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Randy Wray

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Misdirection: Rampell Views Entitlements Through the Generational War Lens

Some of the favored children of the economic elite who have a public presence, work hard in their writing and speaking to divert attention from inequality and oligarchy issues by raising the issue of competition between seniors and millennials for “scarce” Federal funds. That's understandable. If millennials develop full consciousness of who, exactly, has been flushing their prospects for a decent life down the toilet, their anger and activism might bring down the system of wealth and economic and social privilege that benefits both their families and the favored themselves in the new America of oligarchy and plutocracy.

Here and here, I evaluated Abby Huntsman's arguments for entitlement “reform,” and, of course, Pete Peterson's son, Michael fights a continuing generational war against seniors in pushing the austerian line of the Peterson Foundation. Now comes Catherine Rampell, who, in a recent column, sets forth the position that seniors haven't paid for their Social Security and Medicare because they “generally receive” more in benefits out of these programs than they pay into them.

I'll reply to all of the main points in Rampell's argument, by quoting liberally and then replying to the points she makes in each quote. She says: Read below the fold...

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Richard Eskow Asks: Which Side Are You On?

Richard Eskow of the Center for the American Future, posted a very good one a couple of days ago. He used the old union meme “which side are you on” to beat up the President and Congress about Social Security being placed on the negotiating table. I thought his writing on it was striking. Here's some of it: Read below the fold...

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John Carney Doesn't Believe That Government Spending Can Achieve Public Purpose

John Carney commented on a post by David Brooks and a follow-up by Randy Wray. Brooks says that a tax credit is essentially the same as Government spending and used an example from David Bradford, a Princeton economist, of the Pentagon wanting to acquire a new plane and paying for it with a tax credit.

Randy comments on the idea this way: Read below the fold...

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One + One = Two (Not Too Wonkish)

After reading one of my rants about the stupidity of policies aiming at a balanced budget, somebody in my Facebook environment, commented by saying: “1 + 1 = 2.” Here's my answer.

Yes, 1+1 = 2.

Now here's an accounting identity from macroeconomics, called the Sectoral Financial Balances (SFB) model:

Domestic Private Balance + Domestic Government Balance + Foreign Balance = 0.

It's like 1 + 1 = 2. But just slightly more "wonkish." Read below the fold...

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The Job Guarantee and the MMT Core: Part Fifteen, Components of the Knowledge Claim Network

In this post I'll list the primary components of the MMT Knowledge Claim Network (KCN) classified under the major categories: the Social/Value Gaps; the Knowledge Gaps (Problems); the Descriptive Components (including Solutions); the Policy Prescriptions; and the Narratives.

The Social/Value Gaps mentioned by MMT developers

-- Failure of Economics to contribute to the Public Purpose as defined by the failure to close the other social value gaps listed below;

-- the gap between actual output and projected “full” output;

-- High involuntary unemployment vs. full employment;

Read below the fold...
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The Job Guarantee and the MMT Core: Part Fourteen, MMT Is A Holistic Knowledge Claim Network

Thread: 

The recent extensive blogosphere discussion on the JG and the MMT core began with a post by John Carney that stated his opposition to the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) Job Guarantee proposal and claimed it either wasn't an essential component of MMT, or that if it was, then MMT was wrong. Cullen Roche, a well-known popularizer of MMT at his Pragmatic Capitalism blog then asserted: Read below the fold...

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The Job Guarantee and the MMT Core: Part Thirteen, John Carney Is Full of Talking Points and That's Polite

In a piece called “More Questions About the Job Guarantee,” John Carney provides some links to the continuing debate on the Job Guarantee (JG). All the links are to posts critical of the JG idea except a link to one of my four posts critical of Carney's earlier work and supportive of the JG. Read below the fold...

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The Job Guarantee and the MMT Core: Part Twelve, Theory and Fact

Thread: 

Cullen Roche continued his extensive and multi-faceted critique of the Job Guarantee policy and the Modern Monetary Theory approach to economics with a piece attempting to distinguish “theory” and “fact.” His piece is based on the common sense idea that there's a distinction between them, and Cullen tries to use it in his argument. There is, but, unfortunately, the common sense notion of the distinction has long been put aside in the philosophy of science, and in most of the sciences a decade or so later, because of its incoherence. So, in using it, Cullen's argument shares this incoherence.

The “Theoretical” and Something Else Read below the fold...

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The Job Guarantee and the MMT Core: Part Eight, The JG Rate

A little time out from my critiques of the various posts contending that the MMT Job Guarantee (JG) proposal is not the core of MMT as an approach. Read below the fold...

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The Job Guarantee and the MMT Core: Part Seven, Dialogue With Warren Mosler

Warren Mosler kindly replied to my Part Two of this series which provided the basis for this dialogue, reproducing Part Two with comments by Warren and myself.

MMT and Public Purpose:The Normative Component Read below the fold...

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The Job Guarantee and the MMT Core: Part Five, John Carney on the Mismatch Problem and the Distribution of Labor

Parts One, Two, Three,and Four

In the first four parts of this series, I analyzed views on the Job Guarantee (JG) idea offered by Cullen Roche and Peter Cooper in conjunction with a post by John Carney, which kicked off an explosion of blogosphere posts and commentaries on the JG. In Part Three I began an analysis of John Carney's views by taking exception to his claims that the JG would be inflationary, a bureaucratic nightmare, and would cause economic stagnations. In Part Four, I critiqued his views on the problem of a mismatch between demand and the skills needed to fulfill it, the possible inflationary impact of this mismatch, and also his claims on the JG and stagnation.

In this post, I continue analyzing John's further take on the JG in in his 'The Trouble with a Job Guarantee. His reasoning in this post, focuses on the problem of a mismatch between demand and the skills needed to fulfill it, the possible inflationary impact of this mismatch, and also amplifies his claims on the JG and stagnation. My interleaved replies from an MMT perspective to his assertions and arguments are provided in this and an upcoming post, as well as in Part Four. All my replies assume that the JG would not be “paid for,” but would occur through deficit spending. Read below the fold...

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