6 comments

  1. Korual · · Reply

    So Social Credit were right all along? I do wonder if Grant Robertson secretly knows all this but thinks that it is too politically explosive to admit to it. Although he does promise a surplus he seems to be aiming for as small a surplus as possible, as if he is only worried about the symbolic gesture of making sure there is no deficit for anyone to point to. Bill English, however, was straight-forwardly ignorant, he really thought that the government needed to make savings.

  2. Love you work! Beautifully clear exposition on MMT. My god so many nations including OZ and NZ have shot themselves in the foot by the failed economic and political ideology of neoliberalism/monetarism

  3. I recently posted a different view of a Job Guarantee program, featuring bottom-up administration and max automation, at TENonline.org/jg.html . Any critique of that proposal is welcome.

    1. Nice work Ed. I would just say that having a JG hourly wage is not cool. If it is government deficit funded then it should really be ethical. All hourly wage work is akin to modern day slavery – you are asking people to sell their labour time. So my thinking is that if a government is funding a bottom-up JG scheme they should take the lead and give the JG workers an annual salary, not an hourly wage. Point is, some people like to work but also take it easy and not stress, while others love to rush to free up their time. Hourly wages are perhaps suitable when you have a competitive labour (slave?) market. The JG program is not a competitive labour market. Can I convince you on this?

  4. Fiddling around with different forms of money is a red herring. The focus of MMD (modern money dynamics) should be on fostering a peaceful (non war spending) sustainable green economy. So no matter what, we want our government representing our universal social good interests, which means we have our government control a sovereign fiat currency, made valuable by obligations (such as taxes on unearned rentier incomes and inheritances). The form of this currency could be manifold, mostly electronic and free(libre) blockchain backed, but whatever it is, no matter what for it takes, if it circulates chartelist-like, our government (the sole issuer) will always run a deficit so that households are not borrowing credit to go into debt. The target should be full employment, low private debt/GDP, and low-to-moderate inflation, not interest rates. There is nothing complicated about the money system that it needs anything fancy, but to avoid fancy crap people will need to understand what government deficits are, they are private surplus.

  5. Edward Zimmer · · Reply

    @oneoverepsilon. Thanks for the feedback. First, let’s make sure we have a common understanding of the purpose of a JG program. In the MMT view, any unemployment is a wasted resource – and not simply because society is not benefiting from their labor, but the economy is not benefiting from their spending. (Since they’re not earning, they can’t spend, which lowers GDP.)

    The purpose of JG is to make paid work (at least at a subsistence level) available to all who want it. Its economic benefit is that it tends to auto-stabilize GDP – as private employment falls, JG employment rises (and vice versa). So it’s intended to be short-term employment. Rather than leaving the unemployed scrounging for government benefits to keep food on the table, it gives them the opportunity to work for pay while continuing to look for a better job or find some other source of income.

    In that context, an hourly wage appears to offer maximum freedom of options for both work seekers and providers. And it’s no more “slavery” than the private job. What’s a “private job” than someone defining what work is to be done, how, where and when it’s to be done and the payment to be provided? And a “job” provider (as contrasted with a “work” provider) is expected to provide full-time work as well as time, space and tenure.

    Offering “work” (rather than “job”) seems to offer many more opportunities. A survey asking local government what “jobs” they might provide if paid by national government found little interest. I suspect the answer would have been much different if asked what work they might benefit from if free and available. And
    to have a variety of work opportunities to choose from (for short-term employment) seems to offer much more freedom to the seeker. It also strikes me that a work-available program evolving from the bottom is much more likely to succeed than a defined-job program designed from the top.

    I’m vey interested in talking more about this if you want.

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