–Why MMT frustrates the hell out of me

Mitchell’s laws:
●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor,
which leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.

MMT is right about economics. MMT is correct when it says cutting the deficit does not grow an economy, but instead leads to recessions and depressions. I say the same thing.

MMT is correct in favoring the Platinum Coin Solution, which I also favor as a clever way to get around the unbelievably stupid federal debt limit and federal debt concerns.

MMT is correct in wanting an end to FICA, the world’s worst tax, about which I posted back in 2009: “Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA” with the help of two MMT adherents.

I cannot even begin to count the number of things about which MMT is right and our government and our media and the mainstream economists are wrong.

So what’s my problem?

MMT is filled with college professors and other academic minds who believe that if they merely reveal the Truth, the people will learn and follow and all will be well. There is no passion in MMT. They think the people are waiting to be educated, and once seeing the Truth and the Logic and the Wisdom, the sun will shine, again.


MMT refuses to recognize that powerful forces oppose the Truth. MMT thinks that outrage “detracts from the message.” MMT supports the calm recitation of facts as a way to change the world.


Has anything ever been accomplished without passion? Were the slaves freed because of a calm recitation of facts? Did King George give us freedom because of a calm recitation of facts? Did the unions free the workers from unfair labor practices because of a calm recitation of facts?

Did Knute Rockne or Vince Lombardi win because of a calm recitation of facts? Has any politician ever won because of a calm recitation of facts? Why must politicians focus on soaring language and slogans, interspersed with bare mentions of semi-fact?

When has the public ever demonstrated a desire to be led by a calm recitation of facts?

MMT likes to stand on a high podium and teach, but it sure doesn’t like to learn. It has no interest in learning the beliefs of the people. So when, from that podium, they disclose the Truth and are met with, “Eventually we’ll have hyper-inflation like the Weimar Republic, “ and “Eventually our grandchildren will pay,” and “Eventually other nations will stop lending to us,” and “Eventually the price will have to be paid” (always “eventually”), and of course, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” — then MMT retreats to dry teaching of the Facts.

MMT tries to dumb down the Truth even more, in a fruitless effort to counter the media’s, the politicians’s and the mainstream economists’ endless brainwashing.

MMT doesn’t take advantage of the one edge they have: People already are disposed to hate the .1% and to believe the worst about them and are ready to march and vote against the .1%, if given a passionate leader to follow, and a logical-sounding reason to believe him.

Here is the calm recitation of facts: Cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, aid to education, housing aid, federal employment, food and drug inspection, financial industry oversight, while increasing FICA and sending dollars to a government that creates all the dollars it wants, needlessly takes dollars out of the economy and out of the people’s pockets.

That is what we’ve told the people. Their response: Disbelief and yawns.

Obama knows the Truth. Geithner knows it. Boehner knows it. Congress knows it. The media, which are owned by the .1% know it. Every politician supported by big money coming from the Kochs et al, knows it and is required to toe the line. They lie because they are paid to lie.

But MMT, does not want to say it. They have “no proof” they say. They seem to think the Kochs of the world waste billions of dollars, just for the joy of involvement, not because they have a selfish agenda.

Meanwhile, MMT spends endless hours trying to recast the facts in ever simpler terms, so even the dullest fool can understand them, then stands puzzled about why all the dull fools in Washington don’t seem to understand. Hey guys: They are paid not to understand.

King George understood. Slave owners understood. Business owners understood. But they felt their own selfish interests were best supported by not understanding — until the people dragged them, kicking and screaming, to understand.

Affecting the rulers requires passion, marching, accusations, threats and people carrying torches and pitchforks.

MMT thinks that a calm recitation of the facts will convince the .1% to give up on their precious income gap or convince the 99.9% to vote against their intuition and the vast amount of daily brainwashing. A million times a day, from all sides, comes the message that the debt is too big, and MMT expects their wee, cautious, logical little academic voices to overcome that?


Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty


Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Medicare — parts A, B & D — for everyone
3. Send every American citizen an annual check for $5,000 or give every state $5,000 per capita (Click here)
4. Long-term nursing care for everyone
5. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
6. Salary for attending school (Click here)
7. Eliminate corporate taxes
8. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
9. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99%

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports


25 thoughts on “–Why MMT frustrates the hell out of me

  1. WOW, you would have made Patrick Henry proud.
    Could you, would you, please, either endorse or improve a battle cry,
    “Tax Money, Not Income”, “QE 4 Prosperity”
    Is it true ? :
    (1) The Fed can QE unlimited amounts of currency for the purchase of assets for an unlimited period of time. (proven by Bernanke by QE 3 (infinity)
    (2) The Fed can turn that revenue over to the US Treasury to be placed in the General Account.
    (3) The only change would be that of taking the income (revenue) from these assets away from the “private for profit banks” and giving it back to the people.
    “Give me equality, or give me death”.


  2. Merry Christmas, Roger! 🙂

    Peace on Earth, MMT to men. 😉

    BTW, Ayn Rand took the MMT approach of education instead of political action. Her ideas have unfortunately taken root.

    Not that I am against passion, but I think that the road is long.


    1. Rand appeals to the intellect, not to emotions. MMT, likewise. Still, most MMT adherents are passionate Progressives, notably Norman, Black, and Wray, and many of their followers in the blogosphere. They see MMT as a tool to advance their political goals. Passion is not necessary to get other Progressives on their side, and not helpful to change the minds of those who approach economics in an intellectual way.


  3. Wow! Bravo! Yes, Yes and Yes, this is exactly the point, not only about MMT, but about any of the movements that are long on facts but short on passion. The moderator of the MMT Google group (whom I won’t name here) drives me crazy on this point, spouting dry and irrelevant recitations of systems theory instead of answering the very real, albeit misguided, questions about the debt that you enumerated above. It dilutes the message so much that I almost think he is actually trying to weaken the message of MMT (maybe he is – gov’t moles are not out of the question either).
    As a Georgist, I can certainly relate to this, and take it to heart personally. Henry George breathed fire, and if he hadn’t died at 58 (some say his commitment to economic justice killed him early, and his doctor did advise him not to run in his ill-fated second run for Mayor of New York, where he died just 5 weeks before the end of the contest he might have won). Anyway, his current day followers have none of this passion. Greenbackers, also like me, are a little better, but lack a focal theory to gather around (Zarlenga’s solution, which has Greenbacking as a single part, is too complex to create a mass movement out of).
    Anyway, enough, before I slip into the fact-recitation you warn of.
    As I’ve said before, I agree with 80-90% of MS theory, though I think Greenbacking would be a better way to answer the debt-critics because it doesn’t raise the debt to begin with (I know; we’ve had this discussion before), but if MS really took off, I’d get behind it – it’s miles above what passes for economics out there, based on Austerity Economics; already a proven failure.
    Kudos! I’m going to share this with my fellow activists to get them to see what we (incl. me) are lacking when we try to spread our solutions.


    1. MIke, I’m sure you do.

      But, to overcome the massive propaganda against us, the public needs to be angry at who is screwing them and why.

      Your passion must become the public’s passion, and they must have a target for their passion.

      So please point me to your articles in which you rightly blame the .1% for bribing politicians and the media to disseminate the debt myths, and where you explain why the .1% is doing it (to widen the gap).

      The “why” is important.

      I’ll refer to them, here.

      Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


        1. Mike, if I were to guess, it would be that I read your blog more than you read mine. But if you have been saying:

          1. That the “debt crisis” is a fraud, concocted by the .1% to widen the gap between them and the rest

          2. The .1% deliberately are starving our children and sickening the middle and lower classes and making them homeless, just for their own selfish goals

          3. And the .1% has bribed the media and the politicians to brainwash the public into its own suicidal self destruction

          4. And the public should be damn angry about this and refuse to take the BS any longer . . .

          If you have been saying all that, great! Keep it up. Perhaps between the two of us, we can get something done.

          Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


  4. Some criticise Mike Norman and Randy Wray for being too aggressive!

    I think the anger/expression needs to be reined in, moderate anger is supposed to be more convincing.

    Have you read the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists?

    It’s depressingly good on how groomed Edwardian England was to vote against their own best interests despite having the idea of a social commonwealth clearly explained as a way to organise society in a way that people get work, food, shelter, healthcare and education sufficient to benefit and improve the whole of the nation.


    1. Will,

      You have just made my point.

      “Aggressive” in the academic world is a sad joke in the real world. Campaigns are won, not by “reining in” the emotions, but rather by using the emotions and expressing outrage and pointing the finger at the culprits.

