One more reason why the MMT Jobs Guarantee is a con job Wednesday, May 9 2018 

Image result for ben bernanke using a computerBen 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.”

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

The previous post, The MMT Jobs Guarantee con job gave several reasons why JG is unworkable, and in fact, will hinder employment. For example:

  1. Jobs are not hard to find. There are millions of jobs available.

    May 8, 2018: U.S. employers post record high 6.6 million open jobs
    By Christopher A. Rugaber Associated Press

    U.S. employers advertised 6.6 million open jobs in March, the most on records dating back to December 2000, suggesting businesses want to staff up to meet strong demand.

    Job openings rise to record high as employers battle for qualified workers
    The number of U.S. job openings increased by 472,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.6 million in March, a record high, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The latest statistics in the monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey suggested that as hiring has improved, employers have found it increasingly difficult to find qualified workers.

    A job is not hard to find. The right job is hard to find. The job in the right location — the job you want to do and are qualified to do — that job is hard to find.

    Image result for man holding a sign on a corner

    Congratulations on your JG job.

     

    JG will not find the right job for you. At best, it might find a job, take it or leave it.

  2. Most people do not work for the joy of labor. Most people work for money, or more accurately, for financial benefits.
    .
    Continuing the above article:
    .

    The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low, but stagnant wages, chronic underemployment and growing inequality are leading more Americans to take on so-called side hustles.

    Some want to supplement their incomes. Others are just trying to eke out a living. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans now earn money from the digital “platform economy,” according to the Pew Research Center.

    Most of that work is for domestic tasks, such as housecleaning and repairs, or driving for companies such as Uber.

    By moving into shops and cafes, on-demand work stands to reshape a broader slice of the U.S. economy. There are implications for low-wage workers, too, as a new class of employers fills its labor pool with on-call temp workers.

    Retail and hospitality — which accounts for 20 percent of U.S. positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — is the on-ramp for many employees to better jobs.

    But the sector is also pinched by rising minimum wages and health-care costs, and employers are seeking more flexible work arrangements that respond to the ebbs and flows of their businesses.

    But labor experts say companies such as Snag Work could set a dangerous precedent. Employers are already wary of hiring full-time employees because of overtime and health-care costs, they say, and having a pool of potential gig workers at the ready could make matters worse for those seeking the stability, benefits and protections that come with full-time work.

    Despite JG beliefs, laboring for money neither is inherently more moral or emotionally more satisfying than receiving money without labor.

    Many retired people and wealthy people tend to be quite satisfied with their lives, while not having a paying job.

You can see other reasons why JG is unworkable by visiting The MMT Jobs Guarantee con job, but there is one additional reason, not mentioned in the prior post.

What becomes of JG job searchers, creators, supervisors and trainers when jobs are plentiful vs. when jobs are scarce?

The reason relates to the current situation where unemployment is low, and available jobs are plentiful. This is not a permanent or even a long-term situation.

Unemployment and jobs availability change markedly through time.

But by any measure, implementing JG would require a large federal bureaucracy, and depending on the degree to which state and local governments are involved, large state and local bureaucracies.

These bureaucrats not only would require significant training themselves, but any private job searchers, job creators and job trainers would need to be hired and trained.

So the question becomes:

3. What would happen to the thousands of people hired to implement JG during those periods, like today, when JG scarcely is needed, if at all?

Would these thousands of people be retained during slack periods, to twiddle their thumbs? Or would they be fired, which later would require another round of hiring and training?

And if the latter, wouldn’t this new round of hiring and training always be behind the curve, so that many months or years pass before the program once again, is up and running?

If you have had occasion to debate with a JG adherent, you probably have discovered there are an infinite number of JG’s. For each objection, a new JG is invented, until the only common element is the words “Jobs Guarantee.”

In my personal experience discussing and debating JG, I’ve been told the program involves one or more of:

–federal jobs, local government jobs, and/or private jobs
–JG implementation government or private employees, or no program employees
–supplementary Basic Income payments
–minimum wage (about $7 hour) or enhanced minimum wage of $15 hour
–prior job training by program trainers, or on-the-job training by the employee’s supervisors
–Benefits like vacations, health insurance, prenatal programs, education, special clothing, IRAs
–Part time, temporary, or full-time jobs

I also have been told JG employees would not compete with or replace existing employees, though I cannot imagine how that would work.

