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letsgetitdone's picture

The Re-invent Democracy Platform and MMT

The MMT Uptake Problem

Proponents of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) approach to macroeconomics have had many successes since the approach was first synthesized in coherent form by Warren Mosler. There have been successful predictions of economic conditions: much work showing that the historical record accords with the MMT point of view, rather than the views of other approaches and paradigms, and also many instances where representatives of other approaches to economics have suddenly begun to use economic views first put forward by MMT economists.

So, it's surely true that MMT has been making progress in its quest to become the dominant economic paradigm guiding macroeconomic and fiscal policy in nations. But for some of us writing about issues relating to MMT progress seems painfully slow. A big part of the reason for slow progress is the difficulty of getting MMT views into the mass media consistently, which is seen as a necessary step in getting them popular currency. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Hey Patriotic Billionaires, You Can Do Better Than the Buffett Rule, Anyway!

Well, the legislation implementing “The Buffett Rule” has been voted down in Congress as we all knew it would be. But so what? The Federal Government doesn't really need your money, since it can generate all the money it needs to pay off the national debt and also close any gap between tax revenues and Federal spending that Congress may want to legislate for the foreseeable future.

There's no problem of Federal solvency. There hasn't been since 1971, when the US went off the Gold Standard! The idea that we risk insolvency is just a fantasy of people who won't acknowledge that the US Government is the monopoly supplier of fiat currency to the non-Government sector of the economy, including all of the private sector.

However, even though your money isn't needed by the Government, it is very badly needed to help fund two things, I'll describe below. But, before I do that, since your patriotism has moved you to advocate for higher taxes for yourselves, I hope and expect that you will be motivated to spend the same amount in the two areas of activity where your money is most needed and would be much more effective in bringing the United States back to the state of a healthy democracy, than it would be if you and and other similarly situated patriots paid it to the Government in taxes.

I know you've frequently heard the Republican response to your proposals for higher taxes on very wealthy people like yourselves, namely that if you're so sure that higher taxes on the very wealthy are the right thing to do, then you can always contribute the additional money to the government, if you really want to. Well, my view is that you can equally well, and with much greater effect on restoring fair and effective functioning to our democracy, contribute that money directly to activities that will change key background conditions that are driving our democracy towards plutocracy right now. Here are the two areas of activity. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

A Meta-layer for Restoring Democracy and Open Society: Part Two, Meta-layer Requirements

Thread: 

By

Joseph M. Firestone and Henk Hadders

Requirements for an e-participation platform in human political CASs

We won't be able to stop the movement toward oligarchy unless we can create a new institutional framework that allows us to change those aspects of our present situation supporting oligarchy and undermining open society. We need a framework that will operate within the context of existing rules and laws to create changes supporting increased self-organization and distributed knowledge processing shifting our democratic PCASs back towards an open state. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

A Meta-layer for Restoring Democracy and Open Society: Part One, Conceptual Foundations

By

Joseph M. Firestone and Henk Hadders

The Disconnect

It's hardly news that there’s a very wide chasm between voters, lawmakers and political parties. The rage in America reflected in the Republican primary contests is palpable. And there's also rage among progressives as well, though it's not finding an outlet in the Democratic Party. The same is true in Europe, where we see unrest in many nations. People in developing nations are demanding democracy, and making some progress too. But, everywhere one looks in developed countries, democracy is retreating, and Michels's (p. 400) “Iron Law of Oligarchy” is triumphant.

In the U.S. most Americans believe lawmakers don't care what they think, Congress's approval rating is at an all-time low, and most Americans believe the major parties won't represent them. Neither tries to match its policies to a majority of voters’ preferences, and both continuously support laws that seem designed to benefit large corporate interests and the 1%, but not working Americans. There are now more unaffiliated voters than party-affiliated ones, and major party candidates often win elections with only 25% of potential voters.

Most voters want most federal incumbents defeated, but legal constraints on minor parties and candidates typically ensure their defeat, whether they are “insurgents” from within the party, or candidates from third parties. This skewing of electoral outcomes leads voters to think that they have to vote for major party candidates, or “waste” their vote. Angry voters alternate election cycles between major party candidates to “punish” incumbents. But the new “winners” ignore what voters want, just as the old ones did. So, how can we repair this disconnect? How can we make office holders accountable and representative again? Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Enhancing Democracy or Strengthening the Emerging Oligarchy: Which Will It Be?

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) raises the issue of emerging oligarchy, based on wealth inequality, taking control of democracies worldwide through a small global elite composed of the very rich, powerful corporate executives in financial multinationals and other global conglomerates, and their allies in international financial organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

A System-Changing Solution for the OWS Movement?

By

Nancy Bordier and Joseph M. Firestone

As the Occupy Wall Street movement grows, OWS members are weighing their options for obtaining redress of their grievances.

Holding and expanding the ground they occupy is an obvious priority. It draws worldwide attention to their grievances and increasing numbers. It gives them a place to meet, build relationships, discuss and debate their issues, and plan. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

How Voters Can Get Control of the 2012 Virginia Senate Race

The 2012 Virginia Senate race is shaping up as a contest between former Governor and Senator George F. Allen, and former Governor Tim Kaine, both establishment candidates in the legacy parties and heavily favored to win their respective nominations. They will couch their messages in terms calculated to resonate with Virginia voters. But once elected, if recent history is any guide, their legislative priorities will diverge significantly from the priorities of the voters who elect them because they will be heavily influenced by special interests that finance their campaigns. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Congressman Moran and the Interactive Voter Choice System

In previous posts, I've looked at the Interactive Voter Choice System (IVCS) in from a number of different perspectives, hopefully illuminating in general terms how it would work to enable us to restore American Democracy. Read below the fold...

Nancy Bordier's picture

No Labels + Americans Elect = Bloomberg?

In October, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote that industry leaders in Silicon Valley and elsewhere were disgusted with Washington D.C. and the two party system. He reported that "at least two serious groups" on the East and West coasts were "'developing third parties' to challenge our stagnating two-party duopoly that has been presiding over our nation's steady incremental decline."

Friedman also predicted that "there is going to be a serious third party [presidential] candidate in 2012, with a serious political movement behind him or her -- one definitely big enough to impact the election's outcome". Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

The Threat to Open Society and the Interactive Voter Choice System

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The Problem

The biggest problem for Americans in our time is the increasingly dangerous threat to open society posed by the trend toward plutocracy and its effects on the political system. George Soros described the antecedents of these threats in The Age of Fallibility (pp. 100-101): Read below the fold...

Nancy Bordier's picture

How Voters Can Unrig the 2012 Elections with Transpartisan Voting Blocs and Electoral Coalitions

Voters did not get what they said they wanted from the 2010 elections. In fact, they got the opposite because the two major parties rigged the elections.

The parties have been rigging elections for decades by gerrymandering election districts and passing campaign financing and election laws that prevent third party candidates from beating major party candidates. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

A Global View of the Interactive Voter Choice System

Thread: 

A Global View of the Interactive Voter Choice System

By

Joseph M. Firestone

We Americans have a problem. We're supposed to be a democracy responsive to the people. But polls show that policies favored by heavy majorities of Americans don't get legislated by either or both parties in Congress. Instead, bills are passed that a majority of people either don't care about, or view as a betrayal of their interests. People believe this is because both major parties are dominated by special interests who provide big money contributions to run their campaigns. In addition to these financial advantages, the major parties have gained control of the electoral system by structuring the rules of the game so that third parties cannot grow and threaten their domination. How can we get around this closed system, and either make the major parties responsive to us, or see to it that third parties can be successful? Read below the fold...

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