Pinch-Hitting For Peterson, Responses

By L. Randall Wray
It is perhaps a bit unseemly for the protagonist to be the first to answer Stephanie Kelton’s call for responses. However, I wanted to address two comments received to the series.
First, from GLH there was a question about the term “beltway progressive”. Fair enough. Comes from “inside the beltway” of Washington DC. Many “think tanks” (a misnomer as few think tanks actually do any thinking—most simply push an ideological agenda) locate within the beltway to have easy access to politicians, policy-makers, lobbyists, media, and funding. Most of these are center-right, or crazy right, but there are a few progressive think tanks slugging it out. I did not use the term in a derogatory manner, although I did criticize the “group think” on debts and deficits that emerges from within the beltway.
Locating within the beltway does provide many advantages. When media types are working on a story, they want to go where the action is—and that is usually Washington. The media loves to report on politics—as opposed to, say, economics—because everyone has an opinion and all opinions are seemingly more-or-less equal. It is easy to get a debate about the significance of the most insignificant political poll; it is easy to get some instant expert weighing in on what “the American people” want, and what any particular election “really means”. Occasionally they will cover economics, usually some proposed legislation that will benefit really rich people. Think tanks offer a veil of respectability that registered lobbyists cannot provide. It is hard for a policy-maker to directly affirm that he’s supporting a piece of legislation that benefits—let us say—some blood-sucking vampire squid because that firm’s lobbyists have promised campaign contributions. So it is much better to turn to a think tank that takes vampire squid money to produce “research” reports advocating policy that will benefit vampire squids. So that is the main role of beltway think tanks.
And that is, to me, what is so problematic about beltway progressives adopting the Pete Peterson approach to deficits, debt ratios, unfunded entitlements, and fiscal responsibility. As I have argued, that adoption is probably a “coincidence” in the sense that progressives in Washington are merely sucking the same air. It is “within the beltway” thinking. And within that beltway there is no longer any room for disagreement about “unsustainable” deficits and debt.
I know this from personal experience. It is much harder to influence policy from Kansas City or from upstate NY (the Levy Economics Institute). Yes, reporters occasionally decide: “hey maybe we should get an economist who is not connected to the beltway think tanks; maybe one of those farm country hillbillies in the Midwest. How about Kansas?” (UMKC, by the way, is in Missouri, and we are quite a distance from the Ozarks–but the confusion about Midwest geography probably helps us.) So we get our airtime. Occasionally I venture inside the beltway and meet with policymakers, politicians, heads of civil rights or labor groups, and so on. When I say that government solvency is not at issue, they look at me like I’ve just sprouted two horns. They call for the guards to escort me out. They warn me not to come back until I’ve got a letter signed by Joe Blow from XYZ progressive think-tank from within the beltway endorsing my proposal. I am not kidding, but I won’t name names. (Sometimes it is even worse—they’ll say: “Oh you are one of those economists that Paul Krugman attacked because you claim deficits never matter. Don’t come back.”) Therefore, not only is the endorsement by beltway progressives of the Peterson view limiting the range of debate within the beltway, it also closes off the beltway to any progressive alternative outside the beltway.
Second, for Craig Austin. Yes, I know we are terrible writers and promoters and don’t know a thing about PR. And yet, you are here, along with 2500+ readers every day to read what we write. A half dozen of us created the MMT that you now love dearly—those of us here at UMKC plus Warren Mosler, Bill Mitchell, and Scott Fullwiler. So we are not complete failures. We want you and others to take up the fight. If you are better at marketing, great, do it. If you want to self-promote your own blog, go for it.
But if you are here to get funding from us, you are delusional. There is no money.
Let me explain how things work at NEP. It was Stephanie Kelton’s brainchild; she bought a URL out of her pocket change, roped a couple of UMKC profs to donate time, got some of our associates to donate their time (Marshall, Scott), and started the blog. Frankly, I was skeptical. I barely even knew what a blog was (I knew Bill Mitchell had one but wasn’t quite sure if it was a disease or other affliction). She learned how to set up the blog, and then got some volunteer techie assistance from our grad students. There is no revenue; if there are expenses, Stephanie covers them out of pocket. And she and her techie grad students post every blog that is put up because the rest of us are too damned incompetent to learn how to do it. We can barely distinguish a URL from a URINAL.
So if you want money out of UMKC, here is what you need to do. Apply to our PhD program; get accepted; and if you are among the top applicants you might be awarded a stipend. For the princely sum of $10,000 per year, you attend lectures and study for 40+ hours a week. You also must work as a slave (whoops, we now call them GTAs—graduate teaching assistants) assigned to a prof for 20 hours per week, grading papers, leading discussions, holding office hours, and later teaching your own class. And then if we discover you know anything about computers, you get to donate your time at night to helping on the NEP.
So if you wonder why we do not have a PR firm, it is because we have not yet found one to work for free.

