My computer was fried a week ago by a neighborhood power surge.
Evidently my surge protector failed.
I am now working on getting online again.
My computer was fried a week ago by a neighborhood power surge.
Evidently my surge protector failed.
I am now working on getting online again.
The corporate media outlets rarely (if ever) tell us the whole truth about any issue. Besides, we don’t want to be told the truth, since we like being lied to. Simplistic lies let us jump to conclusions that justify our pre-existing beliefs. We become angry when someone challenges our beliefs by pointing out that, “We don’t yet know all the facts.”
Politicians encourage this phenomenon, and they exploit it. They conspire with corporate media outlets to give out just enough information to make us jump to the conclusions that they want us to. This is how they control our minds. We let them do it. We insist on it.
This mind control applies to all topics, but let me pick one topic at random, namely the case of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who visited North Korea via a tour company called “Young Pioneers Tours.”
As Warmbier was preparing to board a plane and depart from North Korea, he was arrested, was later convicted of “hostile acts” against North Korea, and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. This was in March 2016.
On 12 Jun 2017 the North Koreans released Warmbier, who reportedly has extensive brain damage that has left him permanently semi-comatose.
The U.S. government and most of the corporate media pundits claim that Warmbier was imprisoned for stealing a poster from his hotel wall, and was tortured for no reason. They say this proves that the North Korean government is brutal and insane, which in turn proves that NATO should destroy North Korea like it did Libya.
Most people agree with this crap, because it’s fun to do so. Most people jump to conclusions in order to justify their simplistic, comic book view of the world.
What really happened? What did Otto Warmbier actually do? The North Korean government says it never mistreats tourists, since it needs their foreign currency. They say that Warmbier contracted botulism sometime after his trial and fell into a coma after being given a sleeping pill, and that this caused his brain to become starved of oxygen long enough to cause brain damage.
All lies, say Trump and the other politicians (plus Warmbier’s own father). They claim that Warmbier was tortured – even though U.S. medical experts at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center have found no evidence of any torture.
None of the other people in Warmbier’s tour group had any problems. The tour company says Warmbier was the first to be arrested of the 7,000 people it has taken to North Korea.
So why was he arrested? Who is telling the truth? We don’t know — and this is my point. We believe what the U.S. government and the corporate media outlets want us to be believe. And we imagine that our belief is based on fact, when it is actually based on what the U.S. government and the corporate media outlets tell us. They routinely lie, but are they lying about Otto Warmbier? We don’t know — but we imagine that we do know. This is how entire populations are made to march off to war.
Few of us are able to travel to foreign lands. All we have are politicians and the corporate media, who are compulsive liars.
What did the North Korean government really convict Warmbier of? Was Warmbier just an innocent tourist, or did he do something illicit at the behest of the U.S. government? We don’t know. All we have are claims by corporate media outlets that Warmbier simply stole a poster. Is that true? We don’t know. We can’t know. But imagining that we do know is what reduces us to cattle.
And so everyone is saying, “Let’s destroy North Korea!”
What happened to Otto Warmbier after his sentencing might never be known outside the reclusive country.
Yes, because the reclusive U.S. government distorts everything said by the North Korean government. Also, if North Korea seems “reclusive,” it is because North Korea is sealed off by sanctions and blockades.
I am not defending North Korea. I am defending reason and logic. We know little about the world outside our personal sphere. We imagine that we know, but this is mere belief.
Leftist elitists camouflage the neoliberal plague. That’s their job. I just saw an article by a leftist elitists titled, “The long term threat to Europe isn’t Le Pen. It’s capitalism,” which has been reprinted in all the supposedly “progressive” blogs.
You and I know that the problem is not capitalism, but neoliberalism, with its privatization frenzy and its “free markets” (meaning owned markets). Neoliberals seek to own everything and everyone.
Emmanuel Macron pledges to cut 120,000 public jobs, reduce spending by 60 billion euros, end the 35-hour workweek, raise the retirement age, weaken unions’ negotiating strength, and cut corporate taxes. This will certainly worsen the plight of jobless youth and seniors.
The article’s author (a leftist elitist) worries that these conditions could make France ripe for a future victory by the National Front, which the author thinks would be much worse than Macron, because the National Front is “racist and nationalist.”
Got that? Leftist elitists regard poverty and inequality as preferable to racism and nationalism (i.e. preferable to a sense of shared community in which we rely on each other, instead of relying on our leftist elitist “protectors”).
Leftist elitists like this author don’t care about workers or equality. And they don’t care about racism. They care about staying on the neoliberal payroll, and about getting praised as “centrists” by the corporate media outlets, and as “progressives” by the naïve masses. For example, the SYRIZA liars in Greece (who call themselves “radical leftists”) are paid by the bankers to steer public attention away from what would really promote leftist equality, which is ending the euro-scam. Fake leftists are enablers of neoliberalism, and their lies have seduced many people, especially the would-be “sophisticates” in urban areas.
