Newspeak-eko banderaduna eta “Euzkadi por su independencia”

(i) Newspeak-eko banderaduna

Newspeak: Deliberately ambiguous and contradictory language used to mislead and manipulate the public.

Gogoratzekoa:

Mandangaren afera: newspeak besterik ez!

Banderaduna: Euskal estatuaren beharra ikusten du Ibarretxek, Madrilen “ukazioagatik”

Gogoratzekoak:

Derecho a decidir (sic)

Derecho a decidir (sic) (2)

Autodeterminazio-eskubidea XXI. mendean, gogoratzekoa

Paradisuaz:

EH Bilduz:

In La semana que Otegi dejó de ser independentista:

…La izquierda abertzale ha culminado esta semana un viraje soberanista. Partía de la ‘vía vasca’ unilateral que al estilo catalán quiso imitar para emprender el camino hacia una Euskadi independiente. Este verano lo ha estrenado subiéndose al tren del autogobierno del PNV y que Bildu siempre cuestionó. Se acabó el golpe en la mesa, el órdago a las estructuras del Estado para iniciar un camino en solitario hacia la Euskal herria independiente. El camino de las dos grandes “familias abertzales”, como las definió Otegi, pasa por una fórmula negociada con España y dentro de un marco legal para alcanzar la Euskadi confederal que dote de mayor autonomía al País Vasco. (…)

… La etapa que ahora libra es la de la Comunidad Autónoma Vasca. El jueves Arnaldo Otegi calificó de “histórico” e inédito en los últimos 40 años el entendimiento alcanzado entre el PNV y Bildu para asentar las bases del futuro estatuto vasco. Un documento al que aún le resta un largo recorrido hasta ver la luz y más aún hasta logar la aprobación definitiva.

La propuesta de un estado “confederal” integrado en España pero con una relación con el Estado “de igual a igual” hubiera sido motivo de duro reproche en la tribunal de Bildu. De expulsión o arrinconamiento en sus estructuras internas. Pero los tiempos, necesidades y riesgos se han impuesto en la nueva izquierda abertzale que un día no tan lejano fue independentista hasta la muerte…”

Ezkerraz hitz bi gehiago (tartean Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)

Bill Mitchell behin eta berriz:

(i) Baliabide errealak eta politika fiskala

Real resource constraints and fiscal policy design

While the upgrades to our public transport systems and the re-engineering of our cities is highly desirable and decades overdue, as a policy preference I would prioritise the introduction of a Job Guarantee and ensure it was ccompanied by social wage spending to increase employment in education, health care and the like.

That would absorb idle labour without placing further strains on the construction resources.

A sole reliance on public sector investment in public infrastructure to achieve full employment, also creates considerable economic inflexibility. The ebb and flow of the private sector would not be readily accommodated and an increasing likelihood of inflation would result.

Further and crucially, public investment is unlikely to benefit the most disadvantaged workers in the economy. The Job Guarantee is designed to explicitly provide opportunities for them.

By way of example, during the golden age in Australia (1945-1975) when public capital formation and social wage expenditure was strong, full employment was only achieved because the public sector (implicitly) provided a Job Guarantee for low skilled workers.

This experience is shared across all advanced economies.

The Job Guarantee is thus designed to ensure that the lowest skilled and experienced workers are able to find employment. It does not presume that Job Guarantee jobs will suit all skills. For some skilled workers who become unemployed in a downturn the income loss implied would be significant.

The contention is that a fully employed economy with the Job Guarantee workers paid liveable minimum wages is a significant improvement, when compared to the current unemployment and underemployment bias.”

(ii) Neoliberalismoaren eragina

The ‘truth sandwich’ and the impacts of neoliberalis

…, the trends that the OECD have highlighted are the facts.

The truth underlying the trends are fairly obvious.

The capacity of the government to alter those trends and restore processes that allow upward mobility, allow for more equal sharing of the productive returns of the economy, and largely eliminate poverty are also obvious and real.

Governments have allowed inequality to increase. They have stifled upward social mobility and undermined productivity growth.

There was nothing inevitable about it.

All these trends can be steered if the government chooses to introduce policies that benefit the many rather than the few.

The neoliberal era has seen governments choose the few over the many.

