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Green New Deal

Deconstructing The Green New Deal

Despite serious flaws, it sparks a needed conversation
Friday, March 8, 2019, 8:49 PM

The Green New Deal (GND) is important as a starting point to have a long, long overdue conversation about energy. Specifically: How are we going to eventually transition away from fossil fuels?

As such, the proposal -- while (very) far from perfect -- should not be ignored and deserves our attention. 

It's also important because it represents the sorts of zig-zags our social and political paths are inceasingly likely to take in the coming future as we're forced to face our looming economic, ecological and energy-related predicaments.

A Symptom Of A Global Disease

The GND is emblematic of the same pressures that brought about the election of Trump, the Yellow Vests in France, Brexit in the UK, the Catalonia breakaway in Spain, the rise of populism in Italy, and the fracturing of the Middle East.

Growing numbers of people are beginning to understand that the outbreak of these social movements share a common cause: the loss of sufficient economic growth to fund both the upper and lower stratas of society.

There simply isn’t enough "growth" left for everyone to share in it.  Surplus economic production requires surplus net energy.  As we've been chronicaling for years, there’s now less and less of that to go around.

And because the wealthy won the class war a long time ago, anemic economic growth combined with a bought-and-piad for political system translates into less and less for the many and more and more for the few.

That is an explosive mix. Eventually it will prove to be the end of ‘good old days’ unless it is self-corrected extremely soon -- though don't hold your breath.  There are precious few historical examples of the wealthy figuring out in time that they’ve gone too far, assumed too much, and shared too little:

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.

Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right.

John Kenneth Galbraith – in The Age of Uncertainty

Given that backdrop, we're interested in the GND as an indicator of where we are in the great swinging of the socio-political pendulum.

FYI: there's already been some excellent discussion on the proposal in the Peak Prosperity forums, which is definitely worth checking out as accompanying reading to this article. 

What Exactly Is The "Green New Deal"?

Here’s the skinny.  The GND was introduced on February 7th, 2019 with 64 House Democrat and 9 Senate Democrat cosponsors.

From it’s accompanying fact sheet, the resolution is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create economic prosperity for all.”

So far so good.  While we don’t think 10 years is anywhere close to a workable time frame -- it’s much too fast to get to ‘net zero’ emissions (meaning planes and cows are still emitting, for example, but new farming practices are absorbing an equal amount) -- we completely agree with the idea that it’s so late in the game that we need something like the mass mobilization of effort seen in WW II.  Only it might need to be that large, plus an Apollo mission, and a Manhattan project in order to succeed.

Here’s the language in the bill:

In (A) it's not clear what a ‘just and fair transition’ means for all communities and workers.  There will be winners and losers as there are in any massive economic transformation.  Some jobs won’t make sense in an energy-transformed future, and neither will some far-flung communities.   This sort of vagueness of meaning, let alone intent, makes the proposal hard to assess in terms of cost, scalability or political feasibility.

We’ll get to the massive issues involved in an energy transition shortly (and they are legendary.) But, first let’s get through the rest of the bill.

Section (B) leaves us really scratching our heads as we’re a big believer in jobs but we’re really not fans of the idea of government providing make-work just for the sake of keeping people busy. And we're definitely opposed to the concept of "giveaway money" aka Universal Basic Income. As the accompanying fact sheet says, part of the envisioned deal is to provide “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”  The emphasis is mine, but the idea of providing economic security for those unwilling to work strikes us as a particularly bad idea.  Of course, we're against corporate handouts and bank bailouts, too. [Edit note inserted on 3-11-19:  The Ocasio-Cortez team has since said these FAQs were "bad copy" and released by "mistake" and deleted from the website.  No retraction or clarification has yet been issued] 

In (C), above, we at Peak Prosperity are in strong agreement with the principle of investing in infrastructure, as well as sustainably meeting the challenges of the 21st century. But lacking any more detail than that, there’s not much more to say besides “we think we support this!”  But we’re not actually sure.  Also, it’s not really the “duty” of the federal government to invest in industry, as that’s really not its strong point. 

But, with a gun to our heads, if you asked us if we’d rather see the next $1 trillion of government dollars flow into bank bailouts or into infrastructure, we’d pick the latter in a skinny minute. 

Here's the next paragraph:

To which we reply yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.  Put us down for all of that.  And also, motherhood and apple pie.  And puppies.

Again, the devil will be in the details. And, again, there are none to be found here (yet).  Just fine and worthy aspirations.

How exactly the government will go about assuring any of these things is unknown at this point. For sure, it will require a lot of healthy debate and planning.

Still, to recognize progress, just seeing such values put in print at the federal level is a welcome development. This can be taken as a good sign if it truly means we are finally beginning to invite proper national discussion about the essentials that actually matter to us and future generations. 

Reading on, we get to the proposd time frame. This is where we start to raise concerns – ten years just doesn't seem realistic:

They're proposing to accomplish all this in the next 10 years (here we summarize the next 15 major sections of the bill):

  • Build resiliency against climate related disasters
  • Repair and upgrade infrastructure in the US
  • Meet 100% of power demand in the US (not just electricity, but all power)
  • Build a nationwide smart grid
  • Upgrade all existing buildings to maximum energy efficiency
  • Spur massive growth in clean manufacturing
  • Remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
  • Overhaul all transportation systems in the US
  • Restore fragile and threatened ecosystems
  • Remove CO2 from the atmosphere through a variety of means including carbon capture and storage
  • Clean up hazardous waste sites

Don't get me wrong -- we agree that those are worthy and wonderful goals. Many of them are essential to our future well-being.

Any one of them would be a tall order to complete with the next decade. But all of these?

And how much will all this cost?  That's completely "TBD" at present.  Costs are not estimated or enumerated anywhere in the GND document. 

And whatever the cost, how will this ambitious set of programs be funded?  Apparently the Fed will just print up most of the money (again from the fact sheet addressing the question “How will you pay for it?”):

The same way we paid for the New Deal, the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs. The same way we paid for World War II and all our current wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit.

There is also space for the government to take an equity stake in projects to get a return on investment. At the end of the day, this is an investment in our economy that should grow our wealth as a nation, so the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity.

Not to be overly cynical, but “this baby will pay for itself!” is not the strongest of arguments for the sponsoring politicians to make as history is extremely clear that those claims very rarely pan out.

Going further and wondering about how we will even manage to share all of the resulting prosperity diminishes the argument even further for me.  It sounds ungrounded, magically-thinking even, especially since no costs have even been calculated.  In our experience, faith-based “investments” are the worst investments.

However, we can clearly see the influence of the 'new darling of modern economics', Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), here. Simply put, it's the idea that the government can simply inject new money into the economy with far more benefit than negative consequence. 

We’re entirely unconvinced by this argument. On monetary terms, but even more so because it assumes resources (such as ever more oil) into existence.

MMT assumes that money is the real substance around which everything else revolves. We hold an exactly backwards view from that.  In our view, money is just a  claim, a marker. What's real is everything else -- everything that money is a claim on (ore, timber, soil, livestock, etc). You can't instantly conjure more of this stuff into existence, no matter how many new dollars you print.

In the context of the GND, we need to point out that many of the bullet points in the above list are multi-trillion-dollar expenditures each

To simply get US infrastructure up to first world standards would require $4.5 trillion according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

A smart grid?  More trillions.  Carbon Capture and storage?  Many billions maybe trillions. We don’t know at this point because the required technology and processes are not yet scaled up. 

But the biggest challenge of them all is weaning off of fossil fuels.  That’s going to be many trillions if not tens of trillions of dollars.  This includes abandoning stranded investments, taking their value down to $0 (the list includes every oil drill rig, all vehicles with internal combustion engines, exurbs that no longer make sense) and it includes rebuilding/replacing everything that currently uses or runs on fossil fuels – which is pretty much everything.  Literally, just everything in your life is powered by, transported by and/or manufactured from fossil fuels.

Transitioning from fossil fuels will be a monumental challenge; a really tricky, complex operation -- if it’s even possible to do without crashing the economy, or worse.  Converting to lower-density energy sources (which renewables are) is going to be both profoundly expensive and economically difficult. 

Once we dig past the feel-good headlines about wind and solar, a host of complications are revealed.  You don’t have to work particularly hard to unearth them, the details are well-known and easy to find.

For example, here’s a link to an excellent piece on the subject written by Michael Shellenberger, a once-committed alternative energy advocate who, after many years of front-line experience, has since come to believe that wind and solar are not really viable options to replace fossil fuels.   

The sun doesn’t always shine, the wind doesn’t always blow, we don’t have the requisite grid-scale battery storage even close to worked out, dams have other claims on when and how their water is released that are equally compelling, wind towers kill enormous numbers of large birds and bats, solar panels create enormous amounts of waste at both ends of their life cycle, and on and on.

To spend any time seriously considering how to replace the wonderful, easy abundance of high net energy oil, coal and natural gas is to come away gawking at the sheer complexity of the task.

Yet we at Peak Prosperity are in agreement: it has to be done.

One way or the other, we will end up abandoning fossil fuels, either by environmental necessity or because the remaining dregs take too much effort to extract to make it worth the while.

If we're able to transition on our terms, a reasonable future is possible.  If we wait until the limits to growth force our hand, the results will lie somewhere between miserable and utterly disastrous.

And that’s why the GND is a needed starting point for the conversation. Despite being woefully incomplete/unrealistic in its details.

The conversation about intelligently transitioning away from our doomed status quo has to begin somewhere

We're seeing the seed of it sprouting with the striking students of Europe, Brexit, the Yellow Vests and all of the other suddenly emergent expressions of people rising up and saying “Something is very wrong here! We need to switch to a better way of doing things.”

What's Undeniable Is That Action Is Needed

The Green New Deal suffers from being a gigantic grab-bag of mixed proposals that will have to be separated into individual, much more clarifed components if they are to be actually tackled.

Job security, remedying social injustice, a massive infrastructure overhaul, carbon capture, smart grids, revamping transportation -- each is a massive undertaking.

But none more so than energy transition. Our view at Peak Prosperity is that each nation on Earth is in urgent and critcal need of addressing this question: “Where do we want to be when fossil fuels run out and how do we want to get there?”

This really is the single greatest challenge society faces today, far eclipsing the many other contenders. Simple put: our species has fully expanded into its available energy source, and now we need to figure out how we’re going to transition into whatever's next. 

The US had its wake-up call back in the 1970’s when then-President Jimmy Carter laid down a reasonable set of intelligent responses that we’d have done well to heed and implement. But we didn't. Instead the business-as-usual crowd won out and many decades were frittered away, while we continued the build-out of unsustainable living and working arrangements that will be hideously expensive to retrofit or replace. 

But that’s all in the past. We are where we are. 

So, what are we going to do about it now?

In Part 2: Requirements For Any Kind Of Credible "New Deal", we put forth our own proposal of the policy measures that we at Peak Prosperity deem essential at this pivotal point in history.

Yes, we need to think big to address the massive challenges we're facing; but we also need to think practically and logistically. What are the most effective and achievable ways to affordably secure the best possible future for ourselves, our progeny and our planet?

Our mission statement here at Peak Prosperity remains the same it's ever been: To create a world worth inheriting. If you share that goal, join our tribe of conscientious truth seekers trying to make a difference -- and if you have good ideas to contribute -- add your input to our proposal.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

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75 Comments

Rodster's picture
Rodster
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Let Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr.

Let Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore put this GND in perspective. This was his responce to AOC via Twitter:

" After AOC suggested in late February that she was “in charge” until someone comes up with a better plan, Moore fired back, tweeting: “Pompous little twit. You don’t have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get the food into the cities. Horses? If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating. You would bring about mass death."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-03/greenpeace-co-founder-rips-pompous-little-twit-ocasio-cortez-garden-variety 

Industrial civilization was produced by FF's and it will collapse without FF's which goes in line with Gail Tverberg's thinking, that we have boxed ourselves in no matter how hard we try to get out. In short, according to her, there are no answers to our predicament.

GerryOz's picture
GerryOz
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Rodster wrote:Let Greenpeace
Rodster wrote:

Let Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore put this GND in perspective.

I'd rather not. Moore is a complete sellout to industry. He's a climate denier with no credibility other than at sites like ZeroHedge (an intellectual toilet funded by fossil fuel industries).

SourceWatch wrote:

Patrick Moore is a nuclear industry public relations consultant (through his firm Greenspirit Strategies) who denies that humans cause climate change. Moore has consulted for the Nuclear Energy Institute, and the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. He has worked for the mining industry, the logging industry, PVC manufacturers, the nuclear industry and has worked in defense of biotechnology. Although Moore was once (1981, 1986) a leading figure with Greenpeace Canada and subsequently with Greenpeace International, in 2008 Greenpeace issued a statement distancing itself from Moore, saying he "exploits long gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes."

Mark_BC's picture
Mark_BC
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I have not much more than

I have not much more than zero respect for Patrick Moore but I actually agree with that statement.

The biggest problem with the green transition is how it is blatantly stated to be funded by the fed printing up trillions of dollars. The only way the fed has been able to get away with this historically for so long is because the dollar is the world's petro reserve currency that basically requires the central monetary authority in the us to print up said fake money, to export in return for real goods and resources "imported" (ahem, r&p'd) from other countries. So even if the us does achieve something with this transition it will have been at the expense of other countries' resources.

Furthermore, once the us dollar-centric globsl monetary system collapses, whenever that is, and the dollar ceases to be the world's reserve currency, then that money printing will amount to me printing it up on my own printer. And the initiative will be done. Then those fossil fuel consumption reductions will happen automatically from natural forces, rather than through magical MMT which believes they can provide prosperity for people while at the same time starving them of resources.

This thing sounds like it was written by some economics major who has not a clue how the real world works but may have noticed that the shale space is a ponzi scheme ready to collapse and decided it was time to do something about it and sicked the fed on it, and tried to dress it up pretty to be accepted by the populace.

But, as Chris says, if it stimulates conversation it can only be good. And it's a better place for the money to go than most others.

GerryOz's picture
GerryOz
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Mark_BC wrote: But, as Chris
Mark_BC wrote:

But, as Chris says, if it stimulates conversation it can only be good. And it's a better place for the money to go than most others.

We have to start somewhere. I give AOC full marks for changing the national debate ... long overdue.

dcm's picture
dcm
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Projection

We were talking movies last week and when I think about our predicament, I can't help seeing Kubrick's monolith in 2001. In many ways, oil was the human monolith. Once we put our hands on the dark energy, everything changed. We definitely evolved, and our journey was immediate, violent, and exponential. Like the alien "gift," it was inevitable we would find the stuff. Condensed energy from condensed time. Once we understood its power, nothing else mattered, not really. Over time, almost everything was made with it, made from it, and made to justify its possession. Anyone could be an enemy and anyone could be a friend. Any story could be told as long as the ending was the same - a bold dark splash.

In some ways were at the end of the movie and we're all astronaut Bowman now. The is no other way to survive but to pass through the dark stuff and reach the other side. No one really knows what it will look like but we've already begun the journey. There is no turning back and things are full of grander color, louder noise, and ever growing distortion.           

macro2682's picture
macro2682
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Levered up...

Government sponsored infrastructure funds for institutional investors that pay a 10% coupon funded by printed money (in addition to the regular ROI.  This way every $100B of printed money will represent $1T of infrastructure spending. And pensions will essentially be the direct recipients of printed money, instead of (just) Wall Street.  Leverage got us into this mess.  It can get us out. 

Rector's picture
Rector
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Nope

I give AOC credit for making a mockery of proposals that deserve real discussion.  By lumping so many complex and massive problems into one preposterous proposal that sounds like something from a 7th grade Model UN white paper, she has eliminated the possibility of movement in the right direction.  

Simply "starting a conversation" isn't progress if the proposals are rightly subject to scorn because of the sophmoric way they were presented.  We haven't moved forward - we have moved backward.

Idiots all.

Rector

brushhog's picture
brushhog
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Impossible to seperate the science from politics

At this point how can anyone know what is scientific reality or simply more political fog? Everything that comes out of the left is always, and relentlessly, a thinly guised attack on property rights and individual liberty. It is right to be skeptical of anything that is championed by the most diabolical political movement in the history of the world.

It seems to come right out of the 150 year old marxist playbook...create a crisis, divide the population, and offer the "solution"....which is always and forever more central government control over everything. We've seen this too many times to be taken in.

Rodster's picture
Rodster
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Whether you respect or have

Whether you respect or have no respect for Moore because he's a CC denier is really besides the point. There is not one ounce of fallacy in his response to AOC, none. Actually he is spot on and so many miss the point how fossil fuels is tied to our very existence. Hell even Chris Martenson in one of his past articles agrees with Moore, take FF's out of the picture and things start to collapse.

On the economics alone, countries make money by exporting fossil fuels. Their future promises i.e. "entitlements" to their very citizens are directly tied to FF's exports. When Saudi Arabia sees the the price of it's oil products dive on the open markets it puts stress on how it keeps their government running and all those entitlements its promised to its people.

Russia, Venzuela and every oil exporting nation is in the same bind because they make money by selling it and not using it and it allows their governments to run. So that's the conundrum, finding an alternative energy source that is cheap enough that is not an infinite source that anyone can create so as to give it value and that value translate into profits for those producing the new energy source. 

I remember the opening song to the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies and how oil was called "Black Gold, Texas Tea". Because oil is in itself a form of gold that is something you pull out of the ground and has a store of value and is finite. If any new energy source has no store of value that a government entity can profit from then the system collapses.

But while we continue to look for that elusive new energy source that will provide us flying cars like The Jetsons, John Michael Greer wrote a fantastic article called "Technological Superstitions" technological-superstitions.html and it's worth a read. Because even when we were told decades ago this day was coming we had ample time to make some changes but instead we put off that day for some time way in the future. 

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LesPhelps
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In a nutshell

”You can either believe that voting lawmakers into office means they work for you, so you keep voting, or you can admit that doesnt work, and quit voting, which doesn’t work either.”

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thc0655
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Credit where credit is due

I agree: a bad proposal can make the laudable goal LESS likely to be achieved, not more. This Green New Deal is an example largely because we’ll have to fight over the implications of a massive government takeover of nearly everything (socialism > communism) before we even get to the “green” energy and environment parts. And I’ll give AOC credit for starting the conversation as soon as someone else gives Hitler credit for rejuvenating the German economy and for being kind to children and pets.

 

jturbo68's picture
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WWII - How we gonna pay for that?!

 

I guess that the nay sayers still dont understand the scope of what we are dealing with.... as long as we dont look squarely into the face of energy collapse and climate collapse, the 'benjamins' will seem like they are important.

I perceive the GND bill as trying to lay out the scope of what is needed to be done, and not so much of a roadmap on how to actually accomplish the task.  It is a Vision statement, a-la the Kennedy speech that kicked off the space race.

I am grateful for AOC being brave enough to float a big idea to spark the conversations that might result in meaningful movement.

 

 

 

 

mjtrac's picture
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Trashing AOC (cuz the enviros have done such a GREAT job)

Finally, someone elected to office in America has linked the environmental movement with the need for economic justice.  It does not surprise me that the people who should be cheering her on are complaining.  

Oh dear, she wants to issue credit!  That's only allowed to fund things that make gazillionaires richer!  It's a proven downer!  Let's tell people we'll raise everyone's taxes, instead -- that's how Reagan won!

She has too many goals, too fast.   We need to stick with the hundreds of non-profits who have completely transformed our economy over the forty years we've known about the developing problem, thanks to the brilliance of their hundreds of Executive Directors.  They provided us with huge electoral majorities to enable us to transition off fossil fuels by 2000.  Nowadays, we can all heat our houses with their fundraising junk mail, which also reminds us to walk our talk.

Never trust your friends, especially if you're not a Trumper.

jturbo68's picture
jturbo68
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thc0655 wrote: I agree: a
thc0655 wrote:

I agree: a bad proposal can make the laudable goal LESS likely to be achieved, not more. This Green New Deal is an example largely because we’ll have to fight over the implications of a massive government takeover of nearly everything (socialism > communism) before we even get to the “green” energy and environment parts. And I’ll give AOC credit for starting the conversation as soon as someone else gives Hitler credit for rejuvenating the German economy and for being kind to children and pets.

 

Does the GND say that government has to deliver the GND?  Aside form government, what would ever even be able to set the goal and set the incentives to deliver on that goal?   I perceive that it says that this is what needs to be accomplished.   It doesnt specify how it will be delivered.  

I think government would set the incentives and then industry would deliver the results.  At least that is how weve tackled big issues in the past.

shastatodd's picture
shastatodd
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limits to growth

and even now, at the 11th hour and 59 minutes, all we seem to be able to do is pray to the god of wishful technological hopium.

until someone dares to mention the REALITY that we live on a finite planet with limits to growth, and start addressing:
1) rampant human breeding and
2) rapacious consumption...

the GND is just supply side bullshit pablum for non-negotiable human lifestyles.

Nate's picture
Nate
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newest GND

Not too long ago we had a stock market crash and the banks were bailed out.  The bankers were on the receiving end of a GND.

Some time later Obamacare was placed into law and health care executives were on the receiving end of a GND.

You have to be horribly naive to think mankind will be on the receiving end of the latest GND.

 

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Uncletommy
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Petersonian Prescriptions for Socialist Solutions

Eventually, Cope's Rule (as applied to civilizations) gets us all in the end; "The bigger they are, the harder they fall" summarizes this predictament, as Joseph Tainter has explicitly explained. Couple this with, "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions", and you have a world ripe for the inevitable. Instead of whining about it, take a few minutes and consider this:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=individual+resposibility+jordan+peterson&atb=v154-6al&ia=videos&iax=videos&iai=g-lJJmytfPM

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richcabot
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Unwilling to work - Incentives matter

The statement that people unwilling to work should receive an income speaks volumes.   I've had personal experience with people fundamentally unwilling to work.  The individual was hired for yard work and would cancel at the last minute because she just didn't feel like working that day.  Food stamps and government payouts, including the free health care were enough for her to get by on and the money from us was supplementary.  If it wasn't needed that week there wasn't incentive to work.  The last straw was when I spent a couple days building a loft in her "tiny house" only to have her expect payment for every hour she worked the next time she came by.  (I probably should note, she was NOT a person of color)

Incentives matter.  If the alternative is starving, people work.  If not, some people won't.

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
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Work - needs definition

One complication in the "unwilling to work" discussion is that too often people only define something as "work" if it has a monetary paycheck attached.

Example: a parent who stays at home to care for children is "not working", but the parent who does something to earn money then pays for child care is considered to be "working". (So is the child care provider.) There's a good chance that the former is better for the family's wellbeing, but it doesn't get the same respect these days.

I don't have an answer for that but it's worth mentioning.

Quote:

 The individual was hired for yard work and would cancel at the last minute because she just didn't feel like working that day.