When leftist elitists attack “capitalism,” they keep the public distracted and confused while neoliberals privatize everything.
They also camouflage the fact that as long as France uses the euro, and has a trade deficit, France will have more poverty, austerity, and inequality no matter what.
The neoliberal’s ultimate weapon is the euro, and his ultimate camouflage is leftist elitists, for whom “nationalism” (i.e. populism) is as evil as racism.
Leftist elitists are enablers of neoliberals like Emmanuel Macron.
Let me further clarify this. Juan Peron (below, speaking) was president of Argentina from 1946-55, and again from Oct 1973 – July 1974.
Peron gave women the vote, made social security universal, made education and health care free, and gave working students one paid week before every major examination. He commissioned vast low-income housing projects, made paid vacations standard, and gave mothers three months paid vacation before they gave birth, and another three months after giving birth. (Incidentally my own father lived in Buenos Aires for several months when Peron was still president. My father said it was the most beautiful city he had ever seen, and its people were the most friendly he had ever met. That was in 1954. I myself have never been there.)
Juan Perón also took some of the power away from the Catholic Church. This angered the clergy and the rich, since they depend on reach other for power over the masses.
Peron’s populism and nationalism are anathema to today’s neoliberals, who condemn Peron as a “communist.”
They are also anathema to leftist elitists, who condemn Peron as a “fascist.” They do this in order to stay “relevant.” Leftist elitists make sure you can never have free education and health care, so that leftist elitists can pretend to be your “only hope” and your “only protection.” For example, when U.S. President Nixon tried to enact a universal basic income, Democrats in Congress killed it, fearing that a basic income would make Democrats superfluous.
Bernie Sanders is a leftist elitist who pretends to oppose austerity, but actually promotes austerity by calling for higher taxes and lower deficits. This is how he satisfies both the neoliberals and the masses, even though he never gives anything to the masses.
Sanders promised to submit a Universal Medicare bill to the U.S. Senate, but he never did. Not that it would matter, since Democrats in the Senate would not let such a bill pass.
Over in the House, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich) submitted a Universal Medicare bill (HR 676) on the first day of the current (115th) session of Congress. The bill has 110 Democrat co-sponsors, but this is just for show. Democrats have no intention of actually pushing for Universal Medicare (aka Single Payer). Democrats are owned by the insurance companies — and besides, if the masses got everything they wanted, then they would not need Democrats to “protect” them.
The major reason why we have rich and poor is that most people indulge in sloppy thinking about money. For example the video at the bottom of this post shows the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving, which prints all U.S. currency notes.
At 19:22 the video mentions that in 1956 the U.S. Congress decreed that “In God we trust” shall be printed on U.S. currency notes. (The words were already being printed on coins.). In November 2005 Michael Newdow filed a lawsuit claiming that “In God We Trust” was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. A federal judge rejected Newdow’s lawsuit, saying the words did not dictate anyone’s beliefs.
Then at 19:53 the video shows Tom Ferguson, who was Director of the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving when the video was made in Dec 2005. Ferguson says that in order to remove the words “In God we trust” from currency notes, the printing plates would all have to be changed, and that this would, “Add to the cost of currency,” and…
The U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving has no “costs,” since the bureau creates $650 million dollars out of thin air every day (and the Federal Reserve shreds over $500 million worth of old worn-out notes every day.)
If something “costs” a dollar, then I must surrender a dollar to buy it. However the Bureau of Printing and Engraving does not surrender money. It creates money. Therefore it has no “costs.” Neither does the U.S. government. The words “cost” and “save” is for entities that cannot create money out of thin air.
And this silliness about “cost” is from the bureau’s director! I suppose this should not surprise us, since most people who work for the U.S. Treasury are likewise confused regarding the nature and function of money. Popular columnist Paul Craig Roberts has a PhD in economics, and was an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury – and yet Roberts still thinks the U.S. government borrows its spending money, and therefore has a “national debt crisis.”
By the way, the bureau periodically alters the plates to thwart counterfeiters, and does not have to worry about “costs.” Also, currency notes must change every time there is a new U.S. Treasury Secretary, since his signature appears on the notes.
What all of this shows is that people fail to understand money because they confuse themselves with contradictory assertions. This is why we have rich and poor.
This contradiction is idiotic.
Some people rationalize their idiocy by falsely claiming that all dollars are lent into existence by banks. Therefore the U.S. government must borrow all its dollars. Therefore the U.S. government is “near bankruptcy.” Therefore the U.S. government must impose austerity on us. It must privatize.