4. Finally, the private sector already is doing JG, far better than the government would. Continuing with the article:

Snag Work and other new platforms are the go-betweens, allowing users to pick up open shifts from retailers, restaurants and hotels that have gaps in their schedules.

Wonolo, which bills itself as 40 percent cheaper than traditional temporary staffing companies, counts Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Papa John’s Pizza among its clients. Other start-ups include AllWork and Coople.

Snag Work, which recently expanded to Washington, D.C., says the arrangements are mutually beneficial for cash-strapped workers and understaffed businesses. “Workers now have lots of options to pick up shifts — Instacart, TaskRabbit, Postmates, Lyft,” said Peter Harrison, chief executive of Snag, the parent company of Snag Work, which says it has 2.1 million active users.

“But for small businesses, there are not ways for them to participate in this revolution. They’re suffering for it because they’re losing workers to these other platforms.”

That’s where Snag Work comes in, he says. This is how it works: Interested workers sign up online and are vetted by Snag Work via Skype interviews and background checks. They can search for open shifts — which typically pay $10 to $15 an hour — on the company’s app and sign up for the ones they’re interested in.

They clock in and clock out and are paid through Snag Work’s online platform. A spokeswoman for Snag Work said the company provides workers’ compensation coverage to all workers.

The federal government should encourage and regulate businesses like Snag Work, rather than create a competitive, job-hunting/ job-creating business of its own:

Temporary workers also have fewer rights. They can’t unionize and don’t have the same legal protections against workplace harassment that other employees do, according to Erin Johansson, research director at Jobs With Justice, a nonprofit that advocates for workers’ rights.

State legislatures across the country are considering bills that would legally classify gig workers as independent contractors, stripping them of a number of workplace rights and protections.

Until now, the distinction between on-demand employee and contractor has been largely unclear, as evidenced by a number of lawsuits alleging that companies such as Uber, Grubhub and Handy are incorrectly classifying their workers as independent contractors.

Stallings, the full-time gig worker, said he regularly picks up dishwashing shifts at the Five Guys near Virginia Commonwealth University.

“The other workers get a little upset when they hear I’m making more than minimum wage,” Stallings said. “You’ll hear them talk about how they’re struggling to keep full-time hours, and then I come in to wash dishes, and at $10 an hour, am making almost as much as the cooks are.”

In summary, JG is a complex, convoluted, naive program created by people who seem not to understand the realities of job hunting. So they assume they simply can supply A JOB, and anyone unemployed will be delighted to have it.

Think of how much easier, faster and more beneficial it would be simply to:

Step #1. Eliminate FICA, then
Step #2. Expand Medicare to cover everyone, then
Step #3. Give Social Security to everyone, then
Step #4. Provide free education for everyone who wants it, then . . .

You get the idea. I’m suggesting the 10 Steps to Prosperity (below) — good at all times for all economic situations.

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

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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.

———————————————————————————————————————


MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

Taking the wrong path won’t get you to the right destination Sunday, Jun 11 2017 

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

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders..
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Science is a search for facts. But often, agreed-upon facts can lead to diametrically opposing conclusions.Related image

Consider the differences between Monetary Sovereignty (MS) and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Both are attempts to demonstrate the superiority of facts over intuition.

They agree on the same set of basic economic facts, some of which seem to be so counter-intuitive, that even many economists are confused:

