Is this the end of austerity and the beginning of “We always knew it”?

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.
●Everything in economics devolves to motive.

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HOW MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY BEGAN
Sometime in 1993, for reasons unknown, the words of a former teacher — I believe a high school teacher — rose to my conscious memory: “All money is debt.” Perhaps way back then, I had been reading about America’s “unsustainable” debt growth as being a “ticking time bomb.”

I recall wondering why, if debt growth really were unsustainable and a ticking time bomb, how were we able to sustain it for so many years, and why hadn’t that old bomb exploded by now. The mystery would be explained if my teacher were correct, that indeed, all money is debt.

Money is sustainable and surely not a ticking time bomb.

So I thought and thought — for three years I thought –and jotted down my thoughts. By 1996, those jottings turned into a book titled, “THE ULTIMATE AMERICA — UNLIMITED POWER AND TOTAL CONTROL.

The book’s final words were:

I wrote the Ultimate America, because I believe the country is in danger of making the most terrible mistake of its economic life — the drive toward a balanced budget. My hope is that you will see the same danger I do, and will contact your friends, relatives and especially your representatives in Congress, to help them see the danger, too.

If enough of us understand the problems and the solutions, our precious country may be saved. That is what I believe.

It was my original writing on Monetary Sovereignty, though I didn’t use the term at that time. What I see now as predictable, I wasn’t able to find a publisher. So I self-published and sent free copies of the book to everyone in Congress and to hundreds of media writers and business people.

Back then, I believed the truth alone would save America. I didn’t yet understand the motive.

A year later, I edited THE ULTIMATE AMERICA, and the result was FREE MONEY, PLAN FOR PROSPERITY. It ends with these words:

A growing economy must have a growing supply of money.
The federal government is the only U.S. entity that can create an unlimited amount of money.
Therefore, the federal government can and should end its borrowing and taxing, and very simply, create the money needed to grow our economy.

By 2009, realizing that a few thousand books would not make a dent in the public’s mindset, I began this blog, trying to reach more people with the message.

As FREE MONEY also couldn’t find a publisher, I again had decided to self-publish, and in addition to giving copies away, sell it on Amazon. In 2010, someone at the University of Missouri, Kansas City bought and read FREE MONEY. I was invited to speak before one of Randy Wray’s classes. You can read the full text of the talk, here.

I flew down there, gave the talk, and only later that evening, at dinner with Randy and others, did I discover I was not alone. I never had heard of Warren Mosler’s Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), and sincerely believed my talk would be ill-received. I was shocked that people actually agreed with me, a rare experience.

In short, my invention had been preceded.

By 2010, though I agreed with virtually all of MMT’s economic descriptions, and most of its recommendations, I began to discover enough differences (especially regarding the need for taxes, the prevention of inflation and the cure for unemployment) that I decided to differentiate my “invention” by giving it the name, “Monetary Sovereignty” (MS).

WHERE WE ARE NOW

For many years, I had agreed with MMT that the problem we faced was one of ignorance, and if only we could phrase our beliefs in ever simple enough terms, politicians, economists, the media and the people eventually would “get it.”

Though we were right about the people — theirs really is a problem of ignorance — it was a great conceit on my part to believe that of the President of the United States, every member of Congress, every member of the Counsel of Economic Advisers, every mainstream economist and media writer — every single one of them — not one was bright enough to understand what I understood: The clear and obvious facts of Monetary Sovereignty and the disaster of austerity.

Even were I vain enough to believe I’m smarter than most of them, I knew no one should think of himself as smarter than everyone. No, it couldn’t be ignorance that separated those who understood MS from those who seemingly didn’t.

It couldn’t be ignorance that had virtually everyone claiming the debt and deficit were too large and that by some magical mathematics, austerity would grow our economy. It had to be something else.

I asked myself, “Who benefits from austerity,” and the answer came: The upper .1% income group — the super rich — benefits, because deficit reduction invariably involves reducing programs that benefit the middle- and lower-income classes.

The rich are not rich because the have a lot of money. They are rich because they have a lot more money than the rest of us.

