NEP’s Marshall Auerback appears on the Thom Hartman program, 20 February 2013, discussing limits on banksters’ salaries and bonuses. There is some discussion of jobs guarantee near the end of the segment (near 9:00 mark).
Introduction to the “Reinventing Government” movement
Anyone who has worked for a large government or firm knows their tendency to be bureaucratic. Everyone has had the experience of dealing with bureaucratic mentalities, including the volunteer soccer referee who lets power go to his head and becomes an arrogant demigod. Everyone has had to deal with a public clerk or a private insurance company’s claim official who drives one nuts. Working for a federal agency meant that I often had to deal with a bureaucratic personality to get things done. That is why so many of us that have worked for a large government or firm are passionately anti-bureaucratic.
There is no unified theory in our popular understanding of value: there are the market values of goods and then there are our “values” which we consider to be some of the most personal and even sacred aspects of ourselves. Once people emerge from the realm of necessity or being driven by what seems to them to be compulsions of various kinds, they may feel that they are then making decisions which draw to some degree on their ethical or personal values. People often have the impression that most of their financial dealings have little to do with their personal ethics; the realm of market interaction is viewed for the most part as an area of life controlled by forces outside the self or motivated by our insistent drives for self-preservation and pleasure. There are exceptions: people of often modest means give money to religious organizations, as a way to express something of their ethical values or at least the ethical values that are expected of them by their religious community of reference. And wealthy people will tend to use some of their substantial discretionary income to make an ethical statement directed by some combination of personal commitments and the desire to make a public statement about themselves. Alternatively, if someone controls a business or a portion of a business, they may express personal values by the way they conduct themselves in that business or by strategic decisions they may make, with the important proviso that the business must maintain its solvency.
The establishment’s debt and deficit hawks have taken flight once again, this time to launch a counterassault against Paul Krugman’s sensible and increasingly successful campaign to get people to stop clutching their pearls over the federal budget situation, and to focus attention on more pressing matters of high unemployment and economic stagnation. Joe Scarborough, Ezra Klein and the Washington Post editorial board are among those springing into action on behalf of deficit worry, and against the dangerous movement of calmness and sobriety breaking out all over. One thing that becomes more apparent as this debate unfolds is that the budget warriors frequently confuse broader public policy challenges that happen to have a budgetary component with narrower problems related to size of the budget deficit itself. A recent Atlantic piece by Alan Blinder unfortunately contributes to that confusion.
NEP’s William Black appeared on The Real News , February 17, 2013, discussing how Ecuador has been dealing with the recession, and some of the things we can learn from it. You can view the video below or if you wish to view the video as well as the transcript posted at TRNN, you can click this link.
Paul Kasriel alerted me in an email this morning to check out Martin Wolf’s column today (13 February 2013) in the Financial Times. Wolf’s title: “A case to reset basis of monetary policy.” The widely read associate editor and chief economics commentator for FT is one of the world’s most influential writers on economics. And he often swims at the edge of the mainstream and sometimes thinks completely outside the box that limits many economic thinkers. So when you want a breath of fresh air, read Martin Wolf. He can pull heads out of the sand; there isn’t much fresh air in that medium. Continue reading →
NEP’s William Black is part NYTimes.com’s Room for Debate. You can view his questions that senators should be asking Jack Lew at his confirmation hearings as well as the subsequent comments and debate at NYTimes.com.
By William K. Black
(Cross posted at Benzinga.com)
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has the special ability to drive our most elite media nuts. Failures are self-refuting. It is the successful that drive their opponents to distraction, and much of the media can barely contain its eagerness to write that Correa has failed. In 2009, The Economist practically licked its lips in eager anticipation of what it hoped would be Correa’s (and Ecuador’s) failure due to the “country’s acute financial problems.” Continue reading →
On Tuesday night, President Obama will give the first State of the Union message of his second term. Preliminary indications from Washington are that the President will attempt to shift some attention back to jobs and economic growth. But similar White House moves to address jobs and the economy over the past four years have been half-hearted and politically feeble. It is likely that the jobs message delivered by Obama will be overshadowed and weighed down by the endless and destructive partisan battles over our long-term budget position and Washington’s misguided plans for budget austerity and fiscal contraction. Obama came into office extolling “the fierce urgency of now” – but Washington’s mystifying obsessions with the federal debt and impossible projections of future budget deficits have moved the beltway agenda from the fierce urgencies of 2013 to the unknowable contingencies of 2035. The unemployed are trapped despairing and jobless here in 2013, choking on the spreadsheets of dueling beltway actuaries.
NEP’s Stephanie Kelton appeared on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd February 7. You can listen with the player below or visit Virtually Speaking on Blogtalk Radio. The conversation begins with the platinum coin and the the nature of fiat currency.