Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bill Mitchell — More public infrastructure means higher taxes – False, go to bottom of the class

Metaphors! They are more than a fancy way of emphasising some point – that is, their power goes beyond meagre linguistic construction. The research suggests they are part of our deep mental or neural capacity, which we draw on to sort out facts and ideas. They are conceptual devices intrinsically linked to the way we think abstractly. Metaphorical language reinforces our ideology (worldview) and so it is no surprise that political parties have become very interested in framing their messages using simple and common metaphors which resonate with the way we feel about things. George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist, considers we do not make our political choices on the basis of rational dissection of competing facts and arguments but rather respond to central (or grand) metaphors with reinforce our worldview. We thus consider facts or argument within that framework of thought. I am doing a bit of work in this area as a way of understanding why central Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) propositions (which are so patently obvious and have strong explanatory capacity) evade acceptance among people, even those who express liberal perspectives (in this context meaning – are open to new ideas).

In the 2012 book written by Anat Shenker-Osorio – Don’t Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense about the Economy – we learn that language is a tool that conservatives use to limit what we might consider to be possible. They construct the “economy” in such a way as to distort the way we comprehend economics.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
More public infrastructure means higher taxes – False, go to bottom of the class
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at the Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia


Matt Franko said...

" I am currently designing an experimental project (which I will probably invite blog readers to participate in once the research design is complete), then all the operational insights MMT has to offer will not break through unless we find a way to de-activate the conservative frames that have been embedded in the neural networks of our brains and which frame the way we respond to “facts” and “ideas”."

I can't wait to see this... rsp,

Tom Hickey said...

I'm all for it, but I don't hold out great hope. The brain fog is too thick to dispel of the darkness of ignorance with the light knowledge.

The issue is always the general level of consciousness. If it were higher then things would reflect it. The present dysfunctional state of the world reflects the abysmal level of collective consciousness.

Not that we shouldn't do our best to provide the knowledge. But as Bill observes, the knowledge alone is insufficient.

The framing has to change and that involves changing the prevailing worldview. No small undertaking when all the power and money of capital is aligned on the other side. Altering that enough to make a difference will take some doing.

BTW, this is the conclusion of a master's thesis I wrote over forty years ago.

Matt Franko said...


This scripture made it in front of me the other day:

"13 No trial has taken you except what is human. " 1 Cor 10:13

All we are really up against in this era is our humanity itself...

iow despite the google people trying to 'beat death', I'm sorry that is just not going to happen fellas... (this should be hard enough for all of us!).

But... short of that, I think what Paul implies here is all else is still fair game right now. We truly don't have to deal with anything else in this era. (this is 'the truth')

So things like 'unemployment', 'bankruptcy', 'poverty in the face of surplus' etc.. ie 'non-human problems' or 'econonomic (house-law) problems' we truly do not have to accept, and I submit we humans truly have been given the authority to prevent these other types of non-human 'trials' from occurring...

Because they are not something that comes directly with our 'blood and flesh' humanity... they are born out of 'stupidity'.

We are not 'stupid'.

If we can get the right people in positions of authority, all of these 'non-human' trials can go away. It is possible.

We do not have to (and shouldnt) accept current economic mis-management and the 'non-human' trials it brings with it.

And we should seek to bring others into this truth.