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    Green New Deal

    Deconstructing The Green New Deal

    Despite serious flaws, it sparks a needed conversation
    by cmartenson

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 7:28 AM

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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101 Comments

  • Fri, Mar 08, 2019 - 6:43pm

    #1
    Rodster

    Rodster

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 22 2016

    Posts: 14

    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.

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  • Fri, Mar 08, 2019 - 7:44pm

    Reply to #1
    GerryOz

    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.”

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  • Fri, Mar 08, 2019 - 7:58pm

    #2

    Mark_BC

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2010

    Posts: 275

    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.

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  • Fri, Mar 08, 2019 - 8:10pm

    Reply to #2
    GerryOz

    GerryOz

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    Posts: 0

    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.

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  • Fri, Mar 08, 2019 - 8:27pm

    #3

    dcm

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 14 2009

    Posts: 104

    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.           

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  • Fri, Mar 08, 2019 - 9:06pm

    #4
    macro2682

    macro2682

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2009

    Posts: 313

    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. 

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 5:22am

    Reply to #2

    Rector

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 07 2010

    Posts: 315

    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

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 6:23am

    #5
    brushhog

    brushhog

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    Posts: 39

    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.

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 7:04am

    Reply to #1
    Rodster

    Rodster

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    Posts: 14

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 7:10am

    #6

    LesPhelps

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 456

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 7:45am

    #7

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    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.
     

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 8:59am

    #8

    jturbo68

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 04 2009

    Posts: 85

    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.
     
     
     
     

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 9:04am

    Reply to #7

    jturbo68

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 04 2009

    Posts: 85

    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.

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 9:14am

    #9

    shastatodd

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 46

    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.

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 9:43am

    #10
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 316

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 9:51am

    #11
    mjtrac

    mjtrac

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    Joined: Jan 17 2014

    Posts: 2

    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.

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 9:52am

    #12
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 03 2014

    Posts: 508

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 11:08am

    #13
    richcabot

    richcabot

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 05 2011

    Posts: 180

    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.

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 12:26pm

    #14
    Yoxa

    Yoxa

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 20 2011

    Posts: 286

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 12:48pm

    #15

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 1:04pm

    #16
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    Posts: 175

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 1:15pm

    #17
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

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    Posts: 1353

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 3:44pm

    #18
    GerryOz

    GerryOz

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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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 3:47pm

    #19

    amalisa@orchardviewschool.org

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    Posts: 1

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 4:02pm

    Reply to #18

    cmartenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4468

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 4:02pm

    #20
    sirmalcolm

    sirmalcolm

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    All moot without a root transformation

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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 6:17pm

    Reply to #20

    cmartenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 4468

    "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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 8:12pm

    #21

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 424

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 9:42pm

    Reply to #17

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 3082

    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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  • Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - 10:35pm

    Reply to #19

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    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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  • Sun, Mar 10, 2019 - 4:53am

    Reply to #19
    Edwardelinski

    Edwardelinski

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    Posts: 316

    amalisa@orchard

    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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  • Sun, Mar 10, 2019 - 10:29am

    #22
    albacore

    albacore

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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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  • Sun, Mar 10, 2019 - 10:46am

    Reply to #22

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    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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  • Sun, Mar 10, 2019 - 3:00pm

    Reply to #22
    albacore

    albacore

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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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  • Sun, Mar 10, 2019 - 9:09pm

    Reply to #22

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 3082

    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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  • Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - 4:52am

    Reply to #22

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 825

    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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  • Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - 6:03am

    #23
    Doug

    Doug

    Status Platinum Member (Online)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1353

    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.
    (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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  • Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - 6:25am

    #24

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    "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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  • Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - 7:49am

    #25

    SingleSpeak

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 30 2008

    Posts: 162

    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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  • Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - 1:09pm

    #26
    albacore

    albacore

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    Joined: Jul 20 2014

    Posts: 0

    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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  • Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - 1:44pm

    #27

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    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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  • Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - 4:48pm

    #28

    Matt Holbert

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    Posts: 66

    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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  • Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - 6:55pm

    Reply to #27

    Michael_Rudmin

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 825

    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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  • Mon, Mar 11, 2019 - 10:20pm

    #29

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    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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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 4:19am

    #30
    PeteBKK

    PeteBKK

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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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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 5:15am

    Reply to #18
    GerryOz

    GerryOz

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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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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 5:25am

    Reply to #26

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 3082

    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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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 6:19am

    Reply to #29

    Snydeman

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    Posts: 477

    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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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 6:41am

    Reply to #27

    Snydeman

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 477

    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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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 7:16am

    Reply to #18

    cmartenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4468

    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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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 8:13am

    #31

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    trump & the low-wage worker

    Trump isn’t very imaginitive.  He is basically taking the playbook of the 1970s Democrat Party.
    Here are the two primary tactics that come to mind:
    1) strong stance on illegal immigration – keep the third world low wage workers from inundating our US low-wage worker population.  This will help keep wages higher.  Sure, the 1% will have to pay more for their nannies, gardeners and cooks, but – sucks to be them.  [Trump calls it “crime and drugs”, but its all about not pressuring the wages of the lower-middle class.  The corporates scream through their proxies at CNN et al and call him RACIST!! but really they’re pissed because their labor costs will go up.  And that’s their real beef.  But of course they can’t say that, because that would look bad.]
    2) bringing back/keeping manufacturing jobs in country – NAFTA, China trade, etc.  The corporates and elites absolutely hate this policy of his too.  Ever heard the Chamber of Commerce attack a Republican President before?  That’s when you know who his policy will benefit.  Yes, it means higher consumer prices for the top 10%, but it means better wages for the bottom 50%.
    He won’t get richer with either one of these goals.  His hotels hire lower wage workers.  Why on earth would he be against illegals if he was just feathering his own nest?  Illegals help lower costs for his business.
    Sure, he’s a used car salesman too.  He likes to engage in “puffery” – others call it lying, but, in this startup I did, the head guy was just like Trump, so I guess I’m used to seeing a little exaggeration as a part of the sales technique.  I actually find it amusing because of my experience, but I know it really pisses other people off.  At that startup I actually realized how necessary sales was, and how utterly incapable I am of doing it.  🙂

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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 10:07am

    #32
    treebeard

    treebeard

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    Joined: Apr 18 2010

    Posts: 551

    In times like these....

    …you certainly need a sense of humor.  Like Gimli (Return of the King) said before the last battle at the black gate, “certainty of death, small chance of sucess, what are we waiting for?”.
    Of course we don’t have Frodo about to toss the Ring into mount doom, which will suddenly make evil run away in disarry.  Our best hope is that Mother nature beats some sense into us before she finishes us off, gives a bit of time to straighten out hopefully.  Anything short of that, and we will continue to do what we are doing now, ego centric, fear based insanity.  Death camps set up by environmentalist for climate deniers, hard to top that one.
    Frodo, what did you really do with that ring?

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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 11:53am

    #33

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    ensuring business stays small

    The anti-trust legislation was put in place to do exactly that.  And for decades, the Democrats were the watchdogs on guard against business getting “too big”.  Also, Glass-Stegall, which we all know about, was another form of anti-trust legislation.
    But once the Dems went full bankster under Clinton, nobody cared about anti-trust laws anymore.  The Democrats were just too busy filling their pockets with Corporate Cash.  (I guess they saw what the Republicans were doing and got jealous).
    Right.  So we write and enforce anti-trust legislation that says a company cannot have more than 20% of the revenues in a given market segment, in the same way that no one bank could have more than 5% of US total deposits.
    So Google gets broken up.  Facebook gets broken up.  Twitter: broken up.  All the banks get their mergers unwound.  Airlines: broken up.  Defense industry: broken up.  Pharma: broken up.  Sickcare insurance: broken up.  Agro pesticides: broken up.  Microsoft, Intel: broken up.
    Either that, or they get turned into utilities.
    Google: the search utility.  Hmm.  That has promise.
     

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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 4:03pm

    #34
    GerryOz

    GerryOz

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    cmartenson wrote: Who do they

    cmartenson wrote:

    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?

    I’m 60 so I cannot say what young people are thinking, and many support the GND. But I see the “unwilling to work” slip as an ambit claim, a form of BASIC INCOME.
    That’s not much different to what we have now, with the ‘won’t works’ mostly receiving one form of government benefit or another. It merely formalises it and removes the stigma.
    I’m sure the details will be thrashed out in the future, but with the increasing automation of work by robots, as well as the likely contraction of jobs when global warming (and the measures to counteract it) start shrinking economies, it may be very necessary to hand out a stipend to all citizens.

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  • Tue, Mar 12, 2019 - 9:49pm

    Reply to #24

    Mark_BC

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 30 2010

    Posts: 275

    thc0655 wrote: You do

    thc0655 wrote:

    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?
     

    The yellow vests would go away and become peaceful if “we” eliminated income tax and most sales taxes (“we” is said tongue in cheek because “we” don’t have much of any say in the matter so this is largely a theoretical thought exercise). Replace with a wealth tax that targets the elites; plus carbon taxes and a few other excise taxes that attempt to internalise environmental externalities into the maket price. The result would be that government revenues would increase and be able to fund more environmental programs. Taxes to 90% of the population (ie, everyone other than the elites) would go down. People would be better able to get by. The yellow vests are angry because the carbon taxes are going up but as far as I know, the other taxes are not coming down concurrently (someone please correct me if I’m wrong).
    I disagree that government needs to be small. Of course I agree that many of the overly bureaucratic and war-mongering sectors of government today need to be severly reduced but I have yet to see any evidence that the private sector will do anything to protect the environment on its own accord. And going forward we will need environmental protection more than ever.
    Government isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even when it represents a large portion of the economy (and I disagree that a free market on its own can properly and efficiently allocate resources). It all depends on what specific things the government is actually doing. People here tend to get all hysterically anti-communist and anti-socialist to the extent that it becomes illogical. I attribute this to the decades and decades of anti-communism propadanda that Americans have been intentionally brought up with in their educational system and media, which was done to garner public support for all the previous illegal wars fought in the name of protecting us from communism. This blinds people from rationally analyzing what different forms of governments can and cannot do and how government should operate.
    Ultimately, the important question is: who does the government answer to? If politicians are afraid of the electorate and the government answers to the people in a democracy with a free press holding everyone accountable, then what’s wrong with government? It’s doing what the people want. I’d argue that we are very far from that nowadays. Nowadays, government belongs to sociopathic elites and its primary function is to suppress the people.
    But the idea that somehow today’s private sector is going to be less obnoxious is than the government is laughable. People criticize “the guberment” but actually the criticism could just as easily be levelled on the private sector. Taking it further, of course nowadays there is basically no line between government and private sector anyways, which ultimately is part of the problem. So reducing goverment is not going to solve the problem; in fact I’d say that reducing government isn’t even a part of the solution. Instead, we need to completely overhaul the guberment, the private sector, the judicial system, taxation, the Constitutions of all western countries, the monetary system, the press, as a starting point. Central to this is identifing and neutering the elites behind it all.
    For years I’ve been on here pointing out the irrefutable fact that there will be dramatically fewer jobs after the economy stops growing (or trying to grow) and the financial system transitions beyond today’s dollar into the new system where the huge zombie portion of the economy can no longer be supported by cheap money printing. How all these newly unemployed people are going to survive, I have yet to hear any specifics.
    Everyone seems to jump on the anti-Universal Basic Income bandwagon (and to be clear, I also do not support UBI) but I haven’t heard anyone give a plausible explanation of where the jobs are going to come from once the deadbeats are kicked off their government teat, other than some misguided faith in the magic of the free market to conjure up jobs into existence out of nothing.
    In fact, I’d actually suggest the opposite is true when it comes to climate change. We NEED people to be supported on UBI in order to tackle climate change. Because this means they will be able to sit at home all day watching TV or Netflix and not burn a lot of resources. The alternative hell which we are suffering through today, in which people spend all their time running around trying to get enough money to scrape by, being “productive” in their minium wage jobs — in oher words, consuming resources — is what is preventing us from reducing emissions.

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  • Wed, Mar 13, 2019 - 2:03am

    #35
    climber99

    climber99

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    Posts: 177

    Back to Front

    It is all back to front.
    Start by assessing what the Carrying Capacity and the Net energy of the Nation will be by the turn of the Century. Then plan a reduction in population size and consumption accordingly.
    Does the GND do this ?

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  • Wed, Mar 13, 2019 - 8:36am

    Reply to #24

    Matt Holbert

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    Posts: 66

    There are better solutions than Universal Basic Income...

    Because this means they will be able to sit at home all day watching TV or Netflix and not burn a lot of resources.

    There are tens of millions of people who do this already. Indirectly their resource use is off the charts due to lousy health such as being obese. 
    We have to create institutions that provide an alternative to the mindless status quo. My idea is creating a series of hands-on universities that teach students who are there because they have the right attitude and are willing to live without television and willing to live without clutching cell phones every minute of the day and night. Scholarship students (lifelong?) will build and operate campuses that are green. Eventually things like healthcare training can be introduced. Approximately one-half of the accomodations on campuses — likely retrofits of office buildings and other obsolete facilities — will serve as high end retreats for the those guests who want to detox from the nutty culture. (Hopefully the campuses can exist without being exposed to 5G radiation, but this is unlikely as apparently 5G will soon be coming from satellites.)
    I have often wondered why investment colleagues from 20+ years ago are still in the same old jobs. Other than the money, it dawned on me that they don’t know how to do anything but sit in front of a computer. They grew up not working with their hands. Once you work with your hands — and I started at about the age of nine — it is almost impossible to find self-worth at a desk.
    Anything of merit in the future has to include being physically active. UBI doesn’t fit the bill.

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  • Wed, Mar 13, 2019 - 8:53am

    #36

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    I wonder why the GND needs this kind of "support"

    …and who’s paying for it, and why?
    https://www.aier.org/article/fake-poll-green-new-deal

    Over 80 percent of American voters support the Green New Deal (GND), or so claim its backers citing a recent survey by a group of academic pollsters. Furthermore, this public endorsement is supposedly bipartisan, with 92 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans indicating that they either strongly or somewhat support the Far Left package to reshape the entire American economy around “green energy” in the course of the next decade.
    A very different story lurks beneath the surface of these impressive-looking statistics. Although the survey was conducted by a team of professors at George Mason University in Virginia and Yale University in Connecticut, it was essentially a “push poll” designed to bias respondents in favor of the proposition.
    The trick behind the outcome may be seen in the question’s wording. Rather than asking voters directly about the GND, the pollsters first presented them with a glowing paragraph-length synopsis that touted the proposition’s fantastical claims:
    Some members of Congress are proposing a “Green New Deal” for the U.S. They say that a Green New Deal will produce jobs and strengthen America’s economy by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. The Deal would generate 100% of the nation’s electricity from clean, renewable sources within the next 10 years; upgrade the nation’s energy grid, buildings, and transportation infrastructure; increase energy efficiency; invest in green technology research and development; and provide training for jobs in the new green economy.
    Note that this paragraph intentionally leads the respondents toward a favorable view of the program. 
    It extols the GND promises of a “green energy” conversion on a scientifically impossible 10-year timeline as if it is a given. It promises an abundance of jobs and economic growth without revealing that these features depend upon the simultaneous adoption of an unprecedented federal jobs-guarantee program that would effectively place large swaths of the economy under direct federal government management.
    It offers no indication that the same jobs-guarantee program would likely culminate in an unwieldy bureaucratic disaster of centralized economic planning. It makes no mention of the proposal’s extremist calls to phase out air travel in favor of trains, or to subject every building in America to costly renovation and reconstruction in order to meet new energy-efficiency rules. And it says not a word about the extreme price tag of the entire package, which certainly breaks into the tens of trillions of dollars and may reach as high as $93 trillion when all is said and done.
    Instead, all of the pitfalls of the GND are conveniently brushed aside while all of its promised benefits, no matter how unrealistic or expensive, are presented to the survey’s respondents as if they were neutral and factual truths…
    Loaded opinion polling of this type is a commonly encountered dirty trick in partisan political campaigns, where marketing firms associated with a certain candidate or policy try to build the illusion of public support (or hostility to the opposing party’s candidate) by asking intentionally loaded survey questions and then reporting the results as if they contained an accurate measure of public opinion. Long controversial, these tactics violate standard practices in survey design and question construction.
    Unfortunately, the pollsters in this case are not political campaign consultants — they’re university professors at research institutes specializing in “climate change communication.” Given the way that they skewed their poll results toward the GND with biased and loaded questioning, it’s reasonable to ask whether their research output crossed the ethical line separating scholarship from politically motivated advocacy.

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  • Wed, Mar 13, 2019 - 11:32am

    #37
    Uncletommy

    Uncletommy

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    Posts: 508

    Perhaps we should make a game of it?

    Disturbing as it is creative, gamification is the darker side how major corporate information monopolies are taking advantage of basic human proclivities to track and manipulate them for profit. History is replete with examples of the first efforts of people such as Frederick W. Taylor, to measure the efficiency of workers in order to achieve increased productivity. As large companies turn increasing to monitor and measure behaviors, they will, accordingly, realize the potential of using these proclivities to enhance profits. We all have the potential of being swept up in this net, unawares. Even Chris Martenson’s observations of the  number of hits on his Youtube offering are just one of the many examples of harnessing our competitive inclinations to out-do each other. Meanwhile the data collecting specialists are analyzing the behavioral components and devising algorithims to be applied for maximum returns on those behaviors. As the famous surgeon, William J. Mayo,  commented about specialists, “We’re learning more and more about less and less”. As our science oriented, reductionist culture drills ever deeper into our psyches, society will pay the cost of the benefits to the privileged one percenters. Or, again, am i just being an alarmist?
    https://aeon.co/essays/how-employers-have-gamified-work-for-maximum-profit


     

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  • Fri, Mar 15, 2019 - 5:36pm

    #38

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    What would it cost America to go solar?

    https://amgreatness.com/2019/03/14/what-would-it-cost-america-to-go-solar/
    Interesting calculations.

    When you’re talking about this many trillions, you’re talking serious money! Figure at least $50 trillion for the whole deal.
    Another consideration is the longevity of the equipment. Solar panels begin to degrade after 20 years or so. Inverters, required to convert direct current coming from solar panels into alternating current, rarely last 20 years. Batteries as well have useful lives that rarely exceed 20 years. If America “goes solar,” Americans need to understand that the entire infrastructure would need to be replaced every 20 years.
    Not only is this spectacularly expensive, but it brings up the question of recycling and reuse, which are additional questions that solar proponents haven’t fully answered. A solar array large enough to produce nearly 10,000 gigawatts in full sun would occupy about 50,000 square miles. Imagine tearing out that much hardware every two decades. Reprocessing every 20 years a quantity of batteries capable of storing nearly 40,000 gigawatt-hours constitutes an equally unimaginable challenge.
    To the extent the United States does not go 100 percent solar, wind is an option. But the costs, infrastructure challenges, space requirements, and reprocessing demands associated with wind power are even more daunting than they are with solar. Americans, for all their wealth, would have an extremely difficult time moving to a wind and solar economy. For people living in colder climates, even in developed nations, it would be an even more daunting task. For people living in still developing nations, it is an unthinkable, cruel option.
    The path forward for renewable energy is for utilities to purchase power, from all operators, that is guaranteed 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year. This is the easiest way to create a level competitive environment. Purveyors of solar power would have to factor into their bids the cost to store energy, or acquire energy from other sources, and their prices would have to include those additional costs. It is extremely misleading to suggest that the lifetime “levelized cost” is only based on how much the solar farm costs. Add the overnight storage costs. Take into account costs to maintain constant deliveries despite interseasonal variations. Account for that. And then compete.

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  • Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - 12:49pm

    Reply to #38

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    Interesting Solar Calcs and Excerpt, Tom!

    I found your post a really interesting and useful contribution to the conversation toward further thinking through the GND in depth.  What actually would be required for a transition to renewables like solar and wind, and what would be required to maintain the system on an on-going basis?  I also liked the general idea that utilities might level the playing field by requiring any method be able to deliver guaranteed, 24/7/365 electricity so their cost includes leveling the natural variations in their sources, or held to some variation of that adapted to actual regional or national energy daily and seasonal demand cycles.  
    My first reaction to some of the calcs was – What!?  50,000 sq miles is way more solar panel area than is needed to generate that amount of electricity.  I published a news item on a website I manage focused on climate that described the opening of the largest solar panel facility in the world, at 648 Megawatts, coming online in 2017, the Kamuthi facility in Tamil Nadu, India.   In 2017,  India cancelled plans for 14 GW of coal plants based on solar facilties being much less costly to build and to operate.
    https://350marin.org/india-cancels-plans-14-gigawatts-coal-power-stations/

    (also see the vid below).  If a 50,000 sq mile solar array were built in one place as a square, (which it wouldn’t be) it would be about 225 miles on a side.  So, it would take about 4 hours driving at freeway speeds to just travel along one side of the array!  Thinking I could prove that’s more area than needed, I took the 648 MW Indian facility covering 10 sq km (3.9 sq mi) and projected it out.  The result was 60,000 sq miles!  From the visuals, that’s likely more than 50K sq mile because the India plant is not as densely compacted as it could be.

    So, based on real world, current technology, it seems the figure given that 50,000 sq mi area is needed to generate 10,000 gigawatts at peak output is a valid estimate.  Now, on price, at least according to the cost given for the India facility of 648MW for $679 million (and built in just 8 months), it seems that ‘at least $50 trillion’ might be an over-estimate by a factor of 5.  At roughly $1 billion/gigawatt, 10,000 GW = $10 trillion total.  Maybe the $679 million costs for the India facility doesn’t include all real costs, but, in any case, we don’t know the reason for the discrepancy with the article’s figure.
    Then, there’s the 10,000 GW figure itself.  I think that comes from an estimate I’ve seen that the US uses 10,000 GW hours/day.  If so, that would mean that, since there are 24 hours in a day, the max load at any particular time would be far below the 10,000 GW figure, though a buffer would still need to be maintained.  If we’re trying to transition more energy use to ‘clean’ electricity as time goes on, that would raise the GW demand on a realtime basis, while powerful conservation measures or integration with other technologies like wind, nuclear, etc could move the solar peak demand way below 10,000GW with conservation and other sources.  These calcs don’t address the variation/storage concerns that you, me & everyone else has about solar and wind.
    Overall, in my opinion, thinking about best options to undertake with limited time and finite resources at a larger level is an equation with a lot of variables to work with and consider – conservation, localization of power sources to become more resilient to large grid disruptions, multiple simultaneous power sources from wood & bio-fuels, solar, wind to nuclear.  We’ve got problems that won’t go away.  All the ways forward are hard.  From my point of view, actually, a lot is possible, but it’s all difficult. 
    The more we’re able to talk and think openly and bring intelligence to real world calculations, including resource limitations on inputs for various projects, cost of delivery and so on, the better for making decisions that develop sensible doable plans.  Every single plan will have aspects to criticize and risks of failure.  The question will always be, what’s the best alternative proposal or mix of proposals and what are the calcs that support that?  To me, it’s pretty clear that, how ever we are able to adapt, and to whatever degree, it’s going to be a mix of different approaches with a focus on regionalization/localization that provides the most resilience and fits the uncertainties involved.  I don’t think we’re ever going to see a solar array 225 miles on a side. 😉

     

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  • Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - 1:53pm

    #39

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    Solar Maintenance/Replacement Estimates Are Actually Much Lower

    I  liked the fact that the article also talked about potential costs related to replacing solar arrays over time.  Because I’ve been more focused on the need to shift ASAP away from fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions, I’ve paid more attention to what’s involved in doing that quickly in the next couple of decades to avoid potentially catastrophic ecological and social climate disruption.   Still, inspite of the fact that replacement/maintenance costs are real, as with all infrastructure, the article’s notion that we’d need to tear out 50,000 sq miles of panels every 20 years is an obvious, gigantic exaggeration. 
    Right now, the US is limping along on aging, inadequately maintained or replaced infrastructure, much of which is decades beyond its intended lifespan.  That’s already been noted on this site (eg, the Oroville dam, etc).  Also, the difficulty with our aging infrastructure (which one estimate says would take $4 trillion to replace) brings up the side point that any funds to replace current infrastructure should be put into new infrastructure designed to adapt to the coming lower energy, non-fossil fuel driven world, NOT an in-place rebuild of existing bridges and freeways.
    Back to panels – Though the nominal lifespan of solar panels is 20-25 years (under their warranty), the reality is that the degradation of panel performance is mild on an annual basis, and seems to be straight line, from what I see.   As noted in the link below The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed a meta-analysis of studies that examined the long term degradation rates of various PV panels.  According to their review, the poorest panel output UV degradation in extreme desert climates may be around 1% per year – eg, they’d still have 75% production capacity after 25 years and maybe 40-50% after half a century.  Panels made after the year 2000 even have much lower degradation rates than that, though, and in moderate climates like the US, are now estimated by NREL to have degradation rates as low as 0.2%/year.  That means they could retain 96% of their production capacity after 20 years, and 90% after a half century!   Either way, the balance lost to aging solar infrastructure would need to be made up by new conservation by users or new solar or other energy production, but wouldn’t require ripping out 50,000 sq mi every couple of decades.
    https://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/
     

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  • Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - 2:17pm

    Reply to #39

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    That’s the macro picture

    Our retirement home is 98% complete and it has a 10.65 kW solar array on the roof. The company that installed it (ReVision Energy) sized it that way after calculating it will provide all of our annual electricity needs leaving us with just a maintenance electric bill for infrastructure. We move in May 15 and I’ll be curious to see how close to that estimate we get. And I certainly expect the system to outlive me and carry some residual value when my heirs go to sell it. While we knock around the macro calculations and plans, I’m moving forward with my micro applications of which solar PV is just one part. 

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  • Sat, Mar 16, 2019 - 5:24pm

    Reply to #39
    Doug

    Doug

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    Joined: Oct 01 2008

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    Interesting

    We just downsized. We had solar at our old place long enough to break even (11years). Now someone else will enjoy the benefits well into the future.
    We just signed a solar deal on our new place that, at about our current bill rate, will be completely paid off in 5 years and our electricity will be free at least to the warranty life of 25 years. Plus they’re throwing in a new service panel.
    I even got a veteran’s break on the price.
    I told the guy if this is some kind of scam I’ll come looking for him. I don’t think he was intimidated. He’s 32, I’m 72.

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  • Sun, Mar 17, 2019 - 10:33am

    Reply to #39

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    Downsized, Checking Out Intentional Community wi Its Own 'Grid'

    Cool! 10kw on the roof, Tom – that packs a punch.  We just sold our house with 5kw on top last Sept., in part because, since I do sustainable investment work, it looked like that big stock Bull was about to finally turn into BS, roll over and die into a Bear, and if so, would likely turn housing prices flat to down strongly for a year or five.  We put it on the market on Sept 20, same day as what turned out to be the recent S&P top.  We had sold our last house before in 2006, just as housing peaked, and then rented for 5 years until 2011, when we got a deal on a fixer upper back in the hills.  Unlike my wife, I have no pension except social security, so, our big gains from fixing & selling the two houses are my retirement savings, some of which will buy our next place.
    I guess it depends on your location (latitude, sunrise,sunset, sun angle, transient shading, etc) how many kw you need, but where we were, our 5kw of roof panels covered 100% of our electrical needs for the year, at least when just two of us were there.  When we rented an attached in-law that used an electric stove and some electric heat, our bills would go a little over and get paid out of the rent.   Against recommendations of 2 or 3 solar contractors bidding who said it wasn’t worth the extra $2-3K, I put in battery backup just to become familiar with the technology and be able to work at home & on the internet when the power went out, as it did  2 – 3 times a year back in the hills.  It’d stay out for a few hours or up to a day or so.  The emergency backup worked great, and would take over so seamlessly sometimes, we’d be watching TV or something and not notice that the entire neighborhood had gone dark until an hour or so after it happened, when we looked out a window or went to another part of the house.
    After we sold the place, there was a storm & we saw a former neighbor post that the entire Madrone Canyon we’d lived in had gone out.  Just for fun, we drove up at night to see how our back-up system was doing for the new owners.  For about 1.5 miles from the entrance to the canyon all the way up, the neighborhoods were pitch black.  No street lights, no electric lights in any houses lining the main road.  The whole drive, we only saw 2 – 3 candles or lanterns through windows.  When we got to our place near the end of the road on the hillside, it was blazing with light, the only place out of hundreds we’d passed that had electricity.  I got a kick out of that – satisfaction in my part designing & building the system with the electrician, even though we didn’t own the place anymore.
    Now, we’re renting a condo temporarily, but it looks like we might join a multi-generational co-housing ‘intentional community’ that’s buying a few acres north of here.  We’re still checking it out.  Everyone will have their own, complete 2 – 4 bedroom townhome or flat they’ll own outright, plus the group will own a 3700 sq ft common house with big kitchen, dining room, multipurpose & guest rooms, sauna, etc and thousands of square feet of common garden.  If you want to just do your own thing, that’s fine.  But if you want to eat dinner with others a one or more times a week in the common house, you just sign up, then most times just show up and eat, & occasionally come early to help do prep.
    One of the things that’s attracted me to check out the project is that I talked to the head of the ‘sustainability committee’, and they’re planning on generating enough electricity with solar to power the entire community, and to have battery back up for the entire community grid as well.  The group is buying the land and running construction as an LLC, then converting to a condo legal structure once the place is built.  They’re also planning to have the community build and own a few single bedroom units on the property the group would then rent to generate some income to cover HOA fees rather than owners having to pay anything on-going. 
    I have a few concerns related to location being not far enough out of Dodge when things blow, but my wife has a few more years of work and long commutes before she retires, and is more a city person generally, so this is a compromise that keeps us together. Also, I built an aquaponics greenhouse at our last place.  The fact the community told me they may have access to a large adjacent plot of land owned by the local school for additional food growing they said could support my idea of doing expanded aquaponics operation is a big draw, too.  The food project would be an ‘educational project’ in coordination with the nearby elementary school, part of their learning experience, with food output generated for our group and the school community.
    We haven’t made a final decision, but most importantly, the people we’ve met seem on the beam and fun. It looks like this model could be a good way to mix community with the freedom to be independent as well.  I’ve always had some attraction to more communiy oriented, or multi-generation living approaches compared to a strict, more isolated ‘nuclear-family’ focus – even though, as we all know, other people are often a huge pain 😉 Here’s a link to the group’s website that shows some of their plans:
    https://www.marincoho.com/

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  • Sun, Mar 17, 2019 - 12:51pm

    Reply to #39
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

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    Posts: 149

    novato cohousing

    Too bad they didnt plan less units and more outdoors, even at a higher cost.  Very small amount of garden beds per unit. 
    Their web site says nothng about solar, but even if only the common house had battery backup, that would be an important backup for everyone.  A place to go with lights and community and one fridege where the most essentials could be piled in. 
    My biggest worry about this group would be the lack of shared politics.  WHile it may not be so, my experience in this area of California would have me cautious about this group, I would worry about the community demanding in deeds, although not in words, a conformity of thought on the world and politics I would aorry about it being non-diverse on thoughts of how the world realy is and the reality of the 3 E’s, let alone if you voted different, this is a co-housing in Novato, after all, and look at the list of who have already signed up, quite an echo chamber
     
    On the other hand, if your wife needs to wirk around there, it is an affordable place

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  • Sun, Mar 17, 2019 - 1:50pm

