Tuesday, October 23, 2012

United Front Against Austerity (UFAA) declines my offer to speak

I contacted this organization about a week ago offering to speak from an MMT perspective. They're having a rally in NYC on Oct 27. I was going to talk not only about why austerity was bad and self defeating, but also about how those who are opposed to austerity must begin to understand that deficits are good and taxes do not fund government spending. Until that happens, the 1% would remain in control and we would have austerity.   The person I spoke to said he knew me from my Fox and other media appearances and knew of this blog.   Well, that person just got back to me and told me that UFAA cannot offer me a spot on the speaker list. So this is who will be speaking:

Webster G. Tarpley
Author, historian and economist, tarpley.net

Cindy Sheehan
Antiwar Activist

Dr. W. Randy Short
SCLC, University of Virginia

Don DeBar
Founder, Community Progressive Radio

Anthony Monteiro
African-American Studies, Temple University

Dr. Jay Arena
Professor of Sociology, College of Staten Island, CUNY
Eric Lerner
Popular science writer and Occupy Wall Street activist

Rev. Edward Pinkney
Benton Harbor, Michigan (via Skype)

Murrell Brooks
Political Science, Virginia Wesleyan College

Eric Draitser
Independent journalist, StopImperialism.com

Bruce Marshall, moderator
former Congressional candidate, Green Party of Vermont

What a joke! Not even a single economist on the list, let alone an MMT person. Like a freakin' 1960s antiwar rally. And they wonder why they get nowhere with their demands for change.

Here's their website.

25 comments:

Tom Bridges said...

Mike, you should try to get on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I think he would be receptive to MMT and its ideas. I have written them recently to suggest Warren Mosler as a guest, but you would also be fantastic.

Thanks.

Tom Hickey said...

Progressives are hopeless. They don't want to understand.

paul meli said...

effin' morons. Matt where are you?

Райчо Марков said...

Yes, they are out of paradigm.
Mr. Webster G. Tarpley, who I believe is the main force behind this event, is for return of the gold standard.
I am not going there either.

Unknown said...

Who needs them? There are plenty of other fantastic venues.

wilwon32 said...

While Bernard Lietear's address is several years old:

https://vimeo.com/channels/coveringthecrisis/7592586

I suspect that many of the commenters at MNE.com could learn something about communication techniques (if one overlooks BLs pronunciation of chartism/chartalism). He pointed out that PK alerted him that 'money' is a taboo topic when they studied economics at MIT in the 1990s; he also mentioned that an official of the BIS/central bank indicated that the leaders were not interested in 'improving' the banking system.
My impression is that the people who are welcomed/allowed to speak in the MSM have generally been vetted in the sense that they do not plan to deviate from the 'party line' wrt economic definitions. They simply wish to perpetuate the myths; it is to difficult for most of us non-economists/general public to parse the details of macroeconomic theory. It seems as if Warren Mosler and Stephanie Kelton explain MMT very effectively; however, they usually do not address the bottleneck wrt to getting anything done. The problems of dealing with Congress members are nicely discussed in Jeff Connaughton's book 'The Payoff'.
The main problem is that the politicians in our crony capitalist system obviously love power rather than the people over whom they rule. How does one obtain permission to access the general public audience in order to explain to the American voter that our US crony capitalist system promotes corruption and disorder which only benefit those who currently have all of the money=power?

paul meli said...

"While Bernard Lietear's address is several years old:"

Preach it brother.

Links to B. Lietear have been posted here a few times including the other day.

Need to keep promoting his work - he's a friggin' genius.

Matt Franko said...

"effin' morons. Matt where are you?"

sitting here with my head in my hands because I'm the moron who brought this group up here in the first place....

(Very sorry Mike and Ryan... very sorry.. :(

I'm starting to think that we are going to have to start to build our own community organically from the ground up leveraging the new media and social networks, etc..

Not that I want to stop trying to change the existing views of the mainstream communities, but as at least a parallel effort, we probably need to start to attract people and build our own community (which I think is already happening via systems like Mike's blog here and the other MMT blogs, twitter, etc.. I'm no expert...)

Rsp

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, I figured that out back in the Seventies. Most groups that exist have agendas. Some existing groups can become allies, but they are unlikely to adopt a different agenda.

I don't think that the way to effect change in the mainstream is through the progressive left. They have a rigid agenda and it is based on "fiscal discipline." While righties want a balanced budget, the lefties want a fiscal surplus, based on Clinton. They are not going to give this up, since it is an article of faith with them.

Matt Franko said...

Tom, where the hell are the objective people in this world?

Tom Hickey said...

Tom, where the hell are the objective people in this world?

Human knowledge is infected with subjectivity, as cognitive science is bearing out. That's why the scientific method was developed but the scientific method has not yet figured out how to deal with subjectivity in the social "sciences."

Human beings are creatures of habit and passion rather than reason, and they operate interms of cultural and institutional frameworks of which they are largely unaware. The idea that human beings are rational agents who choose and decide "objectively" is just not the case.

Butch Busselle said...

Tom Hickey:

"Human beings are creatures of habit and passion rather than reason, and they operate interms of cultural and institutional frameworks of which they are largely unaware. The idea that human beings are rational agents who choose and decide "objectively" is just not the case."

Wow. That's a smack to the forehead, thanks.

mike norman said...

