Home » xyzzy » Dungeon » Modern Monetary Theory (or, how I stopped worrying about the natl debt.)
Re: Modern Monetary Theory [message #95824 is a reply to message #95823] Tue, 12 July 2022 12:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
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Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

That's a very interesting read. I like to study history - primarily early Mesopotamian history - so since a lot of this referenced that, it was interesting to me.

But I must admit that I take umbrage at the statement, "If the "free enterprise" boys had their way there would have been no temple coinage or oversight of weights and measures. Land would belong to whomever could grab, foreclose on or conquer it. Interest would have reflected whatever a wealthy merchant could force a needy cultivator to pay."

I think much of what I read was pretty free of bias but by the time I got to that statement, the author's bias showed through just a little bit.

It's not the conservatives or the progressives, nor is it the authoritarians or the libertarians. None of those are primarily at fault with their ideological opponent being "wrong." Each of them is compromised by greed, pride or one or more of our other characteristic human failings.

At least, that's how I see it. I get tired of all the noise I hear on the radio and TV these days. They're all pointing fingers at some scapegoat they want to blame.

To use the author's historical perspective, the code of Hammurabi or the Jewish laws - both from that region and era - were supposed to prevent the kinds of selfish excesses we sometimes see.

And laws like these have been written in various cultures for the thousands of years after that too.

The author focuses on debt forgiveness. That's an ancient tradition, yes. An interesting one. And we have it today as well. It's called bankruptcy. So while I enjoy trying to understand ancient Mesopotamian cultures and the mindsets of their peoples, I don't think our problems today are so different than they were in the past. There are differences - to be sure - but the nature of man is exactly the same.

I think the real problem is really just human nature. Humans that govern are still humans, so the power difference between the governors and those governed tends to be exploited for unfair gain. Laws are sometimes (almost always) selective enforced. It almost doesn't matter whether the culture is authoritarian or libertarian, or whether it is conservative or progressive. Whoever has power is going to exercise limits on everyone but themselves, their friends and family.

Likewise, laws that benefit individuals or groups are almost always leaned in favor of those that are in power to enact the laws.

This is something I see without exception. Even those that take enforcement actions against a friend or family do it purely for "optics." Without public visibility, they don't enforce laws on friends or family to be "fair and impartial." I mean, what human being would?

And again, when a person or political party champions laws to benefit a person or group, it is never done without self-interest.

Whether or not we would judge ourselves in a way that minimizes our nature or justifies it doesn't really matter. It is probably best to simply be aware of our true nature, to acknowledge it and to govern ourselves accordingly.

It's the human condition. It's not the "free enterprise boys" at fault, at least, not only. It's all of us. It's the way we're built. It's the human condition.
Re: Modern Monetary Theory [message #95825 is a reply to message #95824] Tue, 12 July 2022 17:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rusty is currently offline  Rusty
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Registered: May 2018
Location: Kansas City Missouri
Illuminati (2nd Degree)
Guess I don't know why you didn't take umbrage from his 3rd paragraph on since he makes mention of a free market economist using a time machine to convince chieftains or rulers to arrange their trade, money and land contracts on the basis of greed is good and any public regulation is bad.

I agree human nature doesn't change. And the ancients had a better sense of it than we do now with what they did to ameliorate the tendency of corruption from debt peonage. Not particularly for altruistic means Hudson found. But to keep the palace and society in general stable. The slate was wiped clean. The ancients knew that debt collects faster than a society can relinquish it. Even then. He points out that civilization was able to flourish under this arrangement. And the great religions, philosophies, weights and measures for precious metals used for trade came about from governance with regulation at it's core. That land was parceled out for cultivation by need and ability from it's inhabitants by the government.

The Romans developed the sanctity of debt. With laws to enforce it. And the western culture has lived under that since. True we have individual bankruptcy. But it costs though to hire a bankruptcy attorney and wait for your case to go through the court system. Meanwhile debt has been ginned up in our society through financial manipulation and speculation.

I think what Mr. Hudson gets across quite well is that our current economic doctrine, especially over the last 50 years has a lack of history in it's conceptualization that rings true. And in fact, creates a false narrative to bolster it's usefulness.

Sure, the noise created in our society from the finger pointing is a scapegoat. And it's a cop out to keep from looking at the elephant in the room.

