Reply To Warren Mosler on RWER Blog

WM:  Yes tax liabilities become the prime mover.

Me:  Yes, sovereignty is a legitimate right and function of government in a monetary economy. And in an economy rigged toward systemic monetary austerity and individual income scarcity by the monetary and financial paradigm of Debt Only it is the imperative of the government to find direct and reciprocal monetary policies at a most powerful and economically significant point (think retail sale) that change those conditions into abundance and free flowingness.

Sovereignty, abundance and free flowingness by the way are all aspects of the natural philosophical concept of grace. It’s important to be philosophically thorough going and aware don’t you think, Mr. Mosler?

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Me:  All economic theories are based on a paradigm of scarcity. With the new paradigm of Gifting, monetary abundance for all agents implemented by a sufficient universal dividend and a 50% discount/rebate monetary policy at the point of retail sale inverts the current paradigm’s “reality”.

We have tremendous productive capabilities. We just don’t have the general awareness of how to effectively implement monetary abundance as per above so that every agent can partake of that abundant production, the system is greatly stabilized, its current most thorny problems are resolved our ecological problems can also be adequately addressed.

Like all paradigm changes it’s as simple and yet pattern changing as that.

KZ:  Craig, one of Smith’s conclusions with which I agree is that money is not value. It is also not scarcity. In Smith’s time and even today scarcity of resources (e.g., food, shelter) does occur. Sometimes with negative consequences. How does your proposal deal with such situations? For example, the current national housing shortage in the US. After all, people can’t eat dollar bills or live in cabins made of them.

Me:  Money has value when the government says it has it, and when the money system enables abundance for all agents individual and commercial, domestic and international….it will continually have value….because it’s a monetary economy not a barter one, money is an excellent tool and the purpose of profit making economic systems is to produce in order to profit.

Money as in individual income and business revenue is scarce in ratio to our tremendous productive capabilities, and that scarcity is enforced by the monopoly paradigm of Debt Only by the illegitimate economic business model of private for profit finance.

A national non-profit publicly administered and directly distributive money system with the policies and regulations I’ve advocated here many times would eliminate that monetary scarcity, increase our productivity (very few of our resources are actually scarce and those that are can be either rapidly increased or replaced by better, more innovative and more rational alternatives) and finally get off the dime of actions toward ecological survival by a bottom up monetary subsidizing of green consumer products at the point of retail sale and additionally at the point of note signing.

KZ:  Craig, stop thinking in terms of economics for a moment and instead think in terms of people and the problems they face. A great many of these can’t be solved with any sort of re-distribution of money. US cities now face a shortage of affordable housing. Government could simply give those who can’t afford housing more money so they could then afford the housing. But this only makes owners of rental housing richer, and still richer without helping society. Take the situation in Portland, OR for example. First, Portland is addressing the problem as a community, not as economists. Housing construction in Portland slowed to a crawl during the Great Recession just as the region’s population growth took off, with rent prices spiking as a result. The housing affordability crisis grew huge. Even with the rental market now cooling off, housing costs are still way higher than a decade ago, and nearly two-thirds of Oregon’s low-income renters spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing. The double-digit rent increases of the last decade are still with us, and Portlanders continue to feel the pinch. One lesson here is that the private market — even when behaving at its best — doesn’t produce housing that’s affordable for all Portlanders. For people living on disability payments, unemployment insurance, or Social Security checks, even bottom-rung housing has become too expensive in the private market, so the public sector is being asked to step in. Equally so for minimum wage workers, of which thousands live in Portland. Portland and the State of Oregon are building more publicly subsidized affordable housing units than ever. The city’s production of affordable housing units reached an all-time high in 2018 — and thanks to bond measures approved by voters in 2016 and 2018, that trend is likely to continue. But there’s one hitch. Affordable housing isn’t affordable for everyone. We’ve learned that the definition of “affordable housing” is somewhat loose. For example, a two-bedroom apartment that costs $1,450 per month can qualify as “affordable housing” under the city’s matrix, even though most low-income families couldn’t afford it. One problem, housing bureaus focus a lot of their money on making apartments affordable for families earning $35-40k a year (or about 50 percent of median family income), even though the biggest need is among families making $25,000 or less a year. But this could be changing. The affordable housing bond that passed in 2018 requires nearly half of all funds to be used for housing for Portland’s poorest residents. That’s expected to make 1,600 new units available for families earning less than $25k per year.