Their "Big Idea" is a 1% tax on financial transactions. What a joke!! That's their big thinking.

That's how they propose "reigning" in Wall Street and "getting money" for their causes.

Webster Tarpley still thinks 9/11 was an inside job.

PeterP said...

I also wrote the Daily Show suggesting Mosler. Please guys/gals, we should ALL write them! Mosler or any other MMT person on the Daily Show would be HUGE!

Dan Lynch said...

Sad but not surprising that they don't want to listen to Mike.

We observe a similar trend in Europe where they have huge anti-austerity protests but the protesters don't seem to have a plan to fix things.

On the other hand, recall that when Icelanders protested against their bank bailouts, they didn't have an economic plan, either. But they did call for a referendum on the bailouts, and the referendum forced the country to have a national conversation on the alternatives. That conversation is ongoing.

The world could learn a thing or two from Iceland.

PeterP said...

I wrote those guys and told them to get some economic talent on board (meaning MMT), gave them links, some background.

Unknown said...

Another bunch of well meaning fools.

Matt Franko said...

Lots of metal-love around this group too, general belief that "money" is exogenous... sad.. rsp,

Anonymous said...

Well, this is disappointing. So much for being united and inclusive. We need our own group.

Matt Franko said...

"We need our own group."

It is not clear to me how to do that.... unless that is actually already starting to happen via the new media...

rsp,

paul meli said...

MMT needs to push the automatic-stabilizer means of funding output gaps.

This means the Job Guarantee or something like it. A pure math-based approach if there ever was one.

I know it got a beat-down months ago but what better way to get the government out of money-creation (government here meaning Congress and Fed bureaucrats)?

Also, outlaw consumer credit.

wilwon32 said...

@Tom H

'Matt, I figured that out back in the Seventies. Most groups that exist

have agendas. Some existing groups can become allies, but they are

unlikely to adopt a different agenda.

I don't think that the way to effect change in the mainstream is

through the progressive left. They have a rigid agenda and it is based

on "fiscal discipline." While righties want a balanced budget, the

lefties want a fiscal surplus, based on Clinton. They are not going to

give this up, since it is an article of faith with them.'

I recall comments by several MMT proponents which might be

paraphrased to suggest that MMT provides a 'foundational' explanation

of the way(s) by which a freely exchanged, sovereign fiat money system

could provide a solution for minimizing unemployment while facilitating

currency transactions. I would appreciate a reference to a book or

article which provides such an explanation in a manner which might be

understandable to a non-economist. Should such exist, and should some of the MMT advocates have the tallent to convert the ideas into an animation video, the vast unknowing public might be able to understand why they should be interested. It would appear that if such an explanation were common knowledge, the 'right' and 'left' political ideologues might refocus on some environment problems which promise to be very significant in the very near future.

By the way, WK Black has an Oct 21 post at NEPerspectives which deals

with Jeff Connaughton's explanation of how he and Senator T Kaufman

tried for two years to get the Obama administration DoJ staff, other

Congressmen, etc. to get legislation introduced and passed:

The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins – Jeff Connaughton

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/

Needless to say, they failed.

paul meli said...

"should some of the MMT advocates have the tallent to convert the ideas into an animation video,"

There's this, not sure if it's what you have in mind:

http://youtu.be/yb5DTf5ifJY

Tom Hickey said...

Warren Mosler, founder of MMT, has already written the book. Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy. His professional paper, accessible to many non-economists, "Soft Currency Economics," launched MMT. Randy Wray's Understanding Modern Money was written for non-economists. Randy's MMT textbook Modern Money Theory: A Primer on Macroeconomics for Sovereign Monetary Systems is now available.

wilwon32 said...

@Paul,

Thanks for the link to rev4 of Paul Meli's video; examination of the comments for the original version-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-PXRkJxV3A&feature=plcp

indicated that it was poorly understood by the few who bothered to leave a message. I applaud Paul's efforts and find the
presented information consistent with some aspects of MMT. However, as you are aware, a critical component of the MMT concept
has to do with maintaining low enemployment by using people as the 'buffer stock' (WM's lingo). Another problem is that the
particular type of presentation employed by Paul M. does not keep the viewer's attention ('makes my head hurt'). I find that
this approach is too similar to relatively monotonic reading a written document without allowing the viewing audience to be able
to simultaneously read it; i.e., it is sort of like listening to a rant.

Desirable animation I had in my mind, could be a variant of the approach used by the people at RSA animate; these are easily
accessible on YouTube.com. One of many examples might be -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U

While this example is irrelevant to MMT, it is attention-getting even if its creator used canned laughter in the background.

My understanding is that MMT advocates are essentially not respected by main-stream economists who are the authorities supposedly responsible for education of the elite's designated Republicrat politicians? While I empathize with M Norman's desire to promote MMT concepts, I have yet to figure out how communicating with the investing public, gamblers, and other money users is supposed to accomplish that goal. It would seem that coming up with a strategy to educate the general public in such a manner as to embaress the main stream neoliberal (conservative or whichever) authorities might be a more effective strategy if conducted in a sophisticated/clever manner; such a effort would likely be expensive and may take a long time to be effective.
It would also appear to be premature to anticipate which existing group, if any, to associate with; after all Tarpley's and others likely have a different agenda.