It is the gap that makes them rich. Without the gap, no one would be rich, and the wider the gap, the richer the rich are.

It instantly became clear that the super-rich were bribing the politicians (via campaign contributions and promises of lucrative employment, later), the media (via ownership) and the economists (via contributions to universities, ownership of the publications in which economists needed to publish and lucrative employment).

The rich were bribing all the opinion-makers, who in turn were brainwashing to public into believing that something that never worked, and by definition cannot work, somehow not only worked but was necessary and prudent.

Early this year, I began to discuss this bribery (which was amplified by the right-wing, Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision), and ever so slowly, ever so tentatively and reluctantly, MMT writers have begun to join in.

I also wrote how the media, the economists and the politicians eventually would tell the world that austerity is a bad idea, and how they knew it all the time.

And it has begun:

Washington Post
Austerity doctrine is exposed as flimflam
By Katrina vanden Heuvel, Published: April 23

The austerity claque got it wrong. And the harsh bill is being paid by millions of Americans and millions more in Europe in jobs lost, homes foreclosed, families split apart, hopes crushed.

They can’t repay the costs of their folly. We don’t really need an apology. But could they at least get out of the way so we could get on with the jobs programs that we should have undertaken years ago?

Austerity has been tried and found wanting in practice. Instead of expansion and growth, Europe has been driven back into recession. With Britain’s credit rating downgraded, its economy contracting, its unemployment rolls soaring, its debts rising, three years of rosy forecasts shredded, Tory Chancellor George Osborne’s tears at the lavish funeral for Margaret Thatcher may well have been for the burial of his own reputation.

The IMF, once a bastion of austerity economics, has admitted its errors, warning that austerity is now sabotaging recovery.

So, will the “Fix the Debt” austerity claque, the Republican Tea Party Caucus and McConnell get out of the way so the president and Democrats can pass jobs programs to put people to work?

Don’t count on it. As the case for austerity was eviscerated, Simpson and Bowles came out with yet another austerity plan, once more calling for urgent reforms to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits in order to avoid economic collapse.

Sadly, austerity’s reign of misery continues, even as it has been demolished in theory and practice. We will be freed of austerity’s grip only when those in power return to common sense, fact-based politics and when we hear much more from the unemployed and the immiserated and much less from bankers and their favored economists.

Welcome, Katrina. Hope you don’t get fired.

And then there’s this lift from the previous post’s comments:

Austerity as a bridge to nowhere
By Eugene Robinson, Published: May 7, 2012

Economic austerity is a dangerous, self-defeating intellectual fad. Perhaps I should say that’s what it was, given Sunday’s election results in Europe. Perhaps I should also say good riddance.

Voters in France, Greece and even Germany — a hotbed of the austerity cult — told their political leaders, in no uncertain terms, that boosting economic growth is more important than cutting government spending. Here in the United States, I hope that Democrats, at least, were paying attention; I fear that the addled ideologues who control the Republican Party will never get the message.

One obviously bad option would have been to withdraw from the euro, default on a mountain of debt and slowly climb back from a deep economic depression. Officials in Athens decided to go with a worse option — stay with the euro, impose draconian austerity, muzzle anyone who utters the word “default” — that also sent the country into a deep economic depression with no apparent way out.

What? Could it be that some columnists, chafing under the iron rule of their publishers, actually are ready to speak the truth? (Although withdrawing from the euro would not require default, the truth is here. Right?) Well, sort of:

That loud chorus of “Duh!” you just heard came from the many leading economists who have been screaming at political leaders for years now that we’ll never cut our way out of this economic slump and instead must grow our way out. It is obvious that deficits, debt loads and entitlement spending have to be brought under control — but equally obvious that the necessary adjustments should be made when the economy is going great guns, not when it’s gasping for air.

It’s the TRUTH that is gasping for air. Suddenly “many leading economists” have been saying it “for years now.” (“Many” means about half dozen, mostly from UMKC. I’ve been saying it for almost 20 years, but my voice has been a tiny squeak, while standing next to a roaring jet engine built by Koch, Peterson et al.)

