–The “small government” illusion

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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 ultimately 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,
and the motive is the gap.
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“The best government governs least” has been something of a popular mantra for many years. President Reagan implied it with his famous ” . . . government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

The entire right wing of the political spectrum, leans heavily in the “small government” direction, as expressed by the The Tea Party’s “15 Non-negotiable Core Beliefs.” Here are the relevant few:

6. Government must be downsized.
7. The national budget must be balanced.
8. Deficit spending must end.
9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.

There is a web site called The Daily Bell, which supports what they claim is the Austrian School of economics, about which they say:

One of the tenets of the (Austrian economics) discipline involves human action, the idea that PEOPLE act. Governments can act via force, but such force is inevitably a price fix, distorting the economy and causing behavioral changes in people that are unanticipated and even counterproductive. The best government governs least.

When I said to them that the idea of “governs least” inevitably leads to anarchism, their response was, that they really are talking about “philosophical anarchism:”

“Philosophical anarchism is an anarchist school of thought which holds that the state lacks moral legitimacy while not supporting violence to eliminate it. Though philosophical anarchism does not necessarily imply any action or desire for the elimination of the State, philosophical anarchists do not believe that they have an obligation or duty to obey the State, or conversely, that the State has a right to command. Philosophical anarchism is a component especially of individualist anarchism.”

They believe that governments are immoral, because governments make individuals do things individuals don’t want to do. For philosophical anarchists, morality is not in obeying the law; morality is in breaking the law to do as you wish.

From where does all this anti-government sentiment come? None of us likes to be forced to do what we don’t want to do. The IRS, the NSA, the CIA, the FBI, the police — they all impinge on our freedoms and privacies. Indeed, every law ever passed, impinges on someone’s freedom.

So from that standpoint, yes the best impingement impinges least.

But that sentiment differs markedly from items 6, 7, 8 and 9, above, because a government can be small in two ways:

1. A government can be “small” in the restrictions it places on its citizens
and/or
2. A government can be “small” in the assistance it gives to its citizens.

One can empathize with the notion that government restrictions should be as limited as possible, within the boundaries of human safety and well-being. But government assistance should be limited only by inflation.

While all laws burden someone, some laws are excessively burdensome. Our byzantine federal tax laws are a perfect double whammy. First, the laws are so complex and illogical, as to be punitive, and second, the federal government doesn’t even need or use our tax dollars. So anyone opting for “small government” should focus on eliminating the most burdensome laws (I’d start with eliminating FICA, Step #1 in the Nine Steps to Prosperity).

But what of Social Security? It is a government program. Should it be “downsized” as the Tea Party wishes? Is Social Security a burden on us (especially since taxes don’t pay for it)? Should Medicare be “downsized”?

None of the Nine Steps burdens on our freedom. In fact, they all allow us more freedoms to do as we wish and to succeed. They are “big government,” but only in the sense of big assistance, not big restrictions on us.

Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
8. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here)

In short, the Reaganesque, Tea Party, Austrian, austerian, “small government” movement is based on the false visualization of the federal government being SOLELY the big bully, who unnecessarily and unmercifully clamps down on us and forces us to do what we don’t want to do.

But big government also can be the big generous uncle who employs us, and pays for our health care, schooling, food, housing, retirement, defense and human advancements, while asking nothing in return.

The next time you read or hear someone extolling the virtues of small government, remind him that government has two sides — the coercive bully and the benevolent uncle.

While some deficit reduction may impact the big bully government, the vast majority of deficit reduction impacts the benevolent uncle, and widens the gap between the rich and the rest.

For analogies, (perhaps ad nauseum), let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
8. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here)

—–

10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt

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:
1. Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
2. Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports

THE RECESSION CLOCK
Monetary Sovereignty Monetary Sovereignty

Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the lines rise. Federal deficit growth is absolutely, positively necessary for economic growth. Period.

#MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

41 thoughts on “–The “small government” illusion

  1. The Daily Bell responds to the above post:

    OK. Rodger, this is outright libel. Previously we corrected your libel regarding DB and its readers. Now you have done it again.

    You wrote in your latest slander, the following:

    “When I said to them that the idea of ‘governs least” inevitably leads to anarchism, their response was, that they really are talking about ‘philosophical anarchism.’”

    And then you quote the following from Wikipedia:

    “Philosophical anarchism is an anarchist school of thought which holds that the state lacks moral legitimacy while not supporting violence to eliminate it. Though philosophical anarchism does not necessarily imply any action or desire for the elimination of the State, philosophical anarchists do not believe that they have an obligation or duty to obey the State, or conversely, that the State has a right to command. Philosophical anarchism is a component especially of individualist anarchism.”

    And you conclude the following.

    “They [DB] believe that governments are immoral, because governments make individuals do things individuals don’t want to do. For philosophical anarchists, morality is not in obeying the law; morality is in breaking the law to do as you wish.”

    This is both a libelous and malicious statement. For the record, we have NEVER stated that “government is immoral.” We would never make a blanket statement like that. Nor do we believe it. We believe government ACTIONS can be immoral.

    In fact, we provided a Wiki defjnition of anarchism in response to your statement that “sane people do not believe in anarchism” – as any logical reading of the thread in question would indicate.