  1. The U.S. federal government is sovereign over its currency, the dollar. The U.S, cities, counties, and states are not.
  2. Being sovereign over its currency, the U.S. government cannot unintentionally run short of U.S. dollars. The U.S. cities, counties, and states can and do unintentionally run short of dollars.
  3. To pay its bills, the U.S. federal government needs no income.  The cities, counties, and states do need income.
  4. The federal government creates dollars ad hoc, each time it pays a creditor. The cities, counties, and states do not.
  5. Needing no income, the U.S. federal government does not need to tax or to borrow. Even if all federal tax collections were $0, the federal government could continue paying its creditors, forever.
  6. Unlike the cities, counties, and states, the federal government does not borrow. What misleadingly is termed “borrowing” and “debt” actually is the acceptance of deposits in T-security accounts by the Federal Reserve Bank, i.e bank deposits. The Bank pays off this “debt” every day, by transferring the dollars that already exist in T-security accounts, back to the checking accounts of the T-security holders. The federal government could pay off its entire “debt” today, if it chose, without creating a single, new dollar.
  7. Because the federal government never unintentionally can run short of dollars, no agency of the federal government can run short of dollars unless Congress and the President will it. Despite what you may have been told, Social Security, Medicare, the military, the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court et al, being federal agencies, cannot run short of dollars unless Congress and the President want them to.

These are the absolute Truths of the U.S. economy, on which both MS and MMT agree. Yet from these Truths, the two philosophies diverge, notably regarding what actions the federal government should take.

The very heart of MMT beats at the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), where the professors have created a monument to their beliefs, an organization called The Center for Full Employment and Price Stability.

As you might imagine, an organization bearing that title must foster the belief that the two most important problems facing the American economy, or any economy, are a lack of jobs and inflation.

Regarding jobs, consider these excerpts from an article in the May 27th, 2017 issue of NewScientist Magazine:

Technology for Tomorrow, a manifesto for change
Put workers before robots, p. 21 by Matt Reynolds

If robots aren’t already lining up to take your job, they will be soon. A much-cited study from the University of Oxford found that 47 percent of U.S. jobs are at risk of being automated over the next 20 years.

Automation is set to affect everyone from cashiers to credit analysts: even if your job can’t be fully automated, there is a good chance parts of it can be.

The implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), buttressed by “machine learning,” means that in the future, precious few jobs will not be done, wholly or in part, by machines — and this even includes the conceptual creation of those machines.

“Intelligent” machines already have taken jobs from humans, and will do so at an accelerated rate. If nothing is done, this looming lack of human jobs will impoverish the populace. So, what should be done?

MMT believes the problem can be stated very simply as “lack of jobs.”

MS believes the real problem is “lack of money.”

To solve what it considers to be the “lack of jobs” problem, MMT suggests implementing a “Jobs Guarantee” (JG) by which the federal government guarantees that everyone who wants a job will be given a job.

However, in reality, there is no shortage of jobs, nor has there been since the Great Depression. If you go to the Monster.com employment site and click “Chicago,” you will see: Jobs in Chicago, Illinois, 1000+ Jobs Found

The site doesn’t say how many more than 1000 jobs it lists, but the question is: Why are there so many jobs available if the problem is “lack of jobs”?

Is it because Chicago is such a big city?  Not really. Consider little Mullen, NE, pop. 501, and near no other cities. Here is what Monster.com said on June 11, 2017: Jobs within 10 miles of Mullen, NE:  65 Jobs Found.” 

Then we have the thriving metropolis of Harlem, MT, pop. 830, where 52 jobs within 10 miles were found by Monster.com.

Would you consider 65 jobs available within 10 miles of a town having 501 residents, or 52 jobs close to a town of 830, to imply a “lack of jobs”?

And these are not special cases. They are typical. Go to Monster.com, and prowl around.

And those are just the jobs listed on one web site, Monster.com. Think about all the other job sites, and the classified sections of newspapers and the employment agencies, and the charitable organizations devoted to helping people find jobs, etc.

Yes, there is no shortage of jobs; there are plenty of available jobs, thousands of jobs, millions of jobs. But, for any individual job seeker, the vast majority are not the right jobs.

Look at all the jobs in your local paper, and see how few are appropriate for you.

And therein lies the problem — or one of the problems.

The MMT JG program does not, cannot offer the right jobs; it just offers jobs, any jobs.

There is no possible mechanism for JG to offer the right jobs to every resident of Mullen, NE and Harlem, MT, and every other Mullen and Harlem resident in America, who wants a job.

Think about the staffing and design of a federal agency capable of:

  1. Finding and offering the right job for every job seeker in every Mullen and Harlem around America
  2. Watching over those jobs (for ongoing working conditions, comparable benefits and pay, etc.), and most importantly,
  3. Making sure those are additional jobs, not just replacement jobs.