38 responses to “Pinch-Hitting For Peterson, Responses

  1. Randall, I'm hugely grateful for you & the other MMTers. Things are getting a bit 'interesting' (as the saying goes) over here in Euroland. I'm trying to absorb all your various blogs as fast as I can. Keep going :)Just found this submission from positivemoney.org New Economics Foundation (UK) & Prof Werner of Southampton University (UK) to the Independent Commission on Banking on monetary/banking/fiscal reform for UK. Looks like MMT with full reserve banking essentially.Would be grateful for any comments you have.http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/NEF-Southampton-Positive-Money-ICB-Submission.pdfThanks!Mike

  2. 1) thanks for responding. BTW – Scott i'm still waiting for your feedback to the email i sent you july sixth. 2) big shout out to Stephanie for putting the blog together – great idea 3) thanks for the offer but i'm done with school, to expensive any way 4) no problem about the money. give me a little more time to refine my message and then maybe you, mitchell, galbraith, mosler, and black can "bless me" with some quotes that i can market on my kickstarter project. those are free. 5) what did you think of my attempt to reframe the KC's position/talking points? BTW why does everybody (cullen) think I'm trying to promote my blog. I'm showing you how to reframe the argument. solutions people. remember we are looking for the tools to help us solve the problem. 6) i am trying to bring frank rich up to speed on this story. i emailed Frank July 7th, he responded July 9th saying "fascinating stuff. I appreciate you keeping me in the loop" I emailed Frank again July 10th (cc'd mosler, galbraith and black) in response to Ritholtz banning me from his site (groupthink) Mosler replied all clarifying some minor details in my MMT description. Yesterday I see Barry has Cullen's MMT primer on hisreading list. I see warren responded in barry's comments. I then gave warren a hard time for not telling me. In the mean time warren and i have shared maybe 15 emails. I told him I needed money. He said how much. I said $10k. He said I think I can get the money. Send me "business plan thingy".  I haven't had the chance yet. 7) i wasn't planning on waiting for a PR firm anyway

  3. This is a hard thing to say, but…If 2500 people living all over the world simultaneously posted the URL of NEP, along with a brief explanatory note, to the email inboxes of the ten most progressive politicians in America, my bet is that not a single one of them would even notice, much less visit the site. Their staffs would probably delete our messages as spam sent by die-hard Marxist crackpots.MMT will not save the world this time around. It's way too late. The depression is here, and Barack Obama is reprising Herbert Hoover, not FDR. We will endure another crisis and witness yet another bail-out and, in all probability, an even longer period of right-wing dominance. We will only get another chance because trends that can't continue won't.

  4. I finally decided to get off my duff and wrote a letter to my Congressman. I borrowed Warren's football/scoreboard analogy (thanks!). Judging by the rest of the stuff on my Congressman's website he seems to be one of the least insane of Republicans out there. Of course he supports the Cut, Cap, Balance pledge and the balanced budget amendment but I think that is purely out of ignorance.Hopefully he actually reads the letter.

  5. @Don "Could you provide a list of the corresponding savers, and their amounts of savings? In other words, do we have people or institutions that have put $14.3 trillion in cash into Treasuries that we can document?"Thanks for the question Don. Specifically. No. From a sectorial balance perspective – absolutely. From a sectorial perspective, government liabilities of a currency issuer correspond to the assets, or savings, of the currency users as a matter of double entry accounting. See this article to see the actual numbers. The Kansas City school of economic thought (James Galbraith, William K. Black. Warren Mosler, etc) all subscribe to the accounting identity: issuer debt = currency user savings, or put another way, government debt = private savings + foreign savings. Just to make sure everybody is in the loop here and to facilitate communication between parties. I am going to cross post my response both here on New Deal 2.0 and on the official Kansas City School's blog. All of the folks I mentioned are actively commenting on the UMKC blog. Not sure if you have had the chance but i have outlined a laymen's explanation of the Kansas City school of thought here. Hope this helps. If you have any general questions I would be glad to help. If you want a professional explanation. We can arrange that also.

