SteveG


ALTERNATIVE PATHS TO MMT

New Economic Persoectives has a nice article ALTERNATIVE PATHS TO MMT.

First I’ll clearly state what MMT is and then outline four paths that lead to MMT’s conclusions: history, logic, theory and practice.

What is MMT? It provides an analysis of fiscal and monetary policy that is applicable to national governments with sovereign currencies.

When you say it four different ways, some people can put their understandings of the four paths together for a complete picture. In my days as an unsuccessful amateur tutor of math, I have found that people can be weak in their understanding of all four explanations, so this just confuses them.

One thing I wish MMT would change in its explanations is the idea that private banks create money. The way I put it for the situation of the USA, private banks create promises to give you money. As long as they can work within their promises to give you money, they never have to produce any real money. When people demand real money by cashing in the bank’s promise outside of the particular bank’s private circle, the real money comes from the banks reserves of real money. If the banks run out of reserves, they can go to the USA government’s Federal Reserve Bank to get the necessary real money if nobody else will lend the bank some real money.

The above explanation is how you differentiate between real money and what the private banks create. As all politicians know, it is easier to deliver a promise than it is to deliver the real thing.


The Dreaded New York Times   Recently updated !

Some people cannot understand why I call it The Dreaded New York Times. Apparently those people don’t know how unreliable The Dreaded New York Times’ reporting is. This video clip for The Jimmy Dore Show explains why I coined the term “The Dreaded New York Times”.


Economic Update: Answering Our Critics

Democracy at WorK has the episode of Economic Update: Answering Our Critics.

Three major criticisms of Economic Update are considered: (1) that we don’t praise capitalism for reducing world poverty, (2) that we don’t admit that “socialism has never worked anywhere,” and (3) that no inventor of a new product or technique who starts a business will ever accept that employees in such a business are equal partners with the inventor, originator of the business. Today’s program answers these criticisms, refuting their arguments systematically.


Now you know how to respond to people when they make these criticisms. I don’t claim to be a capitalist nor a socialist. I have coined the term “what worksist” to describe how I think. I come at it from the observation that there are certain of society’s needs that are not well served by capitalism. Some of them are better served with some form of socialism. For the important needs of a society, we should try to figure out what works best, and try to use that method that will work best. If something other than capitalism or socialism would be better, we ought to try that instead.


What is Modern Monetary Theory? (with Stephanie Kelton)   Recently updated !

Pitchfork Economics has the podcast What is Modern Monetary Theory? (with Stephanie Kelton).

Is government debt real? Is anything real? Professor Stephanie Kelton gives Nick and Goldy a master class on the hottest idea in economics right now: Modern Monetary Theory.

Stephanie Kelton is a professor of public policy and economics at Stony Brook University and a senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. She was the chief economist on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee in 2015 and in 2016, POLITICO named her one of the 50 people most influencing the public debate in America. Her forthcoming book, ‘The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of a New Economy’ will be published by Public Affairs in 2020.

It is always interesting to hear podcasts involving experts in MMT being interviewed by non-experts. After the experts sign off the non-experts talk about all that they don’t understand about MMT. That is exactly the time you need the expert to explain to you the parts you didn’t get. There are answers to all the questions they raise after Stephanie Kelton signs off. She is exactly the person who could have straightened them out, but they let her go.

With only a few years of study of MMT on my part, I think I could have answered all their questions and doubts.

If I had the time and the energy, I would go back through the podcast, collect all the issues they raised before and after they were speaking to Stephanie Kelton, and try to answer them all here.

To concentrate my energy in clarifying what Stephanie Kelton said, People could pose their questions on my Facebook post, and I will try to answer them there.

One thing that I think may have gotten lost in the conversation is that debt of currency users can be a concern, where “debt” of the currency issuer is a totally different matter.


All the Ways Facebook Tracks You—and How to Limit It   Recently updated !

Wired has the article All the Ways Facebook Tracks You—and How to Limit It.

If you have a Facebook account—and even if you don’t—the company is going to collect data about you. But you can at least control how it gets used.

I still use Facebook to advertise posts that are on this blog, but for those who don’t have a real need for Facebook, they might rethink what they are doing. Be aware that

Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram, too,


Portugal has found an antidote to right wing populism

kontrast.at has the article Portugal has found an antidote to right wing populism.

Considering the booming economy, dropping unemployment numbers and the return of many once-emigrated young Portuguese citizens, it seems Portugal is on the rise. Facing the policies of socialist Prime Minister António Costa, which include properly supporting the welfare state and investing in the public sector instead of austerity measures, right wing populists don’t stand a chance.

This is from February 2019. This appears to be an example that shows that getting away from the austerity of neoliberalism can make significant improvements in the lifestyles of the people in countries that can use some socialism where appropriate.


Modern Monetary Theory: meet the economists fighting the economy

The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies has published an article on the interview Modern Monetary Theory: meet the economists fighting the economy.

From the USA presidential campaign perspective, I choose to highlight the following excerpt:

The jobs guarantee has the crucial advantage over universal basic income that it encourages the employment of people to do work that needs doing, and there’s no shortage of that.

“There are a whole set of activities that address unmet community need that the market will never address because they can’t be reconstructed into profit-making activities,” Mitchell argues.


The Good Dream is Factual MMT Warren Mosler

YouTube has the video The Good Dream is Factual MMT Warren Mosler.

First International Conference on Modern Monetary Theory 2017

An excellent address by Warren Mosler


This is one fabulous video. Warren Mosler always can simplify concepts so that they are hard to argue against. The only problem is that most people will have a little voice in their heads telling them that what Mosler says can’t possibly be true. Every reason people can come up with about why it can’t be true is easily shot down. Yes, but what about this, or what about that? Mosler has an answer for all of these things.

I like to use the Mark Twain quote – “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” People just know for sure that what Mosler says just cannot be true.


U.S. Will Come To Regret Its Assassination of Qassim Soleimani

Moon of Alabama has the article U.S. Will Come To Regret Its Assassination of Qassim Soleimani.

Today the U.S. declared war on Iran and Iraq.

War is what it will get.

Earlier today a U.S. drone or helicopter killed Major General Qassim Soleimani, the famous commander of the Iranian Quds (‘Jerusalem’) force, while he left the airport of Baghdad where he had just arrived. He had planned to attend the funeral of the 31 Iraqi soldiers the U.S. had killed on December 29 at the Syrian-Iraqi border near Al-Qaim.

I have no idea whether or not Iran has the capabilities of making good on its threats. This is the type of thing for which I coined Greenberg’s Law of Idle Threats.

Never make a threat you don’t intend to carry out. If you have any doubts about your ability to carry out the threat, do not make it.

Corollary:

If you never test the opposition about whether they make idle threats, then you enable them to ignore this law.