Posted To Billy Mitchell’s Blog

Me: I’m not against a job guarantee. What I’m against is not integrating both a job guarantee and a universal dividend into economic policy so as to better and more completely end Finance’s monopolistic paradigm of Debt Only, and I’m surprised at your fighting against such integration.

JC:  Steven Hummel: I’m not sure how long you have been following Bill’s blog, but the JG he describes results in a universal social dividend (albeit non monetary) in the form of socially valuable work being performed by otherwise unemployed people. We all benefit from whatever the formerly unemployed are able to deliver.
In more progressive times there had also been a universal social dividend arising from public ownership of infrastructure, utilities etc..
In much of the western world we still have public health and education…

The financial sector itself benefits only in a monetary way from it’s activities. There is nothing delivered to society in terms of a real dividend.

Me:  Part of the neo-liberal fraud is that money is “a veil over barter”. We live in a fundamentally monetary economy and to insist upon a JG Only as the solution is to refuse to integrate truths and so not recognize the full pattern (paradigm) of both the problem and its solution. Advocating both a JG and a universal dividend accomplishes that integration and also opens up a better understanding and expression of the major insight of MMT itself which is that the money system is fundamentally distributive in nature, and with the proper directly distributive policies would be distributive in fact.

SG:  @Steven Hummel: the major insight of MMT itself which is that the money system is fundamentally distributive in nature, and with the proper directly distributive policies would be distributive in fact.

Although the meaning is not clear, this seems yet more contrary to the MMT view. MMT analyzes modern “monetary production economies”, where money and finance is involved in production and distribution, where full employment and fair distribution doesn’t happen by magic, as in alternative theories, whether they call themselves “left” or “right”.

The paramount insight of MMT is the JG. It involves both production (work) and distribution (money). Universal dividends, basic income etc are fatally flawed because of their focus on one – as if it could occur as a general principle, could mean anything, without the other.

Me:  From its title MMT is about money. What I meant by MMT’s major insight being that fiat money systems are distributive in nature derives from Mosler’s insight that taxes are rubbished. Hence money can be created and distributed for any purpose a sovereign nation wants to…..without re-distributive taxation at all. The trick of course is how to have much better monetary democracy (a universal dividend), prevent inflation and end private finance’s virtual monopoly on credit creation (my innovation of extending Social Credit’s mere retail discount policy to the point of sale within and throughout the entire process of the economy). Within those two policies one could easily fit a JG for anyone wanting/requiring a job because they couldn’t seem to find purpose without one. With a sufficient dividend and point of sale discount there would be enough demand continually available to insure a lot better investment climate and hence a lot more employment than we have with the idiocies of neo-liberal austerity. Furthermore, with a sufficiently high dividend and high enough point of sale discount percentage one could live a life of leisure (leisure is self chosen attentive activity not idleness) without working and hence capital would not have “the reserve army of the unemployed” to dominate and manipulate anymore.

SG:  Universal (monetary) dividends, basic income etc are worthless, stupid ideas that just make things (much) worse. The only thing worse than the repulsive fantasy of “a life of leisure … without working” supported by a “sufficiently high dividend” – in money used to purchase the labor of others – is the reality. There’s a name for that system: Slavery.

Me:  “MMT is for universal, social dividends – but not monetary ones, which cannot work, thankfully.”

Explain how they would not work please.

(and after no response from SG I posted:

Monetary policy will work if its directly to the individual and also if it is tied directly and reciprocally to the pricing system, that is to the point of sale within and throughout the entire economic process. If you step back and look at central bank operations that attempt to keep the money supply, inflation, interest rates, etc. etc. etc. in reasonable balance it becomes more clear to you how complex the system has become, and also how such operations perfectly reflect how the Ptolemaic astronomical paradigm introduced “epicycles” into their thinking in order to explain anomalies….and yet still failed to resolve them.

We are so overdue for a new monetary and economic paradigm instead of continually trying to tweak theory and pursue incremental reform. Consult Wisdom and History.

I fail to see how providing the means of economic freedom (a sufficiently high universal dividend) and the point of sale discount policy I related can be transformed into slavery. I also do not understand why integrating BOTH a dividend and discount policy AND a JG as well….is inferior to a JG only. I’m sorry, but exclusionary thinking smacks of orthodoxy which is something I thought we were trying to overcome.

SG:   Me:  I fail to see how providing the means of economic freedom (a sufficiently high universal dividend) and the point of sale discount policy I related can be transformed into slavery.

Thanks Neil & Jerry. The income guarantee part doesn’t really require transformation, it is basically slavery already. The people who do the work paid for by the SHUD are enslaved to the inept social engineers and the recipients of the dividend. That’s the way it has always worked out. Petrostates with tiers of citizenship are the prime real example of income guarantee proposals and most people don’t think they are very pretty overall. Income guarantees are either just another name for “welfare” in which case every MMTer I know of is for them, or a joke amount, or insanely inflationary and thus a joke.

Guaranteed income is like a proposal to abolish slavery – by making everyone a master. Most children can see through it. It takes major “education” in “economics” and massive confusion, false distinctions and dissociation of “technical” terms from their real world interpretation to convince oneself that income guarantees could ever work.

The JG is the grown up reality proposal. People will sometimes work for others, sometimes have others work for them. That’s called “one hand washes the other” or playing well with others. It is how the world has worked and progressed. A JG just means that nobody will be excluded from this, just so some saboteurs can become relatively richer and tyrannical.

Guaranteed income is also based on a very blinkered view and unstable conception of “economic freedom” – the freedom to do nothing, the freedom to order other people. What Bill calls being a “consumption unit”. But never the real freedom for everyone to actually do things theirselves. It is quite contrary to the mainstream of ethical thought East or West over the millennia, which considers exclusive obedience to ones desires of the sort a guaranteed income satisfies a form of slavery, and esteems the freedom to actually do stuff as a realer freedom.

Me:  Sorry, but that post was a lot of thinking inside the present paradigm and no actual looking at the policy I mentioned…..which is outside of it. New paradigms are always considered absurd by most….right until they become the new general truth. Consult history and Thomas Kuhn’s book on the subject. You guys can continue to be self righteously exclusionary by demanding that a JG ALONE is the answer, which is the signature of all rigid orthodoxies, I’ll continue to advocate an integration of both into the system which (integration) is the signature of wisdom, open mindedness and hence the antithesis of orthodoxy.

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