As technology reduces, year-by-year,  the availability of those “right” jobs, JG will look less and less like a solution to anything.

And the MMT folks know it.

So why do they persist with JG? Here is what the article’s author, Matt Reynolds, says, and what MMT believes:

Work isn’t just about money. It gives us a sense of purpose and identity, which is why using technology to track workers to enforce optimal performance is so dehumanizing.

There you see a mashup of the nonsense promulgated by the rich: You masses cannot feel a sense of purpose and “identity” (whatever “identity” means) unless you labor. Presumably, the harder you labor, the more “purpose and identity” you will feel.

The rich, by contrast, feel just fine minimizing their own labor by employing people like you to do the work, while they lounge on yachts. Apparently, we should be thankful to the generous rich, who forego their own “purpose and sense of identity,” and give it to us workers.

And, if work gives us a sense of purpose and identity, why is tracking workers to enforce optimal performance “dehumanizing”? Wouldn’t optimal performance be what provides that purpose and identity?

And by the way, why do you buy labor-saving devices if labor gives you a sense of purpose and identity?

Yes, some jobs — jobs that make people rich, famous, and revered — can provide some measure of purpose and identity, but for the vast majority of us working stiffs, jobs are for money and hobbies are for pleasure, and we still look forward to weekends and vacations away from work.

Not many people on their deathbed say, “I wish I had spent more time digging in the coal mine or sitting in my office cubicle, answering ‘Yes, sir’ to my boss.”

The MMT professors seem to believe, deep within their souls, that the poor need to labor to fulfill their destinies, so they should be thankful to receive any job, no matter how onerous or empty.

The MMT professors are creatures of graphs, numbers, and formulas: A thousand unemployed and a thousand available jobs; put them together and poof(!) problem solved.

No, MMT, the problem is not a lack of jobs; the problem is a lack of money.  And that is what the Ten Steps to Prosperity is designed to address,  Particularly Steps #1, 2, 3, 5, and 7.

Finally, we must mention two comments from the article:

Bill Gates has suggested a robot tax, for instance, which firms would shell out when they supplant humans with machines.

Gates’s suggestion is a perfect example of why money and brains don’t always go together. A robot tax simply would hinder the development and implementation of robots, a bad idea for many reasons. (Why not a tax on all machinery, not just robots, so that thousands of people must be employed to do what a handful do now? Back to the pre-industrial age.)

As the author says:

The EU rejected a robot tax proposal in February, and such simplistic measures don’t get to the heart of the problem.

That’s partly why a universal basic income — a guaranteed small monthly income from the state — has been gaining interest; it lets people pursue their own priorities, including caring for relatives or running their own business.  We have preliminary evidence that this can work.

That suggestion is Step #3 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity.

The MMT professors understand the facts of the economy; they should teach them to the populace. If only MMT would forget about JG and join MS in promoting the Ten Steps. Taking that path would lead to a better world.

And MMT, please begin your trip into the 21st century by changing the name from The Center for Full Employment and Price Stability to the Center for Prosperity.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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

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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Would you rather have a job or equally-paying unemployment? Saturday, May 20 2017 

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

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders..
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

If ever you have wondered about the differences between Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and Monetary Sovereignty (MS), the title question provides a good clue.

While MMT and MS are built on the same factual foundation —  i.e. federal taxes do not fund federal spending — the two economic philosophies diverge by what they suggest be done with that information.

MMT believes there is an unemployment problem while MS believes the corresponding problem actually is a lack of money.

Thus, MMT proposes to solve the unemployment problem via a Jobs Guarantee program in which the federal government guarantees a job to anyone who wants one.

Image result for bad job

Don’t give me money. I prefer “the dignity of work.”

 

MS, by contrast, proposes the Ten Steps to Prosperity, with most of the Steps directly or indirectly addressing the lack-of-money problem without the need for the federal government to provide jobs.

Interestingly, “MMTers” generally subscribe to a minimum wage, which clearly is a money problem, while the objections to a minimum wage are the potential for it to cause unemployment.

Thus, MMT seems to acknowledge that unemployment really is a money problem, but insists the money problem must be solved with jobs.