Matthew 19:24



Re: Modern Monetary Theory [message #95826 is a reply to message #95825] Tue, 12 July 2022 18:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 18321
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

The reason I became annoyed was it appeared that he was saying that free market principles were inherently greedy, rather than to admit that humans are greedy.

The implication seems to be that free-market principles were the root of all economic evil, so to speak. But that implies that socialists aren't greedy, or that they are somehow less greedy than free-market folks. Not to single out socialists, but I suppose that is what one might consider to be diametrically opposed to laissez-faire physiocrats, or what some might call capitalists.

I do not believe that the problem is economic systems. Any of 'em would work if humans weren't naturally predisposed to being greedy. So no "time machine" would help.

And it isn't like the Adam Smith style economists encourage greed any more than the Keynesian economists. I don't think any economists do, really. I'm not even sure that government regulations (or the lack of them) encourages greed. Some probably limit it more than others. Most limit one group of people from being greedy more than other groups - and it seems to me like that's when people get up in arms.
Re: Modern Monetary Theory [message #95830 is a reply to message #95826] Wed, 13 July 2022 10:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rusty is currently offline  Rusty
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Registered: May 2018
Location: Kansas City Missouri
Illuminati (2nd Degree)
I see. I don't regard this individualistic aspect as a trait of the system that he's conveying. His studies are geared towards the macro level. The "free market boys" he mentioned are what he refers to usually as the Chicago School of Economics. What I get from this piece and others he's written/ spoken is that historically the concentrations of wealth have prevailed upon economic system's through the levers of government. That having a central government strong enough to regulate the economic system helps to keep the society from being burdened by debt. The ancients did it by enacting jubilee, a clean slate. Since the Roman empire, a new paradigm of debt sanctity has been the defacto law.

Whatever the economic doctrine used in a society isn't governed by some notion of moral turpitude. But it has effects on the society by how the system operates. Adam Smith and other classical economists are attributed with the advent of the free market system. However, they were adamant that the system have checks and balances. So that the rentier class or "those that made money in their sleep" would be taxed accordingly for their "unearned" income. Their influence on government and it's effect on society have been chronicled through history.

Hudson's referral to the free market boys, these days, are the economic advocates for an economic system devoid of checks and balances to the accumulation of wealth and it's taxation. Government regulation. Privatization. Lack of anti-trust. And most importantly financial influence upon government itself.

I've experienced enough just in my lifetime of this free market concept as has been crafted and honed to see the effects to be detrimental to ordinary people. The greed factor is a small percentile of population. As it has always been.
Re: Modern Monetary Theory [message #95832 is a reply to message #95830] Thu, 14 July 2022 07:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rusty is currently offline  Rusty
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Registered: May 2018
Location: Kansas City Missouri
Illuminati (2nd Degree)
I'll keep this off site and via link. A continuation to the prior post by the economist Michael Hudson. His work is controversial to be sure. He has been working along a human history line of economic and political discourse up until present day. A vast sweep with some interesting commonalities steadfast throughout the millennia. Principally, societies and their governments must be capable enough to keep the forces of concentrated wealth and it's tendency to seek control for it's advantage, by taking over the economic system and capturing rent seeking from the populous.

Which has been leading up to in modern times a dynamic that is taking place in the world economies that is bifurcating into distinct groups. These are, crucial times we are living in.

https://michael-hudson.com/2022/07/the-end-of-western-civilization/
Re: Modern Monetary Theory [message #95839 is a reply to message #95832] Thu, 14 July 2022 11:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rusty is currently offline  Rusty
Messages: 782
Registered: May 2018
Location: Kansas City Missouri
Illuminati (2nd Degree)
And to carry this further and further. This is a very, very interesting podcast with transcription, so both can be employed. Both M. Hudson and Steve Keen team up to cover current economic and political machinations going on in this world.

https://michael-hudson.com/2022/07/international-trade-and-mmt/
Re: Modern Monetary Theory [message #95861 is a reply to message #95839] Tue, 02 August 2022 12:21 Go to previous message
Rusty is currently offline  Rusty
Messages: 782
Registered: May 2018
Location: Kansas City Missouri
Illuminati (2nd Degree)
The contents of this video I support 100 percent. And the viewpoints I'd want any politician of any party to take up. What Marianne Williamson speaks to is what I sense is the undercurrent of our society at this point in time. And the creation of all the vitriol we're experiencing in our country and our world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYDkcJRQKXs
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