    In fact, many legendary and sane people including Thomas Jefferson believed, at least to some extent, in a form of anarchism – philosophical anarchism, in this case.

    You constantly try to portray yourself as an intellectual/thinking person, yet you repeat the same fatuous statements over and over again. When you are refuted, you ignore the refutation and continue your parroting of the initial line. This sort of repetition is the hallmark of a person with an agenda, someone trying to stir up trouble, not someone trying to conduct a conversation about ideas.

    Now twice in a few days you have imputed to us viewpoints that we have not stated within the context of our discussions.

    Point out where we claimed that we believe “government [is] immoral.”

    You will not be able to. And thus we expect that you will post this beneath your latest libel. You should also retract it. We will know you (once more) by your actions.

    ==========================================================================================================================

    This was my response to the Daily Bell

    I had said, “Sane people do not want anarchy.”

    In response to my comment, you did not defend anarchy, but instead wrote:

    “As usual, you do not know what you are talking about. Here, below from Wikipedia is a summary of philosophical anarchism

    O.K., I take this to mean you believe in “philosophical anarchism,” not in “anarchism.”

    The article you sent me, clearly makes a case about the significant difference between anarchism and philosophical anarchism. Since I made no comment on philosophical anarchism, I’m not sure what you are complaining about.

    The article does not refute my belief that sane people do not believe in anarchism.

    Also, since it was you who sent me the Wikipedia paragraph, which in part says, “. . . anarchist school of thought which holds that the state lacks moral legitimacy. . . “ I had assumed you believed what the paragraph said. Why else send it to me?

    Perhaps you could clarify. What do you feel is the difference between your statement that the federal government lacks moral legitimacy vs. the state being immoral?

    Also, please clarify your comment that you don’t believe governments are immoral, but government ACTIONS are immoral. Is it possible to be moral while engaging in immoral ACTIONS?

    Finally, the notion that Thomas Jefferson, was an anarchist, is ludicrous. According to most dictionaries, an anarchist advocates the abolition of government. Are you saying that Thomas Jefferson advocated the abolition of the government he helped create?

    But wait. You did say use the multiple caveats, “at least to some extent, in a form of,” which is about as obvious a circumlocution as one could imagine.

    In summary, my guess is, you “believe, at least to some extent, in a form of anarchism,” but not in actual anarchism, because you really believe in “philosophical anarchism,” which says that the federal government isn’t really immoral; it just ACTS immoral and “lacks moral legitimacy.”

    Does that about cover it?

    And yes, I will be glad to post this on my blog, per your request. You and your readers will find it at: .https://mythfighter.com/2014/04/19/the-small-government-illusion/

    Oh, and by the way, there is a difference between libel and slander. Just sayin’.

    Like

    1. Advocates for “small government” always claim that economic prosperity is best served by giving more power to those who already have that power (the wealthy and big business). How can the best chances for economic success be found by giving unchecked and unregulated power over to the very same people and big businesses which, by using their money and influence, make our government corrupt and inefficient?
      The fact that these people use their power and money to make our government corrupt and inefficient proves that if they were allowed to sidestep government altogether (by way of a smaller government with fewer regulations) they would then become even more corrupt than they currently are.

      Presently they have to answer to politicians via elections, who do have a responsibility to answer to voters. Yet without government regulations, these people and businesses would have the floodgate opened to do whatever they wanted. Tons of money is pumped into government to buy politicians to support policies that benefit the already rich and powerful. Do these “small government” advocates really think that by removing government oversight governing these rich and powerful people and businesses, they’ll suddenly behave more morally and ethically? These people have got to be kidding.

      The basic tenets of libertarianism-individualism, responsibility and mutual agreement, always devolve into utter contradiction. These folks give even neoliberalism a good name. From my research and readings, the most enlightened advocate/supporter of capitalist libertarianism in the past 30 years was Harvard philosopher and writer Robert Nozick. Even he, near the end of his life , essentially stated that the philosophy was utter bullshit and did so on more than one occasion.

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      1. “The basic tenets of libertarianism always devolve into utter contradiction.”

        Exactly. Hence I regard libertarians as cultists who deal in slogans and buzzwords.

        For example, “liberty” sounds good as a buzzword, but it crumbles when you examine precisely what “liberty” means for the libertarian.

        Worst of all, libertarian slogans directly and indirectly justify the ever-widening gap between the rich and the rest. Indeed, the Libertarian “Cato Institute” (a propaganda mill in Washington DC) was founded and is funded by the nefarious Koch brothers.

        As Steve says, “These folks give even neoliberalism a good name.”

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  2. Libertarians do not actually believe the excrement they fling. They don’t even know what they are talking about, just as MMT people can’t define any details of their “jobs guarantee.”

    The fact is, our personal definition of “liberty” and “big government” is relative. One man’s “big government” is another man’s “small government.” Our definition depends on our status in society, plus our degree of contempt for others around us.

    Examples…

    RIGHT WING DEFINITION

    “Big government” : any government aspect or program that narrows the gap between the rich and the rest.

    “Small and efficient government” : any government aspect or program that widens the gap.