    Reply to #39

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    Good Co-Housing Crew, But I Agree with Some of Your Concerns

    mtnhouspermi, you have some reactions similar to mine.  I’ve been looking at co-housing or shared land condo arrangements on and off for a few years, and also would have prefered that the units be a bit sparser with more green space and common gardening area.  There are some long time co-housing set ups in Davis California that are sparser, and in some cases have commonly owned separate groves of fruit and nuts trees they maintain and harvest, as I recall.  Here’s one of the oldest, though I don’t see groves in theirs:
    http://www.muircommons.org/
    My concern about the limited planned common gardening space (3000-4000 sq ft)  is made less pressing by the fact, as I mentioned, that there’s a large adjoining plot of open land that it seems likely we could use for gardens and aquaponics.  We’ll find out more how certain that looks in the coming days.
    Since the battery back-up plans aren’t locked in yet, I would push for more battery back-up capability rather than less, to cover at least scaled down use of all individual house needs in addition to the common house.  Also, my understanding from my own projects is that, once you set up a structure that’s designed to accommodate off-grid type inverters and batteries, you can scale up inverter/battery capacity relatively easily after the fact as long as you’re attaching the back up system to a central grid box that feeds the entire the community.
    So far, I’m less worried about the politics of the people involved, or their desire to push people around with social pressure – though as you suggest, people in groups can always press for discomfort, conformity, drama if they work on it.  The people we’ve talked to so far seem pretty much on the same page overall, and importantly, are laid back.  A couple are ex-military, including one of the founders, who lived in co-housing while stationed in Virginia, a few are engineers, business or academic types.  Yeah, given the Bay Area locale, they probably tend more ‘liberal’ than the midwest.  I talk to people in person and on-line, though, who are across the political spectrum, and am friends with some on pretty different pages politically, at least on some topics.  I’m a person who respects individual freedom, don’t try to tell other people how to live much and don’t like people to tell me what to do either if I’m not causing anyone else a genuine problem.  If I gather some kind of pressure for ‘group think’ might evolve, I won’t join.

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  • Sun, Mar 17, 2019 - 3:20pm

    Reply to #39
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

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    Try it on them

    Take a more non-liberal position than you realy are when talking to people in this group to see how open they are.  I get that YOU are open to various positions,  it is just that my experience from when I lived in that part of CA, and the part of CA I am in now, is that THEY may not be.  It is bad enough not being able to say anything in the local coffee shop here, but that is not part of my “home” as you would expect your common areas in a co-housing to be.  Show up for your interview there in a MAGA hat, even though you dont normally wear one just to sind out how tolerant they are……

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  • Sun, Mar 17, 2019 - 3:21pm

    Reply to #39
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

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    Try it on them

    repeat

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  • Mon, Mar 18, 2019 - 8:58am

    #40

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    ;-) Wearing a MAGA Hat Might Be Pushing It a Teeny Bit

    it’d be kind of a dramatic statement given I’ve seen pretty much nobody wearing one around here that I can remember, just as I’m sure there were big swathes of the country where Hillary gear & yardsigns weren’t seen much before the election.  I’m not a fan of either of those two corrupt characters.
    mntnhousepermi, as you say, you’d want places like the co-housing common areas to feel like home, where you can be yourself.  
    For that, you kind of need to feel compatible with the people who live there, whatever that means to you or to me.  So far, my wife and I feel compatible with these folks.  Though we haven’t talked politics with them much, we’re usually pretty good judges of character. 
    I’ve been dealing with John the most, the ex-military guy who’s one of the two project leaders, and we really like him alot.  He’s got a bright-eyed, direct look, a good sense of humor, and seems very straightforward about the risks and potential difficulties as well as the positive aspects of the project.  There’s no interview process – I’ve already hung out and had meals with most of the group – talked in person and in online Zoom meetings.  So, it’s a little late to be faking opinions to test reactions, and not likely the best ‘getting to know you’ strategy in this situation… though I am chuckling a little bit imagining what would happen if I suddenly showed up in one of those potlucks or online Zoom meeting rectangles with a MAGA hat on.   It would be a WTF moment…
     

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  • Mon, Mar 18, 2019 - 9:10am

    Reply to #40
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

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    For Sure.  But it shouldnt. 

    For Sure.  But it shouldnt.  That is the point.  If one where to put one on as a reminder to the rest of the world of tolerance, just as we used to put on a rainbow pin, just as some women will put on a headscarf for the day. 
    If people dont see this as the same, then they are not tolerant, no matter how they say they ae

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  • Mon, Mar 18, 2019 - 10:32am

    #41

    kelvinator

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    Posts: 181

    I Doubt You're Wearing a MAGA Hat, mnthhousepermi

    based on your description of not feeling like you can speak your mind at the local coffee shop.  If you want to wear one because you feel it conveys a message of tolerance that no one can deny, you should absolutely do that & feel good about it, not try to convince me or anyone else to do it.  I do agree with your wish for a spirit of more political tolerance, just feel there are much better ways to get there.
    For me, when I talk to new people and find they like Trump or Hillary, folks I don’t support, I’m a lot more interested in trying to stay connected to them as people and actually talking about the differences in how we see things than I am wanting to test them by wearing icons.  IMO, talking is better than ‘testing’ or wearing symbols, and I have close friends who support Trump or supported Hillary that I have (usually) friendly conversations with in which we challenge each other’s thinking.  More in-depth communication is a lot better than symbols when it comes to tolerance for me.
    Also, I don’t quite see MAGA hats as showing solidarity with ‘oppressed people’ in the same light as rainbow pins (in support of gays, I guess?), or headscarfs (in support of muslim women’s rights?).  In fact, MAGA is just a huge con by a very corrupt businessman, as far as I’m concerned, though many of the MAGA issues Trump appeals to to generate power for himself are quite real.  MAGA supporters elected a corrupt President and are a big force in the country.  They may be a minority in this particular place and therefore deserve tolerance and a hearing, as you suggest – and you wouldn’t believe how much time I talk about corrupt liberal elites to my liberal friends.  More and more have moved toward the same page I’m on – I’ve seen them change as the situation becomes more obvious.  But it’s also blazingly clear to me that the policies Trump supports ramp intolerance toward both the other groups you used as examples. The world is a complicated place. We agree that tolerance is good – just have different ways to get there.

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  • Mon, Mar 18, 2019 - 11:58am

    #42
    Doug

    Doug

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    irony

    Quote:

     But it’s also blazingly clear to me that the policies Trump supports ramp intolerance toward both the other groups you used as examples.

    It would be hard to ignore the irony of wearing a MAGA hat as a sign/plea/gesture of tolerance.

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  • Mon, Mar 18, 2019 - 1:44pm

    Reply to #42
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

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    I disagree

    Doug wrote:
    Quote:

     But it’s also blazingly clear to me that the policies Trump supports ramp intolerance toward both the other groups you used as examples.

    It would be hard to ignore the irony of wearing a MAGA hat as a sign/plea/gesture of tolerance.

     
    We can see right here that you guys are already stereotyping.  

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  • Mon, Mar 18, 2019 - 3:36pm

    #43

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    Insolvent Illinois goes beyond aspirational

    https://wirepoints.org/like-alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-green-new-deal-youll-love-what-illinois-wants-to-do/

    It’s now moving through the Illinois General Assembly with very broad sponsorship and exceptionally well-organized support. It’s a 365-page monstrosity of bureaucratic overreach, unhinged social engineering, climate extremism and shameless disregard for cost.
    It’s called the Clean Energy Jobs Act. It would put specificity and the force of law behind the core concepts of the Green New Deal spearheaded by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…
    The bill calls for 40 million solar panels and 2,500 wind turbines alongside $20 billion in new infrastructure over the next decade. One million gas and diesel vehicles would come off Illinois roads…
    The Illinois bill is loaded with social justice goals. There are tedious requirements for a Clean Jobs Workforce Hubs Program; “environmental justice communities”job creation for ex-offenders and former foster children; “energy empowerment zones”; workforce and training including soft skills and math to ensure communities of color, returning citizens, foster care communities and others understand clean energy opportunities; stipends for jobs and apprenticeships, including funding for transportation and child care; access to low-cost capital for disadvantaged clean energy businesses and contractors; and much, much more.
    What’s most annoying is sheer indifference to cost, which is probably immeasurable anyway given the bill’s vast complexity. Don’t expect to find an estimate anywhere. National critics of the Green New Deal immediately asked about cost, but in Illinois, it just doesn’t matter. Broke Illinois would somehow have to pay a proportionate share of the multi-trillion-dollar cost estimates for the Green New Deal.
    Supporters of the Illinois bill typically duck the question of cost by jumping to claims of new job creation in renewables. But their job claims invariably are one sided, ignoring lost jobs in the carbon-based industries they would destroy. And the jobs primarily are in the initial installation, which is to say they are temporary.
    They cite Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act to prove success in job creation. It became law in 2017, imposing less grand targets for renewable energy. It authorized $750 million for job training in that industry. “Now we have a report to prove” how many jobs were created by that earlier law, says Ann Williams (D-Chicago), the new bill’s leading sponsor in the Illinois House. But that’s just 1,500 jobs, she says. That’s success? Watch the whole interview with her to get a sense of the mentality behind this bill. I reached out to Williams for comment but got no response.
    Supporters like Williams also claim that renewables are simply cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives. What? If the goal were truly to allow the cheapest alternatives to prevail, massive intervention in the marketplace obviously wouldn’t be needed…
     

     

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  • Thu, Mar 21, 2019 - 10:54am

    Reply to #26
    timedeposit

    timedeposit

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    MMT

    My first post on PP. I’ve stopped by this site occasionally to read the articles and finally have decided to post. I would ecourage you all to read the 30 years of MMT before discussing the prescriptive side of it. There is the descriptive side which describes the monetary and fiscal operations of the US. Most economists that have actually read the descriptive side agree that it is accurate, including economists like Steve Keen, Michael Hudson, Bill Black, Bill Mitchell, L. Randall Wray, even Austrian economist Robert Murphy, and many more. What is being debated and mostly trashed in the media currently is the prescriptive side, in particular, using a job guarantee by way of fiscal policy. 
    The descriptive side of MMT is invaluable if you want to have a firm understanding of sovereign fiat floating exchange rate currency, and how that differs from operations of sound money. Many of the arguments used today when debating the mechanics and effects of monetary and fiscal policy as well as currency and international trade are mechanics that are hold overs from the gold standard and don’t apply to modern fiat mechanics and effects. 
    AOC has connected with MMT economists, in particular Stephanie Kelton, and is using some of the talking points of MMT to tug at the political spectrum. Whether the GND is affordable or not is not really the question. How the government uses monetary and fiscal policy to address our national goals is. After 40 years of monetarism, having the FED be the main tool to “steer” the economy, it is very valid to question whether this is really an effective policy tool, or can there be other effective tools on the fiscal side, or a mix of both.
    Injecting reserves into the banking system has created all kinds of market dislocations and bubbles about which commenters here complain. One could argue that the monetary side of policy is just as corrupt as any possible fiscal policy outcome. Regardless, the fact that AOC has brought the idea of fiscal operations back as a viable policy that needs to be debated is not a bad thing. If all we see is a nail, our only solution is a hammer. 
    Before condemning MMT based on hearsay and what the mainstream media is writing about it, go read it for yourself. I agree the prescriptive side may or may not be a good idea, but we have historical evidence from the last New Deal that the government can spend on real productive assets and create meaningful jobs. Whether there is the political will to do so is another matter. Anyway, there are many books and scholarly works available. A good starter book is L. Randall Wrays “Modern Money Theory: A Primer”, the newly issued textbook is also very well written. An interesting debate to watch in regard to MMT is one between Mosler (MMT) and Murphy (Austrian). Murphy basically agrees with the mechanics of MMT, the descriptive side, but doesn’t like fiat currency in general so prefers to throw the entire system into question. Fair enough, but again he doesn’t negate MMT. 

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  • Thu, Mar 21, 2019 - 4:57pm

    Reply to #26
    PaulJam

    PaulJam

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    on MMT

    Thanks for your post – I’ve been reading a fair amount about MMT, trying to keep an open mind, and too have noted the multitude ideological knee-jerk critiques.  While I still lean away from it, I am only a dilettante when it comes to economics, so I’m firmly in “what do I know” territory.  It recently occurred to me that what keeps me leaning away from it is the definition of money that makes the most sense to me –  one that Chris mentions on occasion, which to me sounds like a definition of money that is more based on biophysical economics (money as a claim on future wealth which requires energy as a component of wealth-generating productivity https://www.financialsense.com/contributors/george-mobus/biophysical-economics-energy-standard-money), while MMT uses the standard money definition as a store of value.   In this sense, MMT would not work simply because it ignores the relationship between energy and money.
    Even if my leaning away from MMT is right, if given a dichotomous choice between actively practicing MMT to generate funds to support climate change energy and infrastructure transition work and BAU, I’d probably support MMT, because horrifically bad endings are certain outcomes of the latter, while I’d guess merely probable outcomes of the former.
    Also, I can’t get past the criticism (hat tip again to Chris) of MMT about the need to create and direct funds with wisdom and restraint.  I can’t imagine a political system or ruling elite wise enough to accomplish this.  MMT could just as well be used to continue to bloat the parasitic military industrial complex instead of beneficial social/environmental uses.

     
     
     
     

     

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  • Thu, Mar 21, 2019 - 9:00pm

    #44

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    descriptive MMT

    I will agree that it is definitely more efficient for the government to simply print money, vs having to tax, then borrow, then not-pay-back while paying interest.  Looking at MMT-the-mechanism, it seems perfectly fine.
    It is when you then hand that efficient tool to human beings that problems will predicably occur.
    This is one of those Fat Tony vs Dr. John sort of cases that Taleb talked about in Fooled by Randomness.  Fat Tony would lick his lips at the prospect of an efficient funding source with only a voluntary check on his ability to spend (“inflation”), while Dr. John would talk at length at how spending would be bounded by inflation, and of course the good and wise people in control would never let that happen – and “the people” would discipline them if they tried.
    So clearly I’m all for Fat Tony here.  Our government – our population – is full to the brim with Fat Tonys.  Dr. John lives in an artificial world of his own creation.
    Do we imagine the government’s inflation measure will be honest?  If that’s the only check on spending, then it is guaranteed that it will not be honest, because that’s just how people work.  People in power do not like checks on their ability to “get things done” (i.e. give out goodies to their favored group – c.f. Rules for Rulers).  Over time, they will always act to subvert such limitations “for all the right reasons” (i.e. remaining in power).
    So the measure of inflation would slowly become even more fraudulent than it is now, and there would be no formal check on spending, and so the outcome would be really predictable.  At least to Fat Tony, it would be predictable.  Dr. John would focus on mechanisms and academic discussions and he would dismiss the human element because that’s just what he tends to do.
    Basically, we’d end up like Argentina, because that’s where our collection of Fat Tonys would take us.
    The “friction” in the system (money in limited supply – having to be actually taken away from someone, which understandably annoys them) is the real check on the government’s ability to spend.  Annoyed people provide feedback to the government.  “Stop taxing me.”  It is a very immediate pain.
    Inflation, on the other hand, is far more subtle.  People notice taxes immediately.  Inflation is dimly perceived, until it gets really awful, as it did in the 70s.  Things have to get way out of control before popular feedback on inflation occurs, especially if favored groups are getting goodies in the meantime.  And even when inflation gets out of control, the political class are still required to give out goodies to their favorite groups, or they end up out of power.  That’s because being out of power is the worst possible outcome.  For them, of course.
    So the human-politicians involved would always push things towards maximizing inflation.  And they would also increasingly work to corrupt any inflation measures.  And “the people” who got goodies from these politicians would keep them in power right up until the moment that things blew up spectacularly.  And maybe even beyond.  “Sure there is 10%/year government-measured inflation (really 20%), but I get free school, medical care, and I get my UBI.  And we’re fighting climate change!  That’s just the price we have to pay to save the world…”
    GND is really a masterpiece.  Its a massive giveaway (c.f. Rules for Rulers), with a green cover to “save the world.”  You have to keep giving me my free stuff so we can save the world.  Masterful.
    How does Maduro stay in power with all that hyperinflation?  He makes sure that the Army continues to get goodies – whatever scraps are left from a ruined economy goes straight to the Army.  And so they keep him in power.  Its straight out of Rules for Rulers. 
    I mean, does anybody doubt this outcome?  It happens all the time in the third world.  All the time.  We have so many examples.

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  • Fri, Mar 22, 2019 - 6:37am

    Reply to #14

    Robinson

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    yes we need a new definition of work and the purpose of society.

    Old Paradigm
     From 1850 till Today
    Work:  It is everything that some person does to make money, no matter if it favors or harms the society or nature.
     
    New Paradigm
     2017 (it must be)
    Work: Social Contribution: It is everything that a person does to make money, favoring the society and nature.

    https://mutualwelfare.org/what-is-the-purpose-of-the-new-society/

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  • Fri, Mar 22, 2019 - 9:21am

    #45

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 3082

    a non-responsive response

    We could certainly debate monetary theory – money borrowed into existence vs money printed into existence by the government.  One gives power to the banks, and the other, to politicians.  Which is better?  Man, that’s hard to say.  Both use the power for their own selflish ends.
    At least bank money vanishes when people no longer want it – through defaults.  I’m not sure that would ever happen with politician-printed money.  Could they handle causing a recession, knowing they’d lose the next election?  I haven’t seen any hints of such moral courage from the political class.
    As for your response…I couldn’t help but notice that in your reply, you responded to several things I didn’t say.  For instance:
    Another for instance, when I hear people talk about the national debt and how we are robbing from our grandchildren…I didn’t say that.
    Some gross misrepresentations of MMT are statements like “deficits don’t matter” or we can just “print our way of our problems.”  … I didn’t say that.
    To say its Keynesian or Chartilism is distorting the scholarly research… I didn’t say that either.

    And we agree on other things – not sure why you brought them up…they are more or less an article of faith with me, and nothing I wrote in my post would have suggested otherwise:
    Money ultimately is a social construct…Agree.
    There is no inherent value in any object, gold or otherwise, because value is subjective, which is a human construct.  Agree.
    The same easy money has also been used to speculate on almost everything in our economy through the use of financial instruments. This should also cause us think deeply about how that speculation distorts and creates malinvestment.  Agree.

    I was disappointed to see that my central point was left unaddressed.
    How would MMT function in the context of Rules for Rulers?  How would politics – staying in power by rewarding your donors/favored groups interact with a politician-controlled funding source that is limited only by “self-measured inflation.”
    Those of us who studied US history know what happened when Nixon popped off the gold standard in 1971 in order to print money (via bank debt) to win the 1972 election.  Massive inflation, which lasted for 8 long years.  If you give politicians control over money (in this case, by dropping off the gold standard), they use this power to win elections and reward their followers, and it takes Paul Volcker and 20% interest rates to bring things back under control – but not until inflation had destroyed the savings of a generation.
    I see a similar event occuring with MMT, because humans haven’t changed since 1971.  Give politicians  control of the printing press – the outcome will be identical.  “But its ok since we’re saving the planet!”
    That’s the new wrinkle.  Saving the planet.
    As always, the savers will end up paying for everything.
    Am I stuck on the “prescriptive” side?  You bet I am.  That’s where the rubber meets the road.  Can this be used in real life.

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  • Fri, Mar 22, 2019 - 9:26am

    #46

    Robinson

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    the real problems are selfishness, greed and apathy.

    We agree with the content of the article.
     
    we also agree with the comment that the real problem in society are: selfishness, greed and apathy.  because we have nuclear energy to solve the energy needs of all the world,  at very low cost if we set aside fear mongering and bring competition to that business.
     

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  • Fri, Mar 22, 2019 - 9:29am

    #47

    Robinson

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    Posts: 21

    there is another solution to the source of money

    yes, the money source with bankers is bad, also with politicians.
    But there is another solution, money creation in the hands of organized people, https://unitycoin.net/

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  • Fri, Mar 22, 2019 - 1:55pm