That has been aided by progressive politicians spouting macroeconomic nonsense like ‘taxing the rich to deliver services to the poor’ or ‘where is the money going to come from’.

It is about time these politicians showed leadership and challenged the lies. They need to order the “truth sandwich” every day.

Our construal processes indicate we will accept a different narrative if it is framed properly. At present, whenever some progressive politician claims they will increase the taxes on the rich to fund services for the poor all we hear is that ‘government will run out of money and cannot afford things’.

Start assembling the sandwich base – truth first.”

(iii) Neoliberalismoa eta gu: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

We can do something about neoliberalism

In today’s Democratic Primary he was up against a candidate who advocated (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Platform)

Medicare For All
Housing As a Human Right
A Federal Jobs Guarantee
Gun Control / Assault Weapons Ban
Criminal Justice Reform, End Private Prisons
Immigration Justice / Abolish ICE
Solidarity with Puerto Rico
Mobilizing Against Climate Change
Clean Campaign Finance
Higher Education for All
Women’s Rights
Support LGBTQIA+
Support Seniors
Curb Wall Street Gambling: Restore Glass Steagall

It was a no-contest on policy.

It was big money against grassroots democracy.

It was establishment corrupt Democratic machine against the progressive future of politics.

This was a true Reclaim the State moment.

The message for Social Democratic movements around the world is that there has to be a massive clean out of the neoliberal elements that have slowly taken over progressive political parties.

Any so-called progressive that mouths the neoliberal macroeconomics should be ignored and if they are desiring to stand for public office the grass roots party supporters should ensure they are not selected.

If they are incumbents, they should be deselected at the next available opportunity.

This is about major changes rather than tinkering around the edges.

For Jeremy Corbyn, there is a message.

Expunge all the Blairite/New Labour elements as soon as possible. Let the younger MMT-oriented activists take strategic positions in the British Labour Party.

Deselect Blairites before any upcoming election.

For the Australian Labor Party there is a message.

Trying to be cute with incremental changes while claiming economic credibility by mouthing of neoliberal terms such as ‘budget repair’, ‘fiscal consolidation’, ‘we will get back into surplus more quickly’, ‘AAA credit ratings’ and all the rest of it is not progressive.

You might gain office this way, given the appalling state of the conservative side of politics at present, but you won’t do anything progressive at all.

And then you will be relatively quickly dispatched to a long period in Opposition (again) having just paved the way for more pernicious anti-people policy shifts.

Start calling all this nonsense out.

Why say you will run fiscal surpluses when there is 15 per cent or more labour underutilisation (as in Australia at present)?

Why not step up as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did and call for a Federal Job Guarantee along MMT lines.

It is a small step, but perhaps her victory today is a sign that we can clean out the corruption that has infested the ‘progressive’ political parties and start winning the big contest.”

(iv) Gobernuak, zorra eta lege atzerritarra

Governments should not issue debt under foreign law

“I am currently working on a number of these issues to more fully educate myself in the murky world of sovereign debt law. The purpose of this self-education is to allow me to more carefully develop an Exit Blueprint for nations stuck in anti-democratic and destructive arrangements such as the Eurozone.

It is clear that a government reestablishing its sovereignty has the upper hand, especially if it has issued debt under its own legal system.

Which is why the likes of the IMF and the European Commission has been keen to increasingly pressure governments to issue debt under foreign laws under the ruse that this is a show of faith to the private bond markets.

Once again the increasing bias towards foreign-law debt is all about privileging private capital over the interests of citizens in national states.

What is absolutely clear is that a sovereign government should never issue debt instruments under any legal system other than their own.

What is even clearer – such a government has no need to issue any debt at all.”

(v) Ezkerrerako estrategia bat

Elements in a strategy for the Left

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is progressive. Most of the Democrat Party elite, many of which have openly criticises Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s policies as being naive, unrealistic, unaffordable, etc, are not.

And the likes of Madame Lagarde knows full well that the nation state has to be compromised if global corporate interests are to be served when she told a French audience last week that:

This centralised budget capacity does not need to become a payment facility … It can very well have disciplinary conditions attached.

That is exactly what the Stability and Growth Pact does at the national level. It compromises national fiscal capacities so that they cannot advance generalised well-being.

While Germany and France talk about a ‘centralised budget capacity’ the reality is that it will be small and so hamstrung with restrictions that it will be beyond a joke.

But the elites all know that national governments have to be tethered tightly or else the global capital domination can be effectively controlled.

As an aside but contextual, Jürgen Habermas was correct when he noted that the need for a European-level fiscal capacity was:

not just about fiscal stabilization, but about convergence – the credible political intent of the economically and politically strongest member states to fulfill the common currency’s broken promise of convergent economic developments.

The neoliberal elites are constructing this aspect of the ‘reform’ debate exclusively in terms of “fiscal stabilisation” – to help out nations in trouble but not to engage in any permanent transfers.

And to put a line under that, they want the Member States to contribute to the ‘European Monetary Fund’ and pay it back, and, if that wasn’t enough, they want the Member States most likely to draw assistance from the ‘Fund’, to pay more into it in the advance than other nations.

In other words, the weakest nations will be slugged more in advance and compromise their capacity to build effective public services and infrastructure in good times and then have to endure withering austerity in bad times as it is forced to pay back the money it contributed in the first place.

Ever heard of currency sovereignty!

But Jürgen Habermas point about a central fiscal capacity being about convergence, which is the way effective federations operate is exactly why it will never be constructed in that manner in the European Union.

The reason being that it would require permanent and on-going transfers from the richer income states to the poorer states. Exactly how Australia works!

The influential Member States in Europe are never going to agree to that sort of system.

Please read my blog post – The Meseberg Declaration – don’t hold your breath waiting (June 26, 2018) – for more discussion on this point.

Which brings me to an interesting article I read on the Left Foot Forward site (July 7, 2018) – After decades of following a failed economic model, we need to reshape the state.

This is an example of a ‘nearly’ argument that ultimately fails because it keeps using neoliberal frames and language despite a very progressive agenda being outlined.

The author Prem Sikka (an accounting academic) in England writes that:

We have missed far too many opportunities to steer our economy in a positive direction. It’s time for the left to address the role of the state today … the government remains wedded to the dogma of privatisation. During the last forty years, successive governments have privatised key sectors at knockdown prices – often with disastrous outcomes for consumers and taxpayers.

The discomfort starts with the use of the term “taxpayers”.

And then the first neoliberal frame enters:

The revenues from the sale of publicly owned assets could have been used to fund investment in new industries or social infrastructure, but that did not happen.

Which means the reader is immediately channelled into believing that government spending (including public infrastructure) requires “revenues” and if “revenues” are used in one way they cannot be used in another.

The framing is typical of the problematic way the Left tries to engage in these debates.

The fact is that a currency-issuing government such as the British government can provide currency (pounds in this context) to fund any investment in new industries or social infrastructure that it chooses.

There is no “revenues” required.

The only reason why “revenues” might need to be associated with public spending is if the economy is already operating at full capacity and the government has to deprive the current users of some of the fully utilised real resources so they can be diverted into the infrastructure projects.

But the “revenues” are not ‘funding’ anything. They are the tool through which the government deprives the non-government sector of access to resources – they represent the diminution of non-government purchasing capacity.

That diminution would be necessary in that context to provide the real resource space for government to occupy (and build the infrastructure).

In times where the nation is operating below full capacity that diversion of real resources is not necessary.

The author continues in this vein however.

He correctly notes that the history of privatisation is one where governments have handed public resources “over to corporations on very favourable terms”.

They did that because they didn’t want the political flack that the privatisation failed to attract interest from the private bidders.

So to make sure there was a sale they discounted the ‘market value’ of the entity.

But to then claim that the government “squandered” the money and could have done more with the funds.

That is where the neoliberal frame dominates the logic and the argument that conservative governments and Blairite-type social democrat governments actively diverted what should be public space and public activity to private, profit-seeking space is lost.

It is also true that:

Neoliberals have redirected the state to serve their purposes. Under their policies, the state has become a guarantor of corporate profits. The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) has been a bonanza for banks and contractors. PFI schools cost 40% more to build and a hospital 70% more to construct compared to if they were financed by government borrowing.

The first sentence is core Reclaim the State Project logic.

The last sentence is along the lines of Paul Krugman’s ‘cost’ confusion.

The fact is that privatisation and public-private partnerships (PFIs) are disastrous because they allocate public funding guarantees to private operators in line with a profit motive rather than social benefit.

The motivation is the problem. Public infrastructure should be about advancing maximum public benefit not advancing private profit.

The profit motive has also distorted the pattern of public infrastructure development created under PPP or PFI projects. For example, we get toll roads instead of public transport developments.

The toll roads get clogged relatively quickly which then leads to further toll roads. The pattern of urban development deteriorates even further as the profit motive drives planning.

Prem Sikka is correct to conclude that the neoliberal “economic experiment” has failed and “is not conducive to social stability or possibilities of building a sustainable economy”.

He is right in concluding that:

The toxic consequences of neoliberalism are evident in its philosophy of light-touch regulation. The daily parade of tax avoidance, money laundering, bribery, corruption and misselling of products, especially in the financial sector, are a direct consequence of the light-touch philosophy.

But linking that to funding shortfalls for currency-issuing governments means that the path to ‘reclaiming the state’ is lost.

The Left then gets lost in a haze of arguments that sound more or less like ‘we will run surpluses but do it in a fairer way’.

Lost.

Conclusion

Prem Sikka should actually scrap most of his article and start with his final paragraph:

The left has long known that the state is a key institution – now we need to develop strategies to restructure and redirect it to build a more equitable society.

And then – remind the Left that the state is a key institution. Start with Jürgen Habermas is you like who thinks that global capital has bypassed the state and that pan-European movements are the only way forward.

And then, once we have jettisoned the myth that the state is powerless, the Left can build that ‘discovery’ into an MMT framework.

And that is more or less what we did in our latest book – Reclaiming the State: A Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World (Pluto Books, 2017).”

(vi) Ezkerraren abdikazioa

Stuart Holland Not An Abdication By The Left

(a) The abdication of the Left – redux – Part 1

… my response to the Social Europe article by Stuart Holland (July 11, 2018) – Not An Abdication By The Left – where he attempts to eviscerate various writers who have dared to suggest that the “social democratic Left in Europe … has run out of ideas” or that “there has been an intellectual abdication by the Left”. He uses his experience as an advisor to Harold Wilson in the 1960s and to Jacques Delors in the early 1990s as an ‘authority’ for his rejection of the claims that the Left has abandoned its social democratic remit. He holds the likes of Delors and António Guterres has shining Left lights. In Part 1, I showed that the view that Delors and Guterres are beacons of Left history and that the social democratic Left has not sold out to the neoliberal orthodoxy (particularly at the political level) is unsustainable. Holland distorts history to suit his argument and is in denial of the facts. (…)

In Part 2, we will discuss the 1993 Delors Paper on mass unemployment which Stuart Holland claims is further proof of the socialist Left credentials of Delors.

Black becomes white if that was so.”

(b) The abdication of the Left – redux – Part 2

… In Part 2, I trace the argument further by examining the 1993 Delors White Paper, which was meant to be the European Commission’s response to the mass unemployment that was bedevilling the Continent at the time (and remains, by the way) and later propositions that Holland was associated with in relation to Greece during the GFC. They further demonstrate that Stuart Holland is attempting to maintain an indefensible position.

(...)

The Modest Proposal

Finally, Stuart Holland believes claims that the conduct of Syriza during the bailout crises and after is symptomatic of the abdication of the Left is unwarranted.

He argues that he and the then Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (later to be joined by James Galbraith) published several versions of what they called the “Modest Proposal” as a solution to Greece’s problems.

Holland writes:

A key claim of the Modest Proposal has been the case endorsed by Delors that a Eurobond-funded recovery in the EU on the model of the US New Deal is feasible without Treaty revisions, without fiscal transfers between member states and therefore also without ‘ever closer union’ …

A share of the national debt of all member states over the 60% Maastricht limit could be mutualised in the sense of a Eurozone equivalent of a deposit account, which could be serviced by the member states but not drawn on for credit, and therefore would not be liable to downgrading by credit agencies.

Note the reference to Delors again – as if he understood all along the folly that the Eurozone became even though he was overseeing and driving the process.