    Always and everywhere the actual amount of government spending or coercion is irrelevant. A miniscule program is “big government” if it does narrows the gap between the rich and the rest (however modestly). Likewise, a gigantic police / surveillance state is “small and efficient” if it helps to widen the gap.

    AVERAGE AMERICAN’S DEFINITION

    “Big government” : Any aspect of government narrows the gap between me and whoever I hate and consider inferior.

    “Small and efficient government” : any aspect of government that benefits me personally, and which hurts people I hate.

    If I am young, then Social Security is “big government.” If I don’t care about pollution, then environmental laws are “big government.” If I am affluent, then Medicaid is “big government.” If I am healthy, then Medicare is “big government.”

    On the other hand, if I collect Social Security or Food Stamps, then those programs represent “small and efficient government.” If I hate Muslims or poor people (or whoever) and I want them crushed, then an enormous police state is “small and efficient government.” “Stop-and-frisk” is justified, and police brutality does not exist.

    Always and everywhere the actual amount of government spending or coercion is irrelevant. If I hate blacks because they receive food stamps, and you point out that far more whites than blacks receive Food Stamps, then my hate continues. For the hater, objective facts are irrelevant, since they interrupt his mindless hate.

    This same hate-based irrationality applies everywhere in political and economic discourse.

    More examples:

    RIGHT WING DEFINITION

    “Evil socialism” : that which narrows the gap between the rich and the rest

    “Free enterprise” (or “free market”) : that which widens the gap between the rich and the rest.

    AVERAGE AMERICAN’S DEFINITION

    “Evil socialism” that which helps people I hate

    “Free enterprise” (or “free market”) that which hurts people I hate.

    “Immorality”: that which helps people I hate.

    “Moral legitimacy” : that which hurts people I hate.

    If government helps me personally, then I say “Why change it?” But if government helps someone I hate, then I say, “Privatize! The private sector can do it better and cheaper!”

    Always and everywhere the dividing line is CHARITY. Any given individual in his personal life generally stands on one side or the other of this line.

    If you tend to stand on the side of charity, then you see government as a servant of greedy rich people. You define “big government” as police brutality, political corruption, and institutionalized suffering.

    However, if you tend to stand on the side of greed, hate, and selfishness, then you define “big government” as anything that promotes compassion and equality. You tailor all your blabbering to justify your hate. You consider yourself a genus, while everyone thinks you a fool. When your bullshit is challenged, you resort to back-peddling and bullshit. Libertarians are notorious for this, whereas the rich pay libertarians and other lackeys to do the bullshitting.

    Libertarians say that “government” is “coercive.” For them, “liberty” means deregulation of the rich, leading to coercion by private bankers, private oligarchs, and private CEOs of corporations.

    Above all, “liberty” means defending the Big Lie, since without it, there would be more “big government.” That is, without the Big Lie, government might help someone that libertarians hate.

    Like

    1. “They don’t even know what they are talking about, just as MMT people can’t define any details of their “jobs guarantee.”

      More dishonesty and intellectual laziness from you Winger.

      “Hamilton and Darity would decentralize the program, using state and local governments for implementation:

      States and local municipalities can conduct an inventory of their needs and develop a job bank of tasks. The program could give priority to the most urgent projects to aid the most distressed communities. The work to be done by employees of the National Investment Employment Corps would address the nation’s human and physical infrastructure requirements. This could include the construction, upgrade, maintenance, staffing and provision of high quality schools, hospitals and other public human infrastructure, and the extension, repair and maintenance of the public transportation infrastructure, e.g. roads, bridges, and dams. In 2009 the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the country a grade of D on its physical infrastructure.”

      http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/01/jobs-missing-essential-element-dr-kings-march-washington.html#more-7433

      More MMT points about the JG:

      http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/01/16-reasons-matt-yglesias-wrong-job-guarantee-vs-basic-income.html#more-7398

      Here’s but one fully developed proposal:

      Click to access pn_12_02.pdf

      So I await your apology and I know in the future you will say instead that “MMT does have serious proposals with regard to how a JG could work, I disagree”

      But I won’t hold my breath. And if there is one thing we all know about wingers is that facts be damned, this is my religious belief and I’m sticking to it.

      Like

        1. Someone who is intellectually dishonest. A winger doesn;’t care about evidence or logic because their belief is religious in nature.

          Q has repeated the false claim that MMT has no JG proposals or details. I have thoroughly and utterly debunked this ridiculous claim.

          Wingers never admit they were wrong.

          All Q ever had to do was say, “I overstated my position, MMT has many details and proposals wrt a JG program. I disagree with their position but they do have one.”

          That would at least be intellectually honest. Unfortunately, Q shares this specific dishonesty trait with wingers. Which is why I am calling it one.

          Like

  3. Note to the Daily Bell, put on their web site:

    :The federal government is powerful. It has the power to oppress; it has the power to benefit. Opting for austerity and small government does not differentiate between the two.

    Consider what oppresses us: Byzantine tax laws, FICA, the military, the NSA, CIA, FBI, laws favoring the rich over the poor. Not one of these has been mitigated by austerity. They remain as powerful, or more powerful, than ever.