This all came to mind when I read a few excerpts from the following article referencing the Center for American Progress:

Toward a Jobs Guarantee at the Center for American Progress (!)
Posted on May 17, 2017 by Lambert Strether

How would the JG work from the perspective of a working person (not an owner?) Or from the perspective of the millions of permanently disemployed? The MMT Primer:

If you are involuntarily unemployed today (or are stuck with a part-time job when you really want to work full time) you only have three choices:

1. Employ yourself (create your own business—something that usually goes up in recessions although most of these businesses fail)
2. Convince an employer to hire you, adding to the firm’s workforce
3. Convince an employer to replace an existing worker, hiring you

It is the “dogs and bones” problem: if you bury 9 bones and send 10 dogs out to go bone-hunting you know at least one dog will come back “empty mouthed”. You can take that dog and teach her lots of new tricks in bone-finding, but if you bury only 9 bones, again, some unlucky dog comes back without a bone.

The only solution is to provide a 10th bone. That is what the JG does: it ensures a bone for every dog that wants to hunt.

It expands the options to include:

There is a “residual” employer who will always provide a job to anyone who shows up ready and willing to work.

It expands choice. If you want to work and exhaust the first 3 alternatives listed above, there is a 4th: the JG.

MMT sees the problem as not just “unemployment,” but “involuntary unemployment,” so naturally its solution becomes “employment.” They’ve indicated the solution by their statement of the problem.

But why is the problem “involuntary unemployment” rather than simply lack of money? Here is the answer given in the article:

Research by Pavlina Tcherneva and Rania Antonopoulos indicates that when asked, most people want to work.

Studying how job guarantees affect women in poor countries, they find the programs are popular largely because they recognize—and more fairly distribute and compensate—all the child- and elder care that is now often performed by women for free (out of love or duty), off the books, or not at all.

Enough of this crap jobs at crap wages malarky!

See if you can follow the “logic:” People want to work. The proof is that women in poor countries now work for free, but would prefer to work for money. Huh?

That’s proof?

And as for the last sentence regarding “crap jobs at crap wages,” that is exactly what JG promises. How could it be otherwise?

Before you try to answer that question, here are a few questions I have asked JG proponents, and never seem to get consistent answers.

(As you investigate JG, you’ll find it means different things to different people, and no sooner do you object to one feature, they change the features. It’s almost like objecting to auto pollution and being told the subject was bicycles, but when you object to bicycling dangers, you are told the subject is autos.)

Here are the questions:

  1. Who exactly would be the employer: The federal government or the private sector?
  2. If it’s the federal government, exactly which jobs would it provide, and where in the country would it provide them?
  3. Who would create and supervise those jobs? How would JG be different from current federal employment?
  4. If the private sector is to supply the jobs, how would the government find those jobs in every town, all over the country?
  5. Would JG employees take jobs from non-JG employees? What would be the qualifications for a JG employer?
  6. Why do local newspapers and online job services advertise hundreds of thousands of jobs, if the problem JG supposedly solves is a shortage of jobs? Why aren’t those jobs filled?
  7. What are the criteria to remain a JG employee and who would supervise those criteria? Who would do the hiring all over the country?
  8. What would JG employees be paid, and how would that compare with non-JG employees?
  9. Who would determine raises, promotions, and firings?
  10. Who would handle employee complaints? Would there be unions?

If you feel you know the answers to those questions, please add them to the Comments section so we all can learn.

Now, we return to the elephant in the room: The notion that people want to work, or more accurately, people prefer to work vs. not work.

That “10th bone” to which the author referred (above) needn’t be a job. It just as well could be an alternative source of income.

I don’t work for a living. Most of my friends don’t either. And none of us wants to. We prefer not working. I believe this desire not to work is common.

So why is the problem stated as “involuntary unemployment,” rather than “involuntary lack of money”?

Unknowingly(?), MMT has based its JG on a kind of  righteousness, even a spiritualness that says labor is noble and virtuous, while idleness is a deadly sin (sloth). By that idea, anyone who prefers to receive money while not working is a sinner, a “taker.”

It is a belief promulgated, ironically, by the people who most indulge in idleness: The very rich.