We seem to have arrived at the segue where:
1. Austerity is good and necessary
2. No, wait. Austerity is good, but it’s bad right now. It’ll be good later.
3. No, wait. Austerity is bad today and bad tomorrow, and we always knew it.

Someone tell Obama. He’s still stuck at #1.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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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

#MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

28 thoughts on “Is this the end of austerity and the beginning of “We always knew it”?

  1. All economists, at least since Keynes, have known that austerity reduces economic growth. All but the MMT-enlightened still think that a good time to reduce economic growth occurs every few years, near the top of each business cycle. It is true that essentially all have been saying “for years now” that we need growth, not austerity. That is classic Keynes. The number of years is about 3, not 20. They may have quieted down in 2010-11 when growth was almost 3%, but they are speaking again now.

    Politicians are also in favor of growth. Being less economically literate than economists, and comparable to the general public, they are caught up in the magnitudes of things today being so much larger than in the recent past.

    They think (or at least they argue) thusly:

    “When $400B deficits were dangerously high in 2004, and led to a bubble whose bursting was horribly painful, how could $1T deficits not be leading straight to catastrophe today?”

    And that argument rings true for the vast majority of non-economists.

    Even the more famous economists, like Krugman, who know and have said consistently that the deficits since 2008 were too low and are still too low, cannot come up with a cogent refutation of that argument. And maybe don’t want to risk it, because they believe that the time for austerity could be just around the corner, and they don’t want to be labeled a “flip-flopper” when they change their tune. They are, except for UMKC, all “deficit doves”. Growth now, austerity later. They’re at step 2, always have been and always will be, because they will not in large numbers “convert” to MMT,they will believe as they do today until they die.

    Katerina, bless her heart, is a broken record. She wants more government all the time. Her argument is the same regardless of economic conditions, and the current situation doesn’t make her any more persuasive, even though she is economically correct this time. And don’t worry for her, her job is safe, because her editors (if not the publisher) agree with her.

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    1. “Even the more famous economists, like Krugman cannot come up with a cogent refutation of that argument.”

      Mind if I try?

      ARGUMENT: “When $400B deficits were dangerously high in 2004, and led to a bubble whose bursting was horribly painful, how could $1T deficits not be leading straight to catastrophe today?”

      RESPONSE: A $400B deficit was not dangerously high, and did not create bank fraud, nor the housing bubble, nor the derivatives bubble, nor the housing crash, nor the current depression. Nor was it connected with the deregulation that enabled the frauds and bubbles. Nor is the federal deficit $1 trillion. It is now about $775 billion, and plummeting. If you disagree, please explain why.

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      On a different note, the question is what stage we are at.

      Stage 1: Ha, ha! That’s ridiculous. Common sense says you’re a moron.

      Stage 2: You wrong!

      Stage 3: I’ll KILL YOU!

      Stage 4: I said it all along.

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      1. The statement about Bush’s deficit being too high was accepted by the electorate. They voted in Obama, who promised to reduce it. For the next 4 years, they were told that all the bad things happening were due to Bush’s economic policy, in particular the Bush tax cuts, and the deficits they caused. And they accepted that, and Obama was reelected.

        With the public believing that (even if it is not true), they will not buy into the need for deficits of even $775B (I think they started at about $1.4T and have been going down a bit each year. About $1T on average since Bush’s last budget year.). Voters have been told for almost 6 years now, over and over and over again, that high deficits are the cause of our economic problems. And that the higher they go, the worse the problems. As deficits have come down lately, the unemployment rate has also come down, which “proves” – to the non-economist – that deficits are bad for us.

        Clinton is still America’s economic hero, because he had a surplus.

        Someone must effectively refute the argument that won the last two presidential elections. You haven’t done it.

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        1. “Someone must effectively refute the argument that won the last two presidential elections. You haven’t done it.”

          Only because I don’t own the media outlets.

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  2. Sloppy thinking is everywhere.

    Dean Baker co-heads the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.

    Baker says the purpose of austerity is to weaken the bargaining power of workers.