    #48

    davefairtex

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    Posts: 3082

    political will

    Ok, I’m glad MMT agrees with me on the political will issue.
    To me, requiring that “political will” be in place as a requirement for the system to function properly is tantamount to requiring that hungry dogs ignore pieces of meat dropped in front of them.  Such a requirement will never be met.  Politicians will always want to get re-elected, and they’ll do just about anything to make sure that happens – pushing the boundaries of the rules (and changing them) everywhere they can.  Giving them the unchecked ability to print money ensures a move to inflation, and then hyperinflation.  Hungry dogs + pieces of meat = gobble gobble gobble, its just the nature of the beast.
    The only way to deal with such enthusiasm is to design a system that provides a built-in check against it.  There must be an equally strong countervailing force that prevents politicians from engaging in ridiculous spending programs designed to reward their followers/donor/favored groups. Depending on “political will” – i.e. depending on them to “be good” – I mean, come on.  Gobble gobble gobble.  It is not in their nature to be good.
    A physical check, such as gold bars, worked fairly well in the past.  Politicians couldn’t argue with gold bars that disappeared every time they got too spendy.  I’m sure it was frustrating for them.
    If you look closely at the timing of the gold supply, the Fed funds rate, and the timing of Nixon’s re-election campaign, you will see a nicely choreographed dropping of rates less than a year before the election.  But the only way that worked was to slam the gold window – given the reading of the CPI and the rate of growth of bank credit at that time.  If the Fed had tried cutting rates under the inflationary conditions in 1971, all the gold would have fled.  So the solution – slam the window, drop rates, inflation shoots through the roof, but Nixon gets a 6-7% GDP growth rate by November 1972, and he wins by a landslide.  This wasn’t an accident, it wasn’t oil – it was a strategy to keep the crazy McGovern from getting elected.  Read McGovern’s platform sometime, it was pretty wild.  They even had a UBI.  We forget what things were like back then.
    There was also a nifty paper written by … I forget who, some researcher at the Fed, which lays out how cooperative the Fed Chairman at that time was about dropping rates to keep Nixon in power.  The whole status quo was terrified of the left at that point.
    And then if you watch how rates go throughout the 70s, you can see that while oil was a problem, it wasn’t the biggest one.  They just never kept rates low enough for long enough.  The rate of credit growth was just ridiculously high.  And as we know, rising credit = inflation.  It took the Fed 10 years to figure out how to control bank credit properly without gold to provide them the proper signal – and someone with real guts to deliberately cause a recession to stop the growth of bank credit.  You may not think Volcker did the right thing, but I think he did, just based on how bank credit responded to the Fed’s lame attempts to keep money under control.
    But I digress.
    So, any monetary system that involves politicians being able to print at will must have a built-in structural check on that power that is equal in strength to the politician’s insatiable desire to get re-elected and reward their voters/donors/etc.  Right now, I’m not seeing that in MMT.  I’m not seeing any check on the Fed’s ability to reward speculation and the banksters either, but saying “wow our current system sucks, so let’s replace it with one that is equally sucky but in a different way” doesn’t appeal.
    I’m open to suggestions.  A big batch gold bars worked fairly well as a check, until they got rid of them.  The threat of those gold bars vanishing (which caused the money supply to plunge) kept the fiscal peace for several generations.  It was an equally strong countervailing force that kept the politicians in line.
    Is there a better way now?  I’m open to hearing about one.  Requiring “political will” doesn’t do it for me however.  That’s one of those “aspirational” things, rather than a check-and-balance of the sort engineered into our government by the Founding Fathers.
    Executive, Legislative, Judicial.  All three keeping each other in check – all three full of power-hungry, likely corrupt people.  No hopeful requirements of “political will” – just a naked separation of powers.  It assumes perfidy and corruption will occur.  That’s why it has lasted so long.
    Separation of Powers for the financial world.  Design a system that assumes corruption – that assumes there will never be “political will”.  That’s what we need.
    My opinion of course.
     

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  • Fri, Mar 22, 2019 - 7:47pm

    #49
    timedeposit

    timedeposit

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    The 70s

    I agree with some of what you write, but not the more ideological parts. As someone that has worked in public sector finance for many years, lumping the government into a stockpile of federal politicians that are nothing but self-serving dogs may be tempting, but there are in fact many good people that are working tirelessly to keep our system going so we can enjoy our way of life. I have learned to be more empathetic and pragmatic and much less ideological. Real work needs to be done, and taking hardline ideological positions in my line of work often leaves everyone in the room throwing up their hands or just ignoring “that guy” in the room. I guess what I’m saying is the hungry meat analogy I’m sure appeases those looking for hungry meat, but it doesn’t convince me to ignore my own experience. 
    I agree that checks and balances are needed. New regulations and laws can help create those checks and balances, as well as expiring old and current laws that are being abused. Gold backed fixed currency, as I’m sure you know, has its pros and cons. A shift back to the gold standard in reality would be extremely painful considering our trade deficits and the restrictions it would place on our domestic policy space, especially in light of the high private sector debt. We need the obvious changes in campaign laws, finance regulations, possible term limits, and so on. But to say we can’t have a government that returns to a more balanced approach to caring for its populations ignores the many governments around the world that are doing better than we are. I think I read somewhere recently that the US ranks 19th on the “happiness” index, whatever that means.  It might be interesting to see what these happier nations are doing, not just in how they structure their government, but in what their societies’ value. We have become a nation that unfortunately values wealth by the negative side of the balance sheet… nonproductive financial instruments, rents, and so on. Maybe that sounds somewhat superficial, but is it really? 
    As far as the 70s, that is one way of looking at what happened, and it may be true, but one can also view Volcker’s floating interest rate policy as causing the rates to irresponsibly rise to 19%, causing two deep recessions in 80 and 81, massive unemployment, a major downturn in manufacturing, and eventually a global recession. Soon after, the eventual high dollar value hurt US exporters. So, inflation falling could have been merely the result of the recessions, the economic contraction, and a steep fall in the price of oil partly due to the deregulation of natural gas in 1978 which cut demand for crude, and not necessarily by monetarism. Volcker’s high interest rates also added greatly to business costs and unearned income long after inflation dropped. But again, who knows for certain as all these things happened within a short time. 
    I am also open to proposals as to how to balance our monetary and fiscal operations more appropriately to address the needs of our country and planet. It may or may not be possible until we have some kind of economic downturn like the 1930s, but I don’t look forward to something like that. 
     

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  • Fri, Mar 22, 2019 - 10:51pm

    Reply to #49

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 3082

    some nuance

    I agree with some of what you write, but not the more ideological parts. As someone that has worked in public sector finance for many years, lumping the government into a stockpile of federal politicians that are nothing but self-serving dogs may be tempting, but there are in fact many good people that are working tirelessly to keep our system going so we can enjoy our way of life

    Right.  I don’t believe that politicians are in fact dogs.  I used dogs at a metaphor only, to illustrate emotionally that politicians are, by the nature of the system, driven to represent their favored groups (e.g. “The Senator from Boeing”). That’s just the political/monetary/social system at work.  If they don’t do so, they don’t get re-elected.  These days, if they don’t sell out to the donor class, then they get primaried in the next election.  In some sense they are prisoners of the system just like the rest of us.  Ok, sure they get rich after “government service” via the revolving door, but they know deep inside they are not doing the right thing, and that can’t feel good.   There.  Empathy.  See I’m a good person too.
    To me that’s not ideological, its simply Social Physics.  One can bemoan the Law of Gravity when one falls down, but pretending that Gravity is some sort of ideological position that one can choose not to believe in might well lead one to doing foolish things that would result in injury.  That’s what the MMT folks are doing, in my opinion.
    And FWIW I said nothing at all about government workers.  I think you are once more responding to something I didn’t say.  My guess: they do the best they can in the environment they find themselves in.  As do most of us.  Look at that, more empathy.

    …one can also view Volcker’s floating interest rate policy as causing the rates to irresponsibly rise to 19%, causing two deep recessions in 80 and 81, massive unemployment, a major downturn in manufacturing, and eventually a global recession. Soon after, the eventual high dollar value hurt US exporters

    I don’t know what label is attached to what Volcker did, but I do know from looking at the charts what the response of bank credit was to interest rates.  Raise rates high enough, and bank credit stops being created.  And bank credit growth and inflation go hand in hand.  New bank credit injected directly into the economy causes inflation.  It seems like another one of those laws of physics to me.  Raise rates, people stop borrowing, economic activity slows, and inflation drops.
    If your group of wise-men MMT people just stopped printing money – well, then economic activity would slow, people would stop borrowing money, inflation would drop, and a recession would result.
    There will always be recessions.  That’s the cycle.  Recessions come from mal-investments that happened during the boom that end up blowing up on the investors when things slow down.  Shall we have a discussion about recessions and why they are just a part of life – like night and day, summer and winter, life and death? 
    So we find ourselves in agreement.  There must be some sort of strong, systemic check on politicans’ desire/need/drive to allocate money in as large a quantity as possible to their favored groups.
    Again, I’m open to what that check might be.  Could we go back to the gold standard?  Boy, with our current debt, I’m not sure we could.  Borrow in fiat, and repay in gold.  But we should think of something.  Something that vanishes almost immediately when politicians behave fecklessly.  Gold was awfully convenient, but maybe we can come up with something better.
    Then we don’t need to have the government borrow any longer.  Just printing the difference is more efficient.  I’d trust MMT if there was something like an unchangeable law of monetary physics that slapped them all collectively in the face if they started getting out of control – which they will, because that’s the nature of how things work – something they could bemoan and complain about but could not change.
    Until such a check is put in place, giving MMT to politicians is like handing a live hand grenade to a child.  You just know how it will play out.  You don’t know how long it will take, but you know it won’t be a happy ending.
    Given my savings is in USD, I am definitely talking my book.  I don’t want my savings to vanish.  Is that selfish of me?  It probably is.

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  • Sat, Mar 23, 2019 - 6:40am

    Reply to #49
    timedeposit

    timedeposit

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    More nuances

    I understood you were being metaphorical, but I would also counter that how you describe the US system as being inevitable, or just social physics, does strike more of an ideological tone in relation to our politics than reflects a scientific fact, which is fine. We all have our experiences and biases.  I have to work with all kinds, and I’ve learned almost all have good reasons for their ideological leanings, and have empathy. 
    In regard to the 70s, I guess what I was trying to point out was that macro dynamics are often difficult to discern. You are a very intelligent person who has studied these dynamics and have come to a particular conclusion. I’m sure there are a group of economists that would agree. Then we have other just as intelligent people that see it from a different angle and come to an opposite conclusion that seems perfectly logical to them, and a group of ecnomists agree with them. It’s similar to the analogy of two people looking at the number 6, one from below, one from above. One sees 9, one sees 6. Who’s correct? Depends on what position you take. Economics is filled with those kind of dual perceptions and conclusions, as well as policy results. You have pointed out what could be horrible policy results from MMT’s fiscal policy prescriptions, I have pointed out horrible policies that have resulted from monetarism. Neither one of us is entirely wrong or right.
    I also have strong reservations in regard to MMT’s prescriptive side for many of the reasons you have mentioned. I don’t see a job guarantee as ever working out the way MMTers envision. The private sector does a good job of matching employers and employees efficiently and productively.  Or, at leat it used to. I do think we need to move to a universal healthcare coverage. Too many employees seek employment for benefits at the expense of what might be a better employer/employee match. So much efficiency and productivity lost! There are also too many market failures with healthcare, and in reality we already have universal coverage, just in a way that wastes a lot of resources. That’s my bias now showing, but I also think its grounded in a respect for private sector markets. There is so much needless aggregate spending on duplicate services, advertising, administration fees, artificial complexity, and artificial competition in insurance and medical services. I agree with Mosler on healthcare, what we have is a socialized system masquerading as a private system. I’m sure people might see it the other way around, but again, we have so many other countries as better examples. 
    I guess what I am trying to point out is that it is frustrating to see people debate and argue from different positions that are not grounded in the same reality. It would be different if these positions were debating the same set of facts, but often they are not. For instance, we have too many people debating, where one person or group is using gold backed fixed convertible currency mechanics to describe outcomes and policy relating to fiat floating nonconvertible currencies. There have been so many wrongly applied mechanics to draw parallels between the US’s debt concerns with countries like Venezuela and Greece. The economies and monetary systems and how debt is and was owed are very different. It’s one of the reasons I posted the Mosler-Murphy debate. I watched the video when it first came out five years ago because I had become interested in MMT, and I found the debate fascinating because of the positions they take. They are both very intelligent but Mosler is there to debate mechanics of the system we have, Murphy wants to debate why we should have a different system. I think Murphy loses the debate because Mosler keeps pointing to reality, Murphy keeps pointing to a reality he would like to have. Both are fine positions to take, but then the debate should really be framed differently. 
    I agree with you regarding recessions. I would add that Keen’s view on the matter, which coincides with Minsky, is also a driving factor. It can be malinvestment, as you say, and-or it could be just excessive private sector borrowing that overshoots rational expectations, with private debt residue building up with each recession, leading to larger bubbles.
    To return to checks and balances, this is where we are in complete agreement. We are in agreement that going back to gold would be very difficult, which is why I brought it up. I think we need to move beyond the arguments for a gold standard. The system has changed and going back is not really a viable option. I also agree that MMT hasn’t gone far enough when they claim inflation is the appropriate or logical constraint on fiscal policy. It’s too ambiguous as a political constraint. So, I’m curious to see how their prescriptive side evolves going forward.
    I’m sure you agree that endless campaigning, lobbying, and celebratizing politicians at the federal level is wearing us all out. Again we can look to other countries. Canada has much more strict campaign and lobbying laws that could be adopted. Although I understand your grenade analogy, I think the same applies to monetarism. I think going down the same road of monetarism is going to create more wealth inequality, more handing of power to corporations, and more bailouts from bubbles bursting that assymetrically hit the poor and middle class. That’s also not sustainable. 
    Where does that leave us? I guess where we started. But, I do think MMT has been a good perspective to inject into the debate, which is why I encourage everyone to read it. There are even factions among MMTers which are interesting. Thanks for your comments. 
     

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  • Tue, Mar 26, 2019 - 9:28pm

    Reply to #49

    davefairtex

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    Posts: 3082

    ideology

    TD-
    Sorry for the delay in responding.  I got caught up in fixing some bugs and only now have the time to reply.

    how you describe the US system as being inevitable, or just social physics, does strike more of an ideological tone in relation to our politics than reflects a scientific fact, which is fine. We all have our experiences and biases.  I have to work with all kinds, and I’ve learned almost all have good reasons for their ideological leanings, and have empathy.

    Heh.  You are such a good person.
    My ideology, such as it is, tells me that people will act in line with the incentives that are provided by the system they are operating in.  My observation is, it is a the rare human being that acts contrary to the systemic incentives.  Such people form the basis of religions, get whatever passes for “sainthood” in their culture, or are recognized (usually after they’ve passed away) as being truly exceptional.
    But for the rest of humanity, to project the outcome for a situation, all we really need to do is look at the systemic incentives for the participants, and the outcome will – generally speaking – be reasonably easy to predict.  We just have to be clear-eyed about what those incentives really are.  We also have to understand roughly how humans are built – how much is evolutionary biology, how much is initial programming, how much is societal thought-shaping, etc.  If that’s ideology, I’m not sure which label to slap onto it.  Maybe “real-life-ism.”  Or “how-the-world-works-ism”.  I’m definitely guilty of having such an ideology, and – I thank you for your empathy in advance.

    I guess what I am trying to point out is that it is frustrating to see people debate and argue from different positions that are not grounded in the same reality.

    Once again, you are frustrated about some general thing that – I’m not sure applies to me. Please.  Address issues with me directly.  Tell me what you disagree with, and why.
    Now then, on to points of agreement.  Some, even over-agreement.
     I’m sure you agree that endless campaigning, lobbying, and celebratizing politicians at the federal level is wearing us all out.  [You don’t go far enough.  The current system has been engineered by corporations so that they can capture politicians to do their bidding.  Getting money out of politics is requirement #1 for reducing corruption to a more manageable level.]
    I think going down the same road of monetarism is going to create more wealth inequality, more handing of power to corporations, and more bailouts from bubbles bursting that assymetrically hit the poor and middle class.  [If by “monetarism” you mean Fed’s ever-increasing mission creep – which is now all about money printing to prop up the markets, as well as dropping rates to zero for long periods of time, I completely agree.  If you mean getting rid of the Fed as the buyer of last resort of good corporate debt during a crisis, then I don’t agree.]
    I agree with Mosler on healthcare, what we have is a socialized system masquerading as a private system. [I’d go further.  We have a government-supported sickcare cartel, and sub-standard care for actual people at twice the price other countries pay.  And we don’t cover everyone.  Its utterly ridiculous – it is literally the worst healthcare system ever.  And the sickcare cartel owners are getting extremely rich as a result.]

    Again, things are all about incentives.
    I’m glad we agree that checks & balances are required before politicians are given the printing press.  And I’m not talking about “the vote”, I’m talking about something that has the ineluctability of physics.

    I guess what I was trying to point out was that macro dynamics are often difficult to discern. You are a very intelligent person who has studied these dynamics and have come to a particular conclusion. I’m sure there are a group of economists that would agree. Then we have other just as intelligent people that see it from a different angle and come to an opposite conclusion that seems perfectly logical to them, and a group of ecnomists agree with them.

    I don’t accept that as a reasonable response.  If you disagree with the specifics of my analysis, then we can trot out the charts and pick them apart and see what makes sense.  I will not accept that ‘there are smart people on both sides that say different things” as any sort of compelling argument.  That’s a logical fallacy – an “appeal to smart-people-on-the-other-side authority.”
    Often there really is truth.  In those cases, by exploring the boundaries of our current understanding, we can end up refining it and moving closer to it.
    What I do believe is that I should be willing to listen if you go through the effort of presenting a case.  It actually benefits me to do so, since I’m more interested in how things really work than I am about being right.  Or rather – I really do want to be right, and sometimes that requires changing my mind when a new theory comes along that fits the facts better.
    Sigh.  This got long.  Thanks for reading this far and playing along with me.

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  • Sun, Mar 31, 2019 - 6:23pm

    #50

    thc0655

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    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    AOC: Green New Deal inextricably linked to socialist revolution

    https://news.grabien.com/story-msnbcs-green-new-deal-forum-devolves-hour-long-pitch-sociali

    Over the course of the next hour, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC, as she’s nicknamed herself, made clear that her original Green New Deal proposal — a widely mocked outline that called for everything from “retrofitting” every building in America to single-payer health care to a universal basic income (including for those “too lazy” to work) to slavery reparations to a federal jobs program to so much more  — was indeed completely serious. 
    When a former congressman at one point suggested the priority should be on saving the world’s environment, and that the universal basic income component of AOC’s Green New Deal could come later, the crowd booed and jeered him.
    AOC, a firm believer that Planet Earth only has 12 years to be saved from a global warming-sparked apocalypse, opened by telling Chris Hayes “there will be no future” if the United States fails to adopt her proposal:  
    “So this issue is not just about our climate,” she acknowledged at the outset. “First and foremost we need to save ourselves, period. There will be no future for the Bronx. There will be no livable future for generations coming, for any part of this country in a way that is better than lot that we have today if we don’t address this issue urgently and on the scale of the problem.”
    AOC said the panoply of popular progressive proposals making up her Green New Deal — free college, free housing, single-payer health care, “social and racial justice” — are all inextricably intertwined, and that it’s foolhardy to pursue them individually…
    But the most revealing moment came when a former Republican congressman (who is now a global warming activist), Bob Inglis, suggested a more pragmatic approach to getting the Green New Deal enacted would be to focus first on the environment and later on things like a “universal basic income.” The crowd, already juiced with idealistic calls for a socialist remaking of the country, began heckling and booing him, with someone audibly shouting “moron!” The chaos only stopped when AOC interjected. But these participants were only responding to the atmosphere she created. Inglis’ pitch for pragmatic socialism instead a total revolution went nowhere; AOC devotees view anything short of a complete remaking of America as selling out. 
    Add it all up, and AOC is indeed pitching a radical remaking of American society — from one that’s historically defined by individual liberty and free markets — to one defined by state-control and eco-theology. It’s a plan that leaves no facet of Americans’ daily lives untouched by the long, judgmental arm of Washington. The Green New Deal’s scope and mandate for legislative authority amounts to a radical grant of power to Washington over Americans’ lives, homes, businesses, travel, banking, and more.

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  • Sun, Mar 31, 2019 - 7:38pm

    Reply to #50

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    individual liberties - free markets

    Tom-

    Add it all up, and AOC is indeed pitching a radical remaking of American society — from one that’s historically defined by individual liberty and free markets — to one defined by state-control and eco-theology. It’s a plan that leaves no facet of Americans’ daily lives untouched by the long, judgmental arm of Washington. The Green New Deal’s scope and mandate for legislative authority amounts to a radical grant of power to Washington over Americans’ lives, homes, businesses, travel, banking, and more.

    My goodness, individual liberty and free markets.  I’d sure love for that to be where we are.
    I haven’t seen a free market for decades.  We live in The Globalized Company Store.  And that’s precisely why there is such a resonance behind the socialist aspects of the GND.  When the healthcare system is so horrid and predatory it steals 20% of the GDP and we end up with shorter lifespans than all the other systems out there while making the thieves rich…we should not be surprised when people go for socialism.
    Seriously.  I’m sick to death of all these allegedly “pro free markets” weasels who totally ignore where we really are, and what is really going on.  They are just as bad in my eyes as all the Russia-gate believers in the MSM, and the scumbags that raise the price of insulin by 10% every year.
    Yes, the GND is all a tactic by the socialists, but there would be zero traction on socialism if our competition-free cartel capitalism weren’t so horribly predatory.
    Elizabeth Warren knows this.  She is getting attacked because she wants to break up Amazon, among other monopolies, in order to encourage competition.  She’s an old-time Democrat.  In this, I’m totally with her.  She’s the only one talking about this issue.

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  • Mon, Apr 01, 2019 - 6:04am

    Reply to #50

    Michael_Rudmin

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    Joined: Jun 25 2014

    Posts: 825

    Maybe laughter is needed

    When someone claims or implies that we have free markets, laugh?
    Make it clear not only that they are being ridiculous, but that they are also at war with everyone else there?
    Good article on Rolling Stone, linked to on PP a few days ago.

