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●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes. .
●Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor.
●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.
●Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap.
Regular readers of this blog know I believe Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)to be an excellent, perhaps only, accurate description of financial reality and the differences between Monetarily Sovereign and monetarily non-sovereign finances.
However, when MMT begins making recommendations, presumably based on these differences, it sometimes gets into a bit of trouble. Specifically, its Jobs Guarantee (JG, formerly Employer of Last Resort) departs from reality and drifts into wishful, academic dreaming.
You can read Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea and MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” to see some of my many, many objections to this program.
Now comes the blog, naked capitalism, with the article titled, “The Rise of Bullshit Jobs.” The article quotes from other contradicting authors.
But the following quotes constitute the gist:
Back in the early-1930s, renowned economist, John Maynard Keynes, predicted that technical innovations and rising productivity would mean that advanced country workers would be able to work only 15 hours and still enjoy rising living standards.
David Graeber asks why Keynes’ prophecy has not come true and instead we find ourselves working a range of meaningless “bullshit jobs” that many of us hate:
Technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless.
The number of workers employed as domestic servants, in industry, and in the farm sector has collapsed dramatically (while) “professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers” tripled.”
Productive jobs have, just as predicted, been largely automated away.
But rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours, we have seen the . . . creation of whole new industries . . . what I propose to call “bullshit jobs.”
It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working.
The idea that the lower classes needed to be kept busy for their own sake was presented in moralistic terms but was in fact ruthlessly economic.
Historically . . .the whole point of making the peasants work . . . was to enable them to be exploited by the newly-emerging entrepreneurial class.
And there it is. The rich have brainwashed the not-rich into believing that labor itself, even pointless labor, is ethically superior, and that people accepting “freebies” from the government are moral cripples, to be despised.
Anyone proposing increases for unemployment compensation, food stamps and other aids to the poor, receives sneering and angry diatribes about lazy, good-for-nothing sloths.
So indoctrinated are the commoners, they believe it is far better to live modestly and labor for scant money, than to live like billionaires and receive money for scant labor.
Remarkably, they become hostile to anyone suggesting that the goal of government should be to improve their lives, not merely to give them work.
Does this mean that the regal likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, the Koch brothers, the Waltons, and all those other billionaires, whose primary “work” consists bending over to allow for sycophant butt kissing — does it mean these royalty feel inferior and immoral for not digging ditches?
One thing that the historical record makes obviously clear is that Adam Smith and his laissez-faire buddies were a bunch of closet-case statists, who needed brutal government policies to whip the English peasantry into a good capitalistic workforce willing to accept wage slavery.
Historian Michael Perelman outlined the many different policies through which peasants were forced off the land—from the enactment of so-called Game Laws that prohibited peasants from hunting, to the destruction of the peasant productivity by fencing the commons into smaller lots.
Read of Adam Smith’s proto-capitalist colleagues complaining and whining about how peasants are too independent and comfortable to be properly exploited, and trying to figure out how to force them to accept a life of wage slavery.
“The possession of a cow or two, with a hog, and a few geese, naturally exalts the peasant. . . . In sauntering after his cattle, he acquires a habit of indolence. Quarter, half, and occasionally whole days, are imperceptibly lost. Day labour becomes disgusting; the aversion in- creases by indulgence. And at length the sale of a half-fed calf, or hog, furnishes the means of adding intemperance to idleness.”
Note the words used to describe peasants who do not work hard — “indolence,” “days lost,” “indulgence,” “intemperance” and “idleness” — words seldom used when describing political or capitalistic royalty.
Thus, by acquiescing to the belief that being beasts of burden is exalting, they live as beasts of burden, and resent those who do not. They say, “If I have to work, he should too,” completely neglecting the reality that today’s technology should allow them to work less, while living better.
MMT’s JG is built to provide “bullshit jobs” at minimum wages, which tell the peasants to hold their heads up high for doing such work. How a “bullshit” job accomplishes this is not readily explained, except that supposedly, it is the sweat labor in of itself that is ennobling.
The MMT people are good people and they are smart people, but they have bought into the “labor = godliness,” “ant vs. grasshopper” myths provided by the rich, and cannot imagine a world where the goal is not work, but life.
So they bang on, telling themselves and anyone who will listen, how much they love working, and everyone else should love it, too (while they look forward to weekends and vacations and retirement, where they can live the way the rich people do).
Sorry, MMT. Don’t show Americans how they can work more, for less. Show Americans how they can work less, for more.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten 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. (Refer to this.)
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
The Ten Steps will add dollars to the economy, stimulate the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
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.
1. A growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
2. All deficit spending grows the supply of dollars
3. The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
4. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
THE RECESSION CLOCK
Vertical gray bars mark recessions.
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.