Once you fall into this mental error (about banks creating all dollars) you cannot be saved by anyone except yourself.
Other people rationalize their idiocy by compounding it. They admit that yes, the U.S. government could create all the money it liked out of thin air, but if it did, then everyone would want things like Universal Medicare and a Basic Guaranteed Income. Everyone would sit on their yachts, enjoying life like rich people do. This would be evil.
Still other people rationalize their idiocy by simply shutting down. They admit that yes, the U.S. government can create all the money it likes out of thin air, but the U.S. government is nonetheless “bankrupt.” Why? It just is. Politicians and the corporate media outlets say so. And they never lie. Right?
Speaking of sloppy thinking, at 43:40 the video claims that, “Money used to get its value from gold.” Wrong. Money never got its value from gold. On the contrary, gold has always gotten its value from money. If there was no money, then a ton of gold would not be worth a cent. When the U.S. government first started using standardized dollars in 1865, it pretended that dollars were “backed” by gold in order to make people habituated to using dollars. The amount of dollars created always far exceeded the market value (in dollars) of available gold. In 1971 the U.S. government finally did away with this pretense, but many people still delude themselves that gold is the only “real” money, even though gold was never money. Nor did gold ever physically “back” money. Gold is a commodity. The “gold standard” was merely a gimmick; a pretense.
At 43:50 in the video, Tom Ferguson (then-Director of the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving) says that money today gets its value from something that makes no sense. What is that something? I have no idea, nor does Ferguson. His comments are meaningless gibberish.
After that garbage, the video finally gets it right. At 44:18 the narrator says, “The U.S. dollar is only valuable because we say it is.”
Exactly. A dollar is worth a dollar of “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government, plus every person in the world who thinks a dollar is worth a dollar.
Then the video says that if the U.S. government created more money than it creates now, it would cause inflation. Wrong. It would only cause inflation if there was a shortage of things to spend the extra money on. There is no such shortage in the USA. All of us want more dollars, so we can buy more stuff.
Then at 44:50 the video notes that some people think that pennies are obsolete, while other people disagree, saying the U.S. government cannot monetarily “afford” to eliminate pennies. That is, since it “costs” the U.S. government 0.7 cents to make a penny, the government is “making money” off pennies.
Here again is the silly nonsense about the U.S. government having “costs,” and needing to “profit” in money that the U.S. government creates out of thin air.
This kind of bullshit is what sustains poverty and inequality.
A word of warning before we get going…
One of my tenants works in a restaurant, where he is paid in cash. This week his salary included a pair of hundred-dollar bills that — unknown to him — were counterfeit. When he tried to use one of the bills at a money-place to send money to Guatemala, the money-place confiscated the bill. When he tried to use the other bill to buy something at a small neighborhood store, the store confiscated it.
The tenant asked me for advice about this.
The money place was closed today, so I went to the second place (the small store) and I asked them for a piece of paper that confirmed they had confiscated the counterfeit hundred-dollar note. My tenant speaks no English, and the Korean owners of the restaurant where he works speak no Spanish. I wanted my tenant to have proof when he asked his Korean boss for reimbursement for the counterfeit notes. The small store refused to give me any such proof, and they refused to explain why. This angered me. A shouting match ensued. (I am still angry as I write this. I had gone to that store for many years, and everyone there knew me. Today they permanently lost my business.)
I wanted to call the police, but my tenant said no, the police might arrest him for innocently passing a counterfeit note, or just for having a counterfeit note.
He was correct. The penalty is up to 20 years, plus a fine. A court must prove that you acted with the intent to defraud, but until then, you stay in jail. If you want a lawyer, you must pay for one. (Also, depending on your city, you be charged fees for your jail time, court time, prosecutor time, police transport time, etc. etc. even if you are innocent.) Under state, county, municipal, and federal laws you will be charged with multiple crimes, including forgery, fraud, or other theft-related offenses.
How can a court prove that you had criminal intent? The law allows a jury (or judge, if you choose to have a trial without a jury) to “make reasonable inferences” (i.e. guesses) from circumstantial evidence presented at trial.
All of this can apply to anything counterfeit, from car titles to concert tickets. Therefore…
On a different topic, I note that Bernie Sanders has congratulated the U.K. Labor Party for doing better than many people expected in last Thursday’s parliamentary elections.
Sanders praised the British people for “rising up against austerity and massive levels of income and wealth inequality.”
Republicans want austerity via funding cuts for programs that help average people. Democrats (and Labour Party types) want austerity via tax increases. Sanders’ own web site list the “top ten ways to reduce the deficit” (i.e. to increase austerity) and they all involve tax increases.
This is how U.S. Democrats and U.K. Labour Party types work for the rich (who pay no taxes anyway) while they pretend to represent average people.
In this post I want to discuss vaccines again, this time in the context of mass psychology.
But first here is one more comment on the side…
Last month (May 2017) the Italian government barred all children aged 0-6 from attending public schools in Italy unless they are fully vaccinated. This angered the people of South Tyrol, which is a semi-autonomous province in Italy, on the border with Austria.
During World War One the Allies promised that if Italy came into the war on their side, the Allies would take South Tyrol from Austria and give it to Italy. The Italians coveted South Tyrol because it was an industrial, agricultural, and financial powerhouse, and remains so even now.
In World War One, during the Battle of Caporetto (24 October to 19 November 1917) the Italians suffered such extreme losses that they were knocked out of the war. Nonetheless the victorious allies gave them South Tyrol in 1919.
That was a hundred years ago, and the people of South Tyrol (population 511,750)are still angry about it today. Almost two thirds of them speak German (not Italian) and they often talk of seceding from Italy and rejoining Austria, or else becoming a separate nation. Italy will not allow this, since the Italian government sucks about 120 million euros a year out of South Tyrol in the form of special taxes and fees on crop production. This is a violation of South Tyrol’s semi-autonomous status, but the Italians don’t care.
Here is my point…
South Tyrol is among the wealthiest regions in Europe, with a GDP per capita of €32,000.
In a previous blog post I explained that rich people don’t vaccinate their kids, because  rich people have the power to defy “authority figures” such as doctors, and  rich people do not live in dream-worlds. (Poor people cope with their misery and their slavery by withdrawing into delusions and dream-worlds, and by foolishly trusting that authority figures will “take care of them” when in fact they rape them.)
Rich people do not believe everything that idiot doctors tell them. Rich people care so much about their kids’ health that they do not shoot their kids full of poisons simply to boost Big Pharma’s profits. And rich people usually get away with this defiance because politicians depend on rich people’s bribes.
Sure enough, South Tyrol, being one of the most affluent places in Europe, has one of the highest resistances to vax-mania of any area in Europe. The people of South Tyrol already want to secede, and the mandatory vax law from Rome has made them even more eager to do so. But they know that Italy will attack them militarily if they try to leave. There’s too much money at stake.
Therefore, using the laws that are part of South Tyrol’s semi-autonomous status, 130 families will seek vax asylum in Austria. They don’t want to shoot their kids full of mercury and other poisons.
Vaccination is not mandatory in Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, or Germany — although Big Pharma is working on German politicians. Last month as Italy was making vaccines mandatory, Germany passed a law saying that parents who don’t want to poison their kids must prove that they have consulted a doctor about it, or else the parents will be fined up to €2,500 (USD $2,800). The German law also encourages children to report their parents to the police if the children aren’t fully poisoned by their parents. The next step will be to make German vaccinations mandatory, period.
Since the parents in South Tyrol defy the politicians in Rome (who are owned by Big Pharma) the politicians call them “conspiracy theorists.” Politicians claim that mercury is harmless, and besides, mercury has been removed from most vaccines for kids. (If toxic mercury is harmless, then why was mercury supposedly removed from most vaccines for kids?)
Paolo Gentiloni, Italy’s prime minister, said the mandatory vaccination law was introduced to tackle “anti-scientific theories” that have lowered Italy’s vaccination rates.
Regarding vaccines, the video at the bottom of this post shows an example of vax mania, and how, for the sake of Big Pharma profits, vaccines continue to be administered even when they are known to cause cancer. The video includes an excerpt from a CBS News broadcast from Tuesday 16 Nov 1971. News anchor Roger Mudd reports…
“Today doctors at the Federal Communicable Disease Center acknowledged that the flu vaccine in the recommended dosage is ineffective, while in larger doses it can be harmful. However the flu vaccine is still recommended for old people and the chronically ill.”
That’s vax mania for you. We must vaccinate everyone, even if vaccination is ineffective. (Incidentally the CDC was created a year before this broadcast, but the CDC was not widely known. Hence news anchor Roger Mudd incorrectly calls it the “Federal Communicable Disease Center,” which was one of the CDC’s previous names.)
Roger Mudd: “Last month the Senate subcommittee headed by Abraham Ribicoff charged that the federal government wasn’t doing a good enough job of informing the public about ineffective vaccines.”
Then in the video, reporter George Herman explains:
“Scientists at the division of biologic standards test vaccines for their potency and safety before licensing them for public use. However the division does not determine the effectiveness of the vaccine. That is left to the manufacturers. A case in point is the influenza vaccine. Four scientists in charge of work on the flu vaccine during the 1960s found it to be ineffective, and said they refused to give it to their own families. Two of those four scientists were transferred to other work, and a third left the division. And over the entire ten-year period, not one word of their unfavorable findings was allowed to be published.”