But why is all this work necessary? The homelessness crisis is bigger than you might think. About 1,700 people in Portland are sleeping on the streets or in their cars each night. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. On any given night, another 2,500 people sleep in emergency shelters or transitional housing, and thousands more are couch-surfing and “doubling up” with their friends or family. The problem also isn’t static. About 32,000 Portlanders currently spend more than half their income on rent, putting them one bad month away from slipping into homelessness — and because bad months happen, many people do. It’s not fair to blame migration. Nearly 600 people move to Portland every week, and a very small number of them are homeless when they get here. But that’s not what’s driving the crisis. According to the 2017 “Point In Time” count, most people experiencing homelessness in Portland either grew up here or became homeless after arriving, and most of the inbound migration that does occur comes from Portland’s suburbs and other parts of Oregon. The bigger problem is housing costs. The cities with the highest rates of homelessness all have one thing in common — sky-high housing prices. From Portland to Seattle to San Francisco, the lack of affordable housing has put the squeeze on renters and increased the odds that one missed paycheck or medical emergency could lead to eviction. In 2017, Multnomah County became the first West Coast community to reduce veteran homelessness to “functional zero,” meaning that more vets are exiting homelessness than entering it and newly homeless vets are being moved off the streets within 90 days. The county placed 1,200 homeless vets into housing during that two-year period — so it’s not like the problem is insoluble. Public officials know a lot about what works, but they can’t fix the problem alone. So, lots of people are chipping in. Maybe someday the federal government will give cities the funding they need to make universal housing a reality, but until then, it’s going to take a team effort — and lots of Portlanders are already stepping up.

Thanks to the Oregonian newspaper and the blog Bridgeliner for all this information.

Me:  Ken, the genius of doubling everyone’s purchasing power is that the discount would cut housing prices in half…which is a lot more immediate and effective than any other policy I’ve seen advocated here. Part of the model in my book of course also utilizes taxation for one of its few legitimate purposes, that is to punish greedy and destabilizing price rises by taxing them at a rate of 100%. I have stated here before that I thought Henry George was ahead of his times in some respects and a land tax might also be a part of the new paradigm program. My suggested Department of Competition, Innovation and The Bully Pulpit would exhort rental enterprises to keep their prices low, point the public finger at them if they didn’t, tax them, take away their discount/rebate privileges if they chronically raised their prices without having actual additional costs and finally the national publicly administered non-profit banking system would be happy to fund their competitors and/or innovative and socially sensitive start ups in the rental sector.

Some MMT economists, being stupidly ideological instead of wisely integrative have dissed the idea of a universal dividend and pushed the idea of a jobs guarantee. I suggest that we have both. That way the homeless could have $1000/mo. of purchasing power with the dividend and if they had a 30 hour/wk job paying $10/hr. they’d have an additional $1200/mo. and with the 50% discount/rebate policy that’s $2200/mo. x 2 or $4400/mo. or $52,800/yr.

Have you heard of a better, more beneficial and problem resolving system than that?

DT:  Craig, listen to Ken telling you to “stop thinking in terms of economics for a moment”, think of his social problems, but get real too about the environmental crisis.

You claim “We have tremendous productive capabilities. We just don’t have the general awareness of how to effectively implement monetary abundance as per above so that every agent can partake of that abundant production, the system is greatly stabilized, its current most thorny problems are resolved. Our ecological problems can also be adequately addressed [with] ecological survival by a bottom up monetary subsidizing of green consumer products”.

However, even green production uses resources and poisons the environment. Ecological survival requires us to not only reduce production and pollution but to regenerate resources and clean up the existing pollution, i.e. plant trees much faster than we are destroying them. But today’s “scary” scientific news is that carbon dioxide is going up fast just when we were hoping (with all our solar panels and electric cars) it might be going down a little. The major worry is that the Greenland ice cap may soon melt, causing sea levels to rise around 7 metres, drowning major cities like London and Calcutta. What we can see are forest fires creating carbon dioxide on an alarming scale, and a warming atmosphere generating wild wet weather.

Me:  Dave, while I’ll agree with you that the sky IS falling…if you can come up with a better solution than creating a directly distributive and gracious monetary and financial system that creates a bottom up consumer jump start to green consumer products and enables virtually unlimited fiscal resources to fund the mega projects needed to do all of the other things you suggested….then I’m all ears.

My 50% discount/rebate policy at retail sale, non-profit publicly administered financial and monetary systems and other related policies and regulations integrate and synergize the goals and capabilities of Keen’s financial de-stabilization hypothesis, MMT’s fiscal expansionism, Ellen Brown’s Public Banking movement, QE for the People advocates and is perfectly in line with all of the theoretical critiques of heterodox economists on this blog.

It’s astounding to me that you guys aren’t all over this and getting on the bandwagon with me here.

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KZ:  Craig, I frankly don’t know if what you propose is better, more beneficial and problem resolving that other possibilities. As I’ve said before, only practical applications can answer those questions, if not completely, at least in part, hopefully. Try it out.

