He sort of gets some of it.

There are many debates among economists about how to resurrect the subpar, so-called recovery and generate some serious new job creation. But there is also widespread agreement that nations cannot tax their way into prosperity,

Right.

devalue their way into prosperity,

Depends on how you define prosperity. Japan sort of did it this way. Not ideal, due to suboptimal real terms of trade, etc., but that’s they way they set up their system. And as soon as they stop devaluing their currency (buying dollars) they have problems. Europe is in the same bind.

spend their way into prosperity,

This is wrong. The output must be sold, either to the public sector or the private sector. That’s a political choice- public goods or private goods.

or pursue trade-limiting protectionism as a path to prosperity.

This can also work, but as above, is suboptimal in general. And, it is vital when it comes to strategic materials and intellectual knowledge. For example, military needs are best sourced domestically to assure a supply in times of war, etc.

All of this is weakness.

I’d say in general yes, all of his argument displays a weakness of understanding.

🙂

26 Responses

  1. Warren, if you had your choice of being a guest on any show, which one would give the biggest bang for the MMT buck, assuming a neutral to supportive host?

      1. Well there’s Oprah and there’s everyone else. :o)
        Seriously though after the election, you should be thinking Book Tour (radio and TV interviews, public speaking engagements). You have a book to sell and talk shows need guests to book. I suppose there are publicists who specialize in making that happen.

        Ivan’s comments the other day on how your argument is perceived were insightful (if I’m sure a bit disheartening to hear). Richard Nixon was more liberal in his economics than anyone in national politics today, but he never stopped framing his policies as conservative measures, I think there’s something to be learned from that. The payroll tax holiday is easy, we’re overtaxed and that gives the government too much power in our economy (the power to tax is the power to destroy and all that). Revenue sharing could be framed as, since Obama is overtaxing all of us, the least he can do is return the money to local government to spend on critical needs in our counties and towns instead of one size fits all federal bailout programs. see Nixon’s 1971 State of the Union Address on this (which today reads like a Green Party platform). The “left of Mao”, as Ivan put it, Job Guarantee could be reframed as– instead of spending hundreds of billions on welfare, anyone young and healthy who asks for public assistance should have to earn the money with workfare.

        Finally, deficit hysteria has to be defused. Maybe by pointing out that since 1971, the world has moved to a new gold standard based on the US Dollar. Since we own the world’s only gold mine, politicians who worry about the deficit are just looking for an excuse to raise your taxes so the government controls even more of the economy (if we really did need to reduce the deficit, we can easily cut net interest expense, $5 trillion over next decade alone). If we don’t watch these so-called deficit hawks, they’ll try to give away the gold mine to their friends at the United Nations (everybody hates the UN but have no idea what “IMF” means. IMF website says “The IMF and the World Bank are institutions in the United Nations system”).
        http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/imfwb.htm

        Yup, deficit hawks = lovers of one world government and anyone who raises taxes before cutting net interest = a crook who think we’re stupid. If that doesn’t get conservative talk show hosts on your side, nothing will (identifying Pete Peterson, if his name comes up, as the chairman emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations won’t hurt either).

      2. O’Reilly.

        Wow. Very interesting choice. He seems very capable generally of logical argument, but he’s the Mt. Everest of preconceived inanities about the nature of the monetary system, which he does talk about at times – very dangerous in that regard, indeed. You must really like big challenges and expected high return projects. I think the risk is skewed in your favour, because he probably is capable of learning fairly quickly, if he wants to.

      3. You need someone who goes to same cocktail party as Paul krugman. O’Reilly is considered joke and monster. If he become mmt you sign it death warrant as it will never never be anything other than puncholine at Harvard Econ coffee room, and therefore, fed/treasury/nbec etc

        Charlie rose is better bet

    1. The media supports book rollouts. It shouldn’t be too hard to get some spots just for this reason. Send copies of 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds around to the hosts and try to get some people with an in with the various hosts to speak for you directly. You have to break into the mainstream and a book is a good way to do it, especially one that is timely and that people can understand. So what you need now is a publicity agent to get you appearances on the circuit. Think of it as selling books, even though that is not what you are actually doing. But this is how the media world works. They are going to see you as promoting your book, so do a good job of it.