“But a more serious case involves the adenovirus vaccine given to thousands of American soldiers to prevent certain cold-like symptoms. When it was shown that the vaccine had a contaminant that caused cancer in laboratory animals, the vaccine was taken off the market, but not until three years after the division’s own scientists had pointed out the danger. Thus for three years American troops were injected with a vaccine that was causing cancer in laboratory animals.”
Again, that’s vax mania for you. For the sake of corporate profits, everyone must get the toxic shot, even if it gives them cancer. After all, “the science is settled.”
In the CBS News video (at the bottom of this post) reporter George Herman alludes to Simian Virus 40 (SV40) which had previously contaminated the polio vaccine. Like other polyomaviruses, SV40 is a DNA virus that is known to cause cancer in animals. Between 1955 and 1963, around 90% of children and 60% of adults in USA were shot with polio vaccines contaminated with SV40. It is not known how many of them developed cancer as a result.
The CBS newscast then shows Dr. Roderick Murray of the U.K. National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, who justifies the use of the ineffective (but carcinogenic) vaccine by saying it took three years to examine the evidence against it. Murray says, “It was more important to use the vaccines than to take them off the market and remove the (cancer-causing) agent.”
That’s vax mania.
Why do so many people fanatically defend vaccines, which are made by the same drug companies whose greed causes them to be routinely sued for the damages and deaths they cause? Perhaps you have heard about the exdploding epidemic of deaths caused by opioid overdoses. This epidemic was caused by a single company called Purdue Pharma and its drug Oxycontin, which first hit the market in 1996.
Oxycontin is an opiate narcotic. (The opiates in Oxycontin are grown in Afghanistan under U.S. supervision.) Purdue Pharma knew that Oxycontin would lead to severe addiction, since it causes people to build up a resistance, so that people need more and more to get high, until they die from an overdose.
Addiction means profits. Purdue Pharma’s executives have become fabulously wealthy as narcotics dealers, and their sales reps get six-figure annual bonuses. Purdue has also bought all the medical associations and doctors’ groups.
As a result, each year brings a new record number of deaths from opioids. If addicts cannot get Oxycontin, they resort to heroin, or to synthetic narcotics like Fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, and 100 times more potent than morphine. Only 2 mg of Fentanyl is a lethal dose.
Opioid deaths are highest in the Midwest and north-east among middle-aged white males. Some of the worst-affected counties are rural.
Thanks to Purdue Pharma, the USA consumes most of the world’s prescription pain medication (such as hydrocodone and oxycodone) despite having only five percent of the world’s population. Nearly two million Americans are addicted to prescription pain relievers, and drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the USA, exceeding car crashes.
Naturally drug companies are exploiting this epidemic caused by a drug company. For example, opioid overdoses are treated with drugs like Naloxone, whose price keeps climbing as the demand for opioids keeps climbing. The prices for a package of two Naloxone auto-injectors in the US increased from $690 in 2014 to $4,500 in 2016.
It’s all about greed and profits, but when it comes to vaccines, most people (in the lower classes anyway) think that these same greedy and murderous companies are saintly. Most people in the lower classes become enraged if you question their blind faith in these evil companies. They defend drug companise even when they know that drug companies oppose Universal Medicare (i.e. Single Payer).
That’s vax mania. It is an example of the dream-world that poor people withdraw into as a means to cope with their misery and slavery. Poor people want to feel that life is not all bad, and that vaccine makers are wise and benevolent, as are the doctors who administer vaccines. This is why poor people respect and admire doctors much more than do rich people. Poor people desperately cling to their protective delusions and dream-worlds, and they become furious when someone challenges their dream-world by questioning vaccines. In most cases, the questioners are people who had previously shared the same dream world until they or their children were injured by vaccines. They had been willing to listen to facts when a toxic drug was exposed, but they had worshipped vaccines. Now, since they have awakened from the dream-world, they are scum. They are “anti-vaxxers” (i.e. infidels).
The need for a protective dream world is so powerful that we may not wake up from it all at once. We may wake up in stages, still referring to vaccination as “immunization.” We may say, “I love vaccines, but I have questions about this particular vaccine.” No matter. We are sub-human “anti-vaxxers” if we question any part of vaccine dogma. For people in their dream-world, we are their allies or enemies, with nothing in between.
In this way the pro-vaxxers descend into madness (which is very profitable for Big Pharma). Just when they think that everyone is finally sharing their wonderful vaccine dream-world, they see people question the dream-world once more. The result is rage. “You’re endangering me! You will cause measles to kill us all!”
