Elkarrizketa Pavlina Tcherneva-ri

Summit MMT – Rete MMT intervista Pavlina Tcherneva

(http://www.retemmt.it/summit-mmt-rete-mmt-intervista-pavlina-tcherneva/)

La prima delle interviste realizzate in occasione della 1° conferenza internazionale MMT vede protagonista Pavlina Tchernerva. L’economista spiega perché il cambiamento di paradigma proposto dalla MMT ha bisogno dell’attivismo nella società civile.

Intervista di Rete MMT all’economista Pavlina Tcherneva realizzata in occasione della prima conferenza internazionale MMT a Kansas City, 21-24 Settembre 2017.

Bideoa:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YX_Cu-vufww)

Bill Mitchell AEBn eta Europan

Bill Mitchell-en Travel and beyond1

(i) Final note on US-European Tour: 18 egun, 17 hitzaldi

I am now back in Australia and catching up on things. It was great meeting so many different people – some old friends, new friends – at all the events we spoke at during the 18 days travelling around.

Thanks to all the organisers of the events who clearly put work into making them happen. Thomas and I surely appreciated that.

It was exhausting – we presented at 16 events across 7 countries and 10 cities and in 17 days. I had little time to do anything other than get up early, go out running (to keep sane as much as anything), then attend meetings, functions, events until late into the evening.

I hope all those who took the time to participate enjoyed that time.

The next tour is coming up in November (to New Zealand) but for now, a sort of normality (as much as it gets) returns.

(…)

(ii) Berlin Event – September 27, 2017: Eurogunea, Distopia

Here is an edited video of my presentation in Berlin on September 27, 2017. It shows my presentation and the German translation by Dr Dirk Ehnts. If you just want the English then you have to skip the excellent job Dirk did on our behalf.

This event was a joint book launch held in the Neues Deutschland building, which was the original party newspaper of the GDR and was the East German state’s main propaganda arm.

It is now a smaller newspaper allied with Die Linke (PDS).

We launched the German translation of my Eurozone Dystopia book published by Lola Books and our current book – Reclaiming the State

The total video runs for around 35 minutes.

Bideoa: Vorstellung von “Dystopie Eurozone” – Bill Mitchell

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

(Aipatu bezala, Mitchell-en ingelesezko hitzak entzuteko, saltoka ibili behar da: merezi du!)


Neoliberalismoa, zer dakizu horretaz?

Bill Mitchell eta Thomas Fazi-ren Everything You Know About Neoliberalism Is Wrong1

(i) Subiranotasun nazionala

Let’s face it: national sovereignty has become irrelevant in today’s increasingly complex and interdependent international economy. The deepening of economic globalisation has rendered individual states increasingly powerless vis-à-vis market forces. The internationalisation of finance and the growing importance of multinational corporations have eroded the ability of individual states to autonomously pursue social and economic policies – especially of the progressive kind – and to deliver prosperity for their peoples. Thus, our only hope of achieving any meaningful change is for countries to ‘pool’ their sovereignty together and transfer it to supranational institutions (such as the European Union) that are large and powerful enough to have their voices heard, thus regaining at the supranational level the sovereignty that has been lost at the national level. In other words, to preserve their ‘real’ sovereignty, states need to limit their formal sovereignty.

(ii) Argudioak ala sasi-argudioak?

If these arguments sound familiar (and persuasive), it is because we have been hearing them for decades. Progressives often stress how neoliberalism has involved (and involves) a ‘retreat’, ‘hollowing out’ or ‘withering away’ of the state, which in turn has fuelled the notion that today the state has been ‘overpowered’ by the market. This is understandable, considering that the political and economic philosophy of vanguard ideologues such as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan emphasised reduced state intervention, free markets and entrepreneurialism. This was summed up well by Reagan’s now-famous phrase: ‘Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem’.

(iii) Datu enpirikoak

This, however, does not fit the empirical record of the past decades. A quick glance at the rate of state expenditure across the OECD countries, for example, shows that there has been little or no decline in the size of the state as a percentage of GDP; if anything, it has tended to rise (the only real exception being post-2008 Europe). Even supposedly neoliberal governments – such as those of Thatcher and Reagan – did not reduce their public spending and were associated with relatively high deficits. As noted by Miguel Centeno and Joseph Cohen, ‘available data suggests that the policy and macroeconomic changes realised under the neoliberal policy regime are more complex than is often assumed’. First and foremost, it illustrates the basic point that core capitalist countries have not been characterised by a withering away of the state. Quite the contrary, in fact. Even though neoliberalism as an ideology springs from a desire to curtail the state’s role, neoliberalism as a political-economic reality has produced increasingly powerful, interventionist and ever-reaching – even authoritarian – state apparatuses.

(iv) Neoliberalizazioa eta estatua

The process of neoliberalisation has entailed extensive and permanent state intervention, including: the liberalisation of goods and capital markets; the privatisation of resources and social services; the deregulation of business, and financial markets in particular; the reduction of workers’ rights (first and foremost, the right to collective bargaining) and more in general the repression of labour activism; the lowering of taxes on wealth and capital, at the expense of the middle and working classes; the slashing of social programmes, and so on. These policies were systemically pursued throughout the West (and imposed on developing countries) with unprecedented determination, and with the support of all the major international institutions and political parties. In this sense, neoliberal ideology, at least in its official anti-state guise, should be considered little more than a convenient alibi for what has been and is essentially a political and state-driven project, aimed at placing the commanding heights of economic policy ‘in the hands of capital, and primarily financial interests’, as Stephen Gill writes. Capital remains as dependent on the state today as it did in under ‘Keynesianism’ – to police the working classes, bail out large firms that would otherwise go bankrupt, open up markets abroad, etc. In the months and years that followed the financial crash of 2007-9, capital’s – and capitalism’s – continued dependency on the state in the age of neoliberalism became glaringly obvious, as the governments of the US and Europe and elsewhere bailed out their respective financial institutions to the tune of trillions2 of euros/dollars. In Europe, following the outbreak of the so-called ‘euro crisis’ in 2010, this was accompanied by a multi-level assault on the post-war European social and economic model aimed at restructuring and re-engineering European societies and economies along lines more favourable to capital.

(v) Ezkerra eta neoliberalismoa: Rodrik-en trilema

Nonetheless, the (flawed) notion that neoliberalism entails a retreat of the state continues to remain a fixture of the left. This is further compounded by the idea that the state has been rendered powerless by the forces of globalisation. Conventional wisdom holds that globalisation and the internationalisation of finance have ended the era of nation states and their capacity to pursue policies not in accord with the diktats of global capital. But does the evidence support the assertion that national sovereignty has truly reached the end of its days? Claims that the current stage of capitalism fundamentally undermines the viability of the nation state often refer to Harvard economist Dani Rodrik’s famous trilemma. Some years ago, Rodrik outlined what he called his ‘impossibility theorem’, which says that ‘democracy, national sovereignty and global economic integration are mutually incompatible: we can combine any two of the three, but never have all three simultaneously and in full’: simply put, since nation states impose transaction costs, if you want true international economic integration you must be ready to give up national sovereignty (by creating a system of regional/global federalism, to align the scope of democratic politics with the scope of global markets).

