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…