The dream-world has magic elixirs. Take this shot, and all will be well. You are a victim who deserves this magic-vaccine-elixir. If you decline the elixir, you will be a freak, a heretic, a conspiracy theorist. You will be “unscientific.” You will be a terrorist who threatens man with extinction.
Vaccines also prove that we are “superior” to brown people. We refuse to help them with improved hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition, but by God we can bring them magic vaccines that do nothing to help them, and sometimes even kill them.
Anyway below is that CBS News video I mentioned above.
Years ago a psychologist showed me a series of questionnaires that assessed people’s personalities. There were various tests from various sources using various approaches. I asked him, according to all these tests, which type of vocation attracted the most hostile personalities. Cops? Soldiers? The answer was evangelical religious preachers (Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc). These are the most hostile people of all.
“And I should know,” the psychologist told me. “I used to be a preacher.”
I thought of him when I chanced upon comments from a professor at Nyack College, a private Christian institution with 2,700 students on three campuses (New York City, Nyack New York, and San Juan Puerto Rico). The professor calls MMT “perverse.”
Some political leaders, influenced by a strain of Keynesian economists, really do believe that when the government wants more money, it can simply create more of it. The theory is known as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). A perverse interpretation of the theory says that deficits lead to prosperity, and balanced budgets (aka austerity) lead to economic hard times. It is the Progressive version of voodoo economics espoused by overly enthusiastic supply-siders.
When you are filled with hate and hostility, as this Christian professor is, you project your illness onto others, claiming that everyone around you is filled with hate and hostility, while you are kind and compassionate. Your world view becomes warped. For example…
Today, I think most people believe that for the government, money really does grow on trees. Encouraged by the magic of Keynesian Economics, politicians have been allowed to spend $20 trillion more than they collected in taxes.
The large increase in deficit spending has not (yet) resulted in a Greece-like disaster. Lightening (sic)has not struck the Treasury Building. Interest rates continue to be low. Why not let the good times roll? There are so many other “good” things to be done. Expand school lunch programs, increase eligibility for Medicaid, enroll millions more onto food stamps, offer “free” college to high school graduates, give subsidies to people so they can buy a Tesla, and so on.
This Christian professor’s hostility becomes harsher as he goes. He wants everyone around him to suffer and starve, so he can “righteously” preside over them.
There is no limit to the pleasing ideas from politicians seeking to win support from voters. Apparently, there is also no limit to the supply of money available to be spent by our government.
Human hostility is always a product of frustration. For example, when we encounter a barrier, we ram it until we destroy it. Sometimes we turn our hostility inward, which causes depression. (By contrast, sorrow and grief are products of love, not of hostility.)
This Christian professor feels frustrated — and therefore hostile — because politicians can do things with money that this professor can never do with his self-righteous bullshit.
Although politicians may not wish to acknowledge MMT (since it sounds so bizarre to the common man with common sense), the theory gives cover to politicians to spend whatever they want with no financial discipline. The government is no longer constrained by the need to raise taxes from productive people. They simply create more money to do whatever they want. It is especially easy to do this with a cooperative Federal Reserve Bank, such as helped President Obama so mightily.
Evil is everywhere! I alone am righteous! Do you realize that if politicians wanted to, they could create enough money out of thin air to prevent anyone from starving or being homeless? That is EVIL!
During the Reagan era, there was a vain hope that tax cuts would “starve the beast”, based on the old-fashioned idea that government could only spend what it collected in taxes from the people. But as Milton Friedman said, “Keep your eye on one thing and one thing only: how much government is spending, because that’s the true tax.”
You demented freak. This had nothing to do with taxes. In the Reagan era “the beast” was right-wing-speak for any government program that helped average people instead of the rich. This evil “beast” had to be starved of funding so it would die. Only the wealthy and the warmongers deserved government help.
Believing that government has unlimited access to money, good people feel morally obligated to advocate for using “free” money on pleasing ideas like free stuff for themselves and other deserving people. Surely it is not farfetched to advocate for expanded school lunch programs, greater health care benefits, “free” college, more subsidies for green energy, and so on and on and on. Only a Scrooge (or a Republican), would deny such good things.
And only an evil f**k like this professor would think that helping each other is evil.
It will be very difficult to restore order in political discourse until there is wide agreement among the people on a limit to how much government can spend. A clear limit won’t eliminate strong disagreements about priorities, but it will reduce the moral posturing that is poisoning the current debate.
This bastard is the same as bankers who want to cut federal social programs so that people are forced to seek loans, and thereby to become debt slaves. “We must cut government spending so that people turn to me for my help, not to the government. Harken to my bullshit, oh ye wretched sinners, and lick my boots!”
