Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

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We have written often about MMT’s “jobs guarantee” — the guarantee that the federal government either will give or find a job for everyone in America who wants a job.

The difference between “give” and “find,” is the difference between working for the federal government and working for private industry or local governments. In the former, the government is the employer of last resort. In the latter, the government is the employment agency of last resort.

There are two beliefs underlying the jobs-guarantee:

  • Jobs are hard to find, which is why people are unemployed
  • Working for money is morally superior to being given money

Both beliefs are wrong. The facts are:

Image result for wpa

Is this the guaranteed job you have been looking for?

  • Jobs are not hard to find. There a many millions of jobs available. Look in any newspaper and you will see hundreds of jobs. Go online and you will see many thousands of jobs.
    The problem is, they are the wrong jobs. Either they are in the wrong location, require the wrong skills, or simply are not something you want to do.
  • Working for money neither is moral nor immoral. It simply is working to obtain money.
    Someone who wins the lottery, or is born to wealthy parents, or who receives a multi-million dollar income because his stock options rose, is no more or less moral than a ditch digger.
    The rich simply want the non-rich to believe there is something morally wrong about the non-rich doing what the rich do, namely receive money from the government or other sources for doing little-to-nothing.

Sadly, the not-rich have been brainwashed into adopting the notion that when poor people receive money for which they haven’t worked, they are considered “sloths who are gaming the system,” or termed “food stamp mamas.”

Image result for i'd rather work than be rich

These guys do what you would call “work,” perhaps an hour a week. Money comes to them while they sleep. Are they moral or immoral for taking it?

But when the rich receive money, wealth, and power for essentially “being there,” that is their manifest destiny and moral right.

This is the moral nonsense that has been adopted by MMT with their “jobs guarantee.”

You don’t work for the love of work, nor do you work because it is morally right. You work to obtain money, so you can buy and do the things you really want to do.

Sure, you may like your job. But you do not prefer working to being on vacation, taking a free trip around the world and living in luxury.

Be honest. You look forward to weekends rather than to Mondays (unless you are paid on Mondays).

That said, the jobs guarantee is an idea only a politician or a university economist could love. It is completely, unworkable in the real world:

1. Exactly who in the government will find jobs for everyone — in NY city, in the empty reaches of North Dakota, in an island off the East Coast — jobs for each person who wants one?

I challenge anyone to describe the bureaucracy and the bureaucrats who can handle that assignment in every village and hamlet in America.

Or will millions of people be required to move away, to some other location from the one in which they wish to live?

2. Who exactly will:
–Find or create available jobs everywhere
–Interview everywhere
–Hire everywhere
–Supervise everywhere
–Promote, demote, and switch jobs everywhere
–Fire if need be, the millions of people who should be fired for the government’s firing criteria?

Geographically, where will all of the above be done?

3. Who exactly will find jobs for the people who are fired for each of the different causes? What are the criteria for being fired and how will those criteria be enforced?

4. What will workers of all levels be paid? Minimum wage (to lower America’s average wage) or above minimum wage (to compete with the private sector)? Will everyone be paid the same, or will workers be paid differently for different work?

5. What about healthcare, maternity leave, vacation days, IRAs and myriad other benefits? Where will those benefits come from?

6. And most important, will these be real jobs or “bullsh*t” make-work jobs (http://bit.ly/2JMFXjU)

If people are hired only because they need jobs, rather than because the job needs people, what prevents the jobs from being make-work?

Unfortunately, the public has not thought deeply about the jobs-guarantee plan. They just like the notion of a guaranteed job.

Already, a jobs-guarantee idea polls pretty well
Published: May 2, 2018
Sanders, other potential Democratic White House hopefuls back idea
By Robert Schroeder, Fiscal Policy Reporter. Reuters

Does the prospect of a government-guaranteed job appeal to you? You’ve got company: nearly half of U.S. voters like the idea, according to a recent poll.

The proposal has been getting some traction on the left lately, after being floated by think tanks and embraced by likely Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders.

In a new Rasmussen Reports poll, 46% said they favored such a program. Sanders, according to the Washington Post, backs a version that would see local and state governments offer proposals for public works projects.

Workers would be hired for at least $15 an hour with paid family and medical leave.

Whoops! Now the plan has morphed onto “local and state governments” most of which are broke or overtaxing their residents.

And what is this about “public works projects”? Will these be ditch-digging jobs for former executives, women, the infirm and others who have no background or desire in this area.

Or are we in the “beggars can’t be choosers” area, where if you want money, you must labor, because for the poor, labor is moral?

There are numerous practical questions about a jobs-guarantee plan, including its cost. In one proposal, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated an annual cost of $543 billion for the creation of 9.7 million full-time jobs.

The above paragraph is nonsense for two reasons:

  1. Cost is irrelevant to a Monetarily Sovereign government that can create unlimited amounts of its own sovereign currency.
  2. No one on earth can come up with a $543 billion number for creating 9.7 million full-time jobs.  Those are numbers completely snatched out of the air.

So, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (who?) said it would cost $55,979.38 to create and implement and supervise each of various unknown jobs in unknown locations for an unknown length of time? That is beyond ridiculous.

A plan like Sanders’ is dead on arrival as long as Republicans control Congress.

It should be dead on arrival no matter which party is in control. It is ill-considered, uncontrollable nonsense.

It would be far simpler and far more beneficial to more people to institute the Ten Steps to Prosperity (http://bit.ly/2JLsg4E)

Let us begin with Step #1, straightaway.

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

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-lesses.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

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MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY