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I can't stand economics as a rule, but it's something you've got to grapple with if you're interested in politics and all the rest.  I'm not very good at it and tend to just blunder through,  so folks might want to keep that in mind about what I have to say on this subject.

 

If you're a bit pink like me you're usually up against it as the common wisdom, even among actual lefties a lot of the time, is that left wing thought might be "nice" in some way but it could never work and is devoid of "real economics", distortionary and doomed to failure etc etc.  This is because ,broadly speaking, neo liberal type thinking is 'correct', ugly as it may be, and we should just get used to it.

 

In my observations though, it seems plain enough that the neo liberal assumptions do tend towards or at least heavily favor anarcho-capitalist argument and practices.  The only future is full liberalisation, de-regulation.  Money is 'Speech' etc.  States distort markets.  Only total freedom can create true order and balance etc.

I think there's acres to say against these ideas, but it's easy to see why they exist so long as general attitudes about money and markets and governments prevail.

 

So it's with some interest that I found this theory.  Which is a bit fringe but seems to be backed in some pretty hard reasoning.  It's known as Modern Monetary Theory  and I swear other people must think about it besides Australians,  but it's us lot I've found talking about it the most.  I don't know how well known it is,  but it seems like injecting it into the very Chicago/Austrian School, Ayn Rand osmosed,  Koch brothers funded USA could be something.

 

Where it amuses me most is that's kind of the opposite side of that coin, but acknowledging the same basic facts.

 

Money isn't real and in a global electronic marketplace espeically it can move around virtually unhindered.  Where in some perspectives that justifies the ultra absolute liberalism of bitcoin utopians  MMT says that it actually means that sovereign currency nation states are the only thing that really matters and they  cannot actually ever go broke as such.  They're inventing the stuff after all.

 

But, they cry, printing money causes inflation!  Thus the fiction of a state as financial null point must be preserved:  ie. a government has zero money of it's own.  It "funds" itself by collecting money from its citizens and other entities and that is then its "budget" that it can spend.  Technically none of that is true.  But it is a necessary way of constructing government finance so that it doesn't fall over or explode into total disasters that have often meant revolutionary upheaval in the past.

 

Well MMT takes it a step further and says that, if you look at these disasters, it wasn't the printing money that was the problem.  You catastrophically devalue your currency when you're printing more than the economy can actually support.  It's the systemic balance that's the thing, not the printing itself.  And further, governments probably even should be running deficits and printing money on a fairly regular basis in order to balance fluctuations and downturns in global and local markets.

 

Some videos

 

 

 

 

 

 

They're a bit of a slog at points, but interesting I thought.  Some of the implications are startling, like just funding full employment if you wanted it.  Seems like something you'd have to be careful with all the same.  I would worry about government policy being able to react to the right indicators quickly enough.  But even then it kinda makes my head spin.  The ideas are based on uncontroversial things about money and economics but they so radically shift the interpretation.  You see any political report or advert and it's all about slamming the economic performance of one party or another, usually via the same sets of measures:  the deficit, the surplus, taxes, budget responsibility etc etc.  Our politcal languange would have to change entirely to comprehend this stuff.

If we look, we can see that sovereign states do pull weird stuff apparently outside the 'rules' all the time.  But that's still considered taboo and popularly ignored really, to preserve the fictional notion that government is a housold or business, only bigger.

 

Some of these guys get a bit conspiratorial-sounding and suggest the prevalence of that attitude is part of a banking and finance power structure preserving itself.  That might be so but I wouldn't be surprised if it's not all that conscious.  They're going for a more sophisticated view than anything anyone was taught in school, usually.  It's easier for people to relate to than money doesn't matter that much in itself and the important thing is balancing the indicators.  If it's right it'll have an uphill climb.

 

Still I post because it's kinda shocking to see an economic theory that seems on at least some solid academic founding, which provides at least theoretical opposition to the inevitability of neo liberalism as it has been sold to us the past 50 years.  Therefore it's useful in opposition to ideas that erode government and democracy, that insist things like Climate Change can't really be dealt with and so on.

 

Curious if anyone's heard of it/ understands it etc.  (and a bit of a dry change from murder/mayhem/Trump)