It won’t be painless to relearn the truth that money doesn’t grow on trees. Economists (except for Austrian school economists) have much to answer for. Fiscal restraint started a slow death with Keynes; it took a turn for the worse when Nixon, cheered on by non-Austrian-school economists (especially Milton Friedman, by the way), ended the last vestiges of gold-backed money and birthed MMT. Fiscal restraint finally ended when Vice President Cheney, cheered by supply-siders, proclaimed that “deficits don’t matter”. The chickens may not yet have come home to roost, but they are surely on the way.
And there it is. The proof of mental illness…
I want to discuss the article above because it makes some errors beginning with calling Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) a “new idea.” The only thing “new” about MMT is that it doesn’t repeat the lies that everyone has told each other for centuries. MMT describes how government money has really worked throughout human history.
From the article…
In early 2013, Congress entered a death struggle—or a debt struggle, if you will—over the future of the US economy. A spate of old tax cuts and spending programs were due to expire almost simultaneously, and Congress couldn’t agree on a budget, nor on how much the government could borrow to keep its engines running.
Regarding the “debt ceiling” debate, this is simply about whether the U.S. government should continue to let the Federal Reserve accept more savings deposits by selling T-securities. Contrary to politicians’ lies, this has nothing to do with “funding the government.” Politicians might as well argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
A solution bubbled up from the economic blogosphere. What if the Treasury minted a $1 trillion coin, deposited it in the government’s account at the Federal Reserve, and continued on with business as usual? The was authorized by an obscure law that applies to commemorative platinum coins, and it didn’t require congressional approval, so the GOP couldn’t get in the way. And the cash would not be circulated, so it wouldn’t cause inflation.
Bloggers described this thought experiment as “ludicrous but perfectly legal” (Slate); “a monetary parlor trick” (Wired); “really thrilling” (Business Insider); “a large-scale trolling project” (The Guardian). The idea made its way onto late-night TV, political talk shows, White House press conferences, and lived on as a hashtag: #mintthecoin. At the heart of the attention was an acknowledgement that money wasn’t the problem—politics was.
The problem is indeed politics (not money). And politics is about who has power over whom.
The “trillion dollar coin” idea began circulating in 2011, and became headline news by January 2013. It was ridiculed by rich and poor alike. One group of hecklers consisted of bankers, politicians, and anyone else whose power and privileges would be threatened by a public awakened from the lies about money.
The other group consisted of slaves whose dream worlds would be threatened by a “trillion dollar coin.”
When a population is abused, its members cope with their misery by mentally withdrawing into various dream-worlds such as religion. (Statistically speaking, religious belief tends to increase with poverty and hardship. For example, prison inmates often “get religion,” and then drop it when they are released.)
Here are more dream-worlds that the peasants cling to in order to cope with their misery…
 It’s all the fault of the Goyim / Jews / Arabs / Muslims / Blacks / immigrants / whatever.
 It’s all the fault of the Fed, which lends all dollars into existence.
 If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
 I deserve to be poor because I’m stupid and lazy.
…and so on. Again the “trillion dollar coin” idea was ridiculed by rich and poor alike, albeit for different reasons.
Harriet Tubman (1822-1913) escaped from slavery and made thirteen missions to rescue about seventy enslaved families and friends. Tubman supposedly said, “I could have free more slaves if only they had known they were slaves.” There is no proof that Tubman ever said this, but the idea is valid.
For a small group of academics who adhere to a doctrine called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), fiat currency is a social construct, and there are no fiscal limits on how much a sovereign currency-issuing nation can spend. Once we change the way we think about money, we can provide for everyone: We don’t have to “find” the money to “pay” for universal health care by “cutting” the budget elsewhere. In fact, our government already works that way: Spending must precede taxation, or there would be no dollars in the economy to tax. What’s lacking is not money, but political will.
True, except that the theory of MMT is not a “doctrine,” just as the theory of aerodynamics is not a “doctrine.” A theory does not entail guesses, hypotheses or opinions. A theory is a nexus of facts.
Neoliberalism, however, is a doctrine, since it consists of nothing but lies.
To a layperson, MMT can seem dizzyingly complex, but at its core is the belief that most of us have the economy backward. Conventional wisdom holds that the government taxes individuals and companies in order to fund its own spending. But the government—which is ultimately the source of all dollars, taxed or untaxed—pays or spends first and taxes later.
Incidentally the government is not “ultimately the source of all dollars,” since banks create dollars out of thin air when they make loans.
When the government funds programs, it literally spends money into existence, injecting cash into the economy. Taxes exist in order to control inflation by reducing the money supply, and to ensure that dollars, as the only currency accepted for tax payments, remain in demand.