Methinks that person has a "keeping her word" problem. If she thinks she can get through the week without "working", fine, but she should decide that ahead of time and not make commitments. However, I'd suspect that she isn't the sort who is very good at thinking ahead. I don't have an answer for that either ...

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davefairtex
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missing the point

You guys heaping scorn on AOC are missing the point.

The point isn't that her proposal is realistic.  Nobody cares about realistic - not at this point.

The point is that the GND resonates with the electorate.  The Dems running for President have all done focus groups.  AOC's GND resonates.  That's the point.

At the most reductive level, the younger generation likes green, and they sure want a New Deal.  The existing deal sucks so badly - a New Deal just has to be better.

Over in Europe, Salvini figured out that Italian people didn't like the tidal wave of migrants landing like the Allied divisions at Normandy.  The EU tried to keep going with the usual crap that had always worked before - the identity politics: "you're a racist" if you didn't like hundreds of thousands of migrants from some other culture taking all the lower-end jobs.  Unfortunately for the EU, Salvini's message resonated with the Italian people.

And now Salvini runs Italy.  Salvini had the last laugh.

So.  Since we know the GND resonates, what do we do with this information?

We can ridicule it - like the EU ridiculed Salvini.  Or...maybe we can do better than a bunch of out-of-touch EU bureaucrats.

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ezlxq1949
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We'll NEVER run out of fossil fuels!

Chris and PP ask:

Where do we want to be when fossil fuels run out and how do we want to get there?

The prevailing view among the Australian elites is that we will never run out of fossil fuels! Never! We have gigatonnes of coal just waiting to be dug up and used to save civilisation, this civilisation! The politicians are adamant! and admantine! and recalcitrant! Especially so are their advising economists and financiers!

BAU! BAU! BAU!

The public increasingly think otherwise.

Have you seen Charles Hugh Smith's latest blog posting: What If Politics Can't Fix What's Broken?

I think he's got a great point there. I do wonder at the noble but doomed aspirations and efforts of people like AOC and Bernie Sanders. IMO the system cannot be fixed; it can only fall over under the weight of its own self-contradictions. But then, won't the discussions we have about how to build a new and better system also amount to politics? Nice dilemma.

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Dave
Quote:

The point isn't that her proposal is realistic.  Nobody cares about realistic - not at this point.

The point is that the GND resonates with the electorate.  The Dems running for President have all done focus groups.  AOC's GND resonates.  That's the point.

At the most reductive level, the younger generation likes green, and they sure want a New Deal.  The existing deal sucks so badly - a New Deal just has to be better.

When I read this it sounded like an echo from 2016.  Of course, your tone is a bit patronizing, assuming the unwashed younger generation is desperate and profoundly ignorant of the realities of the world.  To me that sounds exactly like those who voted for Trump in 2016.  Some have said they were looking for disruption, someone who would upset the apple cart without any idea what that disruption would look like.  Of course, now we know.  Disruption looks like a train wreck with the conductor being the most pathetically ignorant, corrupt, misogynistic, autocrat wannabe imaginable.  IOW, his voters got what they wanted, and if the completely bought and paid for Republicans are any indication, he could well be reelected.

You want something scary to consider, that's it.

Quote:

So.  Since we know the GND resonates, what do we do with this information?

We can ridicule it - like the EU ridiculed Salvini.  Or...maybe we can do better than a bunch of out-of-touch EU bureaucrats.

Lets hope so.  Take what's positive from the GND and run with it.  We are running out of time and options.

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richcabot wrote: The
richcabot wrote:

The statement that people unwilling to work should receive an income speaks volumes.

Yeah, nah. The "unwilling to work" bit was put in by an AOC staffer and removed soon after. Not sure why Chris even mentioned it.

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adults are depressing,

No wonder we also have a mental health crisis among youth.  

Wait a minute, isn't the American spirit we pride ourselves on is the "can do" attitude? Land of possibility? 

I'm dismayed.  Chris Mortensen, money does not need to be backed by energy (fossil fuels). Human energy and ingenuity, are also worth trading for.  

Let's get creative, and stop being"right" about how hard it will be. 

 

https://medium.com/@calpba/sen-feinstein-this-is-how-to-pay-for-the-gree...

 

 

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All moot without a root transformation

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Because it's still in there...
GerryOz wrote:
richcabot wrote:

The statement that people unwilling to work should receive an income speaks volumes.

Yeah, nah. The "unwilling to work" bit was put in by an AOC staffer and removed soon after. Not sure why Chris even mentioned it.

Because it was still in the official released FAQ at the time I wrote the article.  I'm not sure what else I can do in these situations.

If you have a verified link that it's been removed, as well as evidence that it was actually put in by a staffer and not just a pair of assertions, bring it forward and I'd be happy to help correct the record.

That's our standard here; bring the data and we'll use it.

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"We scientists don't know..."
sirmalcolm wrote:

I know what Gus is saying here, but it's a bit of a cop out.

Other scientists know tons about how and why people change their belief systems.

If you've got critical information and people won't listen to the raw data, then you've got to try again in a different way.

It is always incumbent on the communicator to find the way to reach their audience.

I would encourage Gus to keep trying and trying new things and new ways....

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A Different Perspective Chris

“It is always incumbent on the communicator to find the way to reach their audience.”

Here is a different perspective.  For many years I tried to communicate with a sibling who was an alcoholic until a very wise person told me to stop trying and go to Alanon.  Lesson learned the only person I, we, any of us, can change is ourself.  Then a number of years later I tried to communicate with a person who was a narcissist.  An extremely smart person who was sure they were right and the world pretty much revolved around them, empathy and compassion were a completely foreign concept.  Communication became gaslighting, projection, and all manner of crazy making.  For more information on Narcissism I refer you to Dr. Ramani Durvasula.  She said that dealing with Narcissists is very much like dealing with Sociopaths or Psychopaths.  It’s not the responsibility of the communicator to try harder rather it’s smart to know one can’t change disfunctional people.  And I personally think the majority of people are, well let’s say have challenges.  With the exception of you, me and all the intelligent readers and members of PP of course.

I think Gus Speth hit the bullseye with his quote.  Without a spiritual transformation nothing will change.

AKGrannyWGrit

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most reductive

Doug-

When I read this it sounded like an echo from 2016.  Of course, your tone is a bit patronizing, assuming the unwashed younger generation is desperate and profoundly ignorant of the realities of the world.  To me that sounds exactly like those who voted for Trump in 2016.  Some have said they were looking for disruption, someone who would upset the apple cart without any idea what that disruption would look like.  Of course, now we know.  Disruption looks like a train wreck with the conductor being the most pathetically ignorant, corrupt, misogynistic, autocrat wannabe imaginable.  IOW, his voters got what they wanted, and if the completely bought and paid for Republicans are any indication, he could well be reelected.

I did mention I was being "reductive" which should have provided sufficient notice that I was consciously oversimplifying.  At least I didn't pull a Hillary by calling them "the Green Deplorables" or something stupid like that.  (Ah Hillary, the gift just that just keeps on giving).

I do stand by what I said.  In general, they're green, and the current deal really does suck.  Heck, I'm green in so many ways myself.  Part of it comes from peak oil awareness, and another from the selfish perspective of maintaining my own health.  And I too think the current deal sucks.  I could probably fit neatly into my own reductive description.  You saw it as patronizing, I saw it as simplifying, and applying to myself.

I think Trump's voters definitely got what they wanted: someone who will try to keep the flood of low-wage worker competition from entering the country (just like the old-style pro-union Democrats), who will try to bring manufacturing jobs back (like the old-style pro-union Democrats), and who will pull us out of some of those expensive foreign wars (well that's a new one), and who will actually talk with North Korea in spite of his advisors telling him its impossible.

I mean, all those things seem pretty reasonable to me.  I know you view the world through the lens of politically correct labeling and name-calling, which sums to argumentum ad hominem.  Your attitude and approach is much of what has driven me away from the Democrat party.  I still haven't changed my voter registration, but I'm so totally over the incessant name-calling and politically-correct filter over everything.  I'm really not sure what party I am anymore.  I'm just guessing I'm not the only one in this position.

Trump has lots of other things that aren't so good - doing nothing about getting us off fossil fuels is my biggest problem with him.  And here we have AOC coming in from left field who will, hopefully, help to move the needle in some positive way.

But if we don't get money out of politics, her only contribution will - most likely - be to provide cover for the existing crop of corrupt weasels - in BOTH PARTIES - to adopt MMT and use it to give their donors a big, inflationary payday.

 

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trolls are depressing

Well, not really.  They're just an indicator of topic importance.

I'm guessing this is Troll 1.0.  Note the missing articles, the mis-spelling of Chris's name, other errors, the effort to "sound American."  When was the last time you heard an actual American talk about the American Spirit?  Like, never?

No wonder we also have a mental health crisis among youth.  

Wait a minute, isn't the American spirit we pride ourselves on is the "can do" attitude? Land of possibility? 

I'm dismayed.  Chris Mortensen, money does not need to be backed by energy (fossil fuels). Human energy and ingenuity, are also worth trading for.  

Let's get creative, and stop being"right" about how hard it will be.

My guess: a non-native speaker employed by "someone" to pump the GND.  Russian, perhaps?  Chinese?  "Maybe America will blow itself up by going off on this wild goose chase...let's encourage them to do it..."

I actually don't mind Troll 1.0.  It's Troll 2.0 that gives me some concern.  And its coming.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/ai-text-generator-fake-news-articles-misuse-dangerous-open-source-a8780686.html

OpenAI, a nonprofit artificial intelligence research group, said their GPT-2 software is so good they are worried it could be misused.

The software generates coherent text, and can be prompted to write on certain subjects or in a certain style by feeding it paragraphs of source material.

The algorithm was trained on eight million web pages and the results are far better than any previous attempt at computer text-generation, where odd syntax changes and rambling nonsense have been difficult to iron out.

The success of the software has seen it dubbed “deepfakes for text”, and among the core concerns are that it could be used to generate unstoppable quantities of fabricated news or impersonate people online.

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[email protected]

The content of your character speaks for itself.Econ teacher,feminist,environmental activist,shaping young minds,walking the talk.A life well lived.Respect.....

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MMT

Hey Chris

Have you tried to get one of the advocates of MMT to do one of your interviews/podcasts?

I’m very curious about the idea and would like to see it tested in such a discussion. I think the main criticism you have raised in a couple of places - that MMT doesn’t think about resources and real wealth - is misplaced. The material I have seen recognises these things and doesn’t confuse them with money. 

Cheers

Matt

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material you have seen

Matt-

It would be just awesome for you to include links to "the material you have seen" in your post, so we can all take a look at it.  We like to read things for ourselves.  Do you have any evidence to provide for us?

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MMT and resources

Hi Dave

i don’t have lots of references to hand. I have googled for materials and and read and watched videos by Warren Mosler, Bill Mitchell and L Randall Wray. 

The concept of resources comes up most often when addressing the challenge that is often made around inflation. Resources are not dealt with in the same way as at Peak Prosperity, but then again, that’s almost universal. 

Here’ a quote from Bill Mitchell:  

“spending on capital works could easily be realised without a cent of debt being issued. Not a cent is required to allow a sovereign government to spend whatever it likes subject to goods and services being available for sale”

from http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=5762

cheers

Matt

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Effects of an MMT system

Thanks for the link.  It was very helpful.  Here are the 3 key principles I extracted from your source:

1. The government shall maintain a reasonable level of demand at all times. If there is too little spending and, thus, excessive unemployment, the government shall reduce taxes or increase its own spending. If there is too much spending, the government shall prevent inflation by reducing its own expenditures or by increasing taxes.

2. By borrowing money when it wishes to raise the rate of interest, and by lending money or repaying debt when it wishes to lower the rate of interest, the government shall maintain that rate of interest that induces the optimum amount of investment.

3. If either of the first two rules conflicts with the principles of ‘sound finance’, balancing the budget, or limiting the national debt, so much the worse for these principles. The government press shall print any money that may be needed to carry out rules 1 and 2.

Here are my observations:

1) Like most economic theorists, Lerner doesn't appear to acknowledge corruption as a dominant force in human affairs.  (I believe corruption derives entirely from human evolutionary biology - being corrupt provides a reproductive advantage - so it will always be a constant in society).  He assumes that government will make decisions aligned with the public interest.  This flies in the face of millenia of experience to the contrary.  More power to government = more corruption.  [Note: the same thing happens with "big business" in control]

2) He also assumes that 12 people in a room can sort out what the "optimal" settings for the economy are.  This, too, has been shown to be problematic in the real world.  They just don't have enough information, nor are they wise enough.

3) Innovation happens at the fringes, not at the center.  Smaller companies drive productivity - large companies (and government) do not.  Centralizing decision making as to where investment should go will have the effect of increasing economic stagnation.  Even if we assume low corruption and good will in government (a first in human affairs), they will simply produce the same-old same-old every time, because that's what large bureaucracies do - both corporate, and governmental.

4) MMT attempts to eliminate the business cycle.  That's what "maintaining a reasonable level of demand at all times" means.  What happens when you eliminate the business cycle?  Bad ideas never go away.  Bad companies never die.  Bad investment decisions are never punished.  It is recessions that clear away all the dead wood.  Day and night, life and death, boom and bust, summer and winter - cycles are a natural phenomenon.  There's a reason nature evolved cycles; cycles provide a force for evolution, improvement.  Can you imagine if people never died?  "Science advances one funeral at a time."  Eliminating the business cycle is just a bad idea, tantamount to saying "we should only have daytime", "we should only have summer", "we should never have forest fires", "everyone should live forever", etc.

5) Handing government absolute power (and that's what MMT is - absolute power to decide how many resources the government has vs all the other actors) will result in them using this power to maintain their own status and position.  Again, that's straight out of human evolutionary biology.  Being at the top of the heap is a reproductive advantage, and seizing such an advantage, retaining it, and increasing it, is just built into our biology.  Assuming this won't happen flies in the face of both history and common sense.

Those are the issues I see with MMT.  It will work, in the same way that Communism worked, but the unintended consequences are probably unfortunate.

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Good to have you on retainer. Dave.

I am so glad Peak Prosperity has you on retainer.

Your points seem quite valid concerns.

For point #2, twelve people, I'm going to posit that the solution is probably an NP hard problem even with limited inputs, and in fact the number of inputs is actually close to unlimited. As such, the solution method that is usually found is a relaxation algorithm: each person finds their own solution.

Relaxation algorithms are useful in finding heat transfer solutions: you evaluate a random node in terms of its neighbors and adjust it some percentage (maybe ten to twenty percent) towards its optimum correct answer.

Then you pick another random node and repeat.

In terms of human behaviors, that is how we often behave: we maintain the status quo until we can't -- and sometimes even past that, then we under-adjust.

So this is how I see an uncontrolled economy approaches IT'S best attempt at a perfect answer... which answer isn't going to be perfect, but will be pretty good.

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Dave

Good take down of MMT.  I'm not sophisticated enough to fully evaluate, but your analysis seems more consistent with economics as I understand it than the notion that debt doesn't matter.  Without the discipline required to address debt, we lose control of the mechanisms of the economy.  Of course, we aren't doing such a hot job of controlling them lately.

Re: our earlier exchange:

Quote:

I did mention I was being "reductive" which should have provided sufficient notice that I was consciously oversimplifying.  At least I didn't pull a Hillary by calling them "the Green Deplorables" or something stupid like that.  (Ah Hillary, the gift just that just keeps on giving).

I'll give you your oversimplification, but is it really necessary to reflexively exercise your Hillary hatred?  She's no longer running for anything and its getting old.

Quote:

I think Trump's voters definitely got what they wanted: someone who will try to keep the flood of low-wage worker competition from entering the country

Sectors of our economy, especially agriculture and construction, have been dependent on those low wage workers for at least the entire extent of my life so far (over 70 years).  The argument is that Americans won't do that work.  I've long suspected Americans won't do the work for the pay the laborers get, and my suspicion is they won't do much of it for considerably higher pay.  IOW our economy depends on them.


Quote:

I know you view the world through the lens of politically correct labeling and name-calling, which sums to argumentum ad hominem.

That term gets thrown around a lot, but frequently without knowing its actual meaning:

Quote:

ad ho·mi·nem

/ˌad ˈhämənəm/
adjective
 
  1. 1.
    (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.
     
     

I was criticizing Trump because of his positions and his regular behavior.  I forgot to mention his compulsive lying, now at something over 9,000 since being elected.  Its got nothing to do with political correctness.  Its accurate description.

Quote:

Trump has lots of other things that aren't so good - doing nothing about getting us off fossil fuels is my biggest problem with him.  And here we have AOC coming in from left field who will, hopefully, help to move the needle in some positive way.

But if we don't get money out of politics, her only contribution will - most likely - be to provide cover for the existing crop of corrupt weasels - in BOTH PARTIES - to adopt MMT and use it to give their donors a big, inflationary payday.

Totally agree.

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"What are you prepared to do?"

Behind the paywall on this subject, travissidelinger wrote:

A simple energy solution would be to add a 10 cent tax on every barrel of oil every month from now to infinity.  Thus, in 1 year a barrel of oil would be 1.20$ more.  In 10 years is would be 12$ more.  The tax would be gradual, but the writing would be on the wall.  We'd need to do something simliar for natural gas and coal.  The revenue collected should be used to subsidize rail and public transpuration projects.

You do realize this is exactly what caused the tipping point in France that ignited the common folk to revolt in the Yellow Vests movement, right?  The latest incremental increase in the French fuel tax (imposed in order to save the world from climate change) was the seemingly small straw that broke the French camel’s back.  You and many here have suggested incrementally increasing taxes on carbon, energy and other things as a way to gradually bend the behavior of individuals, corporations and therefore the whole economy to discourage certain behaviors and resource consumption while simultaneously using the revenue raised to to build out our “green” new future.  Others like AOC have been in favor of much more drastic and immediate action, comparing the forced changes they require as similar to a national mobilization like was done for WWII.

 
So far, no one has been willing to acknowledge or discuss the elephant in the room: what should the government do when those “known unknown” tipping points are reached in our near future under the GND when the people revolt?  How much force and violence do each of us believe would be morally justified to enforce the GND? Restrictions on personal liberty and personal economic freedom under a social credit system like the Chinese have set up and are rapidly expanding?  Prison sentences?  Fines?  How should government respond to labor strikes, peaceful street protests, and violent street protests?  Wear riot gear and arrive in armored vehicles?  Water cannon, tear gas, baton strikes, rubber bullets, bean bag rounds?  What will the rules of engagement be for the police and military?  When will live ammunition be approved for use?  Would you approve the use of drone strikes on key climate deniers and journalists?  When would war be justified to save the human race and the planet?  I’ll be retired from the police department in about 8 weeks, so I’m asking for my colleagues who I’m leaving behind and who will be tasked with suppressing the dissent related to the GND.
 
Those pushing the GND have said the fate of our nation, of the whole human race, and of most of the life on the planet hang in the balance depending on what we do to solve “climate change.”  They have used references to WWII and disregarded all warnings about the cost of the GND.  They are describing mortal danger unprecedented in human history.  Everything is on the table.  In that atmosphere, I have to wonder how much force and violence they are willing to use to save the human race and to save the planet.  Would it be morally justified in the eyes of the Green New Dealers to kill a million climate change deniers and to put 50 million in “re-education camps"?  What’s a million people dead in comparison to billions who will die if we don’t save the planet?  Would they be morally justified in killing or indirectly causing the death of one billion people?  They would if they believed that was necessary to save six billion people and most of the plant and animal life on the planet.
 
I think we have to reevaluate our views of the Yellow Vest movement and President Macron of France.  Heretofore, many have seen President Macron as a bold pioneer leading the struggle against climate change disaster.  He has led his country to take some of the most “progressive” steps anywhere in the world to reverse climate change.  His incremental fuel taxes were just part of an overall strategy.  The Yellow Vest people have rebelled against saving the planet from climate change.  They are standing in the way of saving 7 billion people’s lives and countless plant and animal life on land and in the sea.  And if they aren’t stopped millions more will revolt in the future.  Should President Macron let 50,000 protesters stand in the way of saving the planet?  When you put the situation in that light, President Macron goes from looking like a heavy-handed goon to an effete sissy!  These early climate change denial rebels must be dealt with severely to insure the success of the effort to save the planet.  Imprisoning 5,000 and killing about 500 ought to cause the rest to back down, in my estimation.
 
I think it would be interesting to see how the PeakProsperity community responds to these questions:  1) Do you think the threat to human life and all life on earth from climate change would justify killing fifty million people to accomplish government’s climate change goals over the next 10 years?   2)  Would you PERSONALLY be willing to kill or imprison other people who stand in the way of government’s climate change goals?
 
 
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Is it really AOC's plan?

Apparently, she has a puppetmaster. This will help put things into perspective, but still not solve our predicament.

 

SS

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Hi Dave,I think you may have

Hi Dave,

I think you may have put more weight on my source than I intended to give it. When I linked to and quoted from the Bill Mitchell blog post, it was just to show (from a fairly cursory search) that MMT'ers like Bill Mitchell do not equate money with wealth and, furthermore, that they identify the level of resources available to a society as a key part of the equation.

I don't know that the 3 principles you have quoted (from Lerner?) effectively sum up the MMT position - that's why I would value Chris and Peak Prosperity providing a platform for a sensible discussion of MMT as both a theory or description of reality, and a prescription for policy (which may be SOME part of the GND).

On your point 4, why is the business cycle necessary to the reduction of 'bad ideas'? Could market mechanisms operate without creating a cycle? I haven't seen anything where MMT advocates propping up failing enterprises and 'bad ideas'. Similarly on 3) I don't recall seeing MMT advocating the emphasis on large enterprises versus small companies and the periphery. I think the idea is that, by maintaining demand in the economy, small companies and enterprise will be encouraged and can thrive.

What I have found most convincing in the MMT materials I have been exposed to is the clear demonstration that few economists - and no politicians - understand how money works in modern economies. The immediate impact of this in my locality (the UK) has been a decade of austerity (the same austerity that feeds Brexit and the yellow vests) based on the ideas that 'we have run out of money' and that austerity will fix in. Of course, we have had austerity, and continued running deficits every year, so have even 'less money' than before - a fact that is conveniently ignored.

Cheers,

Matt

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totally agree!

But if we don't get money out of politics, her only contribution will - most likely - be to provide cover for the existing crop of corrupt weasels - in BOTH PARTIES - to adopt MMT and use it to give their donors a big, inflationary payday.

Totally agree.

I am sorely tempted to leave things just like this and celebrate our mutual agreement.

But I won't.  :)

I'll give you your oversimplification, but is it really necessary to reflexively exercise your Hillary hatred?  She's no longer running for anything and its getting old.

and then

ad ho·mi·nem

That term gets thrown around a lot, but frequently without knowing its actual meaning:

I was criticizing Trump because of his positions and his regular behavior.  I forgot to mention his compulsive lying, now at something over 9,000 since being elected.  Its got nothing to do with political correctness.  Its accurate description.