    Consider what benefits us: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, poverty aids, research & development, aids to education. These have been reduced by austerity.

    In short, austerity and the small government movement retain the worst parts of government, while eliminating the best parts.

    The notion that “He who governs best, governs least,” makes as much sense as “He who parents best, parents least.” The amount of government is not the issue; the specific actions of government are the issue.

    If you wish to help the people of America, you would opt not for “small government” but rather for the “Nine Steps to Prosperity” https://mythfighter.com/2011/10/07/nine-steps-to-prosperity-a-short-message-to-occupy-wall-street/. These steps reduce the oppression while increasing the benefits.

    Like

    1. The way I see it, the “jobs guarantee” people are a cult. (I also see libertarians as a cult.) When a person joins it, he or she twists everything to defend the cult, and angrily attacks any alternative, often using right-wing rhetoric (e.g. “Universal Social Security would be inflationary!”).

      In any cult, including the “jobs guarantee” cult, its dogma becomes increasingly vague the closer we look. And the vaguer it is, the more the cultist insists that his dogma is crystal clear in every detail, with no mysteries or contradictions. He endlessly bickers with other cultists about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, yet he tells outsiders that everyone in the cult agrees on the exact number. His hypocrisy is limitless, for he projects his illness onto others. For example, he denounces anyone who questions his fanaticism as a “fanatic.” He tends to sulk, and to indulge in name-calling, which he justifies by childishly claiming that “he started it.” His obsession is so extreme that he considers the Big Lie to be unimportant. All that matters is his dogma, which he chants over and over. If you refer him to Rodger’s previous discussions of the cult on this blog, which ask specific questions that never get clearly answered, he simply resumes his chanting and his name-calling.

      So be it.

      I shall make no further comments or responses on this matter.

      Like

      1. Please provide quote where I said fanatic?
        Please provide evidence that Ive been hypocrtical?
        You can’t and you won’t

        Please provide example of where I said I thought the Big Lie was unimportant.
        You cant.

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    2. Rodger-

      I have no problem honestly debating and analyzing the JG or any part of fiscal policy.

      What I will not stand idly by for is blatant lying and misinformation. I won’t do it when Bapoy-sucessfinero-wingers do it, just like I won’t when someone on the progressive side does it. MMTers have done as much as any other group in fighting the big lie, and Quatloosx’s vacuous negativity will not go without a response from me. We are not the enemy.

      I’ve read all your articles, and none of them demonstrate that a JG would be bad policy. In an ideal world, we’d have a JG along with all your 9-steps for prosperity, and if those policies result in only 100 JG workers nationwide than so much the better. But anyone who wants paid work should be able to get paid work.

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      1. Under the theory that “something is better than nothing,” I agree. In fact, under that theory, if only 1 person finds a job, it is an improvement.

        Of course, there could be other ramifications, like the government competing with private job recruiters..

        And perhaps classified, which is all that keeps most newspapers alive, would be cut. Not to worry, since newspapers are dying, anyway.

        I should mention that your version of JG is different from Randy Wray’s version, which is one of the dozens of objections to JG. (Everyone has a different version).

        And then there are the questions of: Who pays and how much? And who supervises? And is it really local governments or private industry? And how does this impact private industry?

        The 5 links I referenced offer many, many, MANY questions about many, many, Many details, all of which contain devils, and none of which seem to be answered.

        Those details are ignored in favor of the simplistic logic of “anyone who wants paid work should be able to get paid work.”

        One good thing though: The many people the federal government would have to hire to run JG, would reduce unemployment.

        So that’s one point in favor of JG. 🙂

        Like

        1. “Under the theory that “something is better than nothing,” I agree. In fact, under that theory, if only 1 person finds a job, it is an improvement.”

          Agreed

          “Of course, there could be other ramifications, like the government competing with private job recruiters..”

          Yes, thats why the prevailing JG wage would be a de facto minimum wage.

          “And perhaps classified, which is all that keeps most newspapers alive, would be cut. Not to worry, since newspapers are dying, anyway.”

          What public good does the lying Chicago Tribune do with its top 3 shareholders being Oaktree Capital (Hedge Fund), Angelo, Gordon and Co. (Private Equity), and Chase bank?
          How would the world be worse off with less corporate propaganda?

          “I should mention that your version of JG is different from Randy Wray’s version, which is one of the dozens of objections to JG. (Everyone has a different version).”

          And your version of ideal tax policy is different that Randy’s, Obama’s, Mosler’s, Krugman’s etc. whats your point here?

          “And then there are the questions of: Who pays and how much? And who supervises? And is it really local governments or private industry? And how does this impact private industry?”

          These are the same questions one would ask about any Govt policy. We are talking about the merits of JG from a more abstract POV than actual legislation. This is no different than your 9-steps. Who decides how much college can charge students if all school is free? How many bureaucrats are needed to oversee fraud and abuse with a free money spigot from the Feds for schools? Same money to private schools as public? And on And on.

          You should hold the MMT JG concept to the same standards you hold for your own economic proposals.

          “The 5 links I referenced offer many, many, MANY questions about many, many, Many details, all of which contain devils, and none of which seem to be answered.

