Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Bill Mitchell – Basic income guarantee progressives cosy up with the worst CEOs in the world

A short blog post today (Wednesday and all). I am working on the revisions to our Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) textbook that will be published by Macmillan-Palgrave in November 2018. We have all the editorial and external reviews available now and are working through the editorial process to complete the final version. Mostly clarifications and style issues. There will be a slight rearrangement of chapter order and emphasis but nothing major. In the meantime, some thoughts on UBI and some music for today. A more detailed blog post will come along tomorrow....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Basic income guarantee progressives cosy up with the worst CEOs in the world
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

11 comments:

Matt Franko said...

I dont see how you have to be against a BIG to advocate for a JG...

The CEOs are highly competent people and know that not everybody else is and neither does everybody else have to work... so this is their solution just make sure everybody has enough munnie to pay for basic subsistence ...

It raises the floor of society (in material terms)....

Matt Franko said...

People who train and become competent/qualified will still be able to find a job and add to production... although they will make more munnie than the BIG if they do this...

Calgacus said...

The point is that if you understand the economics, you understand that Basic Income does not do these things that it promises. So someone who believes it does, doesn't understand the economics of Basic Income. Is not "material systems competent." Needs training.

Either the CEOs are highly incompetent or they DON'T want that "everybody has enough munnie to pay for basic subsistence", they DON'T want to "raise the floor of society (in material terms)".

Matt Franko said...

LOL I’m not the one constantly using figures of speech and resorting to conspiracy theories to make my point...

Matt Franko said...

“Basic Income does not do these things that it promises”

Yeah somehow giving people some modest amount of munnie that they don’t have access to now ... to go out and purchase some of the surplus that we just throw away any way is somehow NOT going to give them the ability to do that...

Get a grip on yourself....

Calgacus said...

Matt, "Money" as generally used is not a figure of speech, in any way that I or afaik anyone else understands. It is an essential, well-defined, theoretical, scientific concept in MMT, in economics, in ordinary English. If you don't understand that, I will explain the MMT definitions to you. Especially if you tell me what you mean by "figure of speech" here. I do not believe in conspiracy theories.

MMT - and common sense, and almost all schools of economics - have airtight and obvious arguments that the colossal sums of money involved in genuine Basic Income wreak economic havoc and prevent it from delivering its promises. If it is targeted at poor people, sick people, those too old or young, it is NOT genuine Basic Income, it doesn't deserve a new name. It is just "welfare", which all societies have always had in some form.

Neil Wilson said...

"I dont see how you have to be against a BIG to advocate for a JG"

Because giving a universal state pension to somebody from the age of majority to death for nothing of real value in return has absolutely no popular support. The working population will not support such a transfer of output from their hands.

If you want something you have to exchange hours with the person doing the producing or, unsurprisingly, you build up a debt *in real terms* which then gets called in. The result is the election of a set of people who end the unconditional income guarantee.

Unless exempted by age or infirmity you have to put your own hours beyond your own use to the satisfaction of others if you want to exchange with them. Otherwise you run up a real terms debt that eventually becomes due - hence why unemployment benefit and retirement benefits are time limited.

Matt Franko said...

We are in permanent surplus Neil...

I’m not talking about giving them 200 to buy a pair of “wellies” I’m talking about giving them 15 to buy a pair of rubber boots

Calgacus said...

Yes, Matt we may be in permanent surplus. That doesn't mean we can't destroy it if we try hard, as by Basic Income or by blowing ourselves up with nukes.

Giving them the rubber boots can work. Non-monetary basic income can work. Because society as a whole can decide to produce the basics it will consume. But giving everyone enough money to buy boots and anything else can't work. Monetary basic income can't work. If you try to make it work, you end up with a communist command economy distributing non-monetary basic income, that is only pretending to be a capitalist society with a basic income. Why bother?

A Job Guarantee is like topping off the gas tank of your internal combustion vehicle with an extra gallon to go farther toward your goal. Basic Incomers hear the words "gasoline" and "combustion" and think that you will go even farther by pouring 100 gallons all over your car and throwing a match at it. Maybe their consituent atoms will go farther, at that.

Tom Hickey said...

Bill commented:

To work as a macroeconomic stability policy, the Job Guarantee can only have one wage. Sorry. It is not a job creation program but a stability framework. It simply loses its basic qualities once a wage structure is added. Then it becomes regular public sector employment and you lose the anchor." [emphasis added]

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=39030&cpage=1#comment-57513

Matt Franko said...

But what if you really wanted a pair of welliesinstead of rubber boots? Or a nice holiday once a year?

Then you would work to make more than the subsistence basic income...

Why do NFL players keep playing and risk long term brain damage when they are already multi millionaires?