Over the years, political forces spanning the entire electoral spectrum have skilfully used Rodrik’s trilemma to present neoliberal policies – entailing both a curtailing of participatory democracy and of national sovereignty – as ‘the inevitable price we pay for globalisation’. Even those on the left that claim to oppose neoliberalism often invoke the impossibility theorem to justify the contention that the nation state is ‘finished’. But this is not what Rodrik meant. Contrary to conventional wisdom, he acknowledges that international economic integration is far from ‘true’; in fact, it remains ‘remarkably limited’. Even in our supposedly globalised world, despite the flowering of global firms and supply chains, there is still significant exchange rate uncertainty; there are still major cultural and linguistic differences that preclude the full mobilisation of resources across national borders, as demonstrated by the fact that advanced industrial countries typically exhibit large amounts of ‘home bias’; there is still a high correlation between national investment rates and national saving rates; there are still severe restrictions to the international mobility of labour; and capital flows between rich and poor nations fall considerably short of what theoretical models predict. The same points can be made today (almost 20 years after Rodrik’s article was published). Therefore, the trilemma is true from a theoretical standpoint but has little bearing on reality, except as a political tool or self-fulfilling prophecy.

(vi) Reclaiming the State liburua

More in general, as we explain in our new book Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post- Neoliberal World, globalisation, even in its neoliberal form, was (is) not the result of some intrinsic capitalist or technology-driven dynamic that inevitably entails a reduction of state power, as is often claimed. On the contrary, it was (is) a process that was (is) actively shaped and promoted by states. All the elements that we associate with neoliberal globalisation – delocalisation, deindustrialisation, the free movement of goods and capital, etc. – were (are), in most cases, the result of choices made by governments. More generally, states continue to play a crucial role in promoting, enforcing and sustaining a neoliberal international framework (though that appears to be changing) as well as establishing the domestic conditions for allowing global accumulation to flourish. At the same time, it cannot be denied that in many respects – the capacity to promote local industries vis-à-vis foreign ones; to run fiscal deficits; to manage the money supply; to impose duties and taxation; to regulate the import and export of goods and capital, etc. – economic sovereignty, including advanced capitalist economies, is more constrained now than in the past.

(vii) Despolitizazioa

To a large extent, however, this is the result of a deliberate and conscious limitation of state sovereign rights by national elites, through a process known as depoliticisation. The various policies adopted by Western governments to this end include: (i) reducing the power of parliaments vis-à-vis that of the executive and making the former increasingly less representative (for instance by moving from proportional parliamentary systems to majoritarian ones); (ii) making central banks formally independent of governments; (iii) adopting ‘inflation targeting’ – an approach which stresses low inflation as the primary objective of monetary policy, to the exclusion of other policy objectives, such as full employment – as the dominant approach to central bank policymaking; (iv) adopting rules-bound policies – on public spending, debt as a proportion of GDP, competition, etc. – thereby limiting what politicians can do at the behest of their electorates; (v) subordinating spending departments to treasury control; (vi) re-adopting fixed exchange rates systems, such as the euro, which severely limit the ability of governments to exercise control over economic policy; (vii) limiting the capacity of governments to regulate in the public interest, by means of so-called ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement) mechanisms, nowadays included in most bilateral investment treaties (of which there are more than 4,000 in operation) and regional trade agreements (such as the FTAA and TPP); and, most importantly perhaps, (viii) surrendering national prerogatives to supranational institutions and super-state bureaucracies such as the EU.

(viii) Zergatik aldaketa horiek? Subiranotasuna eta demokrazia

The reason why governments chose to willingly ‘tie their hands’ is all too clear: as the European case epitomises, the creation of self-imposed ‘external constraints’ allowed national politicians to reduce the political costs of the neoliberal transition – which clearly involved unpopular policies – by ‘scapegoating’ institutionalised rules and ‘independent’ or international institutions, which in turn were presented as an inevitable outcome of the new, harsh realities of globalisation, thus insulating macroeconomic policies from popular contestation. The war on sovereignty has been in essence a war on democracy. This process was brought to its most extreme conclusions in Western Europe, where the Maastricht Treaty (1992) embedded neoliberalism into the EU’s very fabric, effectively outlawing the ‘Keynesian’ polices that had been commonplace in the previous decades.

(ix) Despolitizazioa eta nazioen berpolitizazioa

Given neoliberalism’s war against sovereignty, and the nefarious effects of depoliticisation, it should come as no surprise that ‘sovereignty has become the master-frame of contemporary politics’, as Paolo Gerbaudo notes. By the same token, it is only natural that the revolt against neoliberalism should first and foremost take the form of demands for a repoliticisation of national decision-making processes – that is, for more democratic control over politics (and particularly over the destructive global flows unleashed by neoliberalism), which necessarily can only be exercised at the national level, in the absence of effective supranational mechanisms of representation. The EU is obviously no exception: in fact, it is (correctly) seen by many as the embodiment of technocratic rule and elite estrangement from the masses, as demonstrated by the Brexit vote and the widespread euroscepticism engulfing the continent.

(x) Brexit eta subiranotasun nazionala: estatu subiranoa eta demokrazia

In this sense, as we argue in the book, leftists should not see Brexit – and more in general the current crisis of the EU and monetary union – as a cause for despair, but rather as a unique opportunity to embrace (once again) a progressive, emancipatory vision of national sovereignty, to reject the EU’s neoliberal straitjacket and to implement a true democratic-socialist platform (which would be impossible within the EU, let alone within the eurozone). To do this, however, they must come to terms with the fact that the sovereign state, far from being helpless, still contains the resources for democratic control of a nation’s economy and finances – that the struggle for national sovereignty is ultimately a struggle for democracy. This needn’t come at the expense of European cooperation. On the contrary, by allowing governments to maximise the well-being of their citizens, it could and should provide the basis for a renewed European project, based on multilateral cooperation between sovereign states.

Gauza bertsua esan daiteke beste maila batean. Kasu, Espainiako estatu neoliberalaren aurka, Kataluniako borroka gandhiar eredugarria estatu subiranoa lortzearren, Espainiako ‘ezker’ osoak ulertzen ez duena.

Gogoratu ondoko hau: Proiektu gandhiar berria Katalunian


Amerikar trilioi bat = Europar bilioi bat.

Aste erabakitzailea?

(i) George Kerevan‏ @GeorgeKerevan

(https://twitter.com/GeorgeKerevan/status/921817720957620227)

Message to Catalonia from Scotland: resist, claim your freedom.

2017 urr. 21

(ii) ‘Coup government’: Thousands protest power transfer from Barcelona to Madrid

The head of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell, has denounced Madrid’s decision to transfer the powers from the regional authorities to the central government as a “coup” as hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Barcelona in protest. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8qd0

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmI9-N_S9HY)

(iii) Romeva diu que la república és una ‘absoluta necessitat de supervivència’

Diu que els catalans estan patint els ‘vents d’extrema dreta’ i avisa que ‘no permetran que ningú avali una arbitrarietat disfressada de legalita

(https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/romeva-diu-que-la-republica-es-una-absoluta-necessitat-de-supervivencia/)

(iv) Anonymous ataca les webs del TC, el PP, la Fundació Franco i dels ministeris d’Economia, Justícia i Foment

Els hackers han fet caure les pàgines durant unes hores en la seva campanya ‘operation Free Catalonia’

(https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/actualizacioanonymous-ataca-les-webs-del-tc-el-pp-la-fundacio-franco-i-dels-ministeris-deconomia-justicia-i-foment/)

(v) Mariano Rajoy has staged a ‘coup d’état’ against democracy in Catalonia

The Spanish Prime Minister plans to change the political will of Catalan citizens by abusing the most basic democratic principles and the rule of law 

(http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/catalonia-catalan-spain-independence-referendum-coup-against-democracy-a8013661.html)

Eta Euskal Herrian?