      If Randy or Mike has written articles telling the public how and why the .1% are bribing the politicians (via contributions) and the media (via ownership and advertising) to spread the myth of deficit reduction, I surely want to read them.

      I want to see articles titled something like, “How the rich are screwing you. Why are you letting them?”

      No, I haven’t read RTP. Probably don’t need to, as it sounds like what’s happening here.


      1. I don’t think we are that far apart…the UK situation is desperate, from bitterly painful personal experience at my local A&E with kidney stones I’ve seen how professional “carers” supposedly intelligent operating a badly line-managed stupid system allow a fellow human being to suffer in pain for over an hour whilst ‘processing’ the customer let alone patient, FFS they didn’t even have gas and air, never mind pretending to give me morphine.

        It is entirely possible for intelligent people in a stupid system to behave and act stupidly, I’m a Civil Servant so my working environment bare’s this out too, but especially when it favours the ruling caste’s narrow self interest and we’ve had 40 odd years of far hard right authoritarian grooming…I’ve also learnt that brainwashed people don’t like having it pointed out…how to unfool the fooled?


    2. @ Will Richardson, I did not know about the 1914 novel “The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists.”

      Sounds interesting.

      Evidently the novel discusses various ways that the poor insist on remaining slaves. Clergymen, academicians, exploitative capitalists, corrupt councilors, some union bosses, and the corporate media all cooperate to maintain this slavery (in order to maintain their own privileges).

      The “philanthropists” are the poor who exist to keep the rich in splendor.

      The poor distrust their own thoughts. They distrust logic itself. They trust only their “betters” who exploit them. They insist on suffering, and they jeer at the novel’s protagonist Frank Owen who tries to explain the facts to them. Owen always wins arguments, but loses during votes.

      Sound familiar?

      Like I keep saying, most people are not comfortable unless they are miserable. Most people cling to lies, especially when people know they are lies. Most people use hopelessness as a security blanket. Most people would rather be “right” than be prosperous. Most people would rather bicker than cooperate. Most people prefer to complain about being cold, rather than simply grab another blanket.

      Because of these social factors, every military must have a chain of command, and every society must have economic strata. Perhaps this is just the way things always have been, and always will be.

      From “The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists”…

      “The workers were the enemy. They were the real oppressors. They were responsible for the continuation of the present system. No wonder the rich despised them and looked upon them as dirt. They were dirt. They were despicable. They admitted it. They gloried in it. They were easy prey for the wolves.”

      That was written over a century ago (1911), and it remains true today.


      1. “Perhaps this is just the way things always have been, and always will be.”
        No so. Man thru freedom of choice changed what had been “happiness and prosperity” to “servitude and poverty”.
        The means to return are still here on earth.
        We need only to use them for all mankind instead of the 1%.


      2. It’s been made into a play and I recently saw a version done by two actors, bittersweet humour, and the “money trick” is a powerful simply explanation of the real charity at the heart of “free” (free, it seems pretty expensive to me!) market (hmm, more like oligopolies/trusts/monopolies) system.

        Another interesting book/story is Robert Heinlein’s For us, the Living. It outlines an alternative future for the US/World written in 1939, some amazingly right, some not; but outlinging the Social Credit ideas in a powerfully concrete “game” demonstration using chess pieces, cards etc clearly showing that the problem is net non government savings and that governments need to run a spending surplus to fund it or you get a deflationary debt spiral and mass unemployment.

        We need to be creative at telling attractive powerful stories that explain what’s wrong and concretely how to move to better operating systems. And yes motivation’s important, why is it that centuries old banking family millionaire David Cameron is slashing and burning the 100-n% real net income whilst filling the trough for his billionaire “mates” with public money like the privatisation of the NHS, toll booth roads, PFI etc.