  6. @Don – I got your name confused with somebody else. I was thinking of "Don Hewitt" which I immediately thought headed up the Roosevelt Institute. Done Hewitt was the CBS guy. My mistake…in case you were wondering about the UMKC "introductions"Lynn Parramore over at New Deal 2.0 had taken a interest in some of my comments and i though she went and got the big honcho to respond. haha my mistake

  7. Mr. Wray: As I said before I appreciate what you are doing. I suspect most people would have to have a huge reward to do what this group is doing and you are to be commended. I mean no criticism of anyone at this site.But, there is a saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and when I mention the groups of people who took money from Peterson I suspect they would have been well advised to have considered that saying before they acted. It doesn't look right.And let me say that Mr. Peterson surely realized how his contribution would appear and the the damage it might do to the reputations of the groups involved. Mr. Peterson is no dummy and it hard to believe that he is a real philanthropist either. I suspect that anything Peterson gives money to, he expects something in return. I never read the original Naked Capitalism piece and I don't know how they found about the donation, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Peterson Institute is the source. Think of what a coup this could be for him, being able to discredit those groups.Again, thank you for your work and I hope to get the time to read your book soon.

  8. Craig, I'm all for your efforts at marketing MMT and hope you're successful. I do disagree however, that Warren, Randy, Bill, Stephanie, Scott, Pavlina, Marshall, and Jamie Galbraith have been unsuccessful or that they are particularly hard to read. I think that anyone who can read the Sunday Times Magazine articles can understand what they write. Certainly, Congressional staff can understand these blogs as well as they can understand Paul K at least.Now, admittedly writing for intelligent lay readers is easier than writing for middle class newspaper or magazine readers whose eyes glaze over when they see the word 'economics.' Maybe you can bring forth new memes that make it easier to communicate with "the man in the street" or the person using Facebook. I hope so and wish you the best of luck.

  9. I want to join the PhD program! Although I probably wouldnt get accepted. :(I'd gladly work slave labor hours if it meant helping to spread MMT. I sit in a lab all day anyway and read about MMT in my free time waiting on experiments, so it'd be nothing new.

  10. Joe – I completely disagree. The fundamental of nature of monetary operations and it's role in our economy is extremely confusing. It's elusive nature is exactly the reason this whole planet is operating in the dark. If people understood MMT we would not be in this situation. We would not have our banks structured the way they are. We would not have unemployment like we do. We would not have completely disenfranchised groups of people. Weather anyone knows it not the currency issuer is the prime mover within the economy. It literally determines the "price" of everything purchased within the economy. Read Warrens definition of price…it's the price government pays.It's abundantly obvious all parties mentioned are going far above and beyond the call of duty. My intent is not to question motives. I am simply questioning the approach. Obviously different folks for different folks but without casting a light to our monetary system in laymen's terms everything that goes out will be perceived in cynicism and distrust.Think about it strategically. Look how much you guys spend your time educating people. After following Warren's blog this last year, it's painfully obvious the same questions just keep coming up. Why not off load them on to me? Send them a link over to my site as a starting place. Look at my working model. If you think there are points of confusion let me know. Help me refine them. Let's get a good laymen working visual model of MMT – jargon free.

  11. Everyone is doing a great job in their own way even if it is just asking "stupid" questions. As n educator I know that there is no such thing as a stupid question unless it involves betrays failure to do the assignments.Craig is an engineer as well as being involved in marketing. He brings a unique perspective and has shown the willingness to learn and adapt. That needs to be encouraged. He has asked for assistance in getting the message across in way that is appealing but also correct. The need for funding involves the creation of a video animation that promotes MMT both reasonably and persuasively. Many of us, including Randy, have agreed that this is a step that needs to be taken. Some funding is going to be required if a production standard that audience have come to expect is to be achieved.The academicians are providing the professional literature that is necessary and also taking time away from their professional lives to promote something that they realize is vital to the country. Without them, MMT would not even be an idea.The people involved in MMT at different levels of understanding and interest are all contributing to the overall effort.I think we all recognize the urgency and realize that all available resources need to be mobilized and a lot of it has to be volunteer at this point. We are up against seemingly insurmountable odds, squaring off with prestigious think tanks staffed by well-know figures. We are not letting this get in our way. Let's work together to slay the demon of ignorance and thwart the disingenuous people that are profiting from this ignorance by promoting it to advance their interests.