By way of background, the ‘Modest Proposal’ is a variant of another debt-mutualisation scheme that emerged in 2010 called the Blue Bond Proposal (BBP) under the guise of Jacques Delpla and Jakob von Weizsäcker.

At the time, as the crisis deepened in the Eurozone, these debt-mutualisation schemes started jumping out of the woodwork as if there was no tomorrow.

The essence of all these schemes is that a Member State’s public debt would be split into a “Blue Bond” component with “joint and several liability” (under the BBP up to 60 per cent of debt, that is, the allowable maximum under the Stability and Growth Pact, would be pooled in this way) and a “Red debt” remainder, which would be subordinated to the Blue Bonds.

In theory, this is meant to lower the funding costs of the Blue component and push up the borrowing costs in the Red component, which the authors claim would provide incentives for Member States to reduce their debt to conform with the Maastricht threshold.

Further rules were proposed to tie down governments participating in the scheme, all of which would reduce the options available to Member States and reinforce the austerity straitjacket.

For example, the proposal might allow nations such as Germany to add the full 60 per cent of its debt to the pool while nations such as Greece would be restricted to borrowing much lower proportions.

Given the immediate problem was (and is) mainly one of default risk, the proposal’s perverse incentives (punish those most at risk) would not seem to be part of any viable solution.

The underlying bias in the proposals is that the authors considered that all debt above the Maastricht threshold are due to the pursuit of unsustainable fiscal policies.

The BBP authors, for example, claimed that the financial markets failed Greece by “continuing to provide cheap funding while fiscal policy was reckless” (page 2).

It was difficult to square this view against the situations of Spain and Ireland, which were models of fiscal rectitude leading up the crisis?

Moreover, imagine that the current slowdown in China intensifies and the world is plunged into a further economic spending crisis or that Donald Trump’s trade war results in recession.

Under current arrangements, Eurozone public debt levels and fiscal deficits will rise sharply again, even though the governments are locked into the austerity mentality.

It is likely that many nations would go beyond the 60 per cent debt threshold given the elevated debt levels already in place following the GFC.

The proponents of the BBP stated that the 60 per cent threshold is the “debt level deemed sustainable for any EU member state according to the Maastricht Treaty” (p.6).

But in the event of a sequence of slowdowns, exacerbated by the austerity bias, the BBP proposal would punish many nations, even if they were following the mindless fiscal path specified by the Treaty.

It is hard to see how that could ever represent a viable solution.

All these schemes implicitly deny that the Eurozone is biased towards crisis.

And then we come to the so-called “Modest Proposal”, put out by economists Yanis Varoufakis and Stuart Holland, which is just a variant of the BBP scheme.

As I wrote in my 2015 book – Eurozone Dystopia: Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale – one recalls Jonathan Swift’s satire of the same name, published in 1729, where Irish parents were encouraged to ease their economic travails by selling their children as food to provide culinary pleasure to the rich.

The aim of the ‘Modest Proposal’ was to address four “interrelated” problems: a banking crisis, involving banks that are the responsibility of the national governments, who do not have the currency capacity to guarantee deposits; a debt crisis where nations cannot borrow from private bond markets; an investment crisis, where both the level of investment has fallen sharply and the imbalance between the trade surplus and deficit nations has widened; and a social crisis, with high unemployment, rising homelessness and poverty, and falling incomes.

Like all the ‘hybrid’ schemes, they are motivated by the assertion is that “a Eurozone breakup would destroy the European Union, except perhaps in name” which would pose a “global danger” (Varoufakis et. al., 2013: 2).

Dramatics aside, when assessing the proposal it was hard to see how a scheme that involves no fiscal transfers or changes to the Treaty can provide a lasting solution to the mess.

The proposal would never have solved the inherent problems within the Eurozone, which are defined by the very political constraints that the authors recognise force them to adopt these ‘modest’ proposals, in lieu of more effective and lasting solutions.

Their debt manipulation proposal was similar to the BBP, outlined above.

The obvious question is why bother? The ECB has through its QE programs demonstrated that they can deal the private bond investors out of the equation when it came to setting yields on government bonds.

The ECB can effectively set yields at any level it desires including zero, which means that a Member State can only run out of money if the ECB refuses to exercise its power to buy unlimited volumes of the government’s debt.

