Daily Archives: May 7, 2018

“Minsky,” a Macroeconomic Modeling Software Platform

Source Forge has a downloadable version of “Minsky,” a Macroeconomic Modeling Software Platform.

Free open-source computer program for building and simulating dynamic, monetary economic models, models without equilibrium and with a financial sector. A vital tool for a new approach to economics.

Read the rest of this post before you go running off to download the software. First of all, I have lost my faith that Source Forge will deliver you a clean version of software that is free of viruses, bloatware, and other annoying crap unrelated to the main point of what you think you are downloading. I posted the link mainly for the explanation of that the software is. I mentioned this software in the previous post Cenk and Young Turks Team: Your Deficit Hawkery is Unrealistic and Stands in the Way of Progressive Change.

Second, I want to say a few words about the designer of this software, Steve Keen. He uses this software to develop his understanding of the dynamics of an economy described in the blurb above. I have tried to listen to many of his lectures where he uses the software to demonstrate his conclusions. Every time he does it, he seems to fumble around, and he gets us so lost in the weeds that I have a hard time understanding his point or how the software proves it. His explanations are so full of hand-waving that I am never sure he has actually proved what he claims to have shown you.

Finally, I came to am interview where he didn’t have access to a computer to go down his usual confusing path. He explained everything just using words. From this interview, I got a much better understanding of his point of view, and he even confirmed my suspicions about some flaws in the explanation of Modern Money Theory (MMT). There is a link to the interview in my previous post Oliver Green in conversation with Steve Keen, Contrarian Economist and Author. Please forgive Oliver Green for trying and failing to get Steve Keen to confirm Green’s misunderstandings of some of the ideas that Keen is presenting.

Cenk and Young Turks Team: Your Deficit Hawkery is Unrealistic and Stands in the Way of Progressive Change

New Economic Perspectives has the article in the form of an open letter Cenk and Young Turks Team: Your Deficit Hawkery is Unrealistic and Stands in the Way of Progressive Change.

There is one area, however, where your coverage of news and economics is quite misleading and creates a trap for the progressive movement that you are elsewhere seeking mightily to foster and strengthen. You have uncritically brought into your coverage some mainstream Democratic and “moderate” Republican economic ideas about federal deficits, federal debt and tax cuts. You might feel you are representing a “solid” position because this locates the Young Turks firmly in the Establishment echo chamber about debt and deficits, as well as seems to put you in a good position to lambaste hypocritical Republicans and Trump.

This whole letter starts off in a very promising way. I feel that when it descends into the weeds to justify the first part, it defeats itself with what I have come to realize is a flaw in the way MMT is explained.

Here is the critique that I posted.

When are MMT proponents going to wake up to the fact that sector balance argument depends on a static accounting balance of assets and liabilities? This static accounting has a loan which issues money right away to the borrower balanced exactly by a debt that must be paid back many years in the future. These two items do balance each other eventually, but in anything shorter than the life of the loan, there is economic activity resulting from the time difference.

The private sector is perfectly able to generate enough liquidity to keep the economy humming along during a boom. The private sector is completely incapable to generate this liquidity in a crash. This is so obvious that it tends to wipe out your argument about sector static balances in an instant. You think you are talking about flows without recognizing the static underpinnings of your argument.

Unless you are working with a dynamic model like Steve Keen’s Minsky computer program, you are deluding yourselves in how a dynamic economy really works.

Most Americans don’t know what U.S. should do on Iran deal – CBS News poll

CBS News has the article Most Americans don’t know what U.S. should do on Iran deal – CBS News poll.

CBS News just showed a graphic about this poll which showed that 57% of Americans do not know enough about the Iran nuclear deal to say whether or not Trump should pull us out of it.

Poll Results Image

What I find remarkable about this report from CBS News is that they said not a peep about what part CBS News has played in the fact that 57% of the people do not know enough to form an opinion on this important subject.

Does CBS News think they have even a slight responsibility to inform their audience on important matters like this one? Do they think that they should do any introspection on what they might have done differently to make their audience better informed?

How much longer will CBS News continue to fall down on its main job and not have a pang of conscience of the consequences of their failure?