Me:  Oh come on. Is the homeless person in Portland better off with the nothing he or she has or the nearly $53k/yr. with a dividend, a job guarantee and a 100% increase in purchasing power of every dollar he or she makes with the 50% discount to everything they buy including a rental apt?

Every one of the policies I advocate are imminently practical. They apply directly to the economy and directly to people AND THEY DO SOLVE THE SPECIFIC ECONOMIC PROBLEMS EVERY HETERODOX ECONOMIST HERE HAS IDENTIFIED. Systemic austerity. Check. Chronic individual income scarcity. Check. Price and asset inflation. Check. Fiscal austerity. Check. Going no where fast on climate change and the need for renewable energy sources. Check. The effective dealing with commercial decision makers temptations to inflate prices due to chronic systemic scarce individual income by doubling the potential revenue actually available, and with hard and fast taxation and loss of rebate privileges if they continue to inflate. Check.

They’re all hands on, imminently practical and applicable. It’s the abstractions and theoretical talking points that, while I completely agree with them, DON’T GET US ANYWHERE.

No, what I advocate is BOTH philosophically AND practical policy-wise…COMPLETELY RELEVANT AND FAR ADVANCED over any other musings presented here.

Look at it. Get real.

KZ:  Oh come on, Craig. What you propose helps no one until it is implemented. And even then may not help. I’ve been charged with implementing lots of projects that were all described with the words you use. Out of 50 or so projects never had one that went through smoothly or ended up looking like the diagrams on the computer screen. And I’ve had only two that did not draw opposition. I hope yours is the exception. Try it out. We’ll see.

Me:  Oh come on, Ken. You “rebut” with an irrelevant sophomoric reply that no one would or could disagree with….and in the mean time fail/refuse to ACTUALLY look at the immediate mathematical, empirical temporal universe realities that the policies and regulations I advocate would effect.

No proposal you’ve ever overseen has been slam dunk beneficial and win-win TO BOTH SIDES of the table as my policies are for all economic agents…..otherwise they wouldn’t be there. They’d be out pressuring the system for the changes.

Paradigm changes are UNIVERSALLY BENEFICIAL changes. Did we ever go back to nomadic wandering across the land as the major lifestyle after agriculture was discovered? Do we still think the earth is the center of the universe? Did we go back to the Catholic church being a monopoly on the sacraments? Will people and enterprise ever go back to being debt slaves and serfs to private finance’s paradigm of Debt Only after they see the obvious, immediate and freeing benefits of Monetary Gifting intelligently integrated into the economy?

Start thinking on the level of paradigm change where you think in terms of solutions instead of problems, pattern progress instead of nit picking and obsessive potential roadblocks.

Recognize that new paradigms are new singular concepts for entire patterns, and study historical paradigm changes to decipher their universal signatures that I have posted here before numerous times.

I know its hard to shift one’s perspective from problems, but just keep looking at the solutions Monetary Gifting effects…until you actually see them.

KZ:  Such examples may be sophomoric to you. But they’re not to those who have to make them work.

Just two quick questions to test your resolve, you might say. How do you plan to respond when you receive a court judgement saying what you propose can’t be implemented because it violates laws …..? And how do want to respond when the Koch network shoves in 100 million dollars to defeat your proposal? You’ll need lots of help from attorneys and politicians. Can you get it?

Me:  As I said you’re not telling me anything I don’t already know….and have decided is irrelevant because what else is new, aspects of the discount/rebate policy and the rest of the program are already lawfully in use (just not the insight of where, when and how much to make it a paradigm change), people may be dumb but they’re not stuuuupid and traditionally opposed constituencies will be able and willing to see the universally beneficial nature of a genuine paradigm change.

It’s the revolt of BOTH the masses AND the bourgeoisie. Not for dumbsh!t ideological old paradigm capitalism or equally dumb and ideological old paradigm socialism, but for their integration/synthesis AKA direct and reciprocal monetary
distributism.

Yes, thirdness greater oneness is BOTH the mental process of wisdom AND a signature of historical paradigm changes.

Reply to I:

“Only a truly democratic socialist government could and would do this (apply MMT principles in practical terms for the benefit of all the people).”

Correction. Only a democratic direct monetary distributist government and money system would do this (apply MMT principles in practical terms for the benefit of all the people).
plutocrats and capitalists must be stripped of their power and of their financial capital. Nothing short of a social and political revolution will achieve that.”

First three sentences are fine. Placing a secure and un-extortable amount of power in a monetary economy, that is money, into the many hands of individuals so that their money vote determines whether or not an enterprise survives, is what will set us up to achieve that. That and a government backing up the policies of the new paradigm thus politically executing the unitary and ethical concept behind the new monetary and financial paradigm of grace as in sovereign and yet benevolent power.

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