          Those details are ignored in favor of the simplistic logic of “anyone who wants paid work should be able to get paid work.””

          Yes, exactly as I’ve demonstrated for your proposal. And I could do for any and all of your proposals, and for every proposal for that matter.

          Like

        2. “Of course, there could be other ramifications, like the government competing with private job recruiters..”

          Only at the point where the private recruiter wishes to pay less than the amount required for somebody to live a socially acceptable existence.

          If the private recruiter offers more than that, then they get their labour. The JG *specifically* never competes back. There is a fixed rate for the job, and that’s it. The job doesn’t get done if there is nobody to work for that rate.

          The private recruiter then has the option of paying the higher rate or, preferably, eliminating that job by investing in machinery. The latter being how productivity moves forward.

          So by denying the private sector access to cheap labour you force the improvement in productivity, or you force the distribution of costs to be reflected accurately in the price of goods and services across the economy. Nobody benefits from induced poverty.

          So it corrects a flaw in the current distribution system because the labour ‘market’ currently doesn’t have a ‘no deal’ option. And you need to have a ‘no deal’ option for any market to work properly.

          It works better than unemployment benefit for that reason. You would have to be able to choose to receive unemployment benefit, and turn down jobs and stay on unemployment benefit for it to have the same effect. Both of which are socially unacceptable.

          Like

    3. From the POV of an interested outsider to the discussion of MMT JG vs GI, I can see this is devolving into creating animosity when both points could and should be working together.
      If private enterprise can’t, or won’t, provide a minimum wage, much less a living wage, then the Federal Govt should be the provider of last resort. IMO, this could be administered and supervised with relative ease on a state and local basis. Such state and local administration and supervision would also create more white collar employment.
      BUT…if JG ONLY paid minimum wage, what incentive would there be to leave WalMart, and to what degree would this resolve the income and wealth gap?
      Again, IMO, to have any significant effect at all, a JG would have to pay a LIVING wage; significantly different from minimum wage. Also, the concept of wage slavery would not be resolved with either minimum or living wage. People would still be working to meet their survival needs, and not in “pursuit of happiness”. There will be NO freedom for people until there is economic freedom; abolition of wage slavery. Therefore, there will be no freedom until there is a guarantee of the human right of survival. Only the Federal govt can guarantee the financial resources for this. A Guaranteed Living Income.

      Like

  4. Auburn, Randy Wray created the concept and created the name “Jobs Guarantee,” (formerly called “Employer of Last Resort” — ELR) for which he provided some details. You have plagiarized his proposal name, but seemingly have changed the concept. Is that honest?

    And you have provided zero details.

    Meanwhile, you have compared the total lack of detailing regarding your proposal, whatever it might be, to the pages and pages of discussion I have devoted to the “Nine Steps to Prosperity.”

    Clearly, you never bothered to read all those links I provided (which I assume you now will hurry to do, so you can claim you did) 🙂

    You might begin with https://mythfighter.com/2012/05/29/why-modern-monetary-theorys-jobs-guarantee-is-like-the-eus-euro-a-beloved-solution-to-the-wrong-problem/

    Anyway, you asked several questions:

    1. Who decides how much college can charge students if all school is free?
    Answer: Colleges can’t charge students if all school is free.

    O.K., you mis-typed, and you really meant, “How much should the government pay colleges?” Right?

    We already have a model for that. It is called “high school,” “middle school” and “elementary school.”

    In each case, local governments determine what to spend. The federal government, however, has a huge advantage. While local school districts are monetarily non-sovereign, so are limited in what they can spend, our Monetarily Sovereign federal government is not limited.

    Today’s colleges and universities are limited by the student fees they can charge, so in a great many cases, they must reduce the quality of the educational experience they provide (Not many wealthy Harvard’s out there).

    But with a deep pocket federal government paying the bill, every college should be able to provide America’s children with the best education money can buy.

    Think of it as a Medicare-style (single payer system), (except one that does not needlessly under-pay the way Medicare does.)

    2 How many bureaucrats are needed to oversee fraud and abuse with a free money spigot from the Feds for schools?

    Answer: Oh, maybe 1,000 or 100 thousand or a couple million. Does it matter? The more the merrier. That would provide those JG jobs you like. Right? How many does Medicare use for the same purpose?

    3. Same money to private schools as public?

    Again, use the Medicare model. Payment would be for services rendered.

    If however, by “private,” you mean religious schools, my answer is “No.”

    Now that I have answered your questions, and have provided dozens of links explaining the “Nine Steps,” please direct me to your links that provide the details for the Auburn version of Randy Wray’s Jobs Guarantee.

    And Auburn, lighten up. You’re going to blow a gasket. Education need not be such a strain 🙂

    Like

    1. “Auburn, Randy Wray created the concept and created the name “Jobs Guarantee,” (formerly called “Employer of Last Resort” — ELR) for which he provided some details. You have plagiarized his proposal name, but seemingly have changed the concept. Is that honest?”

      Ok, lets stop right there. In no way shape or form did I plagiarize anything, nor did I partake in any dishonesty. I expect an apology for this slanderous accusation you have made without any evidence.