Tantatxo bat, ez nolanahikoa…

Erdara batuan, nosli, para entendernos mejor!, badakizue…

O se articula la mayoría social democrática vasca o la resignación devendrá en rendición

Editoriala

(http://www.naiz.eus/eu/hemeroteca/gara/editions/2017-10-22/hemeroteca_articles/o-se-articula-la-mayoria-social-democratica-vasca-o-la-resignacion-devendra-en-rendicion)

(…). Es indudable que llamar a las cosas por su nombre tiene consecuencias. No hacerlo, más. (…)

En el contexto del 1 de octubre muchos sostenían que el derecho de autodeterminación solo se puede aplicar a colonias –aunque ni los países nórdicos, ni los bálticos, ni Escocia ni Quebec lo sean–.(Mon dieu!!!) (…)

Los vascos y vascas no pueden gritar alegremente eso de «No tinc por». (…) resistir, sostener lo logrado y resignarse no es realista. No solo para el independentismo, tampoco lo es para el autonomismo o el unionismo democrático. Hay que buscar alternativas y articular esa mayoría social vasca que conforma una cultura democrática divergente del autoritarismo españolista. (…)

La independencia ha pasado de ser una opción identitaria a una también democratizadora. En Catalunya y en Euskal Herria. Otra cosa es cómo articular esa confluencia de culturas, intereses y proyectos que garanticen que la ciudadanía vasca no esté subordinada, que pueda decidir libremente su futuro. La fase abierta será seguramente más larga de lo esperado (sic) y conviene reprimir la ansiedad (re-sic). También los esquemas caducos. Frente a la destrucción autoritaria, toca construir democracia.”

Atseden hartzera, badakizue, nekatuta gaude eta…

(Gogoratu Iluntasun bat argitasunean)

Zenbat urte atsedenean? Beste 25 urte?

(Gogoratu Euskal Herria: 25 urte galduta eta Gutxienez, 25 urte galduta)

Bill Mitchell: hiru elkarrizketa

Bill Mitchell-en Three recent interviews – transcripts and video

(http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=37109)

Today, I have translated two interviews I did while I was in Europe recently. The original interviews were in Spanish. The first interview was with Andrés Villena Oliver for CTXT and was published in the Spanish newspaper Público. It was conducted at Ecooo in Madrid on September 28, 2017. The second interview was with journalist Marta Luengo Garcés from the progressive newspaper El Salto Diaro. It was conducted at the Principe Pio Hotel in Madrid on September 29, 2017. You can get a feel for the concerns of the progressive journalists in Spain by the type of questions they asked me. I have also included the video of an interview I did yesterday (October 16, 2017) with Steve Grumbine of the Real Progressives. That should keep readers more than busy until tomorrow.

(i) Interview with Público – published in Spanish on October 11, 2017

This interview was recorded in Madrid (September 2017) with the Spanish newspaper – Público – which is a national left-wing publication. The journalist was Andrés Villena Oliver. It was published on October 11, 2017.

For the original Spanish version go to1En cuanto Bruselas fuerce de nuevo la austeridad, España volverá a la situación de 2010.

The title of the article introducing the Interview was quoting me: “Once Brussels reimposes austerity, Spain will return to the situation of 2010”.

The introduction to the Interview read:

Rowing against the current is exhausting, but sometimes it is inevitable. At a time when most of the elites and public opinion have surrendered to the idea that the permanence in the euro zone must be accepted with all its requirements, a group of intellectuals argues that monetary sovereignty is not only possible, but is necessary to guarantee collective well-being. Among these experts is the Australian professor Bill Mitchell, who has just published with the Italian journalist Thomas Fazi a new book ‘Reclaiming the State’, which calls for the recovery of state economic policies as a basis for democratizing a society that continues the involutive process driven by neoliberal globalization. Mitchell is one of the founders of Modern Monetary Theory.

The Q is the question from the journalist and is in bold and my response follows. The response may not be exactly what I said in English given I have translated it back from the Spanish translation of the English. So some noise in the dual translation process is possible.

I have just ensured the translation is as close to what I said – and the way I speak (idioms etc) – as possible

Q: The future of Spain remains bleak. How does the recent election results in Germany impact on Spain?

Spain has enjoyed growth in recent years because its public deficit has been allowed to remain above the limit established by the Stability and Growth Pact. The Troika turned a blind eye to this violation of the rules to avoid punishing the electoral chances of the Popular Party in the last elections because it knew that once reelected the PP would once again apply austerity. But the fact is that the higher than allowed public deficits are the only reason that Spain has grown lately.

But Brussels can no longer allow the Spanish government to skip the rules.

The result of the German elections represents another chapter in the world wide sequence, which consists of a huge rejection of traditional parties and an increase in political polarization, mainly to the right. The danger for Europe will come when, as is likely, Jens Weidmann replaces Mario Draghi as President of the European Central Bank (ECB). Draghi represents pragmatism; under his leadership, the ECB has acted primarily as a fiscal agent, keeping the Eurozone boat afloat. But Weidmann is far more ideological and could end Quantitative Easing (QE). In fact, if we analyze the major risk factors, we could conclude that this is undoubtedly the largest of them.

Q: The end of the QE for a country like Spain would be lethal, just remember the period 2010-2012 …

As soon as Brussels gets tough on Spain and forces the government to reimpose austerity, Spain will be history and will return to that downward spiral in which Greece is now locked.

All the countries that have survived have done so thanks to the QE policies of the ECB which have been financing the fiscal deficits through the back door. If Brussels becomes demanding again, Spain will return to the situation of 2010 – another cycle of crisis from a much more weakened position that it faced at that time, given that it has not yet recovered from the previous crisis.

Q: Authors like you advocate an exit of the euro. In Spain there is a lot of fear in this sense: the seventies and eighties are remembered, with very high rates of inflation and it is also argued that the Franco dictatorship plunged us into a huge backwardness. No one wants to go back to the fifties …

History and culture are extremely important, it’s true. Think of Greece, which was a military dictatorship and for which the past also generates much fear. But the inflation of the 1970s, which was global, had nothing to do with it, neither with the dictatorial past history of Spain, nor with an excess of fiscal deficits. It was driven by the unprecedented increase of OPEC oil prices; which was the first major global supply shock since the end of World War 2.

Look at all the currency-issuing countries that currently have significant deficits: do you see any of them having dramatic levels of inflation? Each country has an internalised sense of its past and people hope that any past trauma is not repeated. But the idea of restoring ​​monetary sovereignty is not related to these past events.

Q: But giving politicians the ability to create money could be dangerous in economic terms …

This is a frequently expressed position: “You can not trust your politicians.” But you did trust in them to implement austerity policies! And you have already seen the results … I think that the quality of politicians is a reflection of the level of involvement of citizens in politics.

Citizens must force their politicians to comply with the law. And Spain can do it: it is a country with relatively high levels of education. It is nothing like the poor country it was in the fifties, sixties and seventies. Can we really imagine a military dictatorship right now in Spain?

Q: Could we say that there is a clear relationship between monetary sovereignty and the level of democratization of a country?

Absolutely. In fact, the problem of the neoliberal era has been depoliticization, a process whereby elected leaders transfer decision-making responsibilities to those who have not been democratically elected. This is the case for Central Banks, which are not accountable, as well as certain international organizations such as the IMF and the European Commission. They are separate from the political and electoral processes. The return to monetary sovereignty means that the elected politicians once again become responsible and accountable for their actions to the voters.

Q: You have affirmed that one of the main problems of the Left is that it is trapped in neoliberalism. What do you think of the growing advocacy within the Left in favor of a Universal Basic Income and the claim that the objective of full employment is obsolete?

A government that issues its own currency can always provide employment for those who need it, since it is able to buy all the resources that are for sale in its own currency, including all idle labour. So the idea that full employment is obsolete is one of those errant claims that the Left has fallen into to justify the lack of political will by governments to create sufficient work.

