The political barriers to getting humane economic policy through Government House or Senate or Wall Street or whatever it's called in your country appear to be formidable. In confronting this reality, Mike Norman may have come up with a winning strategy when he notes that Americans have no problem with a single payer in the case of defense, so why not health care? At the very least, this observation could have legs with the bloodthirstier electorates of the world. The applications seem endless.
Bill Mitchell has provided a link to the homepage of the work-in-progress MMT textbook he is co-writing with Randall Wray entitled Modern Monetary Theory and Practice. The complete book is expected to be published in 2014. Draft chapters in various states of completion are accessible from the homepage.
It seems the failure of orthodox macroeconomists to foresee the global financial crisis and the willingness of some of its more extreme members, in the Great Recession that followed, to push for ridiculous remedies such as "contractionary expansionism" has resulted, at least in Australia, in the likely downgrading of numerous journals that cater not for orthodox (i.e. neoclassical) economics but, you guessed it, heterodox economics and studies into the history of economic thought (HET). There has been a predictable closing of the ranks. Steve Keen wrote a good article on the situation in late September.
It's been about three years since the blog started. Out of curiosity I decided to trundle through the record books to see which posts had fared best in the popularity stakes and how this list compared with my personal favorites. It is not an exact science, as any blogger will be aware. The list is not definitive, although the identity of the top post is obvious. The make-up of the top ten is also fairly clear, but not its ordering. Early posts are disadvantaged, because the blog has obviously grown over time. By the same token, early posts listed on the Posts To Read First page receive a boost. They tend to get a steady but modest flow of readers over time. Anyway, without further ado ...
An interesting discussion between regular commenters touches on the role, if any, that resentment might play in opposition to the introduction of a basic income. It got me thinking about the impact of resentment, in general, as an obstacle to the eradication of human suffering and the establishment of real freedom for all.
The Australian-American cult leader who calls himself ‘Billy Ray Moeller', based just 3000 kilometers north-west of Queensland's Bible belt, is now on the move, spreading Modern Monetary Theory or MMT around the globe. He's the ex-high-powered cycling financier and self-styled Minsky protégé with a growing base of followers. The American headquarters of this growing movement is Kansas City, Missouri, but Billy Ray Moeller makes no apologies for that. He tours the world, drumming up followers, tempting anyone who'll listen to release the fiscal spigots, no matter the consequences.
In the previous post, it was argued that there is good reason for unearned income of landlords, rentiers and capitalists to be redistributed at least partially to all citizens. In this post, I want to consider briefly the way in which the establishment of a nationalized bank could facilitate such a policy. The political viability of this institutional change no doubt varies from country to country, but does not seem out of the question. In Australia, for instance, where strongly neoliberal policies are pursued, there is some survey evidence indicating that a strong majority of voters would be in favor of the establishment of a government-owned bank and that less than a quarter would oppose such a move.
It is sometimes argued that a basic income guarantee (BIG) would be unfair because it requires no reciprocation from the recipient. Personally, I reject the principle of reciprocity, but many do not, so it might be worth briefly considering how the principle, if held, ought to be applied in the present social system. In a system of private property ownership, I would argue that the reciprocity argument against a basic income is clearly false. Would-be recipients are already reciprocating, before any such introduction of a basic income, by agreeing to go along with the private-property system. Why should individuals, especially those not born into private property, respect private property rights unless they are given something in return for their cooperation with the arrangement? It should go without saying that they are entitled to an income as reciprocation for not demanding the end to private property. If we are going to appeal to reciprocity, the onus of reciprocation should be on those who derive property income.
Earlier in the year, I posted an attempted (but limited and inadequate) point-form overview of the Divine Truth message of Alan John Miller ("AJ") and Mary Luck, who say they are Jesus and Mary Magdalene of the first century reincarnated. In making this claim, they are not suggesting that Jesus is God, as might mistakenly be inferred on the basis of what is taught in various strains of Christianity, but instead that Jesus of the first century was an ordinary man who learned the 'way' to atonement with God – a way equally open to all that centers on developing a desire for truth and love in humility. In particular, a genuine longing for God's divine love to enter a person's heart is what is said to enable soul development and eventual atonement.
R.V. Markov of the excellent "Bulgaria and MMT" blog is working tirelessly to raise awareness of MMT. Recently he emailed news of an MMT conference (Round Table) to be held 9 November 2013. The event, organized by the union of economists in Bulgaria, will take place at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia. Pavlina Tcherneva and Warren Mosler will be speaking. R.V. Markov outlines the conference details here and provides a link to the facebook event page.