom Hickey said...

The reason that this groupthink qualifies as conspiracy is that involves keeping knowledge and operations secret from the public for reasons that benefit those who are knowledgeable.

See Paul Samuelson on the noble lie.
I think there is an element of truth in the view that the superstition that the budget must be balanced at all times [is necessary]. Once it is debunked, [it] takes away one of the bulwarks that every society must have against expenditure out of control. There must be discipline in the allocation of resources or you will have anarchistic chaos and inefficiency. And one of the functions of old fashioned religion was to scare people by sometimes what might be regarded as myths into behaving in a way that the long-run civilized life requires. We have taken away a belief in the intrinsic necessity of balancing the budget if not in every year, [and then] in every short period of time. If Prime Minister Gladstone came back to life he would say “oh, oh what you have done” and James Buchanan argues in those terms. I have to say that I see merit in that view. — Paul Samuelson in an interview given to Mark Blaug in 1995

To his credit, Alan Greenspan revealed the truth about the issuer in congressional testimony, although he was a chief co-conspirator in other ways, such as central banking operating as if the world is still on a gold standard.
http://youtu.be/GdOsybbBVEU

Penguin pop said...

"I think that Jerry Brown is probably just misguided, which can't be said for Bernie, who had Stephanie to advise him. With Bernie, it's either being sucked into groupthink owing to the political mindset, or else supporting groupthink for political reasons. Politicians that know better but support the political mindset for strategic reasons are peripheral co-conspirators in that they know better."

Stephanie Kelton being Bernie's adviser should have led to huge crowds of people embracing MMT but Bernie didn't have any guts nor did he ever understand what Stephanie was trying to tell him. What a waste, just like how much of a disappointment Obama when you compare him to FDR or MLK. Bernie's got this huge, passionate fanbase, similar to the kind of stuff I saw w/ Ron Paul, yet I still see so-called Bernie supporters stuck in the "tax and spend" vortex. I try to do my part by telling people Stephanie Kelton was Bernie's econ advisor when I explain these concepts, especially to the naysayers within the progressive movement, but sometimes I feel it's genuinely hopeless to wake the masses up to reality. We are dealing with pure religion here.

Penguin pop said...

Yeah, I understand that if he did understand any of this, he might have known it could have been risky for his political career, but I have a strong feeling it was more of the above situation.

Matthew Franko said...

Bernie is simply too stupid to understand it.... and/or Kelton didnt have access to the teaching tools to deal with someone as stupid as Bernie...

If you could make Bernie sit and take Bill's 'Weekend Quiz' and go thru the follow up discussions every week for a year, then thru that active teaching method maybe Bernie would start to understand it... I think he would...

But I dont see Bernie sitting down and doing all of those training reps for a year at this point...

Tom Hickey said...

My impression is that as is usual in politics this was debated among the technical people and the political people, and as usual the political people won.

Six said...

Do any of us know what Stephanie was tasked with as Bernie's "economic adviser"? I ask this with complete sincerity, as opposed to my oft snarky manner. Perhaps her influence was boxed by the tasks assigned her, such as "Stephanie, what would be the result of implementing "Plan X" in regards to the budget deficit?" It could be she was allowed very little influence or opportunity to "teach" Bernie.

Tom Hickey said...

When she joined Bernie's team, she said what transpired was confidential. I guess we'll have to wait for her memoirs.

Noah Way said...

My impression is that as is usual in politics this was debated among the technical people and the political people, and as usual the political people won.

The "technical people" are lobbyists and industry shills, and "debate" is probably not the correct term for the dialogue between them and the politicos.