      A summary:

      Q made a comment similar to your complaint that MMT has no JG proposals with details:

      quatloosx says: https://mythfighter.com/2014/04/16/why-america-is-losing-just-one-cost-of-austerity/
      April 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm
      @ Autumn barks: “You, however, cling to your “jobs guarantee,” which you cannot define, nor explain exactly how it would work in the real world. And yet you call ME “intellectually dishonest.”

      To which I replied:
      Auburn Parks says: https://mythfighter.com/2014/04/16/why-america-is-losing-just-one-cost-of-austerity/
      April 20, 2014 at 7:31 am

      “There are plenty of MMT JG proposals, just because you are ignorant of them doesn’t mean they don’t exist or can’t work. I’m sure you will continue to misrepresent reality because MMTers are just “pathetic” in your world.”

      And then I replied in this post above:
      Auburn Parks says:
      April 20, 2014 at 7:42 am

      with evidence to back up my above claim that MMT has a number of developed proposals with many details. One may honestly claim they disagree with a particular proposal. But it is intellectually dishonest to say that MMT has no specifics and no proposals wrt JG.

      Never once did I present those links or plans as my own. In no way did I plagiarize anything. You cannot provide the evidence to support your accusation. I was simply providing sources that prove I am right in my claim that MMT JG has details and that your and Q’s claim of the opposite is clearly wrong.

      Like

    2. “please direct me to your links that provide the details for the Auburn version of Randy Wray’s Jobs Guarantee.”

      Ok, I’m game:

      A collection of Hyman Minsky’s works on Job creation and poverty eradication:

      A 24 pg academic paper outlining a JG by Economic professors Fadel Kahoub and Perter Hurford:

      Click to access elr.pdf

      A Marhsall Auerback take of a JG system:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marshall-auerback/time-to-try-government-as_b_360536.html

      Another Academic paper by Pavlina Tchernava that itself again has a dozen links relevant to MMT JG proposals:

      Click to access wp_732.pdf

      A powerpoint presentation by Sanjay DeSilva at Bard College discussing the Sri Lankan ELR program and some of its shortcomings

      Click to access Session6_DeSilva.pdf

      A Randy Wray Academic paper with all of its subsequent citations:

      Click to access elm07-5.pdf

      A Scottish program of JG for nurses and how they implement it, with some background:

      http://www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/education-and-training/by-discipline/nursing-and-midwifery/careers-and-recruitment/one-year-job-guarantee-(oyjg)-scheme/background.aspx

      A Bill Mitchell JG Academic paper:

      Click to access 00-01.pdf

      An Academic paper and 3 year study and survey of localities around Australia and what kind of jobs that would need, their reception to the ideas, implementation etc conducted by Beth Cook, Victor Quirk, Martin Watts, and Bill Mitchell:

      Click to access CofFEE_JA_final_report_November_2008.pdf

      And I could go on.

      Like

      1. You just made my point. I ask for the Auburn version and you send me a dozen plots under one title. Please summarize the one you favor and why, so I can comment on one plan, not a dozen. I’m not going to comment on a moving target.

        Like

        1. You’re wasting your time here Auburn.

          It’s a belief thing.

          Implementing Job Guarantee is straightforward, but messy because it actually has to deal with human beings as they are, locally on the ground. Just like social services.

          There is a still belief that you can just give people money, when decades of experience across the globe doing that shows that it fails the basic human requirement that there is some ‘quid pro quo’ before you get anything.

          And people don’t just ‘get over it’ – because it is wired into the way our brains have evolved: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110720142007.htm

          So no amount of evidence that giving people money just leads to lots of people standing around being bored and destructive, while creating huge resentment amongst their peers. will change minds. This is despite many other countries in the world implementing unemployment benefit after the Second World War, and now it barely exists as it has been whittled away slowly by those politicians feeding on public resentment.

          Both paying people off and relying solely on interest rates to get people to voluntarily tax themselves via savings fall into the category of ideas that are neat, plausible and wrong.

          Like

        2. Once again Rodger, never once have I claimed that “I have a perfect plan”.

          All of this dialogue has been directed towards ONE goal, Q and you have said that there are no MMT specifics and details wrt JG proposals.
          This claim is wrong. I have provided plenty of evidence of that.

          If you would like to comment on a specific proposal, that is perfectly fine. I have simply definitively proven that yours and Q’s claim is wrong. Which is all I have been trying to do. You may think that this is a superfluous exercise, and thats fine.

          For me, I HATE intellectual dishonesty. And this is what I have been addressing.

          Like

    3. And as to your details wrt your college funding scheme. I wholeheartedly disagree with your conflation of middle school frameworks being compatible with college institutions. I’d think the federal funding aspect would be better served giving everyone $10K in credit per year for school. They can use it at whatever school they want, and they get to keep the balance if they go to a school that costs less than $10K per year. To encourage incentive for consumers to demand lower price offerings. No student loans whatsoever.

      But even though I disagree, I would never claim that you have no details or proposals. Only that neither your details or mine, are not of legislative quality.

      And even though I disagree with your proposal, that doesnt mean that I reject the notion or broader concept of free education outright.