The lifestyles of the rich and famous are anything but “work,” unless you consider clipping coupons, receiving dividends, sailing yachts to sunny islands and being waited upon hand and foot by faux-adoring sycophants, to be “work.”

Yes, many people enjoy their jobs, just as they enjoy playing a backyard game of volleyball, but those jobs probably would not be the jobs offered by JG.

The reality is that the sole purpose of JG is to provide a “legitimate” source of money, not to provide inner joy and satisfaction.  But that purpose can better be satisfied via gift vs. job slavery.

Why then, have the rich implanted the Auschwitzian idea that “arbeit macht frei” (work sets you free)? Because that is how they maintain a ready supply of workers — especially lower-wage workers — to the factories and businesses owned by the rich.

Get people to believe that they cannot be “good” unless they work, and they will work. Faith is the most powerful of motivators.

Implant the belief that the poor are lazy sinners, who do not deserve the fabulous lives enjoyed by the rich, and they will claim to want work.  But few people awaken looking forward to an emotionally empty day, forced endlessly to repeat “Want fries with that?” rather than kicking sand on a beach.

The idea that people cannot be satisfied with their lives unless they labor, is utter nonsense, a notion my friends and contemporaries, and indeed, many millions of people disprove every day.

Not only do the rich want a ready source of laborers, they want to distance themselves from the poor (aka Gap Psychology), and what better way than to contrast the life of the working poor with that of the leisure rich?

Institute the MS Ten Steps to Prosperity, and there will be neither demand for nor need for the emotionally cruel, impossible-to-execute, MMT Jobs Guarantee — crap jobs at crap wages for those who have no good choices.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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

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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The solution to joblessness Thursday, Oct 6 2016 

This site is devoted to “Monetary Sovereignty (MS),” a sister to “Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).

Both explain that:

  1. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending
  2. The federal government neither needs nor uses tax dollars
  3. Neither the federal debt nor federal deficits are burdens on the government, future taxpayers or on the economy.
  4. And a great many other facts about federal finances.

However, we disagree dramatically on one important issue: What to do.

Isn’t it interesting that two groups can agree on all the underlying facts, yet come to radically different conclusions about what to do with those facts?

Last I heard, MMT economists still believe in something called “JG” (Jobs Guarantee), wherein the government will provide a job to anyone who wants a job. In several previous posts,  we have described why this not only is a bad idea, but a disastrously bad, economically naive idea.

You can see the details of the argument by clicking the above link.

Meanwhile, I just came across a very nice synopsis you may find interesting:

From Your Quora Digest

There are almost 6 million job openings in the US. Why are Trump supporters not getting these jobs instead of complaining there are no jobs available?

Because you’re not going to convince a guy whose family spent three generations on a manufacturing line in Detroit that he should uproot his family and move to Austin, sign up for community college classes on how to program Java, a take a job at half the pay and benefits he used to get.

He’s an American, too. He worked hard his whole life to achieve the American Dream, just like everybody said he would, and then “they” pulled the plug on him.

He doesn’t know who that ubiquitous “they” is. But Donald Trump does. And Trump says only he can fix it.

So they grab on, because they want to believe in something, in someone, who says he’s got the answers. Sadly, he doesn’t, and their hopes are going to be dashed once again.

By Robert Dixon

And there, in one short paragraph beginning with the word “Because,” Mr. Dixon shows you one of the fundamental problems with JG.

Unknowingly, JG parallels Donald Trump in recommending virtually the same, unrealistic solution to joblessness. They had it first, he came in later, and both are wrong.

Joblessness is not the problem; it is the symptom of the real problem: The wide Gap between the rich and the rest. Narrow the Gap, and unintentional joblessness will all but disappear — and the jobs will be better.

It is naive to address a symptom without treating the basic problem.  And that treatment is The Ten Steps to Prosperity (see below).

I respect MMT, because it tells the realities of federal finances and fights against the “Big Lie” (that federal taxes fund federal spending).

Now, if only I could convince them to get off the JG horse, and promote the 10 Steps.

If only.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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

 

The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the rich and the rest.

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 afford better health care than 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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 benefiting 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate 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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

%d bloggers like this: