If you're a progressive and want to fix problems like unemployment, the health care and health insurance systems, infrastructure, education, our energy and climate crises and want Government to deficit spend to do it, sooner of later you'll get the question: “Aren't you just 'printing money'? Here's my answer to that one.
1) Today the Government prints very little money. It mostly just “marks up accounts” using a computer when the Treasury spends, or when the Fed buys financial assets, in return for reserves it creates. So, literally, I'm not saying we should “print money,” I'm saying we should deficit spend by “marking up” non-Government accounts. Read more about The "Printing Money" Thing
By Warren Mosler
(Editor's Note: This post is cross-posted from The Huffington Post at the request of the author)
The headline progressives are in full retreat. They have found out the hard way that their bleeding heart pleadings -- 'yes, the financial markets might destroy us, but how can we cut this or that worthy cause' -- don't cut it. They have fallen into the out of paradigm world that takes it as gospel that the U.S. is at imminent risk of becoming the next Greece; where financial markets can cut off funding and ability to spend and force the giving up of national sovereignty and begging for an IMF bailout, or else, face the option of default or printing money, which launches one down that slippery slope to hyperinflation... bla bla bla...
And so to show they too are indeed fiscally responsible grownups who wouldn't think of instigating such a financial crisis, the headline progressives more than agree that the federal deficit is indeed a very dangerous long term menace that demands appropriate attention. Accordingly, President Obama, on behalf of the Democrats, has proposed over $4 trillion of his version of deficit reduction over the next ten years, with "everything on the table" including Social Security and Medicare. The main difference seems to be that the Democrats include tax hikes, while the Republicans only support spending cuts. Read more about Modern Monetary Theory: The Last Progressive Left Standing
In a debate at FiredogLake about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) perspectives on the so-called deficit/debt crisis and the idea that there is no long-run deficit problem, powwow, a perspicacious commenter and occasional blogger at MyFDL, suggests that while MMT offers useful perspectives on how the monetary system works, and he also agrees that more deficit spending in the present employment crisis will not lead to forced, as op Read more about Spare Me the “Middle Ground” Please!
(Posted with permission of the author)
(Editor's Note: Warren Mosler is one of the three primary innovators most responsible for formulating the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) Approach to Economics. Warren is president of the Valance Co. Inc. a financial research services company. He is also Co-Founder and Distinguished Research Associate of The Center for Full Employment And Price Stability at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. CFEPS has supported economic research projects and graduate students at UMKC, the London School of Economics, the New School in NYC, Harvard University, and the University of Newcastle, Australia.)
Many progressives have been raising concerns about tax cuts. They are particularly concerned about proposed FICA cuts, even though FICA is a highly regressive, punishing tax, that hurts those who can afford it the least and are also doing the real work that provides the real support all of us for far less compensation than most of us would consider equitable. No progressive should stand for it for a single second.
The problem is that the non-MMT world has tied Social Security to FICA, and looks to view FICA cuts as the defunding of Social Security. And while this is nothing more than empty rhetoric, propaganda, and, at best, counterproductive and innocent (?) fear mongering, it is widely believed and accepted by the voters.
So what to do? Read more about Taxing Thoughts for Progressives
"Goodwyn concludes that democratic movements are initiated by people who are neither resigned to the status quo nor intimidated by established powers. For Goodwyn, the cultural and psychological building blocks of democratic movements are individual self-respect and collective self-confidence" Read more about A good read/primer on activism
When other nations' governments go off track, their people do something about it. In Tunisia and Egypt people have nonviolently claimed power in a way that has inspired Americans in Wisconsin and other states, as well as the people of Spain and the rest of the world.
Washington, D.C., is the weakest point in our democracy, without which state-level reform cannot succeed. Most Americans want our wars ended, our corporations and billionaires taxed, and our rights expanded rather than curtailed. We want our money invested in jobs and green energy, not a global military that can't stop itself. Our government in Washington goes in the opposite direction, opposing popular will on these major issues, regardless of personality or party. Read more about Our Tahrir Square: DC's Freedom Plaza on October 6th
Cross-posted from Real Economics.
At the beginning of the American experiment in self-government, concentrations of wealth and large inequalities in income and wealth were viewed suspiciously as dangerously subversive vestiges of the royalty and oligarchies of Europe. But today, conservatives would have us believe, concentrations of wealth and inequalities in income and wealth should be viewed as the natural result of a social Darwinian struggle between those who work hard, and those who do not. Thus are Americans slowly but steadily being led to acceptance of the rise of a new oligarchy, Read more about Wealth and Income Inequalities are Markers of Oligarchy
This guy owns a huge chunk of News Corp and a big chunk of CitiCorp, so people actually listen to this fool. Read more about Don't take advice from dictators
If you like the idea of an independent online force for peace and social justice, join us now.
This video is the first in a series -- intended to generate independent progressive activism in the run up to the 2012 Presidential election and beyond.
RootsAction is part of a growing grassroots movement to push the President and Congress to address pressing economic and war issues -- and to invest in jobs, green energy, schools, housing and education.
We will not be silent as Congress and the President continue to squander billions of dollars on foreign wars, causing destruction and hatred overseas while failing to meet the needs of the vast majority of people in our country.
We will not stand by as people lose their jobs and homes due to Wall Street schemes abetted by both major parties.
We will not give the Obama administration a pass as it continues many of the same policies that sparked loud protests under the Bush White House. We will take action -- independent of both party leaderships.
RootsAction has been strongly endorsed by such respected, independent-minded progressives as Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk and Coleen Rowley.
We'd love it if you would join us now.
I think Harry Belafonte found useful historical perspective this week when he told Amy Goodman on Democracy Now:
And when you ask me about Barack Obama, it is exactly what happened to Kennedy. We, the American people, made the history of that time come to another place by our passion and our commitment to change. What is saddened -- what is sad for this moment is that there is no force, no energy, of popular voice, popular rebellion, popular upheaval, no champion for radical thought at the table of the discourse. And as a consequence, Barack Obama has nothing to listen to, except his detractors and those who help pave the way to his own personal comfort with power -- power contained, power misdirected, power not fully engaged. And it is our task to no longer have expectations of him, unless we have forced him to the table and he still resists us. And if he does that, then we know what else we have to do, is to make change completely. But I think he plays the game that he plays because he sees no threat from evidencing concerns for the poor. He sees no threat from evidencing a deeper concern for the needs of black people, as such. He feels no great threat from evidencing a greater policy towards the international community, for expressing thoughts that criticize the American position on things and turns that around. Until we do that, I think we’ll be forever disappointed in what that administration will deliver.
AMY GOODMAN: And to those who say, "If you want President Obama re-elected, you will undermine him if you criticize him; and consider the alternative"?
HARRY BELAFONTE: I think we will not only undermine him, but undermine the hopes of this nation, if we don’t criticize him. Absence of protest in the times of this kind of national crisis -- Theodore Roosevelt once said, "When tyranny takes over the national agenda, it is that time that the voices of protest must be awakened. And if you don’t raise your voice in protest, you are a patriotic traitor." And I believe that patriotism is betrayed by those voices that are not heard. Those who would detract you from that fact are those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Nothing will happen but good for Barack Obama and the United States of America, and indeed the world, if everybody stepped to the table and said, "This is the course we must be on."
Let's change that situation.
The President will present more words in a speech today, as his wars rage on. Will you join us in preparing to insist on something louder than words?