  5. Why MMT frustrates the hell out of me(Justaluckyfool)
    They (MMTers) assume they are 100% right on 100% of the issues.
    This may be a good thing, but their absolute refusal to defend their position at times is unexcused.
    With a prayer I ask again, Hudson, Wray, Mossler, Black, Mitchell,
    all others :
    IS IT TRUE ?
    (!) QE is a proven method that would allow the FED to purchase
    unlimited amounts of assets for an unlimited period of time?
    It is an Einstein style “simple” question.
    (2) QE is presently being used to allow “private for profit banks” (PFPB)
    to make tremendous profits for their own selfish use ?
    Simple question.
    (3) If 1 and 2 are true. Would it be true to say, “QE can be used to raise
    tremendous profits(revenues) for the people for their own selfish use ?
    Three simple questions that await a profound answer, not for one but for all


    1. 1. Yes, of course
      2. I don’t think that is the intent of QE, and I don’t think the profits (0.25% on excess reserves created by QE) can be called “tremendous”. I’m sure the banks would rather lend the funds at 6% or 12% than 0.25%, if they could find creditworthy, willing borrowers.
      3. I don’t follow the logic of this at all. Are you proposing that the Fed buy assets from ordinary people, and let them keep the proceeds in a Fed account at 0.25% interest, like the banks do?

      In your previous post, question 2 was

      (2) The Fed can turn that revenue over to the US Treasury to be placed in the General Account.

      There is no revenue to the Fed from purchasing assets, except perhaps the interest earned on them, and that interest and all profits made by the Fed is already turned over to Treasury each year.

      And question 3 previously was

      (3) The only change would be that of taking the income (revenue) from these assets away from the “private for profit banks” and giving it back to the people.

      In buying the assets from the banks, the Fed is in essence taking the income from the assets away from the banks, and in remitting that income to the Treasury, it is, sort of, giving it back to the people. Is that what you have in mind? Or some other direct transfer from the Fed to the people, leaving Treasury out of it?


    2. 1, 2, & 3 are all false. you don’t understand what QE is, so your question is misframed.

      that said, i’ve have been to mosler and mitchell’s sites and they have explained what QE is. my impression is you are just simply ignoring their answers, b/c it doesn’t meet with your false conspiratorial view of the Fed.

      for the umpteenth time, here’s yet another explanation of QE:



  6. rodger,

    though i totally understand where you are coming from, i must say that to a large extent, i disagree.

    “MMT thinks that a calm recitation of the facts will convince the .1% to give up on their precious income gap…”

    in a society based on competition for resources made deliberately scarce, where you have an increasingly smaller group of “winners” who earn all the money, own everything, including the government (and, let’s not forget, the military), how does anyone convince them that they will somehow be better off than what they are now–standing at the top of the world with their boots on everybody else’s neck?? why should they care about the rest of us when they have the whole world in their hands??

    “… or convince the 99.9% to vote against their intuition and the vast amount of daily brainwashing …”

    i have a question for you: how many apparent raving lunatics on tv or radio convinced YOU to go against your intuition or brainwashing? people simply will NOT doubt their core beliefs unless some event or series of events, generally traumatic or otherwise overwhelming, forces them to.

    also, i think that, despite all the posturing, most people on the planet are followers of the herd. people are going to go wherever the herd is going. it doesn’t matter if it’s in the right direction–they’ll keep on walking wherever the herd goes, even if that leads them over the (fiscal) cliff.

    i totally understand your frustration. in personal conversations with people i know, i try to broach the subject of the true nature of the monetary system–nobody wants to hear it. they want to hear about kim kardashian or lindsay lohan or the new outfit you just bought yesterday or the movie or the game you saw last night and yada, yada, yada.

    you can’t blame the messengers–it’s a stacked deck–totally stacked against them. and that’s why, as i’ve said elsewhere, i’ve lost hope.

    the only thing left is “demographics.” the people in control of everything now will die out in a decade or 2 and perhaps then there will be an opening for a shift in conscienceness in the US public. until then, nothing is gonna change.


      1. Please, “Never, ever give up” (Win. Churchill)

        Also a reply to your comment on Mike Norman,

        Justaluckyfool,”Isn’t the answer to “Why”, “So that the 1% can gain possession of all the goods and services of the world (wealth) and have a balance owed to them which would demand servitude”
        They spend (what they have in storage and “print”) money (pay for political services, etc., ) to make more money.


  7. The belief that modifications made to the present economic/political system are all that is required is what frustrates the hell out of me about those listed above. For me the hope lies in pursuing the destruction of the current corrupt system and all of its associated malaise. State sponsored capitalism and the concept of common good cannot coexist, period.


  8. Here we are in 2015 and your message still carries force. I get more passion from the refuseniks who”Don’t believe” MMT or spin lies about it that we will all spend into oblivion. We’ll all be ruined. Some even call it a cult, which shows how out of touch that opinion is.
    Let’s see if Prof Kenyon can get enough groundswell to make a difference?


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