First, the true position of the Left should be to demand decent work for all who want to work. At present, I know of no societies where work is still not a crucial aspect – not only as a source of income but also for its social aspects, as a way we achieve self-esteem and a sense of self confidence. Society has not changed enough yet to consider it reasonable that a person who can work should be able to receive public support not to work when there are productive activities that such a person can perform. The Left should always fight for the achievement of good jobs for all, something that also serves to militate against the power of the capitalists.

There is a second point in which it is important to repeat in this regard. A currency-issuing government can always create employment for those who need it, since it is able to buy any resources that are for sale in its own currency. When you understand this basic principle of the monetary system, it follows immediately that it is the government that chooses the unemployment rate. Whatever the private sector does, the final responsibility for employment creation rests with the government. The government can always ensure full employment with a combination of conventional public sector employment supported by a Job Guarantee (an unconditional, fixed wage job offer to anyone who desires to work).

Given those insights, the advocacy of the Left for a Basic Income Guarantee amounts to surrendering to the neoliberal myth that the government should not use its spending capacities to provide jobs to the unemployed. The moment you claim full employment is obsolete, you are already advancing neoliberal ideas.

Moreover, by advocating that the state transfer a minimum amount to keep people alive rather than taking responsibility for providing work, you are constructing people as meagre consumption units and ignoring all the essential social and human aspects of work that I noted earlier.

Q: Then the private sector is rescued …

Yes. All you achieve is that people can continue to spend their frugal Basic Income – government just ends up saying to the unemployed – ‘here are a few euros, go away and shut up’. It is a vision that undermines human potential. There are numerous scientific research studies that show that when people are deprived of work, their social network begins to shrink because people lose contact with their former work colleagues, their acquaintances etc. It is clear that people who are systematically deprived of work experience guilt, not to mention the lack of income. The lack of income impacts on their motivation and opportunities – their social circle shrinks, they are invited to less social events and cannot afford to attend events. The isolation is intensified.

There is another point, moreover, that is more difficult to explain to people, but is no less important to understand. Advocates of a Basic Income Guarantee generally fail to understand the inflationary implications – once the government spends without requiring anything in return. Basic Income proposals do not include an inflation anchor – a mechanism to control the inflationary impact of government spending – and as a result there is a bias towards inflation inherent in the proposal.

In contradistinction with the Job Guarantee, which sees government spending not competing with the private market, the spending embodied in the Basic Income directly competes with private spending. Further when the economy overheats, the only inflation control mechanism under a Basic Income is increased unemployment, which is no improvement on the current system.

(ii) Interview with El Salto Diaro – published in Spanish on October 15, 2017

This interview appeared in Spanish2El salmón contracorriente Bill Mitchell: “Si fuera español exigiría que nos sacaran del euro” on October 15, 2017 but was conducted at the Principe Pio Hotel in Madrid on September 29, 2017.

The journalist was Marta Luengo Garcés.

The English translation of the title is: “A fish swimming against the stream – Bill Mitchell: “If I were Spanish I would demand we get out of the euro”.

The introduction to the article was:

William Mitchell is an Australian heterodox economist and a principal proponent of Modern Monetary Theory. He is a professor at the University of Newcastle and director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity, a non-profit research organisation whose focus is on policies that can restore full employment and achieve an economy that delivers equitable outcomes for everybody.

In his 2015 book – Eurozone Dystopia: Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale – he presented “a critical history and an analysis from the perspective of modern monetary theory of the European economic crisis that began in 2009.”

He is currently traveling through several European cities to present his latest book – Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World (Pluto Books, 2017).

Q: In 2015 you published Eurozone Dystopia, where you analyzed the historical and theoretical origins of the single currency. How did that process become a dystopia?

In the 1970s, Monetarism and the erroneous ideas of Milton Friedman came to Europe and found their way into the French Ministry of Finance. The Socialist Jaques Delors, who drove the process that led to the Eurozone, has become infested with Monetarism, which ultimately led to Mitterand’s austerity turn in 1983.

The 1989 Delors report which finally led to the implementation of EMU reflected this shift in ideology. Delors had previously established the complete liberalization of capital movements in 1987, following the neo-liberal mantra of the IMF. The capital controls that had been in place were among the major reasons for currency stability within Europe during this period.

The Delors Report was a real disaster because the ideas of previous reports such as Werner [1970] and MacDougall [1977] were abandoned. These previous reports had underscored the importance of the creation of a federal fiscal capacity linked to an elected parliament to give the policy capacity democratic legitimacy. Delors ignored those earlier studies.

Then, in 2003, the recessions in Germany and France caused them to be the first nations to violate the Stability and Growth Pact rules that they themselves had insisted be introduced as the pillar of the euro.

Then the supposed subsequent period of stability which preceded the GFC saw the ECB set interest rates to suit the recessed German economy but which fuelled real estate bubbles in Ireland and Spain. Further, Germany embarked on a severe internal wage deflation strategy to ensure its external competitiveness improved relative to its Eurozone partners.

It was only a matter of time before the dysfunctional structure and these early developments would manifest as a crisis.

Once the crisis emerged, the ECB assumed the role of fiscal authority by indirectly funding Member State deficits but at the same time participated in the imposition of oppressive austerity regimes that have severely punished countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain. There was no democratic legitimacy in these policy impositions.

Given the system was not designed to withstand the stress that came with the GFC, the design flaws were revealed and the only reason the Eurozone has survived until today is because the ECB has failed to comply with its Treaty obligations.

Although the ECB has tried to assure everyone that it is only managing liquidity what they are in fact doing is financing deficits. It has thus assumed the role of, on the one hand, fiscal authority without democratic legitimacy and, on the other hand, part of the oppressive regime that has severely punished countries like Greece, Portugal and Spain.

The reason for not adopting the Werner Report in 1970 and creating a true federal system is the same one that explains the current crisis: the EU is composed of countries unwilling to fully cooperate together.

Q: Now it seems that the euro area is more or less quiet. In fact, in Spain economic indicators suggest some recovery, what do you think about that?

The EU has tolerated Spain presenting a deficit that violated 3% fiscal rules due to the recent national electoral period when the threat of a socialist government (or worse, with Podemos) arose.

As a result, Brussels conveniently ‘forgot’ the deficit rules and stopped demanding austerity. Therefore, the reason why Spain resumed growth is down to the Eurozone violating its own rules and as soon as they re-impose austerity and implement the mechanisms of the Stability and Growth Pact, the growth will disappear, as before.

The Spanish case does not tell us anything about the viability of the Eurozone, in fact, it tells us just the opposite, that the Eurozone is dysfunctional and that it only keeps going because it ignores its own rules.

None of the problems have been solved: the banking union is a farce, as is the Juncker plan of infrastructures.

The fundamental contradictions are still unresolved and when the next economic cycle comes through the system will collapse again.

The question is how long can one violate one’s rules without exhausting all the credibility of the project?

Q: In 2015 you proposed that the best thing would be an agreed dissolution of the euro. Do you still think that it is the best option?

Yes. The best thing would be a European convention to negotiate issues such as debt moratoria. A multilateral dissolution is better than a unilateral departure, all the more because the latter option would imply winners and losers, which would impact poorly on the weakest countries.

On the other hand, with a multilateral dissolution, a more civilized process would help protect the weakest countries. However, as this is very unlikely to happen, the second best option is the unilateral exit.

Q: Unilateral exit and return to the peseta?

Of course, if I were Spanish, I would be demanding from the Congress that we get out of the euro.

Q: You are in Spain presenting your new book in collaboration with Thomas Fazi, Reclaiming the State, in which you mount a case for citizens to reclaim national sovereignty. What about the idea that in a globalised world nation-states are no longer relevant?

In the book, Thomas and I propose the thesis that from the 1970s the Left had come to assume the erroneous thesis that globalisation had usurped the power of the nation states.

We could say that while the Right worked hard to convince the Left that the state was irrelevant, they knew all along that the State was still powerful, and, in fact, they had to co-opt the state and use it to advance their own interests.

In fact, all the key aspects of the neoliberal transition have come from the state and through the state: deregulation of the labour market, liberalization of capital markets, abolition of exchange controls, privatisation, free trade agreements, etc.

The neoliberal agenda works by privatising profits and socialising losses.

When things get difficult for capital, it is States that use their legislative and fiscal powers to pay the bill and force the losses onto the citizens (via austerity etc).

But if all these changes can be done to advance the interests of the rich, we can also use the state for an inverse process: by using the currency sovereignty to create full employment; withdraw from free trade agreements that contain investor dispute resolution mechanisms; nationalising essential services that have previously been privatised, and so on.

Ironically, the only politicians who do not seem to understand this are those on the Left.

Q: What measures would a left-wing government take? Could you tell us about your proposals?

For the countries that are in the euro I would propose they first of all abandon it – make the announcement on a Sunday night [Laughter].

But for all countries in general, the first thing to do is to reorient the purpose of the State. In the words of Jeremy Corbyn, this must be put to the service of ‘the many and not the few.’

The relevant question is not how policy makes those with wealth richer but how it makes the poor richer. The harmful effects of this era of neoliberalism have been felt in the form of mass unemployment, underemployment, increased precariousness of work, the attack on wages growth and working conditions.

But we must reconfigure the State to ensure the dignity of wor and income security. In this sense, I propose a guaranteed employment program offering an unconditional and socially inclusive minimum wage.

It is also necessary to reform the financial system to eliminate all financial products that do not directly provide benefits for productive activity.

Only about 2% of global financial transactions actually benefit the real economy, the rest are just casino bets that do nothing to advance the well-being of society. We have to force the banks to be banks rather than gaming rooms.

We must also contemplate the nationalisation of banking, which as a first step might require the creation of a strong public banking sector. Equally, pension funds would have to be nationalised. There should also be growth in the availability of high quality public housing with affordable prices and rents.

The public sector must once again have an active industrial policy. In particular, by further developing the renewable energy sector.

Also, essential services such as water or electricity have to be nationalized.

In our book there is a detailed explanation of all these and more proposals.

Q: A question that you will find controversial but that, in the context of the rise of the ultra-right, it is necessary to clarify: Does your appeal to national sovereignty have anything to do with nationalism? Also, isn’t there a contradiction for the Left between the defense of national sovereignty and internationalism?

Nation states are fundamental to internationalism: that is, a group of States group together for a greater good. Otherwise, what we have is “supranationalism”, which is what we have in Europe, where decisions are taken at a higher level, but without any democratic control from below.

There is a cold war mentality where “internationalism” is praised without question about what it means in practical terms. If we want an optimal monetary area, who decides which currency we are going to issue? Which central bank will oversee the system? How will a federal treasury function be established? If nobody decides, then we are facing a dysfunctional monetary area, which is precisely what we observe in Europe.

One of the reasons the Left has clung to internationalism is because it rightly and strongly rejects xenophobia, fascism and nationalism. We also reject those concepts or behaviours. Reclaiming the nation state has nothing to do with nationalism, xenophobia or fascism.

There is a legitimate popular longing for greater national sovereignty, to force the state to use its capacities to advance the well-being of us all rather than a few. But so far the forces that have been able to give voice to that anxiety and longing have been reactionary populists on the Right.

People long to regain control of their lives and enjoy stable employment and income security. The very things that neoliberalism has attacked through the takeover of the State. This anxiety has been reflected in the Brexit and Trump campaigns. It is time that progressive forces harnessed this anxiety and provided people with choices.

Q: You are one of the founders of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which seeks to explain the true functioning of the monetary system. What does it imply in practice?

From MMT we learn that a state that issues its own currency does not have any financial restrictions on its spending.

By issuing currency a government can buy any good or service that is for sale in that currency, including all idle workers.

The conclusion drawn from this insight is that once the private sector has taken its spending and saving decisions, any remaining unemployment is the responsibility of the State and reflects the reality that the State has declined for political reasons to eliminate the mass unemployment.

In other words, the unemployment rate is a choice of the government, not the market. A political choice. If everyone understood this, then the politicians would not be allowed to ignore their responsibility to maintain full employment. They would not be able to justify unemployment rates of 25 per cent as we saw in Greece during the crisis.

The currencies we use now have no intrinsic value and the government induces demand for those currencies by demanding they are used to relinquish tax obligations that they impose.

But we require the state to spend the currency into existence before we can pay our taxes. The state is the monopoly issuer of the currency.

Which means that taxation revenue do not finance public spending, since public spending must logically come before taxes.

We can not get hold of the currency to pay taxes unless the State spends it into existence. Further, currency-issuing governments do not need to borrow in order to spend. So the dynamics of spending and taxes is very different from what the mainstream macroeconomic theories would have us believe.

Q: What happens then with fiscal deficits?

From the point of view of national accounting, public deficits are exactly equal to the accumulation of net financial assets in the non-government sector in each period.

Conversely, public surpluses are exactly equal to the depletion of net financial assets in the non-government sector in each period.

In most countries, states have to run public deficits because the non-government sector overall run surpluses (net saving).

You can not say anything about what is the optimal level of the public deficit, sometimes a deficit of 10 per cent will be good and in other situations, a 2 per cent deficit will be bad.

Public deficits are the necessary mechanism to compensate for spending shortfalls (or excess savings) in the non-government sector. If the overall non-government saving does not return to the economy, then firms will reduce production and the economy will slide into recession.

That is the role of fiscal deficits – to fund the desire of the non-government sector to save overall and ensure that all productive resources are brought into use.

The only way to obtain continued fiscal surpluses is by reducing the wealth of the non-government sector. So a deliberate austerity policy will squeeze the non-government sector, and force it to accumulate more private debt to maintain spending patters.

That process is unsustainable.

Q: MMT advocates also propose a guaranteed employment plan as a means to achieve full employment. What role does the proposal for guaranteed employment play within MMT?

From the empirical point of view, one of the problems of Keynesianism was that of the Phillips curve. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was believed that there was an inverse relationship between unemployment and inflation and that in order to achieve a low rate of inflation it was necessary to tolerate a higher rate of unemployment or vice versa.

This relationship was highly contested and Milton Friedman embedded the notion that there was no trade-off at all and that governments that tried to reduce the unemployment rate below some fixed ‘natural’ rate would only generate accelerating inflation.

MMT breaks this theoretical impasse by showing that the State use a Job Guarantee framework to reduce unemployment to some irreducible minimum level without causing inflation was the guaranteed employment plan.

The Job Guarantee approach to full employment is also in sharp contradistinction to the usual Keynesian ‘generalised’ expansion approaches to fiscal stimulus.

Under the latter approach, if a state launches an ambitious spending program and buys the goods it needs at market prices, then government spending competes with private spending for the goods and services available in the economy, which runs the risk of generating inflation.

However, unemployment is a sign that the non-government sector has no desire to bid for the services of these workers. And, the government can always buy these services without therefore making competing bids against the non-government employers. This is the basis of the Job Guarantee.

Since there is no non-government bid for the unemployed labour, the State is not competing for these resources and is thus not generating inflationary pressures. The price at which the state buys the unemployed labor force thus becomes the minimum wage.