  12. It's not that hard to make this thing work….we just have to educate 300 million people (minus 2500+ readers):)Seriously though, that's what it's going to take. Usually I just comment on some post about how the author is wrong about something, usually the one that gets me is when someone spouts some nonsense about how China is going to stop letting us "borrow" money, and then post a link back here to NEP.Eventually, it will get through. People do pay attention, at least some of them and I have actually seen *some* progress in the comment sections at places like Rawstory and Alternet. It's pretty hard for people to ignore you when you accuse them of not understanding even the most basic fundamentals of how the economy works. They may not believe it at first but it does…sometimes… sink in.Mosler's 7 deadly frauds has even convinced my boss, who convinced others in his family…and so on. This is the way the truth spreads.People are rightly worried about this unnecessary austerity and once informed about the truth of the self-imposed debt limit and how the US cannot go broke, it causes them to rethink a lot of other things.Usually all it takes is to ask them how our government, who creates money out of thin air with a computer, can run out of money?

  13. "So if you wonder why we do not have a PR firm, it is because we have not yet found one to work for free."Not in the US. In Italy you did. Best, Paolo

  14. Warren, Tom, Senexx, Eric, Ralph, Mario and a bunch of others on Warren's blog have embraced what i am doing. They see my approach to MMT is different and provide feedback. i guess my beef is really with scott, randy, stephanie, cullen, joe and marshall. you guys are the leaders and the most active folks on this blog and have failed to comment or even recognize my approach. why? i read all your stuff, process it, reorganize it and then try to present it in the most clear concise way possible. i have reached out to you individually – actually only scott – and the rest of you just through blogs. no one responds. no one comments. cullen tells me promoting my blog is sure fire way to get kicked off of blogs. Are you guys kidding me. This is how you respond. Can't you see the value in what i have created. why wouldn't you embrace it. my introductory explanations to MMT are better. can they be improved? of course, that's why i want your feedback. So let's park the emotions at the curb and help me help all of us build a platform to push out the message.Once we get this platform in place my intentions are to get some creative folks involved and sell this puppy from a bottom up approach

  15. "It's not that hard to make this thing work….we just have to educate 300 million people (minus 2500+ readers):)"It's even easier than that; we need only convince 50.00001% of those 300 million people. Maybe less, if the electoral college swings in our favor.

  16. I think this federal debt fight offers us a unique opportunity to get our message out as being something besides (the strawman) "spend your way out of everything". With MMT of course, we understand that federal borrowing is not a crisis of any sort, and is hardly even an event, and so we should be broadcasting THIS message right now instead of the usual aggregate demand stuff. To that end, I've been pushing the following message out:Federal borrowing does NOT increase federal debt. The debt is incurred when the borrowed dollar is initially created, NOT when it is borrowed. There is therefore no net increase in federal liabilities when the government borrows, and therefore there is NO DEBT CRISIS. This "debt crisis" is actually artifical, and is based purely on a misunderstanding of the accounting structures and transactions involved.

  17. @ Craig Austin "The fundamental of nature of monetary operations and it's role in our economy is extremely confusing."No – it isn't – the confusion result's from a smokescreen which many set up deliberately – but it's not really conceivable that bankers don't understand it…"It's elusive nature is exactly the reason this whole planet is operating in the dark. If people understood MMT we would not be in this situation".Unfortunately, I think your wrong again – If politicians understood MMT rudementely – they would campaign for a total ban of taxes ("it's just theft") – and for unlitmited spending ("taxes don't fund spending – therefore, there is no reason to deny interest group X funding for their pet project – would just cost as votes"). So, hyperinflation would almoust certainly result. And no, there is no possibility that politicans (and the general public) understand MMT deeply – no concept,ideology, science, religion – (or any other "truth") ever get's a DEEP commitment from more of 5 % of any population. [People will go along with the wave, and chant what their leaders want to hear, but a deep understanding is rare, because it runs against human nature to deeply commit – it's much easier to accept the "thruths" told by autorities.] And the ability of politicans to really learn anything lies below of that of the average citizen – because politicans are people full of themselves, good talkers, poor listeners.The better chance would actually be to influence a narrow group of (undercover) politicans, that pretend not to understand MMT until they get in to office, and than having their comming out ("we have deeply studied the grave economic situation, and found that desperate times need desperate measures…)

  18. @Good Habit Essentially we are talking about motives. I'm assigning ignorance and you assigning malice. I think ignorance and groupthink seem much more reasonable. Very few people know this stuff. Why would they? Who issues currency. I have never heard anyone remotely suggest anything like KC school until introduced to it last summer. I've read alot of non-academic books on this stuff too. In fact, even after reading Hudson's FIRE stuff a couple years ago I never drew any on these conclusions. Mosler is the only one who breadcrumbed it for me. First in his book and then on his blog. My guess is that this is just an operational failure. They've simply mismanaged the economy because their trying to target the wrong goal – balance budgets. It's groupthink. We all live in our little bubble and rarely do new ideas pass the gates…at least until now 🙂 Let's do this!