      Like

    4. sorry about that weird picture link. I didnt intend for it to be displayed like that. It was just the standard amazon link.

      Like

    5. I accept your apology, even though you never said it. I interpret the fact that you edited this comment to include “JG NAME” instead of JG proposal to indicate that you were wrong originally in claiming I plagiarized anything. You could have just said that you misspoke, instead you edited your comment to shrink the affront.

      Like

    6. Whoops, I recant my response below. I didn’t remember in them moment of writing my comment below the specific way you phrased your reply.

      In rereading the first response I have below, I copied and pasted your exact words. And they do match. So I apologize for misrepresenting your comments.

      Like

  5. Auburn,

    You said, “MMT has a number of developed proposals with many details . . .Never once did I present those links or plans as my own.”

    That is exactly the point. “a number of proposals” . So when asked what JG is, you say, “States and local municipalities can conduct an inventory of their needs and develop a job bank of tasks.”

    Whose JG is that? Yours? Randy’s? Someone else’s?

    One of my many complaints about JG is it’s a title in search of a plot. It’s an attractive two-word phrase, encompassing a myriad of different half-ideas, none of which has been thought out, properly.

    It’s a business concept imagined by non-business people.

    And by the way, did you read all those links about the “Nine Steps to Prosperity”? You asked that JG be held to the same standards, so if you’re a devotee of JG, please direct me to your links detailing your version of JG.

    The plagiary was in using Randy’s title, JG, for your own personal concept. You love the title, but — be honest now — you have not thought out the details and the implications.

    (And adding thousands of minimum wage jobs to existing government payrolls? Really? Have you given any thought to the problems inherent in that approach?)

    You’ve not thought this through. You preach honesty. So just be honest, swallow our pride, be a man and admit it. Then learn. It’ll be fun.

    (Did you mean libelous?)

    Like

  6. Augurn,

    Just wasted my time reading the 24 page Hurford paper you sent me to. Did you even read it?

    In 24 pages, it contains just one — ONE — paragraph “detailing” their proposed method:

    “The kinds of jobs provided to ELR workers and the way the ELR is specifically implemented – whether centralized in the federal government, decentralized to state or local governments, used to pay for people to volunteer at non-profit organizations, or some combination of the three or other ideas – are numerous, and no ELR program need be tied down to these specifics (Wray 1998, 139). ELR workers could be helping build and maintain both interstate and intrastate infrastructure, help clean up neighborhoods and other areas, assist with public services like education or public safety, perform other public services like garbage or recycling, or even work in arts or academic research.”

    As for the Auerback article: Not a word about methodology. Did you read that one, either?

    In short, they have no plan — just a vague “Jobs Guarantee.”

    Truly pitiful.

    Like

  7. The Top 1%:

    “… the bottom line is this: A highly complex set of laws and exemptions from laws and taxes has been put in place by those in the uppermost reaches of the U.S. financial system. It allows them to protect and increase their wealth and significantly affect the U.S. political and legislative processes. They have real power and real wealth. Ordinary citizens in the bottom 99.9% are largely not aware of these systems, do not understand how they work, are unlikely to participate in them, and have little likelihood of entering the top 0.5%, much less the top 0.1%. Moreover, those at the very top have no incentive whatsoever for revealing or changing the rules. I am not optimistic.”

    http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/investment_manager.html

    Like

  8. All trivial arguments. You all continue to possess the delusional belief that you can reform the current state sponsored capitalist system so it will work for public purpose. You continue to believe that a few tweaks to the current system and all will be better. When will you understand that the more progressive period, post WW II to 1970, was an historical anomaly? When will you make the effort to know your history? When will you finally comprehend that our government, in spite of the wishes of the majority of the public, will serve those that, as you consistently state, RMM, bribe our, for the greater part, criminal representatives to serve big monies interests? When will you begin supporting real monetary and systemic reforms? Just askin’.

    Like

      1. Well RMM, where would you like me to send the information so sorely needed; since this forum is not an appropriate one for the lengthy response required? Is there a place you would prefer? I prefer to provide this knowledge to you in a more direct fashion. Just askin’!!

        Like

      2. First, Mr. Mitchell, you obviously did not read my comment on 4/11/2014 at 6:41 PM. If you had, you would have an inkling of the system I support. That is a start for the answers you seek. Respectfully, I will provide sources that shape my own opinions with regard to real monetary and systemic reform. It will be up to you to do the research; since spoon feeding is something reserved for my grandchild. I’ll begin with Dr. Richard Wolff, see his website.Next, the writings of Thomas Paine, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Then “Das Kapital”, yeah I’m one of those. Two websites: http://www.democracyatwork.info; http://www.monetary.org. Dr. Michael Kumhof. The International Movement for Monetary Reform; internationalmoneyreform.org. Another website: http://www.positivemoney.org. To a lesser degree the American Monetary Institute. Writings on social democratic forms of Government; type it into a search engine and be enlightened. Worker Self-Directed Enterprises, again do the research. As for addressing one of your previous assertions, I do not dispute, nor ever have, the facts of Monetary Sovereignty and the very socially beneficial things which it could be utilized for if it were a de facto condition. However, even you must realize the current system in practice does not utilize it to its full potential. Finally, as I’ve stated innumerable times on this “forum”, if the system were not fully captured by the financial, military-industrial and corporate sectors and until people wake up and begin to truly challenge the plutocratic system, no matter how monetarily sovereign our nation is or could be, the money created by the government will be directed into the pockets of those who could give a s$#! about you, me, your children, your grandchildren and your followers. So, Mr. RMM, the entire campaign system and process must be reformed – there is adequate information on possible ways to do so, therefore I need not take more space; because we must be concise, right. There must be Amendments made to our Constitution which puts into place laws which better serve public purpose rather than its actual purpose which is to protect individuals interests.
        A tall order isn’t it? It will take more than a notion. Capitalism and Democracy cannot and will not coexist. Get to work Jeff.