It amuses me that you a) assume I don't know the definition, and b) appear incapable of looking in the mirror.  You call what I do "Hillary Hatred" - but all I did is provide an "accurate description" of what she did.  Her use of the phrase "the Deplorables" almost certainly cost her the election - which, if I were an HRC supporter, I would definitely call a colossal blunder.  Or, summarized more colloquially, it was just stupid.  Upon reflection, I remain comfortable with "stupid."  So when I say "stupid", that's just factual, not any sort of hatred.  It was factually stupid of her to reveal her sociopathic inner nature.  Now she's a forever-wannabee instead of President Hillary as a direct result of that comment.  If that wasn't stupid - you tell me what it was.

The relevance to our discussion?  I could have followed in HRC's footsteps by being "patronizing" of the GND supporters and calling them "Green Deplorables", as you imagined that I did, but I actually empathize with them too much.  Being (what I consider) green, and given that I believe that a new sort of deal is something our society desperately needs, and not being sociopathic, I could not do that.  Unlike Hillary, who apparently had no sympathy at all for those left behind in the flurry of globalization and wage debasement.

I remain a registered Democrat.  I like some of Trump, and some of AOC, some of Bernie, and some of Warren.  I'm not sure what that makes me.  The pendulum has swung way, way too far to the rapacious crony-capital-corporate interest.  It needs to be dragged back, as only the pro-union trust-busting Democrats of old would have understood.

I mean, unions aren't my favorite vehicle, but things are so unbalanced these days...we really need a countervailing force.  And there just isn't one.

I mean, Trump is the only person fighting for the low-wage worker.  Dems sure as hell aren't.  "Unlimited immigration" - all in the name of political correctness and new Dem voters.  The 1970s Dems who were staunchly against illegal immigration are rolling over in their graves at this point.  And of course nobody expects Republicans to support working people.  They certainly never have before.

So who is left to look out for the lower-to-middle class worker?  Not Republicans, and not Democrats.  Only the much-attacked President Trump.  Of all people.  Who would have guessed?

I just wonder who is behind all those attacks.  Cui bono?

cui bo·​no

1 : a principle that probable responsibility for an act or event lies with one having something to gain

 

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Channeling Ayn Rand

While I found the whole auditioning thing interesting, I couldn't help but think of Ayn Rand during this presentation. Don't get me wrong. I -- like Ken Wilber -- think that Ayn Rand was a key force in the Orange (see Spiral Dynamics) stage of development.

It is interesting to note that many think that Reagan wasn't running the show either. There are those who think that Nancy Reagan was the brains in the family.

I'll leave it with this... The producer/performer -- yes, it's a performance -- of this video recently shared the following post on his facebook page: "hello vegans, if PIGS are so SMART why do 66% of them build houses with INEFFECTIVE, STUPID materials" [emphasis in original post]. Obviously, the performer and the original poster have never heard that a straw bale house is one of most efficient homes that one can build.

As a small government guy, I am unable to get excited by AOC. However, Mr. Reagan is not my cup of tea either.

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For me, I think I'm a Carville anti-democrat

No joke, when Carville attacked Paula Jones with

"If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find"

I decided then and there that I would rather be trailer park trash than vote Democrat.

What do you know, I'm a bridge engineer who lives in a trailer park. And I still haven't gotten a desire to vote Democrat. And I don't like Trump; so I wouldn't vote him; and Hillary has seemed so corrupt that she never attracted my vote.

But for me, I'm a Carville anti-Dem.

THAT was a stupid statement.

But yes, Hillary had her moment in the sunburn.

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davefairtex
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Posts: 5866
wisdom of the group

If the market is comprised of lots of small actors, then it will have in aggregate a lot more information than 12 people in a room, and if each smallactor is acting in their own self interest, then they will effectively provide a relatively politically-neutral opinion on what the prices should be.

12 people in a room, however, will come up with an essentially political decision, depending entirely on the motives of the group and who their benefactors happen to be.  Small groups in positions of power always have benefactors, or favored policies, or favored outcomes.  I mean, we all do, but the smaller the group, and the more critical their decisions, the more effort that "big money" will spend to influence the critical group.

Here's the thing.  Its quite difficult for big money to bribe everyone to think a certain way.  Its much, much easier for big money to bribe 12 people to think a certain way.

This really argues for small government - and small business.  The second part of this sentence is what the libertarians miss, because they just focus on government.  Large government + small business = state-dominated capitalism/Bernie Democratic Socialism.  Small government + large business = Trust Capitalism, as we saw back in the 1900s.  Large government + large business = Crony Capitalism, which is what we have today.

It is only small government + small business that ends up with a relatively happy outcome.  Small government doesn't have the power and reach to regulate everything, and small business doesn't have the concentration of money and focus necessary to take over government.

If you get 3 CEOs in a room, they can come to an agreement and collude and "buy" some part of government using their combined resources.  If it needs 20 of them - it won't happen, and even if it does, it won't last very long, because it just takes one of them to break ranks and blow things up.

 

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GND Astonishes- Vast $$$ "New Banks", Fed Reserve, smart grid

We actually READ the GreenNewDeal. It's NOT a draft bill -- it's 11 pages of a Google doc with shocking surprises. It assigns a vast "wartime footing" level amount of taxpayer money to private entities -- VCs, the private Federal Reserve, "new banks" and any "financial instrument" the 15 members of the committee decide 'appropriate." It creates a national SMART GRID -- which is terrible for human health and great for telecoms and surveillance. It gives the 15 committee members the right to not hold any public hearings about the "green new deal," if they so choose. It creates loopholes that leave them free to not have normal term limits. It hands vast sums to air and ocean carbon capture, which is an experimental geoengineering tech for which silicon valley investors own IP. It states that the "green new deal" will be released on a website and a publication -- not on govtrack, where public transparency is assured (and where we at DailyClout get our API). It transfers "unlimited" resources at the will of the 15 and their chosen partners in business, industry etc to groups defined by race, gender and rural-ness, thus violating the equal protections in our Constitution. It's a shocking document.

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cmartenson wrote: If you
cmartenson wrote:

If you have a verified link that it's been removed, as well as evidence that it was actually put in by a staffer and not just a pair of assertions, bring it forward and I'd be happy to help correct the record

 

Chris try this :

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accidentally released a document that supported paying Americans 'unwilling to work,' and conservatives attacked her for it

 

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davefairtex
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business cycles

Matt-

Things I've read elsewhere - just bits and pieces rather than the overarching theory I saw in your source - all tie in to the general concept of the government acting, not as one actor of many in a larger economy, but as the decisive actor who concludes on its own how much of society's resources to apportion to the goals it has set, using the channel of printed money to effect the decisions it arrives at.

Government wakes up one day, and says, "I think we need 50% of the nation's resources for this goal."  They print sufficient money to acquire that 50%, and Bob is their Uncle.  With this mechanism, there is no limitation at all on the government's ability to act.

Certainlly the government could decide to use self-restraint.  To me, that's like suggesting a dog would refrain from eating the steak that accidentally falls from the kitchen counter to the floor.  It runs clean against the lessons of history, and common sense.  My observation: governments spend as much as possible in service to whomever supports said government, at least historically anyway, because giving goodies to their power base gets them re-elected.  There are exceptions - in nations like Germany who have learned some tough lessons in the past - but they are the exception rather than the rule.

As for "why we need recessions" to clean out the underbrush of ponzi schemes and bad ideas - that's "Creative Destruction" - explained by Schumpeter, who in turn got the original concept from Marx.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_destruction

I think the concept is valid strictly from my own observation.  The 2000 bubble and subsequent crash managed to retain most of the "good ideas with lasting value", and stamped out a bunch of really bad ideas that got funded, and then blew up.

You need the boom to get crazy things funded.  You need the bust to help sort out which ones aren't going to work out, which ends up being most of them.  But coming out of that process, you get new, lasting innovations.  If you think Cisco, google, and facebook are good.  Our modern internet came out of the 2000 bubble.  Most ideas failed, but the ones that survived ended up changing the world.

The bust has a critical role too.  Talented employees are forced to stop working on the stupid ideas which have died, and they are then "reallocated" to the places that survive - presumably the better ideas that have long-term value.

I've seen this process in Silicon Valley a number of times.  It even happened to me!  I got reallocated, twice!

Anyhow, creative destruction is both real, and a good thing, in my opinion.  For whatever reason, people don't stop working on stupid ideas until they are forced to do so by economic reality.

As for why MMT props up bad ideas - the one line said it all.  Lerner said that the government would act at all times to maintain demand at a reasonable level.  That's code for, "the government will print money every time it looks as though the economy is going into recession."  Recessions happen because demand falls.  That's what a recession is.  Demand drops, production drops in response, people are laid off, which causes demand to drop further, and things spiral down.  If the government acts as "the demand source of last resort", that's code for making sure there are no recessions.

And indeed, that's what the Fed did from 2009-2015.  It did exactly what Lerner suggested.  And I suspect that every government that had the power to avoid recessions via money printing would use it.  A recession virtually guarantees electoral defeat for whomever is in power at the time of the recession.  They might pretend avoiding recession is about avoiding pain for people, but its really about just staying in power.

We see China doing this right now.

Last point.  Why does avoiding recession help big companies?  Big (and bad) companies don't generally die during good times.  They die mostly during bad times.

Most of the bad parts of MMT aren't spelled out in the goals - the goals of MMT are fine.  The bad parts are the unintended consequences of the use of MMT in practice as it would most likely be used by every government I've ever witnessed in action.

There needs to be a check on government's ability to allocate society's resources to its goals.  Otherwise, they just allocate all of it - to benefit their base, or their donors, etc, all in the name of maintaining power.

That's not spelled out in MMT, of course, and its definitely not the goal of the MMT proponents, who are probably all fine people with wonderful goals, but it is the reality that would emerge from handing government the ability to freely allocate society's resources without any effective check.

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Snydeman
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Yes, but how?
davefairtex wrote:

It is only small government + small business that ends up with a relatively happy outcome.  Small government doesn't have the power and reach to regulate everything, and small business doesn't have the concentration of money and focus necessary to take over government.

Yes, but how can society ensure that the small businesses stay small? Over time as competition dwindles and money/power concentrate in the hands of fewer and fewer businesses, could a small government deal with the inevitable problems caused by it? My sense of the history of capitalism is that the earliest stages work best, whereas inevitably the creation of mega-corporations (ala the Barons) happens in later stages...which breaks the whole system again.

 

 

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Snydeman
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Alignment
davefairtex wrote:

I remain a registered Democrat.  I like some of Trump, and some of AOC, some of Bernie, and some of Warren.  I'm not sure what that makes me.  The pendulum has swung way, way too far to the rapacious crony-capital-corporate interest.  It needs to be dragged back, as only the pro-union trust-busting Democrats of old would have understood.

Aside from me being a registered Green, if for no other reason than to not be a part of the two-party oligopoly, you and I seem very alike. I read this description and almost stood up and did a "praise Jesus" kinda thing. But, I was in the middle of proctoring an exam and that would probably have been weird for the students...

 

davefairtex wrote:

I mean, unions aren't my favorite vehicle, but things are so unbalanced these days...we really need a countervailing force.  And there just isn't one.

I was the union rep at my first school (a public system), and I was even on track for maybe becoming the president of it (the current union president said she would have liked to see me do it), but I frequently butted heads with many of the leadership because I felt like they had forgotten the true purpose of unions is to counterbalance the power and abuses of the administration and get reasonable wages and working conditions for the labor class...not push to take advantage and fleece the taxpayer and school system just because we could. The key problem was I was arguing for "reasonable" at a time when neither the union nor the school system seemed open to reasonable conversations.

 

Unions aren't bad, but like every human creation they can be corrputed and become too powerful for their own good. Just like businesses and administrators and...

 

davefairtex wrote:

I mean, Trump is the only person fighting for the low-wage worker.  Dems sure as hell aren't.  "Unlimited immigration" - all in the name of political correctness and new Dem voters.  The 1970s Dems who were staunchly against illegal immigration are rolling over in their graves at this point.  And of course nobody expects Republicans to support working people.  They certainly never have before.

So who is left to look out for the lower-to-middle class worker?  Not Republicans, and not Democrats.  Only the much-attacked President Trump.  Of all people.  Who would have guessed?

Yeah, so I agree with you that no one is looking out for the low-wage worker, but I'm real curious what you think Trump has done to help them out? Jaw-bone about it, yes. Do anything about it? I'm not so sure.

 

-S

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cmartenson
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Posts: 6111
Not quite...
GerryOz wrote:
cmartenson wrote:

If you have a verified link that it's been removed, as well as evidence that it was actually put in by a staffer and not just a pair of assertions, bring it forward and I'd be happy to help correct the record

Chris try this :

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accidentally released a document that supported paying Americans 'unwilling to work,' and conservatives attacked her for it

I believe that words have to mean something in order to be useful.  Recently we saw the NYTimes try to re-characterize the actions of anti-Maduro protesters repeatedly targeting an aid truck as them "accidentally" lighting the truck on fire (not the Maduro troops as widely and wrongly reported and repeteated by the US Secretary of State among others).

An accident...let's review the definition:

"an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury."

I would propose that the anti-Maduro protestors did not "unexpectedly and unintentionally," fill bottles with gasoline and then unexpectedly and unintentionally light their fuses and then unexpectedly and unintentionally throw them at the aid truck.

So not an accident then.  Negligent?  Absolutely.  A mistake?  Maybe.  Intentional?  I would say "yes" because I would pretty much assume that anything I was throwing Molotov cocktails at would be caught on fire and I wouldn't try and pretend I had no idea that such an "accident" could occur.

Now onto your clickbaity headline:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accidentally released a document that supported paying Americans 'unwilling to work,' and conservatives attacked her for it

Reading down into the article we find this:

"'Green New Deal' suggests welfare for those 'unwilling to work.' Is that a mistake?" The Daily Caller's headline read. Later on Thursday, the talking points were deleted off of Ocasio-Cortez's site.

Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff, called the document "bad copy," suggesting it was mistakenly put out by his office.

In politics you either release something intentionally or you accidentally lean on the "send" key.  There's no in between.

In this case, the copy was prepared, presumably reviewed, and then intentionally posted to their website where I picked it up.  Later, after it received some flak it was quietly deleted, but not retracted (there's a difference).

Calling it "bad copy" and a "mistake" is not the same thing as calling it an accident...accidents happen, and they are unavoidable, and calling it such removes responsibility from the parties involved.

These talking points weren't an accident.  They were intentionally produced and released.  Were they a mistake?  I would say "yes" and I think it would behoove the AOC team to amend and re-release the FAQ talking points with an explanation for the differences.

Who do they think should be participants in their proposed make-work programs?  What criteria would apply?  What should our societal response be to people who don't want to or are unwilling to work?  What's the current thinking of the GND crowd on this subject?

Making laws seems like hard, laborious work to me, and I'm glad I'm not  in the business...I think it would be life-draining for me.  But for those in the biz, the details matter.  

At any rate, I just wanted to defend the meaning of words and their correct use.  I'll be happy to amend the AOC copy if/when new FAQ copy or clarifications are released.  In the meantime I'll make note of the deletion.

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