    All right, I’ll give him that. But then he blows it. In discussing the Reinhart-Rogoff disgrace. He says, “There were many problems with the basic story in R&R. The most obvious problem was causality. Countries often accumulate large amounts of debt because their economies are doing poorly.”

    No, Dean. When a nation has Monetary Sovereignty, a poor economy has little or nothing to do with the amount of Treasuries it sells. (Unless the government has a law saying it must sell Treasuries equivalent to its federal deficit. And even then the “debt” is an asset.)

    (By the way, this stuff about Japan’s “lost decade” is a myth. It never happened. However I won’t go into that unless someone challenges me.)

    Baker believes that MS governments borrow their money. Therefore, in his mind, when an economy is down, the government accumulates more debt.

    Such sloppy thinking cannot prevail against austerity.

    http://english.caixin.com/2013-04-23/100518886.html

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If anyone is not clear what kind of magazine the Economist is, just take a look at the cover of the latest issue…

    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2013/04/16/economical-with-the-truth/

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    1. Can you point out to me when the legislative changes occurred that allows for the US to act as a true Monetary Sovereign?

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      1. Actually there was no formal legislative change. There was no executive order. No act of congress. Nixon simply did it on Sunday 15 Aug 1971, the day he told his Treasury Secretary John Connally to “close the gold window.” We know this because Nixon appeared on TV that day and said it.

        Monetary Sovereignty means that a nation creates its own currency, and the currency is free-floating (not pegged to anything else) and non-convertible to gold or anything else.

        (The Economic Stabilization Act of 1970 went into effect on 15 Aug 1971. Nixon’s Executive Order 11615 was also dated 15 Aug 1971. These were irrelevant. The Act merely stabilized prices, rents, wages, salaries, interest rates, and dividends. Nixon’s executive order merely established a “Cost of Living Council.”)

        The Nixon Administration decided to “close the gold window” because

        [1] The war on Vietnam, plus increased domestic spending, created a large federal deficit, which was undesirable when the USA was on a gold standard.

        [2] The USA had only half the gold it had in 1960, which made the US economy increasingly vulnerable to international gold traders.

        [3] The USA was on the verge of having a trade deficit.

        [4] The Bretton Woods system no longer worked. Because of the gold standard, there had been an international monetary crisis every year, each one worse than the last.

        [5] West Germany went Monetarily Sovereign in May 1971, which made the U.S. dollar very vulnerable to exchange-rate manipulation.

        The Nixon Administration was most concerned with the last item. Basically, the USA went Monetarily Sovereign to stabilize the dollar’s exchange rate. It worked so well, and gave the USA such power, that most other nations quickly did the same thing.

        Later, 19 nations plus the Vatican City surrendered their Monetarily Sovereignty to a cartel of bankers, thereby falling into in a permanent depression. Now Latvia, Lithuania, and Denmark want to give up their MS so they too can have a depression. The governments of six other European countries are also talking about adopting the euro, and joining the nightmare.

        Insanity loves company.

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      2. Charles: To add to Mark’s reply. – If you are thinking of laws and practices that say that the Treasury must sell bonds before it spends, has to have a positive balance in its Fed account (at the end of the day; it can and sometimes does have a negative balance during the day), well, the answer is that these don’t mean much.

        Basically because financial institutions will always go for interest paying money = bonds in place of non-interest bearing money, because the government maintains a buffer stock of callable reserves in the TT&L accounts and because the Fed works to maintain its short term rate targets, things pretty much happen just as if the government printed money whenever it felt like it. In ZIRPy environments, like right now, the difference between having a bond market and just a currency printing press is minuscule. The government – the Treasury and not the Fed in particular, if you distinguish the two – really, really does create the base money / currency of the economy. Scott Fullwiler has a paper which can act as an introduction to Stephanie Kelton’s Taxes & Bonds paper & the treatment in Wray’s 1998 book. There are people who are confused about the intentionally confusing smoke and mirrors accounting and say different, but they haven’t read this stuff with enough care, (not to say that I have 🙂 ) and refuse to let go of misconceptions like the banks creating the base money of our economy.