We are thus creating a buffer stock of employment without generating inflation, because the government is only using labour that has no bid.

This approach to inflation control is much more just and efficient than just increasing unemployment to lower inflation, which is the policy favored by orthodoxy.

Q: Why are you not a supporter of Basic Income Guarantees? Could not basic income and guaranteed employment be combined?

The problem I see with basic income is that amounts to a resignation or surrender to the neoliberal idea that the State can not achieve full employment.

It amounts to accepting the neoliberal worldview that there can be no full employment with quality jobs. I do not see why the Left would want to buy into that myth, which is part of an overall policy push that damages the prosperity of workers.

I also believe that people need to work as much as they need income. Work gives us a social identity, self-esteem, confidence in ourselves and brings us into contact with other people.

What the basic income proposal amounts to is to say to those that have been deliberately deprived of a job by poor policy: Look, here’s some money, take it and leave us alone.”

In other words, basic income conceives of humanity as consumption units lacking social ties.

A final criticism is that the basic income proposal does not include an inflation control mechanism. With a Job Guarantee, the state spending does not generate inflation.

Conversely, the state spending on the basic income scheme would compete directly at market prices and the only way the state could control inflation would be to increase unemployment. In other words, the inflation anchor within a basic income proposal becomes unemployment – which is exactly the pernicious system we have now under neoliberalism.

I grant you that the basic income policy and the Job Guarantee could be complementary but I generally prefer to concentrate on the latter.

In our societies, where the dominant culture values work and rejects the idea that people should receive handouts for nothing, the Job Guarantee proposal allows us to open a debate about what constitutes productive work. It allows us to redefine the range of works that are considered to be useful to society and beneficial to the environment. Basic income, on the other hand, does not extend any such horizon.

Q: Finally, could you suggest solutions to the serious problem of unemployment in Spain?

The first step is to recover monetary sovereignty by abandoning the euro. But, of course, it is only a first step. That alone witll not be sufficient.

There is also an ongoing struggle against neoliberalism.

The PP and the PSOE are both neoliberal in their outlook. Therefore, social movements must remain vigilant and escalate their resistance to these neoliberal ideas and policies.

Even within the Eurozone, it is clear that the 3 per cent deficit threshold allowed under the Stability and Growth Pact should be used to the fullest.

But that will not be enough to restore prosperity given the scale of the problems. Spain should never have entered the euro.

Of course, I understand that it is not easy to get out once the decision to enter was taken. I also understand that for the countries of southern Europe, which had been subjected to horrible dictatorships, the euro appeared as a symbol belonging to a democratic Europe and, therefore, a symbol of sophistication relative to the dark past.

But, on the other hand, I very much doubt that a return to the national currency would lead to a return to military dictatorships. There has been generational change and the ghosts of the past are fading.

(iii) Real Progressives Interview – October 16, 2017

I also did a wide-ranging interview with Steve Grumbine from Real Progressives yesterday. The video goes for just over an hour. (…)

Steve Grumbine with Dr. Bill Mitchell

Tonight, Join Steve as he brings author, professor and Modern Monetary Theory OG Dr Bill Mitchell on to discuss the new book “Reclaiming the State” and a Progressive Manifesto.

Bideoa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqPrVOZeKFc


Espainieraz:

El futuro de España sigue siendo sombrío. ¿Cómo pueden afectarnos los cambios parlamentarios en Alemania?

España ha disfrutado estos últimos años de la posibilidad de mantener un déficit público por encima del límite establecido por el Pacto de Estabilidad y Crecimiento. La troika hizo la vista gorda para evitar que se castigara en las últimas elecciones al Partido Popular por las políticas de austeridad aplicadas. Por eso España ha crecido últimamente.

Pero Bruselas no puede seguir permitiendo que el Gobierno español se salte las normas. El resultado de las elecciones alemanas representa solo un capítulo más de la secuencia que viene sucediendo en el mundo y que consiste en un enorme rechazo a los partidos tradicionales y en un aumento en la polarización política, principalmente, hacia la derecha. El peligro para Europa llegará verdaderamente cuando, como es probable, Jens Weidmann sustituya a Mario Draghi en la presidencia del Banco Central Europeo (BCE). Draghi representa el pragmatismo; con él, el BCE ha actuado fundamentalmente como un agente fiscal, manteniendo el barco del euro a flote. Pero Weidmann está mucho más ideologizado y podría poner fin a la Expansión Cuantitativa (QE, por sus siglas en inglés: Quantitative Easing). De hecho, si analizamos los mayores factores de riesgo, podríamos concluir que este es, sin duda, el mayor de ellos.

El final del QE para un país como España sería letal, solo hace falta recordar el período 2010-2012…

En cuanto Bruselas se ponga dura con España y fuerce de nuevo la puesta en marcha de las políticas de austeridad, España será historia y volverá a recorrer esa espiral infernal en la que se encuentra ahora Grecia. Todos los países que han sobrevivido lo han hecho gracias al mencionado QE, financiando los déficits por la puerta de atrás. Si Bruselas se pone exigente de nuevo, España volverá a la situación del 2010, a otro ciclo de crisis que tendrá que enfrentar mucho más debilitada de lo que lo estaba por entonces, ya que todavía no se ha recuperado de la anterior.

Autores como usted abogan por una salida del euro. En España hay mucho miedo en este sentido: se recuerdan los años setenta y ochenta, con tasas altísimas de inflación y se argumenta, además, que la dictadura franquista nos sumió en un enorme atraso. Nadie quiere volver a los años cincuenta…

La historia y la cultura son extremadamente importantes, es verdad. Piensa en Grecia, que fue una dictadura militar y para la que el pasado genera también mucho miedo. Pero la inflación de los años setenta, que fue mundial, no tuvo nada que ver con eso, ni con el pasado dictatorial de España, ni con un exceso de déficits, sino con el incremento de los precios del petróleo por la OPEP; de hecho, se trató del primer shock de oferta vivido en el mundo.

Fíjate en todos los países que en estos momentos mantienen déficits importantes porque cuentan con la posibilidad de emitir su propia moneda: ¿ves que alguno de ellos tenga unos niveles dramáticos de inflación? Cada país tiene su pasado bien interiorizado, y de la gente depende que dicho pasado no se repita, pero la idea de la soberanía monetaria no tiene nada que ver con eso.

Pero otorgar a los políticos la capacidad de crear dinero podría ser peligroso en términos económicos…

Sin duda, se trata de una posición frecuentemente expresada: “No puedes confiar en tus políticos”. ¡Pero sí confiasteis en ellos para poner en marcha las políticas de austeridad! Y ya habéis visto los resultados… Creo que la calidad de los políticos es un reflejo del nivel de implicación de los ciudadanos en la política. La ciudadanía ha de forzarles a que cumplan la ley. Y España puede hacerlo: se trata de un país con unos niveles de educación relativamente elevados, nada que ver con el país pobre que fue en los años cincuenta, sesenta y setenta. ¿Realmente podemos imaginarnos una dictadura militar ahora mismo en España?

¿Podríamos afirmar que existe una relación clara entre soberanía monetaria y nivel de democratización de un país?

Completamente. De hecho el problema de la era neoliberal ha sido la despolitización, un proceso según el cual los dirigentes electos trasladan los centros de decisión a quienes no han sido democráticamente elegidos. Es el caso de los Bancos Centrales, que no tienen que rendir cuentas, así como determinadas organizaciones internacionales, como el FMI y la Comisión Europea. Están totalmente separados del proceso político y electoral. Y lo que la consecución o la recuperación de la soberanía monetaria suponen es que quienes tengan que rendir cuentas y responder de sus acciones sean nada más y nada menos que los políticos electos.  