      1. Thanks for the confidence, but you need a professional agency if you are serious about doing this. Promoting a book involves real commitment, since you are competing against a lot of other talented people who are taking it very seriously and there is only so much air time. This is a professional field and needs to be approached as such. There is a standard way to do this, and you have to find out what it is and who is best at it. Non-standard usually doesn’t work unless one if very lucky. I wouldn’t recommend leaving something as important as this to luck.

        The good news is that the media is always looking for interesting and timely content, and presenters with an interesting narrative. I think you have the necessary here. Now you need to find a third party professional to make the sale for you.

      2. BTW, Warren, you need to be working on the sequel to 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds. This book should lay out the basics of MMT and what it implies for policy going forward.

        This is important for two reasons at least. First, it puts a simple to understand picture of MMT out there that follows up on your debunking the prevailing myths. Secondly, the two books give you quick references to cite in interviews. You know, the familiar, “As I point out in chapter x of my book….”

        The books would not only provide a rationale but also the all important narrative. The second book should lay out the principles of MMT and policy implications in terms of stories drawing from your experience. I sense a winning combo here in a one-two punch.

      3. Hey, I’ve even got suggestion for a title for the sequel. How about The 7 Laws For Achieving Lasting Prosperity.

      4. Well 7DIF is a policy book, second one should be a finance book. Write a book about investment strategies based on MMT, if nothing else you could upsell readers to subscription products like James Dicks did with his book, Forex Made Easy.

        Policy books get one audience (readers, talk shows, speaking engagements), finance books get another. I have no idea how to repackage it for a women’s audience–that is women who are not otherwise fans of public policy or finance books– but if you can figure out a hook, you can work with Sada to write that one. :o)

      5. I think a current explanation of the last 2-3 of financial crisis and how policy makers have either screwed up due to incompetence or dishonesty would grab a pretty good audience.

        I liked the PowerPoint presentation bullet points – a book driven off that outline would be very interesting.

  2. I was kind of leaning towards Jon Stewart myself. I’ll bet he could get a good rant going on deficit terrorisim, along with dressing down a terrorist or two on the Daily Show. Maybe after the book promo gets going?

    For more reading material, here’s lots from China’s “Henry C.K. Liu” on MMT and dollar hegemony. I still have difficulty understanding, but this helps:

    http://www.henryckliu.com/page215.html

    Enjoy –

    U

      1. I found out how to put a guest suggestion in for the Daily Show. Here’s what I came up with, look it over before I post it:

        Warren Mosler, candidate for the U.S. Senate, starts every debate with a promise to “Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”.

        He will tell you why:

        1. Insolvency is NOT a problem for the U.S.!

        2. Deficit spending is ENTIRELY appropriate in today’s economy!

        3. The nonsense about “The Mounting National Debt” is used to get your “Fear Vote”!

        4. Why the U.S. Government taxes you (no, not to pay for the War, Social Security or any other national debt).

        5. Why he would cut payroll taxes, give $500 per capita to the States AND offer a Fed-funded $8/hr job with benefits to any who are willing.

        Any suggestions?

        U

      2. very good. a few adds/thoughts ?

        federal taxing is about regulating the economy, not collecting money.

        fiscal responsibility means for a given size govt getting taxes at the right level for full employment

        Why he would cut payroll taxes, give $500 per capita to the States AND offer a Fed-funded $8/hr job with benefits to any who are willing and able to work

  3. Bill Maher would be my choice Warren, Jon Stewart second.

    He is the known for having a lot of different views on his show. His roundtable at the end would be a great opportunity for you to just sit back and talk. Warren, you could actually drive the discussion somewhere and ask some of your own questions rather than answer someone elses questions. You need to get in a situation where YOU get a little opportunity to drive the discussion and not just jump through someone elses hoops.

Leave a Reply to Greg Cancel reply