        It IS possible, it HAS happened that banks create the base money. But not since before the USA existed, in medieval times. The way to tell is if the bank credits you with less than a dollar if you pay a dollar for a debt to the bank. Ever happen to you?

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    2. In reality, sirs, the government’s money creation abilities are dispersed away from the government to the private banking system, that is, into private hands because the system was designed in such a manner so as to charge money creation powers away from the hands of government and into the hands of the private sector; specifically to the private banking sector.

      I only wish the people, for the people are government in a democracy, would demand that government through its Treasury usurp the money creation power from private banking. I only wish that our Government would become and be permitted to act as a true Monetary Sovereign. In order for this to become a reality legislation must be both eliminated and created. Only then will government by the people which serves the people and not just a privileged minority become self-evident. Extreme efforts will be needed for the things you seem to already exist will so. What a wonderful world it could be.

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      1. Some of our money is created by banks as loans, and some of it is created by the federal government, via spending.

        If you choose to deny this fact, that’s up to you.

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    3. It’s widely accepted (and I agree) that MS countries DO BORROW more as a result of running a deficit in a recession. If you want argue that they don’t, you’ll have to go into much more detail than is contained in the above comment.

      You can of course argue that when government debt rises as above, the government / central bank machine can do QE. And (assuming one regards government and central bank as a single entity) then government debt does not rise. I.e. in effect government is simply printing money to deal with the recession.

      But that’s one of the points you need to clarify.

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      1. The only “borrowing” the federal government does is to sell T-securities via the Fed. This is by choice, not necessity. It is not even borrowing, since the government creates those securities (plus their interest payments) out of nothing.

        The government creates money by crediting accounts. It has the authority to increase your bank account by 1,000, thereby creating one thousand dollars.

        QE is a separate matter; a Fed matter. QE augments bank reserves, but the reserves are not spent. Hence QE does not add money to the economy, does not create jobs, and does not ease the depression. QE back-stops banks as they gamble in the various markets (stock markets, commodities markets, foreign exchange market, etc). QE is part of the One Percent’s overall theft of wealth from the 99%.

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  3. Why push the money via deficits? I propose 5 million for each family. And if they have more than 2 children give them 5 more. To make it more motivating, we can throw a 7 bedroom mansion, 2 lambos, a pool, and let’s not forget, some coke.

    I am not a believer that economies need a growing money supply – who says so and why?

    Please forgive me Dr Mitchell but can you stimulate our intelligence and give us some logical explanations other than ‘because they widen the gap’. How about telling us how cutting government irresponsibility and theft makes the middle class ‘poorer’. How sir?

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    1. “I am not a believer that economies need a growing money supply – who says so and why?”

      It is considered axiomatic that a large economy needs more money than a smaller one. Do you disagree? Could the US, for instance, sustain and grow its GDP if it had only the same amount of money as Guatemala?

      If you accept that larger economies need more money than smaller ones, it is simple logic that a growing economy needs more money over time: a growing money supply.

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      1. Notice i said growing economy, not GDP. The US can double the amount of government spending, does that mean our economy is expanding? It doesnt…

        Truth is, a fixed currency would actually stimulate production more that a growing one. Dr Roger knows this, money is simply a measure, nothing else. As i’ve stated before on this forum, money is simply cups while production is the water. You can have as many cups as you want, double them, triple them, quadruple them – but the water, you need to produce that.

        More money in the context of our economy simply means the same water divided into more, emptier, cups. I don’t know about you, but if i was producing to have my water deposited in some lazy bums’ cup, i’d look to become a lazy bum myself. That’s the reason Russia, an oil rich country, ended with soup lines.

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        1. How do you measure the economy, if not by GDP?

          If the government doubles its spending then it is buying twice as much stuff, and that will either raise prices or prompt the producers of the stuff government is buying to produce more of it. And when they do that, the economy gets larger. More people get hired to produce that stuff, the companies that sell the raw materials also have to increase production and hire more workers. The newly hired workers now have income to spend, that they didn’t have before, and they buy stuff, too, etc., etc.