The SMP program kept the Eurozone together, but by imposing austerity as a pre-condition for participation, it failed to address the core problem that Southern Europe is in depression and the only way out is for fiscal deficits to expand.

The most direct way forward would have been for the ECB to invoke its OMT facility and facilitate increased government spending.

Varoufakis, Holland and Galbraith (2013: 5) acknowledged that the OMT program “has succeeded in taming interest rate spreads within the euro-zone” but conclude that the implicit threat against bond markets, described above, is “non-credible”.

Allegedly, bond dealers will eventually call the ECB’s bluff and expose the OMT program as a paper tiger. This criticism is without foundation.

How exactly can the private bond markets “test the ECB’s resolve”? (p.5).

The ECB has unlimited euro capacity to purchase all the secondary market bonds it desires.

To think otherwise is hardly progressive or Left. The belief that the bond markets have the power over the state is core neoliberal thinking.

It was also difficult to see the ‘Modest Proposal’ as being consistent with Article 104 of the Treaty if a Member State failed to make payments as agreed. In that case the ECB would have to fund the deficiency, which would be equivalent to offering the prohibited ‘overdraft facility’ to the state.

The ‘Modest Proposal’ would also probably promote perverse bond market behaviour and deliver massive corporate welfare to the investment banks.

The debt policy would see the ECB take bank reserves out of the system in return for ECB-bonds. It wouldn’t take long for the bond markets to work out that they could ask for a premium on the ECB-bonds and the ECB would be under pressure to concede. With interest rates low, the private banks could then borrow from the ECB to buy the bonds, which would pay a return higher than the short-term cash.

Conclusion

I felt the need to respond to the Stuart Holland article because it is a good example of how the progressive, social democratic Left has lost itself in the woods of denial, historical revisionism and plain stupidity.

I know the Europhile Left will be tweeting it and feeling good about it because it provides validation for their own cognitive dissonance.

But as a view of what has happened over the last 40 or so years within the political Left it definitive – completely losing track of reality.”

(vii) Gobernuaren gastua eta bono pribatuko merkatuak

Limits to government spending are not determined by private bond markets

… My response – I certainly hope that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does not back that construction of the limits on spending for a currency-issuing government.

And I certainly hope that progressives do not embrace it either.

Why?

It is fundamentally incorrect and just reframes the way neoliberals think and uses their sort of language (…).

… the view, implicit yet fundamental, is the myth that the US government (or any currency-issuing government) has to issue debt in order to spend.

The corollary, which is the proposition that progressives are meant to “back”, is that as long as the private bond markets are receptive to that debt issuance, the government can spend.

The related (and final) proposition in this flawed logic stream is that under those circumstances, the problem government spending has to address is its inflationary consequences, which become the limits on the deficits.

It sounds – sort of intuitively reasonable – to a lay person.

But intuition and common sense is a dangerous guide to follow in these matters.

I discussed the perils in this blog post – When common sense fails

The reality is as follows:

1. A currency-issuing government is only limited in its nominal spending capacity by the real resources (goods and services) that are available for sale in that currency.

2. Such a government can always purchase anything that is for sale in that currency, including all idle labour, irrespective of whether the inflation rate is 1 per cent or 10 per cent and independent of its past fiscal balance outcomes.

3. The requirement that deficit spending be matched by debt-issuance to the private sector is purely voluntary.

4. The government spending, in fact, provides the net financial assets, which allows the non-government sector to purchase the debt.

5. It is true that accelerating inflation might emerge before all available resources are fully utilised as a result of sectoral bottlenecks.

6. That is why, the government should introduce a Job Guarantee, which allows the government to guarantee ‘loose’ full employment using automatic stabilisers by purchasing at fixed rather than market prices. In other words, it can bring all labour into productive use without accelerating inflation.

7. Hitting an inflationary wall does not mean the government is unable to spend further in nominal terms. Financially, the government could just keep putting out orders for goods and services and chase the market price upwards, with hyperinflation the ultimate result if this behaviour persisted.

8. Such a strategy would be futile though.

You can see in those eight points, I have broken the nexus between spending, debt-issuance and inflation.

It should be further recognised that all spending (government and non-government) carries an inflation risk.

