With the essential collapse of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid (“Climate meeting goals go unmet” Washington Post, 12-16-19) we now approach the first day of 2020 with much less to celebrate, much more to fear, and much more to accomplish. Here’s a little parable for the coming New Decade: Continue reading →
William K. Black
December 16, 2019 Bloomington, MN
On December 5, 2019, Lawrence O’Donnell made an impassioned attack on Pete Buttigieg on his “The Last Word” program on MSNBC. Buttigieg’s statements criticizing the Democratic Party as historically soft on deficits enraged O’Donnell. The context was Buttigieg’s effort to signal to New Hampshire voters that he was the most conservative Democratic candidate for the presidential nomination. Nothing signals ‘responsible’ so well to ‘New Democrats’ and the media as a candidate screaming ‘deficits’ in a crowded meeting room in a small New Hampshire town.
O’Donnell correctly pointed out that Buttigieg’s claims about Democrats and deficits are ‘Republican lies.’ The truth is that New Democrats have been the only group in America dedicated to inflicting austerity on our Nation. Republicans only pretend to care about deficits when Democrats have power. Buttigieg knows this, but his political interests in portraying himself as a stalwart emerging leader of the New Democrats caused him to position himself (falsely) as unique among New Democrats in his dedication to inflict austerity.
White-collar crime prosecutions are at a 33-year low. Corporate leaders can cause environmental disasters, economic crashes, and the deaths of thousands and still walk free. But there’s a way out. NEP’s Bill Black talks with The Real News Network about this. You can view with a transcript here.
Let’s quickly recap: I outlined, in PART 3, an argument that modern society has evolved in ways that necessitates a dramatic increase in public enterprise—yet, at the same time, we’ve doubled down on an old-world narrative about “money” that makes it mathematically impossible to meet that need. In PARTS 1 & 2 we reconfirmed a “modern money” perspective by simply observing the actual operations of the Federal Reserve—and reconfirmed, as well, how this new perspective holds out the opportunity to actually confront, through the efforts of public enterprise, the new challenges modern society faces.
It was my intention, at this point, to focus on the unfolding reality that climate change will soon prove to be the most dramatic challenge modern society is facing—and will be the challenge that necessitates, by far, the greatest need for goods and services produced by public enterprise. More to the point, climate change will generate the greatest need—by far—for implementing and managing a “modern money” perspective in America’s economy. While I still intend to pursue this argument, comments addressed to PART 3 have led me to change sequence: I realize now it will be ineffective (and perhaps futile) to discuss the extraordinary level of public spending that climate-change will necessitate without, first, attempting to address two related issues: (1) the stridently insistent warnings about “inflation,” and (2) the conundrum of the necessity for increased “consumption.”