  19. "When I say that government solvency is not at issue, they look at me like I’ve just sprouted two horns."So they have wrong models in their heads, so what? Most people don't have deeply held views how our monetary system operate. As a consequence, they can change their views quite easily. At first they get doubtful, and are not sure what to think. But reality proves MMT right every day. Give them some time, more evidence or repeat message and they might 'flip over'. What is so hard to just claim something, explain in simple logic, even if your audience might not believe you 100% at the first time? World is full of opinions. I like how Richard Koo does it – simple mechanistical models. Take the money from this group, give it to that group. Too many borrowes, rates are raised. Too few borrowes, rates are lowered. Government came in, borrowed and spend that money. These explanations implant simple models in the listeners heads and are easy to understand. World would benefit enourmously if someone would just come out and explain how the system works in simple logic from A to B to C.

  20. I've been giving more thought to our lack of "meeting of the minds." As an outsider who can follow 90% of the logic within the academic domain it's obvious to me the language is virtually an impenetrable barrier for the laymen. The barrier creates suspicion, cynicism, and distrust leading people astray is their thought that govt is some evil foreign entity that was created to keep us all down. The Glen Beck rhetoric and conspiracy talk ultimately poisons people’s belief in the system. it’s corrosive and lends itself to cultivating exactly the behavior that it denounces – a culture of deceit. if folks feel the system is gamed then “might as well take advantage of some angle since the whole thing is a charade anyway”. MMT is appealing because it explains how thing work operationally which illuminates and brings transparency to the system. once a good proportion of the people understand then we can all work together to not only trust it but also improve it.I recognize that if MMT academic folks started using more laymen's language they would probably be further marginalized by the mainstream. So it seems like the best way forward is for both parties to operate within their respective domain – you folks work in your world and the some of us outsiders well work to build a laymen's domain. The part where we can work together is the communication and collaboration of tackling different subjects together to help the laymen's domain flush out and translate your concepts. So for example, if we were to discuss the underlying causes for our boom/bust cycle, a starting explanation off the top of my head for the laymen might be:The underlying cause of the boom/bust cycle is the poor structure of our banking system. Our banking sector needs to be structured for transparency,accountability, and stability to remove systemic risk. Letting private banks sell off their loans introduces a moral hazard. Sound banking requirements that would eliminate moral hazard would be the following 1) loans remain on balance sheets 2) no off-shore lending 3) no credit default insurance 4) no proprietary trading 5) real asset collateral The currency issuer is the monopoly producer, lender, and price setter of money.The issuer can provide private banks as much money to lend as they could ever need. The function of private banks is credit analyses, lending and taking deposits. If we were tackle the "value of the dollar" subject we might use something like cullen mentioned the other day. "The depreciation of the dollar has been more than offset by the productivity improvements in the marketplace. Price inflation must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living. Has your standard of living declined? What you’re saying is as silly as saying that NYC is worse than Biloxi because it costs more to buy a cheeseburger there. Think about that for a second. Price rises must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living."So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft the laymen's domain. Helping the laymen domain tackling topics one by one. Working individually of course but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. This may sound vague but I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some 1-2min viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback. I'll throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comment online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button.

  21. I've been giving more thought to our misunderstanding. As an outsider who can follow 90% of the logic within the academic domain it's obvious to me the language is virtually an impenetrable barrier for the laymen. The barrier creates suspicion, cynicism, and distrust leading people astray is their thought that govt is some evil foreign entity that was created to keep us all down. The Glen Beck rhetoric and conspiracy talk ultimately poisons peoples' belief in the system. it’s corrosive and lends itself to cultivating exactly the behavior that it denounces – a culture of deceit. If folks feel the system is gamed they might as well take advantage of some angle since the whole thing is a charade anyway. MMT is appealing because it explains how thing work operationally which illuminates and brings transparency to the system. once a good proportion of the people understand the system then we can all work together to not only restore our trust in it but also improve it.I recognize that if MMT academic folks started using more laymen's language they would probably be further marginalized by the mainstream. So it seems like the best way forward is for both parties to operate within their respective domain – you folks work in your world and the some of us outsiders well work to build a laymen's domain. The part where we can work together is the communication and collaboration of tackling different topics together to help us within the laymen domain flush out and translate your concepts. So for example, if we were to discuss the underlying causes for our boom/bust cycle, a starting explanation might be – see next post….