This is the MMT claim that “taxes drive money” — i.e. federal taxes are what create demand for federal dollars. This claim is nonsense, since we would need the federal dollars even if all federal taxes were eliminated.
Also, controlling inflation is not the sole function of federal taxes. The key is to maintain a balance between the supply of money and the demand for money. Balance can be maintained by either reducing the supply of dollars (i.e. getting dollars out of the economy via austerity, or by taxation, or by selling special bonds) or by reducing or increasing the demand for dollars via adjusted interest rates.
The real purpose of federal taxes is that they are the ultimate expression of federal power over you. The gubmit giveth, and the gubmit taketh away.
MMT’s adherents point out that the federal government never “runs out” of money to fund the military, but routinely invokes budget constraints to justify defunding social programs. Money, in other words, isn’t a scarce commodity like silver or gold.
There is limitless money for the military, but no money for social programs that help average people. How do average people justify their belief in this lie? They claim that the U.S. government borrows all its dollars, and this is why we have a $20 trillion “national debt.” Thus, they claim that dollars are not limitless. (Sigh.)
The decisions about how to issue, lend, and spend money come down to politics, values, and convention. Inflation, MMT’s proponents contend, can be controlled through taxation, and only becomes a problem at full employment—and we’re a long way off from that.
Inflation is not caused by full employment, but by “too many dollars chasing too few goods.” For example, during World War II the U.S. employment rate dropped to nearly zero, but there was a shortage of consumer goods to spend one’s salary on, since consumer goods were rationed for the war effort. The surfeit of dollars, plus the shortage of goods, created the potential for inflation. To control inflation during the war, the U.S. government instituted the federal withholding tax, and also encouraged people to buy “war bonds” by (falsely) telling the masses that the bonds were necessary to “fund the war.”
Today there is no shortage of consumer goods. Therefore a massive increase in deficit spending would not cause inflation. It would boost employment, which America’s rulers do not want, since your suffering is their pleasure. The poorer you are, the richer they feel by comparison.
The article then quotes Warren Mosler.
“If you eliminate the tax on workers and let them keep more money, the average family would have $625 of payroll pay. Why won’t politicians do that? Because they believe the tax money is used to make Social Security payments. But that’s a mistake.”
MMT people ridiculously believe that politicians “mean well” but are “misinformed.” You and I know that politicians are liars. Politicians know that the U.S. government creates its spending money out of thin air, but politicians don’t want you to know it, since they want you to grovel to them for every penny.
In Europe, where a generation of young people remain unemployed, more spending, better social welfare, and a guaranteed job are a particularly attractive combination. But eurozone countries share a common currency, so the European Union would have to allow all of its members to borrow more, not less, to stimulate the economies of its more beleaguered states.
Except that euro-zone nations with large trade surpluses, like Germany, do not need to borrow their euros. They suck euros from nations that have trade deficits, like France and Greece.
In Greece, for example, Rania Antonopoulos, who runs Bard’s “Gender Equality and the Economy” program, serves as the alternate minister of labor in the Syriza government. She’s proposed pushing the government to be the employer of last resort.
NONSENSE. Since Greece has a huge trade deficit, and cannot create euros out of thin air, Greece must borrow all its euros from bankers, who use the debt load as leverage to force privatization. There is no possible way that the Greek government can employ more workers. The SYRIZA hacks are all liars on the bankers’ payroll.
Despite the lack of official interest, austerity has given these MMT economists rock-star status. Kelton recalls a conference a few years back in Rimini, Italy, where her group sold out their initial venue and had to move the event to a basketball stadium.
MMT is irrelevant to Italy, since the Italian government cannot create euros out of thin air. In fact, because of the euro, Italy would be as horrible as Greece if Italy did not have a trade surplus, which Italy has enjoyed since 2012.
It’s hard to imagine radical changes being made to the way politicians talk about money. It could take decades, even centuries, to make a dent in entrenched ideas about debt, scarcity, and supply.
The problem is politics. More for me. Less for you. If the human species somehow overcame its basic selfishness, then MMT would catch on like wildfire.
There is, particularly among young people, an enormous appetite for new solutions to the problems that modern economies face, from automation to offshoring. And the financial crisis has shaken the public’s trust in established ways of thinking.
Yes. At any point in time, the current paradigm hurts some people, and benefits others. A paradigm does not change until the people who benefit from it die off. Then the cycle repeats with a new paradigm.
Take the universal basic income: A few years ago, it seemed unrealistic and utopian, but today, versions of the UBI have been embraced by Silicon Valley moguls, economists on the left and the right, and politicians around the world.
Unfortunately the UBI will go nowhere until the masses first understand that money is limitless.