Usted ha afirmado que uno de los problemas principales de la izquierda es que sigue atrapada en el neoliberalismo. ¿Qué opina de una parte relevante de esta que argumenta a favor de una Renta Básica Universal y que considera anticuado el objetivo de pleno empleo?

En primer lugar, la verdadera posición de la izquierda debería exigir trabajo decente para todos los que lo demanden; a día de hoy, no hay sociedades en las que el trabajo no sea crucial, este sigue siendo un factor importantísimo en cualquier parte del mundo, no solo como fuente de ingresos sino también para la vida en sociedad y para poseer una saludable autoestima y la confianza en uno mismo. La sociedad no ha cambiado lo suficiente para que este paradigma se vea modificado. La izquierda debería pelear siempre por la consecución de buenos empleos para todos, algo que, además, sirve para atenuar el poder de los capitalistas.

Hay un segundo punto en el que es básico insistir: un gobierno dotado de soberanía monetaria puede siempre conseguir empleo para quien lo necesita, pues está capacitado para comprar todos los recursos que considere en su moneda. Cuando se entiende este principio básico de cómo un sistema monetario funciona en realidad, se deduce automáticamente que el ejecutivo es el que decide la tasa de desempleo. Haga lo que haga el sector privado, la responsabilidad sobre el empleo recae en el gobierno y este puede afrontarla bien a través de programas de empleo, bien a través de puestos en el sector público.

Por todo lo dicho, si la izquierda comienza a exigir la RBU, se está rindiendo al principio neoliberal de que es correcto que el gobierno no utilice sus capacidades para proveer de empleos a la ciudadanía. En el momento en que sostienes esto, eres ya neoliberal. Y entonces, se asigna una cantidad mínima a la gente para mantenerla viva, convirtiendo a las personas en unidades de consumo e ignorando todos los aspectos sociales y humanos del trabajo anteriormente mencionados.

Entonces se rescata al sector privado…

Lo que se hace es asegurarse de que se sigue gastando dinero en la economía y se le acaba diciendo a los parados que ahí tienen unos cuantos euros y que se callen. Se trata de una visión que minusvalora el potencial humano. Son numerosas las investigaciones científicas que demuestran que cuando las personas se quedan privadas de trabajo, su red social de contactos comienza a reducirse, a encoger, ya que pierdes a tus compañeros de trabajo, a tus conocidos… La gente privada sistemáticamente de trabajo se siente culpable porque no está trabajando, porque apenas tiene dinero para salir, cada vez tratan con menos gente, se les invita a menos eventos sociales… Se recrudece el aislamiento.

Hay otro punto, además, que es más difícil de explicar a la gente, y es el de las implicaciones inflacionistas de la Renta Básica: una vez que el gobierno gasta sin requerir nada a cambio, se genera inflación, por diversas razones. La RBU no integra mecanismo alguno para anclar la inflación por lo que, si se produce un sobrecalentamiento de la economía, la inflación sigue creciendo. El problema, digamos, letal, de la Renta Básica Universal es que no controla la inflación, como sí ocurre con el programa de Trabajo Garantizado que, por definición, acoge a las personas que se han quedado fuera del sector privado y cuyos salarios no compiten con los del mercado, algo que sí ocurre con la RBU.”

Defizit mitoak eta DTM

Joe Weisenthal‏ @TheStalwart

(https://twitter.com/wbmosler/status/916096024837607424)

I’m glad @StephanieKelton has been writing these Op-Eds blowing up deficit myths.

How We Think About the Deficit Is Mostly Wrong

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/opinion/deficit-tax-cuts-trump.html

Joe Weisenthal‏ @TheStalwart

Key line: ‘What’s often missed in the public debate is the fact that the money to buy the bond comes from the deficit spending itself.

Warren B. Mosler‏ @wbmosler

Replying to @TheStalwart

And exactly what I told Alan Rogers, trading manager at Banker’s Trust, in 1977 when asked who would buy the new $2billion of 2 year notes.

2017 urr. 5

(Bilioi amerikar bat = Mila milioi europar)

Warren B. Mosler‏ @wbmosler

(https://twitter.com/wbmosler/status/916783860188434432)

Replying to @ericlonners @sjwrenlewis and

Left out the fact that the currency is a simple public monopoly so the state is necessarily ‘price setter’

2017 urr. 7

Independentzia Deklarazioaren (DI, katalanez) aurretik

(i) 155

L’atac d’Espanya a les institucions catalanes, portada a mitjans de tot el món

Recull del ressò a la premsa internacional de l’anunci del president espanyol

(https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/latac-despanya-a-les-institucions-catalanes-portada-a-mitjans-de-tot-el-mon/)

(ii) Puigdemont crida a resistir l’atac i emplaça el parlament a ‘actuar en conseqüència’

l president emet un missatge institucional adreçat als catalans, als espanyols i a tots europeus

(https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/puigdemont-emplaca-el-parlament-a-actuar-en-consequencia/)

Totes les propostes de diàleg adreçades a l’estat espanyol han tingut la mateixa resposta: o el silenci, o la repressió. En la meva darrera carta al president espanyol li reiterava la necessitat de parlar i li recordava que aquest és un clam que ens és adreçat per molta gent, des de molts llocs. Avui, el consell de ministres s’ha encarregat de donar un veritable cop de porta a aquest clam i a aquesta petició i anuncia un seguit de mesures i de cessaments que, directament, representen la liquidació del nostre autogovern i de la voluntat democràtica dels catalans. Allò que els catalans van decidir a les urnes el govern espanyol ho anul·la als despatxos.

D’aquesta manera, el govern espanyol, amb el suport del partit socialista i de Ciudadanos, ha emprès el pitjor atac a les institucions i al poble de Catalunya des dels decrets del dictador militar Francisco Franco abolint la Generalitat de Catalunya. Menyspreant la voluntat popular expressada de manera nítida i massiva a les eleccions del 27 de setembre de 2015, violentant el nostre Parlament i totes les garanties i drets dels diputats i diputades que han escollit el president de la Generalitat i han aprovat el programa de govern, el govern espanyol s’ha autoproclamat de manera il·legítima el representant de la voluntat dels catalans.

Sense passar per les urnes, amb un suport escàs i en contra de la voluntat de la majoria, el govern de Mariano Rajoy vol nomenar un directori perquè teledirigeixi des de Madrid la vida de Catalunya.

No és la primera vegada que, també amb el concurs del rei, les institucions catalanes reben un cop per part de l’Estat espanyol per tal de rebaixar-les, reorientar-les o directament suprimir-les. Cada vegada, el poble català s’ha sobreposat més fort i més determinat, conscient que les agressions han ocultat sempre la incapacitat de fer política per part de l’estat i que calia, en conseqüència, assolir més cotes d’autogovern. Del regionalisme de principi del segle XX al sobiranisme del segle XXI, la idea hegemònica a Catalunya ha estat sempre la mateixa.

La Generalitat no és una institució que neix amb la constitució espanyola actual. Molt abans de l’aprovació de la carta magna, la Generalitat ja funcionava i era restablerta de manera provisional atenent la seva legitimitat històrica i la continuïtat que havien garantit a l’exili els presidents Companys, Irla i Tarradellas. Cap decisió de cap govern no pot esborrar aquest fet persistent al llarg del temps: ha estat la voluntat dels catalans la que ha permès defensar i restablir les nostres institucions. El que tenim ens ho hem guanyat sempre amb la força de la gent i la força de la democràcia.