  22. "The underlying cause of the boom/bust cycle is the poor structure of our banking system. Our banking sector needs to be structured for transparency, accountability, and stability to remove systemic risk. Letting private banks sell off their loans introduces a moral hazard. Sound banking requirements that would remove moral hazard include the following 1) loans remain on balance sheets 2) no off-shore lending 3) no credit default insurance 4) no proprietary trading 5) real asset collateral The currency issuer is the monopoly producer, lender, and price setter of money.The issuer can provide private banks as much money to lend as they could ever need. The function of private banks is credit analyses, lending and taking deposits."If we were tackle the "value of the dollar" subject we might use something that cullen mentioned the other day. "The depreciation of the dollar has been more than offset by the productivity improvements in the marketplace. Price inflation must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living. Has your standard of living declined? What you’re saying is as silly as saying that NYC is worse than Biloxi because it costs more to buy a cheeseburger there. Think about that for a second. Price rises must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living."So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one. Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback. I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one. just contact me or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly maybe try and get some of your smart students involved.

  23. "The underlying cause of the boom/bust cycle is the poor structure of our banking system. Our banking sector needs to be structured for transparency, accountability, and stability to remove systemic risk. Letting private banks sell off their loans introduces a moral hazard. Sound banking requirements that would remove moral hazard include the following 1) loans remain on balance sheets 2) no off-shore lending 3) no credit default insurance 4) no proprietary trading 5) real asset collateral The currency issuer is the monopoly producer, lender, and price setter of money.The issuer can provide private banks as much money to lend as they could ever need. The function of private banks is credit analyses, lending and taking deposits."If we were tackle the "value of the dollar" subject we might use something that cullen mentioned the other day. "The depreciation of the dollar has been more than offset by the productivity improvements in the marketplace. Price inflation must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living. Has your standard of living declined? What you’re saying is as silly as saying that NYC is worse than Biloxi because it costs more to buy a cheeseburger there. Think about that for a second. Price rises must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living."So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one. Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback. I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly try and get some of your smart students involved.

  24. "The underlying cause of the boom/bust cycle is the poor structure of our banking system. Our banking sector needs to be structured for transparency, accountability, and stability to remove systemic risk. Letting private banks sell off their loans introduces a moral hazard. Sound banking requirements that would remove moral hazard include the following 1) loans remain on balance sheets 2) no off-shore lending 3) no credit default insurance 4) no proprietary trading 5) real asset collateral The currency issuer is the monopoly producer, lender, and price setter of money.The issuer can provide private banks as much money to lend as they could ever need. The function of private banks is credit analyses, lending and taking deposits."If we were tackle the "value of the dollar" subject we might use something that cullen mentioned the other day. "The depreciation of the dollar has been more than offset by the productivity improvements in the marketplace. Price inflation must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living. Has your standard of living declined? What you’re saying is as silly as saying that NYC is worse than Biloxi because it costs more to buy a cheeseburger there. Think about that for a second. Price rises must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living."So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one. Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback. I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly try and get some of your smart students involved.

  25. "The underlying cause of the boom/bust cycle is the poor structure of our banking system. Our banking sector needs to be structured for transparency, accountability, and stability to remove systemic risk. Letting private banks sell off their loans introduces a moral hazard. Sound banking requirements that would remove moral hazard include the following 1) loans remain on balance sheets 2) no off-shore lending 3) no credit default insurance 4) no proprietary trading 5) real asset collateral The currency issuer is the monopoly producer, lender, and price setter of money.The issuer can provide private banks as much money to lend as they could ever need. The function of private banks is credit analyses, lending and taking deposits."If we were tackle the "value of the dollar" subject we might use something that cullen mentioned the other day. "The depreciation of the dollar has been more than offset by the productivity improvements in the marketplace. Price inflation must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living. Has your standard of living declined? What you’re saying is as silly as saying that NYC is worse than Biloxi because it costs more to buy a cheeseburger there. Think about that for a second. Price rises must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living."So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one. Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback. I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly try and get some of your smart students involved.