          The way more money is created is by government spending it into existence (and then not taxing it away). That increases what economists call “aggregate demand” – the total demand for stuff in the economy. If it’s cups and water, aggregate demand is the amount of water that people want to buy (how many cups they want to fill). Water producers will produce more water, as much as they can sell, or as much as they can produce, whichever comes first.

          Alternately, the government could create money by spending the same and cutting taxes, and the people who don’t pay the taxes anymore will have more income to spend, and that will also have the effect of causing the producers of the stuff the people buy to make more of it, hire more workers, etc., etc.

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        2. I am not even sure i know how to answer. All i can say is – than why don’t rich people bully our government to do it? Wouldn’t they benefit from more wealth?

          I will answer that for you. The answer is no… government spending does not translate into more production, unless, as i said before – you are a masoquist. You are making the assumption that every dollar, today and tomorrow, will have an equal value. You are also assuming that producers will want to produce more. I am sure you aren’t a business man.

          Why would you produce more when the government steals your margins? How anyone can think that a doubling of the money supply will be a net positive for society is beyond my ability to comprehend.

          Doubling the money supply will only re-price assets across the board and will lead to a multitude of producers no longer producing. This is what inflation is…it’s not an increase in prices as ‘economists’ put it, it’s an increase in the amount of money and credit.

          I suggest you look at historical graph and look at the US’s output. It will show you how much insentive the devaluation of the dollar has given producers. Let me warn you, it’s not what you expect.

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        3. I make no assumptions about prices. You may read “GDP” as “Real GDP” (adjusted for inflation) in all my comments. And those of most every economist. If they don’t mean that, they use a different term: NGDP, for Nominal GDP, unadjusted for price changes.

          Depending on how it was spent, a sudden doubling of government might well cause price increases, if the spending would take place before producers could adjust.

          Doubling over the course of 20 years at a rate of 3.5% a year could easily be accommodated, again depending on how it was spent. Indeed, that is the Ryan budget plan, which is considered the most austere of all.

          A 3.5% rate reduction in FICA, for instance, would spread the demand pretty equally across the economy (and over time), allowing nearly all businesses to ramp up production as sales increased, avoiding any inflation. As long as there are so many millions unemployed.

          The historical graph shows an increasing trend in US output, along with the increase in money and in government spending and debt. Interspersed with recessions, surely, but trending up overall. Real stuff, not price increases.

          And every private sector company I’ve ever worked for was always trying to increase sales and production. What business were you in, that didn’t want to grow?

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        4. Hahahaha…

          The output growth is up? Measured in what? Worthless dollars…

          The impact of government spending on gdp has been declining for years and will continue to do so to the point of collapse. The US government is starving corporations and individuals of capital. The data is available to the public, you can figure this out with second grade math seriuously!

          Which business does not want grow? Those not understanding that the current stock of money becomes less valuable with the issuance of new money. Unless you think 1 million with value of a new 4 bedroom home is better than 100 thousand for the same. I’m sure corporations will be thrilled when the dollars they’ve received from consumers are not enough to purchase raw materials purchased by some corporation which received newly printed dollars. I’m sure they will be thrilled at that growth prospect.

          I’m sure we all passed second grade and are adults – no?

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  4. I find it interesting that you, Mosler, Mitchell etc, all came to more or less the same conclusion about how the economy & money works independently. It’s one of the main reasons I think you are all really onto the right path here.

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  5. I agree with 95% of the above article. Just one point though: it’s scarcely credible that the 1% want to forgo the extra income they’d get from expanding GDP just in order to maintain the gap between their income and that of the less well off.

    It’s certainly possible they’re that venal. But I prefer to accuse people of stupidity first, and only accuse them of being evil if there is really good evidence. I.e. I suspect the 1% are motivated by a belief in daft Rogoff type ideas, rather than by a desire to keep the peasants in poverty.

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    1. The goal of the rich is to be richer and more powerful. So who is richer and more powerful: The person who has $2 million in a world where everyone else has $2 million, or the person who has $1 million in a world where everyone else has $1 thousand?

