The MMT Jobs Guarantee con job Wednesday, May 2 2018 

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.”

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 (

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 (

Let us begin with Step #1, straightaway.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.




–How the 1% turns the 99% against itself and makes us into dogs Sunday, Nov 27 2011 

Mitchell’s laws: Reduced money growth never stimulates economic growth. To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments. Austerity breeds austerity and leads to civil disorder. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

The 1% has the money and the power, but most importantly, it controls the minds of the 99%. It has managed to convince the 99% that the federal deficit (i.e. the money supply) is too large and that programs primarily benefiting the 99% (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, aid for the poor) need to be cut to “save” them.

And the 99% go along with this self-harming, suicidal notion, because they are so accustomed to being told what to do, they readily accept being punished for sins they didn’t commit.

You all have seen this picture. It’s a policeman — a solid member of the 99% — pepper spraying fellow members of the 99%, at the instigation of some unknown member of the 1%.

Police pepper spray
A University of California at Davis police officer pepper-sprays students during a campus demonstration Nov. 18, an act that led to multiple suspensions and calls for the chancellor to resign. (BRIAN NGUYEN, Reuters Photo / November 22, 2011) Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune article says, “Though law enforcement officers will use pepper spray as a nonlethal tactic for crowd control, some have drawn criticism for its use during Occupy movement protests in Denver, Seattle and elsewhere.

“A New York City police commander was transferred in September after he sprayed two female protesters standing behind a police barrier. The UC Davis campus police chief and two officers were suspended after the incident there, and students called for the university chancellor to resign.”

What prompts police and the military worldwide to turn against their own neighbors? I suspect there is something in our pack-animal psychology that makes us yearn for the approval and direction of a leader. Dogs too, are pack animals, and will do virtually anything their leader tells them to do.

In short, we act like dogs.

If the President says, “Give up some of your Social Security,” we not only do so, but we mightily defend this harmful idea, against all criticism.

If the wealthy-owned newspapers say, “Surrender some of your Medicare,” we become convinced it necessary, and argue against anyone who says it isn’t.

If Congress says, “Cut spending on education, roads, bridges, stem-cell research, bank and securities regulation, food inspection and other important benefits,” we, with only the barest of whimpers, do as we are told– like pack dogs.

And if the mayor of your town criticizes #OWS, that is reason enough for the police to assume a mad dog posture, and beat, spray, cuff and arrest non-violent protesters, who are exercising their free speech rights on behalf of the 99% — of whom the police are a part.

Next time you are tempted to do the 1%’s bidding by sneering at #OWS for supposedly dirtying a park or blocking traffic, or by arguing for deficit reduction (which will increase the gap between you and the 1%), remember who you are and what #OWS is trying to do for you.

Don’t be that policeman. Don’t be a pack dog.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
b>Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment + Private Consumption + Net exports


–Curing anemia by bleeding the patient. Saving the captain by throwing the passengers overboard. Sunday, Nov 27 2011 

Mitchell’s laws: Reduced money growth never stimulates economic growth. To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments. Austerity breeds austerity and leads to civil disorder. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

The UK, like the U.S. is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to create its sovereign currency, the pound. It can pay any bill of any size at any time. Unfortunately, the UK, like the U.S., does not know it is Monetarily Sovereign, so it acts exactly like Greece, Italy and Spain, which are monetarily non-sovereign.

The UK and the U.S. see their ships of state sinking. They both need to bail them out, but both nations are ruled by leaders who do not understand the fundamental differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty. So they try to solve their economic money shortages by supporting some sectors (big banks, mostly), while reducing support for sectors that benefit the poor (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the military).

This is called: “Save the captain of a sinking boat by bailing water from the bow and into the stern, while throwing the passengers overboard” It’s a first cousin to the famous, “curing anemia by bleeding the patient,” which the U.S. has perfected into an art form.

Here is the UK approach:

UK aims for recovery with £20 billion loan scheme
By Tim Castle | Reuters 11/27/11

LONDON – Britain will underwrite 20 billion pounds of loans to smaller companies in a package of measures to boost the economy, while sticking to a strict austerity programme, Chancellor George Osborne said on Sunday.

Osborne is under pressure to find ways to revive a stagnant economy and avoid a return to recession without compromising a deficit-cutting spending squeeze.

The government will back loans to be made by banks to small- and medium-sized companies to cure a shortage of credit that has hampered Britain’s economic recovery.

The “revive, while deficit cutting” is the classic debt-hawk bailing system. Notice also that it involves loans to companies – loans which, when paid back, will reduce the money supply. Why loans instead of gifts? Because the UK does not know it is Monetarily Sovereign, and we’re talking about small companies, not big banks.

Osborne and his coalition government has staked its reputation on eliminating a budget deficit that was a record 11 percent when it came to power last year by implementing the deepest spending cuts in a generation.

This should read, “Osborne and his coalition government has staked its reputation on eliminating the money growth so desperately needed by his sinking economy.

That has limited his room for manoeuvre, cutting off the route of greater deficit-funding to stimulate growth and drawing criticism from the Labour opposition who say the austerity programme is too tight and should be relaxed.

Who’da thunk? You mean cutting the money supply has an adverse effect on an economy? Imagine that!

The neighbouring euro zone crisis has compounded the challenge, with the government’s fiscal watchdog expected to follow other forecasters next week by slashing its growth outlook for 2012 by more than half. The British economy has barely grown over the past 12 months, with households cutting spending as wages fall behind inflation and unemployment rises.

Captain Osborne says, “Pay no attention to that iceberg, mate. Full speed ahead.”

Osborne said it was the credibility gained by Britain’s adherence to its fiscal plan which meant he was able to create the loan guarantee scheme. “There are many governments at the moment that could not operate a scheme like this because (they) would not be regarded as creditworthy enough to do it,” he said.