     

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  • Thu, Apr 04, 2019 - 9:31am

    #51

    thc0655

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    Posts: 1423

    Now there’s a counter proposal

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/04/03/matt-gaetz-unveils-green-real-deal-as-commonsense-rebuttal-to-aocs-green-new-deal/

    “Today with other members of Congress, I’ll be filing a Green Real Deal — a commonsense rebuttal to the Green New Deal,” he announced at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “The Green Real Deal rejects regulation as the driving force of reform, and instead unlocks the potential of American innovation and ingenuity.”
     
    “The question for America is pretty simple. Either we want a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington telling us what we can’t do, or we empower American innovators to unlock things that we can do,” he continued.
     
    He said his proposal establishes four platforms for American innovators to “utilize, exploit, and deploy for their success.”

     

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  • Sat, Apr 06, 2019 - 1:49pm

    Reply to #51

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    Overlap Between Green New Deal and 'Green Real Deal'

    Thanks for posting that link, Tom. I hadn’t heard of that and was interested to look into it.

    Even though, philosophically, I’m much more in support of the overall approach of the Green New Deal, I saw a bunch of things that seemed like good ideas in ‘Green Real Deal’, some of which matched approaches of Green New Deal, (like incentivizing energy efficiency, modernizing the national electric grid, storage, distribution), and some good ideas not focused on by the GND, like protecting the intellectual property of innovators and cutting red tape and regulations as necessary and appropriate to be able to rapidly build out renewables and infrastructure as needed.

    I haven’t had a chance to read it through completely yet, but it’s clear that like GND, it’s also an aspirational (outline/resolution) document that refers to ‘investing in’ a lot of things, but doesn’t say where that money will come from, how it will be incentivized or how much it would be.   Like GND, I doubt it would pass the current Senate either.  We’ll all be able to have better discussions of these things when both the costs of taking various actions and the costs of not taking the actions are more clearly defined and estimated.    

    My overall reaction is that it’s nice to imagine that a ‘free market’ approach that doesn’t cost much could create the massive economic shift in the time required, but IMO that’s clearly a pipe dream. The ‘free market’ has massively failed to deal with climate to date because ‘the free market’ didn’t even want you to know there’s a climate crisis coming in the first place, and still spends a lot of money to make sure you don’t think one is.   While knowingly and successfully lying to the public denying the grave threat of human-caused climate change for decades, (because it’s ‘bad for business’), the fossil fuel industry has instead, as documented by Chris, Art Berman and others, sucked up trillions of ‘free market’ dollars from the Fed/Wall Street and put them into crony capital, unwaveringly money-losing operations in the US building out massive, built-to-fail, environment trashing fracking operations and infrastructure that made all its banker and scammer friends rich.  Of course, these money-losing ops have provided temporarily beneficial support for the US economy, including lifting energy from the ground, but represent just another pernicious form of borrowing from the future – in this case via burning black gold while helping poison the global ecology with greenhouse gas.  Makes no sense.

    Those trillions could and should have been gently directed by government incentives ages ago gradually moving us toward a much more well-thought out, renewable energy economy.  Markets are way too short term focused and corrupt to be able on their own to incentivize the innovation required to be where we need to be to avoid climate disruption a decade or two from now on their own.  They’ll need likely not just massive tax or other incentives put in place by governments at all levels, but also actual taxation and reallocation of funds into infrastructure and other projects.  It’d be great if we could find ways to make sure that neither “bureaucrats” or Wall Street control the process.  Any process won’t be easy at all.  Not doing it would be much worse – the much bigger disruptions just come a little later.

    In any case, I’ll be interested to see the details of the proposal that shows amounts of money involved and where the big incentives required come from, if they ever are laid out.

     

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  • Sat, Apr 06, 2019 - 7:38pm

    #52

    kelvinator

    Status Bronze Member (Online)

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 181

    Miami NewTimes Rudely Says Green Real Deal "Sucks"

    They make a the same general point that I do above, that Gaetz’ plan doesn’t show any incentives that would actually cause the ‘free market’ to make changes at anything approaching the needed scale in the next decade or so – not even a carbon tax.    The New Times just lays it on more harshly:
    https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/florida-congressman-matt-gaetzs-green-real-deal-climate-change-plan-absolutely-sucks-11139299
     

    Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz’s New Climate “Plan” Sucks
    The problem with the plan is it sucks, top to bottom. If America relies solely on the provisions in Gaetz’s plan, the planet will cook and the seas will swallow us whole. Period. Gaetz claims his bill is a more “common sense” alternative to Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, but in reality, it’s Gaetz who’s living in a dream world.
    That’s because Gaetz’s plan includes literally no carbon-emitting regulations at all. Gaetz did this on purpose: He’s transparently stated that he hopes to save the world without all those pesky “government regulations” in Ocasio-Cortez’s plan. Gaetz’s ideas might have been useful in 1950, but it’s simply too late in the game for Americans to consider a plan as completely toothless as Gaetz’s in 2019.
    “The Green Real Deal rejects regulation as the driving source of reform, and instead unlocks the unlimited potential of American innovation and ingenuity,” Gaetz said in D.C. yesterday at what appeared to be a sparsely attended press conference.

    [V]oluntary restrictions on carbon polluters simply haven’t worked. The U.S. government for years has tried to solve the climate crisis through weak regulations and largely ineffectual subsidies to clean energy producers, but fossil fuel companies have shown again and again they have little interest in weaning themselves off oil and gas. If anything, the opposite is true: Carbon emissions have steadily increased over the last decade, despite ample evidence that carbon pollution is cooking the planet. In fact, humans set the world record for CO2 emissions just last year.

     

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  • Tue, Apr 16, 2019 - 6:27pm

    Reply to #56

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    python??

    Given I’ve been solving problems in Python for more than a decade, I have to say, I really don’t understand how my expertise has to do with anything you are talking about.  Do you think because I know Python that I’m somehow magically imbued with insight about what 30 somethings are thinking?  Or those PP members that don’t know Python, they are somehow out of touch and don’t know anything?
    FWIW, I totally recommend Python.  You just need to make sure and write test cases if your code needs to be production quality.
    In terms of grumpiness, some percentage of software engineers start being grumpy at about age 25.  Or so I’ve noticed.

     

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  • Tue, Apr 16, 2019 - 6:34pm

    Reply to #27
    richcabot

    richcabot

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    Posts: 180

    Trump fighting for the low-wage worker?

    davefairtex wrote:

    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.

    Trump doesn’t really care about the low-wage worker.  He talks about reducing illegal immigration but he doesn’t actually do anything about it.  He could have built the wall in his first year but he waited until he had lost control of Congress.  Even at the end of the last Congress when a few Republicans refused to back the wall funding in the Senate he could have done deals to get them onboard.  The presidency has lots of tradeable perks to convince recalcitrant legislators.  Pardon a few of their potential big donors, grant some HUD investments to favored supporters, etc.  He didn’t do any of it.
    He could take away the motivation for illegal immigration by enforcing the worker verification laws currently in place.  Just start checking the Social Security numbers of workers and the ability of most illegals would disappear.  He doesn’t do that because it would hurt his corporate pals.  Heck, his golf courses hire illegals.
    Nobody in government cares about the low-wage worker today.  They just care about their corporate supporters.  Enough people believed that Trump did that he squeaked in.  The next election should be interesting because very few of the Democratic candidates care either.  The ones that do are opposed by the party leadership.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 17, 2019 - 2:34am

    Reply to #27

    davefairtex

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 03 2008

    Posts: 3082

    the wall

    rich-
    My sense is that the Republicans are totally in favor of unlimited immigration for just the reasons you lay out – it benefits their corporate donors.  I got the sense that Ryan told him to wait and pass the rich people tax cuts first.  Trump did, and lost his chance at the wall, just as you say.  He is probably quite annoyed at himself for listening to Ryan.  I credit him with more good will towards the working class than you do.  Its just a matter of how one interprets events.
    I do not think there is much will in Congress, on either side of the aisle, to restrain immigration.  Both sides donors benefit.  So Trump has to run around the country getting people to notice. And now, largely, people are starting to notice.  “Importing a bunch of new low-wage workers is bad for the wages of the existing low-wage workers.”  Who would have guessed?
    Trump had no chance of winning that government shutdown.  That’s because, behind the scenes, Republicans were against him too, and they relied on the independents to make them look as though they were supporting him, but – if the chips were down, I suspect his support was a lot weaker than it looked.
    That’s how I read it anyway.

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 3:19am

    #53
    albacore

    albacore

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 20 2014

    Posts: 0

    Good response on some MMT challenges

    If there’s still life in this thread, please consider taking the time to read a really useful blog post on MMT (once again from Bill Mitchell) that addresses a number of the common challenges: http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=42170
    In particular he rebuts one of the key arguments put forward here by davefairtex – the unwillingness to give politicians greater powers. The headline response: so should we tell each other lies about the way the world works, for fear of politicians taking liberties?
    All the best,
    Matt

     

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  • Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - 8:37am

    #54
    skipr

    skipr

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 09 2016

    Posts: 121

    MMT & Public Banking

    I’m definitely not up to speed with MMT.  Is the public bank movement part of it?  If it is, PP should interview Nomi Prins again since she wrote this in strong support of it:
    https://truthout.org/articles/ive-seen-goldman-sachs-from-the-inside-we-
     

     

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  • Tue, Apr 16, 2019 - 12:52pm

    #55

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    Political revolution: first and foremost

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2019/04/15/green-new-deal-more-than-resolution-revolution/TDoZpaaNpceLZ16on967NP/story.html

     

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  • Tue, Apr 16, 2019 - 3:34pm

    #56

    newsbuoy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 10 2013

    Posts: 51

    Donating to The Grumpy Old Men's Club

    The fact that Rector recieved +14 for his grumpy comment makes clear our predicament. We the grumpy old men of PP (note to self) are working hard to understand what the current “system” wants to do, how well it’s doing it, and where it wants to take us. Now we’re trying to figure out what the 30 somethings of today want to do and are figuring out how to do it, knowing: Python, Java, C/C++, JavaScript, Go programming language, R, Swift, PHP, C#, MATLAB, etc. not to mention Rust or Kotlin.
    Politics is a lagging indicator.
     

     

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  • Mon, Apr 22, 2019 - 2:11pm

    #57

    thc0655

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1423

    Nitty gritty

    https://www.city-journal.org/stossel/green-new-deal

    Countries around the world are embracing subsidies to expand the production of renewables, and environmentalists claim that we’re on the cusp of a tech-driven energy revolution that will make oil and gas obsolete. Are they right?
     
    Not likely. According to Meigs and Mills, improvements in wind and solar technology are reaching their theoretical limits. It would be virtually impossible to generate the amount of wind and solar power necessaryto replace the world’s oil and gas consumption. And yet, renewables enjoy strong political support, while nuclear technology, our best source of clean, reliable, and—yes—safe electricity, faces intense political opposition.

     

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