      Why do the Kochs and Peterson willingly forego billions from their fortunes to make the rest of America poorer?

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      1. well put, rodger.

        and though i totally see where you’re coming from above, i personally think that this apparent “turnaround” was/is inevitable. why? b/c you can’t do austerity forever. at some point, you just have to increase government spending or else the very wealthy are going to lose big instead just a little.

        when you look at the history of recessions/depressions in this country, it looks to me like we’ve had at least one recession and/or depression every decade since the beginning, which to me suggests a tradition of malicious intent on the part of Congress. it’s hard to do that over and over again accidently…

        anyhow, when you regularly take down the 99% and then bring them up only slightly then their position never gains versus the 1%, so your comment about the Kochs & Petersons is very correct.

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    2. I agree with Rodger. The rich can do anything they like, and have anything they want. The only remaining thrill is POWER. Most of the ultra-rich have no clear idea of what they’re worth. They don’t care. For the rich, it’s not about how much money they have, but how much power. And power comes from widening the wealth gap.

      Ralph Musgrave says: “I prefer to accuse people of stupidity first, and only accuse them of being evil if there is really good evidence. I suspect the 1% are motivated by a belief in daft Rogoff type ideas, rather than by a desire to keep the peasants in poverty.”

      Yes, that’s like the MMT dream world. It’s a state of denial in which all bankers, politicians, rich people, media people, and pro-austerity economists are simply “misguided.” All of them.

      In this state of willful blindness, there is “no evidence” that the rich want more power.

      With all due respect, I find such denial to be insulting, offensive and destructive.

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    1. Yes, it’s funny to see Congress critters squirm from the austerity they impose. They have private jets, but face delays because there are not enough air traffic controllers.

      This will be resolved quickly. The Koch brothers will phone a few Congressmen and tell them that if they want to keep their jobs, then they had better create money to hire more traffic controllers IMMEDIATELY.

      What if the lack of controllers causes a disaster? Would it make Congress re-think austerity? Probably not. Koch brothers to the rescue.

      From the Yahoo article:

      “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has renewed his effort to repeal the sequester, urging Democrats to coalesce around a plan to replace the cuts with money saved from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

      >>There it is, the endless LIE that federal money is limited. “If you want more money for this, then you must accept less money for that.”

      From the Yahoo article:

      “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in February that reducing the number of overseas troops could save the government around $582 billion between 2014 and 2023—a controversial source of funds that some have called a budget gimmick.”

      >> There it is, the endless LIE that the federal government must “save money.” Watch as I create a hundred dollars. Ready? $100.00! Now watch as I save fifty dollars. Ready? $50! Voila! I did it by using my computer keyboard (just like the federal government). And I love that word “nonpartisan.” The CBO, as an arm of Congress, consists of Republicans and Democrats. Since they both lie, they both tell the truth, and they are both “nonpartisan.” Right?

      From the Yahoo article:

      “The public’s going to be furious when they find out that this could have been prevented,” said Sen. Dan Coats (R., Ind.)

      >>No. The public smugly rejects the facts of MS. This depression could have been prevented, but the public doesn’t want to hear that. The public only wants to hear that the U.S. government has a “debt and deficit crisis.” Lies are like narcotics. Get your victims hooked, and they will beg you for more, even when they know the narcotics are killing them.

      Like

      1. “Lies are like narcotics. Get your victims hooked, and they will beg you for more, even when they know the narcotics are killing them.”

        So maybe MMT and MS should create a 12-step program to get them clean and sober. Challenge people to take an honest look at themselves and their beliefs, and make amends to those they have harmed by their austerity addiction.

        Like

    2. It also has to do with thugery and theft. I know thugs when i see them, i grew up near the ghetto.

      This deserves the middle finger from tax payers and firing of the seniors deciding to impact the public and the economy for their personal benfits. This is truly disgusting action by the faa.

      There will come a time whe an individual will promise to end all unions, balance the budget and stop the thugery and one day that person will win election.

      Like

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