Les institucions catalanes i el poble de Catalunya no podem acceptar aquest atac. La humiliació que pretén el govern espanyol fent-se tutor de tota la vida pública catalana, des del Govern fins als mitjans de comunicació públics, és incompatible amb una actitud democràtica i se situa fora de l’estat de dret. Perquè imposar una forma de govern no escollida pels ciutadans i sense una majoria parlamentària que l’avali és incompatible amb l’estat de dret.

Com ho és actuar impunement amb violència contra ciutadans pacífics, usar codis penals antics per mantenir a presó dues persones de pau que no han comès cap crim i perseguir idees i mitjans de comunicació, o estimular de manera irresponsable la inestabilitat econòmica. O com ho va ser la també gravíssima irresponsabilitat del PP amb l’avui president Mariano Rajoy com a cabdill d’una infame recollida de firmes contra Catalunya i la vergonyosa sentència del Tribunal Constitucional després, subratllo el després, que s’hagués aprovat l’estatut de Catalunya per referèndum legal i acordat. Aquells irresponsables que van menysprear la voluntat dels catalans i van vulnerar el pacte constitucional del 1978 són els qui avui ens volen governar.

Sóc conscient, per tant, de l’amenaça que pesa sobre tot el poble de Catalunya si l’estat perpetra el seu propòsit liquidador. Ens hem de conjurar per tornar a defensar les nostres institucions com hem fet sempre, de manera pacífica i civilitzada, però carregats de dignitat i de raons. És per això que demanaré al Parlament que fixi la convocatòria d’una sessió plenària on els representants de la sobirania ciutadana, els escollits pels vots dels ciutadans, debatem i decidim sobre l’intent de liquidar el nostre autogovern i la nostra democràcia, i actuem en conseqüència.

Quiero dirigir un mensaje a los demócratas españoles. Lo que se está haciendo con Catalunya es directamente un ataque a la democracia que abre la puerta a otros abusos de la misma índole en cualquier parte, no sólo en Cataluña. Criminalizar al disidente, negar la realidad y alzar muros de legalidades ante las ventanas de la voluntad ciudadana… si triunfa todo eso el daño a la democracia, y por lo tanto a los ciudadanos, será muy severo y comportará un retroceso monumental. No debemos permitir que eso ocurra.

I want to address a message to Europe. Not only to its political leaders but also, and especially, to all European citizens, our brothers and sisters, with whom we share the European citizenship.

If European foundational values are at risk in Catalonia, they will also be at risk in Europe. Democratically deciding the future of a nation is not a crime. This goes against foundations that unite European citizens through their diversity. Catalonia is an ancient European nation. It is core to the European values.

We do what we do because we believe in a democratic and peaceful Europe. The Europe of the Charter of Fundamental Rights that should protect each and every one of us. You should know that what you are fighting for at your home, we are also fighting for in Catalonia. And we will continue to do so.’

(iii) El Parlament de Catalunya es reunirà divendres 27 per activar la resposta al cop d’estat

Ho farà en paral·lel a la reunió del senat espanyol, per evitar que es pugui aplicar el 155

(https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/el-parlament-de-catalunya-es-reunira-divendres-27-per-activar-la-resposta-al-cop-destat/)

Oharra:

Anna Arque-k idatzi didanez,

Nork: anna arque <anna.arque@…>
Bidaltze-data: larunbata, 2017(e)ko urriaren 21a 19:48
Nori: josebafelix@outlook.es
Gaia: Re: ER: Note press Journalist association

Joseba, com que sé que ets curós amb les paraules i el seu significat t’agradarà saber que ara sempre diem DI: “Declaració d’Independència”, sense Unilateral, com totes les declaracions fetes al món, acordades o no, una declaració institucional amb el suport de la societat que és qui la valida

Abraçades!!

Anna

Enviat des del meu iPhone

El 21 oct 2017, a les 19:01

INDEPENDÈNCIA

(i) NacióDigital‏ @naciodigital

#Anonymous anuncia un ciberatac massiu en defensa de Catalunya per aquest dissabte; informa @

mercemolistEls hacktivistes mantenen viva la #OpCatalunya que van iniciar a mitjans de setembre i avisen de noves accions pel 21 d’octubre

(http://www.naciodigital.cat/noticia/140941/anonymous/anuncia/ciberatac/massiu/defensa/catalunya/aquest/dissabte)

2017 urr. 20

(ii) Exambaixador britànic:Dissoldre un parlament per forçar eleccions és feixisme

(http://www.elnacional.cat/ca/politica/exambaixador-britanic-dissoldre-parlament-eleccions-feixisme_204186_102.html)

✔ @CraigMurrayOrg

Dissolving a working parliament to force a new election, because you do not like the way people voted, is undeniably fascism. #Catalonia

Oct. 20, 2017

(iii) No hi haurà democràcia si no hi ha independència

(https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/no-hi-haura-democracia-si-no-hi-ha-independencia-editorial-vicent-partal/)

(iv) Agustí Alcoberro: ‘Ara toca proclamar la república, sobretot per a poder-nos defensar

Entrevista a Agustí Alcoberro, cara visible de l’ANC d’ençà que Jordi Sànchez va ser empresonat dilluns acusat de sedició

(https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/agusti-alcoberro-ara-toca-proclamar-la-republica-sobretot-per-a-poder-nos-defensar/)

(v) INDEPENDÈNCIA

Anna Arqué Solsona‏ @anna_arque

(https://twitter.com/anna_arque/status/921704971250348034)

INDEPENDÈNCIA #RepubliCAT #LaForçaDeLaGent

2017 urr. 21

Elisenda Paluzie‏ @epaluzie (https://twitter.com/epaluzie/status/921710223949213696)

Només el poble pot salvar el poble. Proclamem la República Catalana i defensem-la! #Catalonia

2017 urr. 21

Elisenda Paluzie‏ @epaluzie (https://twitter.com/epaluzie/status/921760507073265665)

Replying to @soler_toni @jbalasp

Ja ho va dir en Companys. Hi ha moltes causes al món per defensar però la dels catalans només la podem defensar nosaltres

2017 urr. 21

Lehen koinatua, oso aspaldian koinata

Lehen koinatua izan zen, hil arte…, larunbatero etxera etorri zena…

Hamar urte joan dira

Abangoardiaz hitz bi

Politikoki desegokiak oso

Gaur larunbata da.

Bazkaltzera koinata, Nekane Eguzkitza Bilbao, Andolinen arreba, etorriko da, aspaldian bezalaxe, gure umetxoak jaio zirenetik egin duen modura…

Kataluniako cava edango dugu eta Kataluniako Independentzia ospatuko dugu, etxen.

Koinatak asko maite zuen Andolin. Hortaz, nahiz eta ‘artista’ niri gehiegi ez gustatu hona hemen berria:

(i) Bernardo Atxagaren “zeruko seigarren kronika” Euskadi Irratiko … – EITB

Segida:

(ii) Andolin-ek bere ahotsean: http://susa-literatura.eus/liburuak/poes1513

Andolin gogoratuz, blogeko gaurko sarrera Nekaneri dedikatu nahi  diot, berak nebari buruzkoa eta nebari berari entzunez, pozik egon dadin.

Hala bedi!

Visca Catalunya Liure!

Warren Mosler-en ‘marxismoa’

Warren B. Mosler‏ @wbmosler

(https://twitter.com/wbmosler/status/915956157088518145)

Replying to @GrkStav @shishiqiushi @RomanchukBrian

I’m an independent but wouldn’t join a club that would have me for a member so maybe a defacto Marxist? 😉

2017 urr. 5

Gr(ee)k_Stav‏ @GrkStav urr. 5

Replying to @wbmosler @shishiqiushi @RomanchukBrian

A grouch(o)y Marxist, surely! 😉