Ah, the “credibility fairy.” Here’s how she works. A Monetarily Sovereign nation decides to starve its sinking economy of money. As a result, forecasters expect the economy to sink faster, which provides the economic credibility that allows the nation to lend money it should give.


“We have got a deficit reduction plan that has brought us record low interest rates, that has earned us that triple A credit rating,” said Osborne. “We are absolutely going to stick to that plan because that is what is helping Britain weather this international debt storm and is also helping us lay the foundations of a stronger economy.”

Said another way: “Diving deeper into recession, with the money supply draining away, is what earns a triple A credit rating from the rating organizations that also gave a triple A rating to worthless mortgage securities. Based on our past success, we are laying the foundation for a stronger recession.”

. . . ministers have announced . . . measures to help growth, including backing mortgages for families buying new-build homes and a 400 million pound investment fund to help construction firms finance housing developments . . . an agreement with large British pension funds (to invest) in . . . roads and broadband networks, . . . a 1 billion pound programme to find jobs and work experience for 400,000 unemployed young people, and a 600 million pound investment in specialist maths schools.

Sounds good, right? Now, the other shoe drops:

There has been less detail on the funding for these measures, with newspapers speculating that some welfare benefits will be frozen to pay for them.

Perfect. Take money from welfare recipients to pay for economic growth. The lowest, weakest, least influential part of the 99% will pay for the 1%.

Sound familiar? In America we have a similar, though somewhat different system for screwing the 99%. We cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits to “save” these programs (In Vietnam, we bombed villages to “save” them), while bailing out the biggest, wealthiest banks at the expense of the customers they screwed.

And the only ones complaining are the #OWS protesters, whom the 99% abhor for being loud, unkempt and causing traffic jams.

You simply cannot make this stuff up.

I award Chancellor Osborne 2 clowns for obvious reasons.


This brings my clown deficit to 1352. Osborne is worried.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
b>Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment + Private Consumption + Net exports


Why are members of the euro zone like lobsters in a pail? A 1-clown news item. Saturday, Nov 26 2011 

Mitchell’s laws: Reduced money growth never stimulates economic growth. To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments. Austerity breeds austerity and leads to civil disorder. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

This falls under the category: “When you’ve tried everything wrong maybe, just maybe, you eventually will try something right. The euro zone is coming closer, but still no cigar:

Euro zone may drop bondholder losses from ESM bailout
(Reporting by Julien Toyer, John O’Donnell and Luke Baker in Brussels, Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Mike Shields in Vienna; writing by Luke Baker; editing by Rex Merrifield, John Stonestreet), 11/25/11

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone states may ditch plans to impose losses on private bondholders should countries need to restructure their debt under a new bailout fund due to launch in mid-2013, four EU officials told Reuters on Friday.

A good sign. Imposing losses on private bondholders would exacerbate the ridiculous austerity of the euro nations. Taking money out of private hands is economic suicide. (Hello, U.S. debt hawks. Are you listening?)

Euro zone powerhouse Germany is insisting on tighter budgets and private sector involvement in bailouts as a precondition for deeper economic integration among euro zone countries.

Bad sign, for the above reasons.

Commercial banks and insurance companies are still expected to take a hit on their holdings of Greek sovereign bonds as part of the second bailout package being finalized for Athens. But clauses relating to PSI in the statutes of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – the permanent facility scheduled to start operating from July 2013 – could be withdrawn, with the majority of euro zone states now opposed to them.

The concern is that forcing the private sector bondholders to take losses if a country restructures its debt is undermining confidence in euro zone sovereign bonds.

Well, of course. Any time you screw a lender, he is less interested in lending again. Commercial banks and insurance companies are lenders. This is what passes for deep insight in the EU.

Berlin wants all 27 EU countries, or at least the 17 in the euro zone, to provide full backing for alterations to the treaty before it will consider giving ground on other issues member states want it to shift on, officials say.

Germany is under pressure to soften its opposition to the European Central Bank playing a more direct role in combating the crisis, and member states also want Berlin to give its backing to the idea of jointly issued euro zone bonds.

Bad sign. Forcing monetarily non-sovereigns to guarantee the debts of other monetarily non-sovereign nations is exactly like forcing New York and California to guarantee the debts of Illinois.

Actually, the ten EU nations, not using the euro (and therefore Monetarily Sovereign) easily could back the debts of the euro nations – if those ten understood they are Monetarily Sovereign (which they don’t.)

While most euro zone countries just want to forget about enforced private sector involvement, some are adamant that there must be a way to ensure banks and not just taxpayers shoulder some of the costs of bailing countries out.

Hey, I hate the banks as much as anyone (See: Brake the Banks), but pulling euros out of the banks merely serves to impoverish an entire economy by reducing the money supply.

The euro zone continues to flirt with the only solution short of dissolution: The EU, being Monetarily Sovereign, must give (not lend) euros to member nations as needed. The EU sort of, kind of, almost wants the European Central Bank (ECB) to provide these euros, but just as they reach out to that solution, they pull back with monetary non-sovereignty ignorance.

Like virtually all U.S. politicians, media and citizens, and most old-line economists, the EU cannot understand the difference between Monetary Sovereignty and their own personal, kitchen-table finances.

To borrow an overworked analogy, the euro nations are like lobsters in a pail. The reason lobsters can’t escape from a pail is because every time one tries to climb out, the others pull it back down.

I award the EU one clown (formerly dunce cap), not only for economic ignorance, but for the humorous visualization of a bunch of lobsters pulling each other down. I now am running the equivalent of a 1351 clown deficit, still with no danger of bankruptcy nor need for austerity. I’m clown sovereign.


Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
b>Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment + Private Consumption + Net exports

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