Sunday, September 23, 2018

Down With Tyranny — Stephanie Kelton: "One Tweet At A Time"


Very positive piece. The last mile has all but closed.

6 comments:

Andrew Anderson said...

The last mile has all but closed. Tom Hickey

A JG (Job Guarantee) is a bow to the Protestant Work Ethic but a twisted one since the Bible extols the value of work, not the value of wage-slavery.

Nor will an emphasis on consuming 40 hours a week rather than accomplishing meaningful work fail to demoralize the job participants and provoke contempt from the general public.

Nor will paying people to waste their time prove to be anything but inflationary since JG participants will then have to pay others for work they might otherwise have done for themselves.

Not to say we shouldn't have generous infrastructure spending; we should; but the emphasis should be on accomplishing useful work efficiently, not on creating the most jobs.

The question then is what will follow the inevitable downfall of a JG and the disgrace of mere pragmatic "solutions".

Konrad said...

@Andrew Anderson: I agree with you that the “job guarantee” idea is dubious, for myriad reasons that I don’t have the space to discuss here.

Aside from those reasons, I’m not comfortable with the idea that all American peasants should be guaranteed the right to be wage slaves. All Americans should have the right to toil to make rich people richer.

If we want to create federal jobs like those of the 1930s (e.g. WPA, CCC, etc) then we can do it. “Guarantees” are not necessary.

I would like to see MMT people ease off on the job guarantee, and keep attacking the b.s. about, “How will you pay for it”?

Universal Medicare? How will you pay for it?

Free college tuition? How will you pay for it?

Affordable housing? Urban renewal? Improved infrastructure? How will you pay for it?

Of course NONE OF THIS WILL MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE until we get the bankers, the rentiers, and the FIRE sector under control.

Until then, every increase in people’s income will cause a further increase in rents, housing prices, tuition prices, and so on. You mentioned this above when you suggested that a JG would be inflationary.

Andrew Anderson said...

Of course NONE OF THIS WILL MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE until we get the bankers, the rentiers, and the FIRE sector under control. Konrad

Agreed and we can do it in a way that no one can legitimately object to by, for instance, allowing all citizens to use their Nation's fiat in convenient, inherently-safe form via individual checking/debit accounts at the Central Bank itself, alongside those of the banks and other depository institutions.

Btw, one would think that the MMT crowd would enthusiastically EMBRACE the allowance of such accounts but NO they vigorously OPPOSE that idea, e.g. Yves Smith called it "balmy" before banning me.

So you should be dubious of the MMT crowd in general; they are PRO-BANK much, much more than they are pro-citizen; e.g. see Warren Mosler's bank proposals.

Until then, every increase in people’s income will cause a further increase in rents, housing prices, tuition prices, and so on. Konrad

Yes, and please bear with me if I cite the Old Testament since though you may not believe the Bible, Christians MUST in principle do so, though they will often resort to all sorts of rationalizations not to - and there are many remaining Christians in the US who could be a powerful force for justice once they take the Bible seriously.

In the OT, every Hebrew* family was guaranteed some agricultural land to live and grow crops on plus a city to live in as well. The city land could be lost permanently but the agricultural land could not be lost for more than 49 years and could be redeemed anytime earlier for a fixed price proportional to the number of crops till the 50 year Jubilee. Plus, I surmise that permanent camping out was an option too and not near criminalized as it is in the US.

So much then for the problem of rents except for education which should be free to any level a citizen is qualified for.

You mentioned this above when you suggested that a JG would be inflationary. ibid

Your's is an entirely separate reason and much more universally applicable, i.e. the problem of rent; I merely point out that a job need not produce net positive work nor even net non-negative work, e.g. the military when engaged in destruction.

*Separate provision was made for the priestly tribe, the Levities, who were given cities to live in plus the surrounding pasture lands for their cattle.

Andrew Anderson said...

Not that I'm suggesting that OT solutions need necessarily be pursued but the equivalent outcome, i.e. that no citizen need, from no fault of their own, be a wage, debt, or rent slave, MUST be pursued by Christians (and for that matter Jews) if they are to obey God's command to "Do justice" in Micah 6:8

Andrew Anderson said...

Bad link, try this instead: Micah 6:8

Ed Zimmer said...

Andrew Anderson: I don't care for the JG programs I've seen described so far, eg, the Levy program in which almost half the funding goes into program management (aka, bureaucracy). But a JG program locally administered, maximally automated, that would allow local governments to use local willing unemployeds to assist the local community via federal pay would achieve all the touted JG benefits with none of the fears you've expressed. You can see a roughed out example at TENonline.org.