Thursday, July 21, 2011

Eye opening glimpse of the media and why we never get the truth

Cenk Uygur out at MSNBC and his explanation of why it happened is quite eye opening. Possibly explains why my attempts to get on board at MSNBC went nowhere. They surely knew me and my views and style. Watch video and you'll see what I mean.


Joe said...

he should have played ball, rise through the ranks of management, and THEN unleash The Tiger

Matt Franko said...


Maybe since Cenk got cancelled you should go back to them now.

I never watched Cenk but he seems a bit extreme and perhaps highly partisan. From listening to your show over several years you can be assertive and pursue the truth but without being blatantly disrespectful to your guests... (unless it was Marc "Doom" Farber talking pure BS! kidding).

But you would have Hormats on, Bob McTeer, many prestigious people and were patient and respectful with them even when they were clearly out of paradigm,...even David Walker you were patient and reasoned with him and got him to admit there is no solvency issue (BIG!)...

And you generally avoid partisanship... sounds like just what they are looking for.


Anonymous said...

Never watched him either but just went to Young Turks website and it just seems sophomoric with cheap partisan "gotcha" non-stories and comments. I have to assume his show was more interesting....

Detroit Dan said...

I'm sad to hear Cenk is no longer on. I liked his show immensely, and he comes across well in the video here explaining his decision to leave.

He was polite to guests, but tough.

Oh well...

Shaun said...

This comes as no surprise to me. Ask yourself this question:

How many people have died in Iraq ? Wikipedia is suitable.

Then compare with how many people died on Sep 11.

Then ask yourself why don't I know about this ?

Crake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

too bad

for him, actually

he's smart and is quite capable of getting his points across without being so abrasive

his problem is that he's fundamentally immature

his career just peaked; he'll never have the same access again


Anonymous said...

O'Donnell is next

Tom Hickey said...

O'Donnell is an insider's insider. He was Pat Moynihan's chief of staff in the Senate.

Cenk will find a new home pretty easily in the future. He represents the up-coming generations as indicated by his ratings.

I would not be surprised to see Current TV pick him up.

Matthew said...

Yea this is pretty fascinating.


Mike firstly it seems that your are really trying to help everyone out with this MMT. Good Job! Despite the never-ending criticism you seem to cop for telling the truth!!!!

Anyways I have some 'constructive criticisms'. I have been watching your youtube videos and reading the comments of other blogs about you.

Regarding your youtube videos; The problem with your message is that you start from an economists point of view.

Pitbull Economics-Lesson1-What is "The economy?"

This video uses the 'economic recipe', which makes it hard for people to relate to. Using an equation assumes they understand the equation the same way you do. This means that they have the same knowledge and experience about economics that you do. Which of course is unlikely, so they miss the whole point of the video. This is also why people currently respond to government debt the way they do. They understand because they are familiar similar abstraction, household debt. It makes it easy for someone to oppose your viewpoint, because they can use examples people are familiar with to build a case.

There are other videos where you were using numbers. The brain is not wired for numbers so people generally suck with arithmetic. This is why people understand the death of one person, but can't really understand the death of say 100,000 people.

Use pictures, graphs or time. Something that expresses proportion intuitively.

I would love to help make MMT more understandable.

I'm a bit of a conspiracy fan. So this thing with Cenk is unsurprising.

Tom Hickey said...

"They understand because they are familiar similar abstraction, household debt. It makes it easy for someone to oppose your viewpoint, because they can use examples people are familiar with to build a case."

This is the essence of it for popular presentation. People need to see that government finance is the inverse of household finance and needs to be counter cyclical. Moreover, they think that taxes fund government and that government expenditure on spending and transfer payments have to be paid for by taxation in the present or by putting it off into the future by borrowing. Without undercutting that fundamental misunderstanding, they will not get MMT.

The problem with economist's as Warren says is that they understand what money does but not what it is. Therefore, they cannot understand MMT from within their own paradigm and they are not trained to think out of the box.

Matthew said...

A minor criticism of MMT is the use of terms. Currently MMT uses the word 'government' to describe the literal government and the central bank. Instead another term should be used to avoid confusion. Although it maybe a subtle difference, confusion is the Achilles heal of complex ideas.

Currency mechanics should be the starting point. I have some understanding of Marxist concepts. Ideas like Labor theory of value and "Socially necessary labor time" are especially relevant. If finance was taught from a Marxist perspective, people would realize that the financial system communicates individuals economic values, which are defined emotionally. So in fact the financial system communicates emotional values.

I think people would pay a bit more attention to the higher mechanics of the financial system if they were taught this.

There is no point trying to teach people about bonds, GDP, consumption, etc, if they don't understand what money is.

Most people still think the genesis of financial assets starts with the central bank.

Once people have an understanding of financial assets then it will be possible with relative ease to explain things like inflation, GDP, etc.

Its obvious that there is an ideological battle within economics. Like anything it is a popularity contest. Despite being a science, economics is still subject to popular opinion. The scientific method relies upon social beings, and so an idea still needs popular consent.

MMT has the advantage of being based upon reality. Unfortunately the common person is disconnected from reality. People need to be given alternative abstract equivalents to form their judgments on.

The acceptance of MMT will be expressed by opposing ideologies using different abstract equivalents from their current ones.

Whats the point of knowing the direction a group should take if they won't follow ?

Is there a body of knowledge relating to MMT ? I think a bit more coordination is necessary.

Explanation of Socially necessary labor time

This Marxist concept relates to the flow of economic information throughout the financial system. If all markets are functioning fairly and there is no distortion of the financial system then then prices would be considered "socially ideal" or "socially necessary labor times". This is an ideal Marxist state(configuration).

From this perspective the financial system facilitates the exchange of individual economic values, or more precisely individual values. If there is a distortion of the financial system then this implies that someone is manipulating the true social value of items. Consequently this means that prices for goods and services are not fair. Rather they reflect disproportionally the values of a few.

Matthew said...


Is there a central body of knowledge for MMT ?

It appears that MMT is scattered throughout the web. Perhaps better coordination will help the public receive the message.

I think that currency creation and destruction should be the starting point for common folk.

Tom Hickey said...


Try the MMT Wiki. It consists of accessible summaries to main issues, with references to sources. It's the best comprehensive resource at the moment.

I would also recommend the mandatory readings at The Center of the Universe (Warren Mosler's place). "Soft Currency Economics" is the paper that launched MMT.

Clonal said...


Two other sources.

Randy Wray's Modern Money Primer
Mosler Economic Policy Center's (Mecpoc)Monetary Economics Primer