  26. "The underlying cause of the boom/bust cycle is the poor structure of our banking system. Our banking sector needs to be structured for transparency, accountability, and stability to remove systemic risk. Letting private banks sell off their loans introduces a moral hazard. Sound banking requirements that would remove moral hazard include the following 1) loans remain on balance sheets 2) no off-shore lending 3) no credit default insurance 4) no proprietary trading 5) real asset collateral  The currency issuer is the monopoly producer, lender, and price setter of money.The issuer can provide private banks as much money to lend as they could ever need. The function of private banks is credit analyses, lending and taking deposits."If we were tackle the "value of the dollar" subject we might use something that cullen mentioned the other day. "The depreciation of the dollar has been more than offset by the productivity improvements in the marketplace.  Price inflation must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living. Has your standard of living declined?  What you’re saying is as silly as saying that NYC is worse than Biloxi because it costs more to buy a cheeseburger there. Think about that for a second. Price rises must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living."So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one.  Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback.  I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly try and get some of your smart students involved.

  27. "The underlying cause of the boom/bust cycle is the poor structure of our banking system. Our banking sector needs to be structured for transparency, accountability, and stability to remove systemic risk. Letting private banks sell off their loans introduces a moral hazard. Sound banking requirements that would remove moral hazard include the following 1) loans remain on balance sheets 2) no off-shore lending 3) no credit default insurance 4) no proprietary trading 5) real asset collateral  The currency issuer is the monopoly producer, lender, and price setter of money.The issuer can provide private banks as much money to lend as they could ever need. The function of private banks is credit analyses, lending and taking deposits."If we were tackle the "value of the dollar" subject we might use something that cullen mentioned the other day. "The depreciation of the dollar has been more than offset by the productivity improvements in the marketplace.  Price inflation must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living. Has your standard of living declined?  What you’re saying is as silly as saying that NYC is worse than Biloxi because it costs more to buy a cheeseburger there. Think about that for a second. Price rises must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living."So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one.  Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback.  I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly try and get some of your smart students involved.

  28. I think you need a couple of one-liners that will appeal to common sense in the same way a phrase like 'the government, like every family, has to tighten it's belt' does. You also need more charismatic figures. Have you ever talked to Ralph Nader? He seems to have a pretty open mind about most things and I'm sure he would like the Job Guarantee. I don't know how much influence he has left inside the beltway tough…

  29. "The underlying cause of the boom/bust cycle is the poor structure of our banking system. Our banking sector needs to be structured for transparency, accountability, and stability to remove systemic risk. Letting private banks sell off their loans introduces a moral hazard. Sound banking requirements that would remove moral hazard include the following 1) loans remain on balance sheets 2) no off-shore lending 3) no credit default insurance 4) no proprietary trading 5) real asset collateral  The currency issuer is the monopoly producer, lender, and price setter of money.The issuer can provide private banks as much money to lend as they could ever need. The function of private banks is credit analyses, lending and taking deposits."If we were tackle the "value of the dollar" subject we might use something that cullen mentioned the other day. "The depreciation of the dollar has been more than offset by the productivity improvements in the marketplace.  Price inflation must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living. Has your standard of living declined?  What you’re saying is as silly as saying that NYC is worse than Biloxi because it costs more to buy a cheeseburger there. Think about that for a second. Price rises must be measured in terms of wage increases and standard of living." – see next post

  30. So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one.  Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback.  I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly try and get some of your smart students involved.

  31. So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one.  Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback.  I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly try and get some of your smart students involved.

  32. So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one.  Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback.  I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly try and get some of your smart students involved. (i'm having trouble getting my comments posted – problem may be a cookie issuer but Disqus offers a great free commenting system)

  33. @craig"Essentially we are talking about motives. I'm assigning ignorance and you assigning malice. I think ignorance and groupthink seem much more reasonable. Very few people know this stuff. Why would they?"Well, Bankers should know that they dont lend reserves, and that loans create deposits, and not vice versa. And they should be aware about the role of the central bank. They "might" be kept of saying this clearly because this would "confuse" the public and it would run against their group interest to do so (if bankers just can create money, why can't I?).Politicans should usually be ignorant (that's part of the job profile, so they can serve better their paymasters).And it's not correct to call this "malice". I'd rather call if class interest… The "elites" have a vested interest in the largest possible inequality (what would beeing "elite" all about if not getting a lot of privileges?. If everyone drives a Porsche, having the most expensive modell doesn't make a lot of difference, if we just get stock on a congested highway. If X is the only one with a car, and has a highway to himself, while all the rest has to walk, this is privilege. Or – to put it simple – to many of the rich – relative wealth matters more than absolute wealth – and as ressources are limited, they should – in their best interest, prefer very few very rich, and a huge number of miserably poor. That's not "malice" – that's plain self interest. And – BTW – it's not really that new, from the Great Depression to about the time of Ronald Reagan / Margareth Thatcher – the economic profession did know most of what you now wan't to re-teach (that the earth isn't flat). And reasonable policy was acceptable – not out of benign motives, but of self interest. As long as violent communist revolution seemed a distinct possiblity, the elites had to behave in a manor that didn't provoke their throats to be slit. They had to compromise. With no real alternative to capitalism around, the need for compromise is gone, greed is king again.

