Daily Archives: December 12, 2013

The Greatest Deception in America

The above title was suggested in a comment on YouTube to the video below.

The actual title on the New Economics Perspectives web site is Dr. Kelton’s Graduate Macro Students’ Video Project.  The Dr. Kelton of the title is Stephanie Kelton, Professor, Economics, and Chair of the Department of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

I think the video is something that everyone should see, but you know me. I always question everything. So I left a comment on the web site and on YouTube.

At 9:34 into the presentation – Sector Financial Balances as a % of GDP, 1952q1 to 2013q2

There was a little sleight of hand in part of the discussion around the government always needing to be in the red so that others can be in surplus. The truth of the matter is that the government may need to run in the red if the money supply needs to be increased. In a growing economy, the money supply almost always needs to increase, so it seems like the argument I am making is only a quibble.

However, when you skip over the truth to make your message less complicated, it always comes back to bite you. When your opponent points out the fallacy of your argument, you don’t want to have to backtrack, admit you weren’t being accurate, and only then make the correction I am suggesting.

Is the four added words in the proviso, “in a growing economy”, too much to expect in order to keep the argument completely above board?

If the Fed is now ineffectively shoving massive amounts of liquidity into the economy to try to stimulate it, might there come a time when the economy recovers that this excess liquidity must be slurped back out? I know the Fed says that they have a plan, so maybe it won’t require a few years of government surpluses to accomplish the task.

Adding this to the discussion might prove to the doubters that you aren’t completely blind to other possible events that could happen.

December 13, 30123

One of the New Economic Perspectives comments on this article suggested a Dilbert comic strip.


Scott Adams probably didn’t mean this as the start of a deep economic question, but this Dilbert cartoon: http://dilbert.com/2013-12-03/ (at least the first 2 frames) can provide a humorous segueway to answer the question of the origin of money — “The first money came (and continues to come) from the issuer!” Most people agree with frame one, but haven’t even thought to ask frame two and who that issuer might be.

Fmr. Israeli Intel. Chief Says Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Greater Risk than Nuclear Iran

The Real News Network has the interview Fmr. Israeli Intel. Chief Says Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Greater Risk than Nuclear Iran – Phyllis Bennis on Reality Asserts Itself pt2.  I covered the first part in the previous post From Zionist to Anti-Zionist Activist – Phyllis Bennis on Reality Asserts Itself pt1.

On Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, Phyllis Bennis examines the Israeli debate about Iran and Palestine, the role of AIPAC and the complex changes taking place in Middle East politics.

This segment was probably recorded before the news that the Obama administration is tightening sanctions on Iran as a reward for their good behavior. Say what? See my previous post White House Announces New Sanctions to Block Iran’s Trading Activities.

I hope that all the segments haven’t been prerecorded and are only being released at a rate of one a day. If that were true, it would preclude a discussion of this latest craziness by Obama in the following parts of the interview.

If all the segments have already been recorded, I am sure that Phyllis Bennis will be brought back and there will be other coverage on The Real News Network of this latest craziness.

White House Announces New Sanctions to Block Iran’s Trading Activities

The New York Times has the story White House Announces New Sanctions to Block Iran’s Trading Activities.

Under pressure from Congress to demonstrate that it is not easing up on sanctions on Iran’s oil sector or on its nuclear and missile programs, the Obama administration on Thursday announced an expanded list of Iranian companies and individuals that it said it would target to block their trading activities around the world.

I have an idea.  Let’s see how big a sucker punch we can throw at Iran before they back out of the deal we negotiated with them.  If they stick to the deal, we can always punch them some more, until they quit.  Then we can say that they were never serious about the deal in the first place.

You just can’t trust those Iranians to stick to their word.  They ought to have the gumption to stand by their word even if we go back on ours.  What kind of morality do they have anyway?

Why Can’t We Stop The Insanity?

I found the perfect image for this post on JaneS’ Facebook page.

Elian Gonzalez Grown Up, Leaves Cuba, Speaks About ‘Uncle Fidel’ 1

The Young Turks has the story Elian Gonzalez Grown Up, Leaves Cuba, Speaks About ‘Uncle Fidel’.

“Fourteen years after he made headlines as the subject of a bitter international custody battle, Gonzalez spoke to CNN on Tuesday.

It’s his first trip abroad since the U.S. government removed him at gunpoint from his relatives’ home in Miami and, after a legal battle, sent him back to Cuba to live with his father.

Gonzalez, who turned 20 last week, was just 6 years old when he was found clinging to an inner tube after the tiny boat he was traveling in from Cuba sank on the way to the United States. Gonzalez’s mother and nine other people in the boat drowned.”* The Young Turks hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian break it down, including Cenk’s dramatic confrontation with Elian Gonzalez protesters in Miami during the height of the story

The punchline of course comes at the very end. Semi-spoiler alert, it isn’t about Elian Gonzalez.