        Like

        1. @chasfa, it is, indeed, a tall order, but any change of this significance is not going to be easy.

          Let me start with an apology for my heated response on a previous post. For clarity, and not to restart the discussion, I’m probably no more religious than you. Rightly or wrongly, I’ve come to view the New Atheist movement as being as fundamentalist as biblical literalists. So when I see statements to eliminate religion, I can get, shall I say, rather energetic. ‘Nuff said from me. Hope Rodger doesn’t nix the post because of this.

          I’m familiar with Dr. Wolff’s work, and agree with the concept of Employee Owned Enterprises. Several years ago, I discussed with another interested colleague, the possibility of creating a local incubator where unemployed professionals could meet, pool resources and ideas, and create such enterprises. Then I retired and got distracted by life’s other issues. I’m aware of, but haven’t followed closely, the Positive Money movement, choosing to focus my energies on US based reform.

          I also follow and understand the basics of Zarlenga’s movement at AMI, but refuse to pay the $75 to access the complete knowledge in his book. I can’t understand why he remains satisfied to eke out relatively small audiences locally in Chicago and NY. His conferences and workshops should be made available to anyone, real-time, through the Internet. In fact, this points to my dissatisfaction not only with monetary reform, but with all recent progressive movements: fragmentation. Too many individuals with the “answers”, working essentially alone. They compete in the market place of ideas with little effort to coordinate their ideas and focus on a comprehensive force. Looking at past socially progressive movements, you find a coherent and understandable message (usually based on moral principles), a strategy and tactics to efficiently organize and implement change, and effective leadership. The Occupy movement was a move in that direction, but they lacked the coherent and understandable message.

          Monetary reform, by itself, is not a compelling message. It is, and should be, a means for achieving a social reform. Right now, the clearest call for change is, what I would call, economic/financial freedom…for all. This is expressed in the trending issue of income and wealth inequality. People are waking up to this issue. The challenge I see for monetary reform is to show, in a broader forum than a few blogs, how it can be effective in implementing this change.

          I agree with your observation that the entire campaign system and process must be reformed. But this can only be done by breaking this humongous task into achievable parts. I believe we should start with monetary reform, as this will free the resources (money) to achieve future social change.

          I don’t believe that Constitutional amendment(s) are necessary. In fact, opening up the Constitution to change at this time could have unintended consequences that socially progressive folk would regret. I also don’t believe the Constitution should be used to legislate. IMO, the statement in Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 1, “…to provide for the…general Welfare…”, sufficiently charges the US government to do the right thing for all its citizens.

          Depending on how you define capitalism, I believe it can exist with democracy. I perceive no conflict between Wolff’s Employee Owned Enterprises and capitalism. But again, it depends on how one defines capitalism. Fact is, using labels can be counter-productive. Labels bring with them all their historical baggage, and the discussion degenerates to an argument about tired, old -isms. This is no way to solve problems. And yet, I often use labels, such as the new Feudalists.

          Two of the foundational concepts behind my personal view of human and social change include A. Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs – a model for understanding human motivations; and more generally, the creation of the US, based on Enlightenment thinking and philosophies. In thumbnail, the Founding Fathers did a pretty good job of creating a more pluralistic society than ever existed. When it came to money, they caved. Hamilton prevailed and we wound up with the English private banking system. Historically, this went back and forth, but the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 reestablished private banking’s hegemony in the creation and control of money in the US. Just as human rights efforts to counter discrimination in other areas: Women’s suffrage; racial, sexual and gender discrimination…we are historically at the point where economic discrimination needs to be resolved, and the job of our Founding Fathers finished.

          Now: to get to work…

          Like

  9. You want the information, I’ll provide it how I wish to, not according to your dictates. It will be done according to how I choose to disseminate it.

    Like

  10. The republicans complain but benefit the most from federal spending.

    “Take a look at the difference between federal spending on any given state and the federal taxes received from that state. We measure the difference as a dollar amount: Federal Spending per Dollar of Federal Taxes. A figure of $1.00 means that particular state received as much as it paid in to the federal government. Anything over a dollar means the state received more than it paid; anything less than $1.00 means the state paid more in taxes than it received in services. The higher the figure, the more a given state is a welfare queen.

    Of the twenty worst states, 16 are either Republican dominated or conservative states. Let’s go through the top twenty.”

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/red-states-are-welfare-queens-2011-8#ixzz307I6c2RT

    Like

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