  34. So back to how we can work together. What I propose is that we have a communication strategy. Use blogs exactly as we are to share general information and then use google plus and google docs to share information specifically to craft help us outsiders craft the laymen's domain. Tackling topics one by one. Working individually but also collaborating with an overall strategy in mind. I think would be helpful. For example, I am looking to get funding on kickstarter to get some animators involved to make some viral videos. I would love to brainstorm and share my script ideas for the project to get your feedback. I throw the script on google docs and you guys can edit and add comments online based upon your availability and interest. I just got on google plus so if you would like an invite i can send you one just contact me though my blog or scroll down my blog and click the "add to circles" button. I completely understand if your plate is full so if time prevents you from participating directly try and get some of your smart students involved.BTW – I'm having trouble posting my comments for some reason. Disqus offers a great commenting system for free. push button integration into blogger from their website

  35. "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." — Mahatma Gandhi

  36. The person with trouble commenting probably has cookies turned off. So, you can turn them on and have Google datamine you, or given Disqus, turn them on, and have Disqus datamine you.

  37. Good Habit: And it's not correct to call this "malice". I'd rather call if class interest… Well, in the sense of Socrates saying no one wills anything but Good, yes. But in ordinary speech, the word for this sort of "self-interest" – me happy that you sad – is "malice".Unfortunately, I think your wrong again – If politicians understood MMT rudementely – they would campaign for a total ban of taxes ("it's just theft") – and for unlitmited spending ("taxes don't fund spending – therefore, there is no reason to deny interest group X funding for their pet project – would just cost as votes"). So, hyperinflation would almoust certainly result. This contradicts your accurate statement that MMT is not that new, it is just a return to 1920s-1980 economics. People, politicians used to understand the rudiments of MMT, and inflation was if anything lower.And no, there is no possibility that politicans (and the general public) understand MMT deeply – no concept,ideology, science, religion – (or any other "truth") ever get's a DEEP commitment from more of 5 % of any population. I hold the opposite is true. All concepts, ideologies, sciences and religions and any other truths get deep commitment from everyone eventually. It may take some time. We have had the 5% (more than that) already during the Keynesian full employment era. But the plague of moronic mainstream economics struck back. 5%? – been there, done that. Now is the time to shoot for 100%. The only "safe repository of the ultimate power of society" is 100 % of the people.

  38. @CalcagtusBut in ordinary speech, the word for this sort of "self-interest" – me happy that you sad – is "malice". That's part of the gerneral naivity of many people. Proponents of capitalism (or "free markets") would agree that self interest is the driving force of society. An now – its not (mostly) "me happy that you sad" – me happy – fine / you sad – not my problem…Real malice – joy by inflicting pain – without intelectual rationalization ("it's econmocially necessary – in all our long term best interest etc" is rare.Inflation / politicans: and inflation was if anything lower. If we talk about the 1950 – 1980 something period, inflation in most western countries was significantly higher than today, but so was employment, and growth.But politicans didn't campaign on "Taxes are not needed for spending" or "we can afford whatever we want". You might call it responsability – I'd rather call it laiziness – they didn't really understand what they are doing, but they agreed to continued deficit spendig as they had to keep the working (middle) class happy, if they wanted sucessfully confront communism.All concepts, ideologies, sciences and religions and any other truths get deep commitment from everyone eventually. Well, we would have to define "commitment". If a million people chant for the burning at the stake of someone who "isulted God" this may seem as commitment – I, for my part, would only count someone who is able to defend his view in a debate, and can offer the reasoning why he/she is sure things are that way (and of course "everyone knows this" or "isn't it self-evident" or "have been told so by my parents/teachers/superiors" doesn't count. We have had the 5% (more than that) already during the Keynesian full employment era.Of the economists, certainly – politicans only superifcally, the general populace, no so much. And the majority of economist would still understand it, if they tried (and their jobs would not depend on not understanding – but again, thats self interest – as expected by the free market.) 🙁