The following blog post considers some of these issues (among many others) – Real resource constraints and fiscal policy design (June 21, 2018).”

Ziaboga? Mandangatik Autodeterminazio-eskubidera?

Albistea:

Torra i Iñarritu defensen l’autodeterminació en una reunió a la Generalitat

(https://www.elnacional.cat/ca/politica/torra-inarritu-reunio-generalitat_289353_102.html)

El senador d’EH Bildu, Jon Iñarritu, s’ha reunit aquest dimecres amb el president Quim Torra al Palau de la Generalitat. Durant la trobada, Iñarritu ha expressat al president català el suport del poble basc pel que fa al dret a l’autodeterminació de Catalunya, a més de regalar-li el llibre Diari de Agurrie. 

Després de la trobada, Torra li ha volgut agrair a través d’un tuit el seu suport al dret a l’autodeterminació, a la llibertat dels pobles i als presos polítics. “Els pobles català i basc treballem plegats pels drets civils”, ha defensat.

Gràcies @JonInarritu pel teu suport al dret d’autodeterminació, a la llibertat dels pobles i als presos polítics. Els pobles català i basc treballem plegats pels drets civils. pic.twitter.com/dZeiGTkaMQ

Quim Torra i Pla (@QuimTorraiPla) 18 de julio de 2018

Aquest vespre a Barcelona una trobada molt cordial entre el President @QuimTorraiPla i el senador basc @JonInarritu. El President li ha agraït la seva defensa infatigable dels drets dels catalans. El senador li ha regalat el Diario de Aguirre de @txalapartatik. Eskerrik asko Jon pic.twitter.com/V8iMHasdqr

Josep Lluís Alay (@josepalay) 18 de julio de 2018

Warren Mosler-ek: Politika ekonomikoaren gezurrak

Sarrera gisa ikus Ikus Warren Mosler: zazpi gezur politika ekonomikoan (bertsio laburtua)

Segida:

Warren Mosler: Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy

(https://medium.com/@deficitowls/deadly-innocent-frauds-of-economic-policy-f45206adf05)

By Warren Mosler. Re-posted from http://moslereconomics.com/mandatory-readings/innocent-frauds/, with additions from the published book.

For the whole book, go to http://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF.pdf.

Liburu osoa, espainieraz, hemen: Warren Mosler-en liburua espainieraz

(Orain ingeles xume pixka bat, in plain English. Hemen dago laburtuta Diru Teoria Modernoaren funtsa. Berau ulertuta, ikasitako ekonomia guztia pikutara doa. Hortaz, badakizu zer egin behar duzun! Beharrezkoa da, nahitaezkoa, norbera beste dimentsio berri batean kokatzeko.)

 

Sarrera1

 

(1) Lehen gezurra

Deadly Innocent Fraud #1:

The government must raise funds through taxing or borrowing in order to spend.

In other words, government spending is limited by the government’s ability to tax or borrow.

Fact:
Government spending is NOT operationally limited or in any way constrained by taxing or borrowing.2

(ii) Bigarren gezurra

Deadly Innocent Fraud #2

With government deficits we are leaving our debts to our children.

Fact:
Collectively, in real terms, there is no such thing. Debt or no debt, our children get to consume whatever they can produce.3

(iii) Hirugarren gezurra

Innocent Fraud #3

Government budget deficits take away savings.

Fact:
Government budget deficits add to savings.4

(iv) Laugarren gezurra

Innocent Fraud #4

Social Security is broken

Fact:
Government Checks Don’t Bounce5

(v) Bosgarren gezurra

Innocent Fraud #5

Trade deficits are detrimental.

Facts:
Trade deficits directly improve our standard of living.6

(vi) Seigarren gezurra

Innocent Fraud #6

We need savings to provide the funds for investment.

Fact:
Investment adds to savings.7

(vii) Zazpigarren gezurra

Innocent Fraud #7

It’s a bad thing that higher deficits today mean higher taxes tomorrow.

Facts:
I agree — the innocent fraud is that it’s a bad thing, when in fact it’s a good thing!!!8

Gehigarriak:

Zazpi gezur politika ekonomikoan (1)

Zazpi gezur politika ekonomikoan (ingelesez eta espainieraz)


Ingelesez:

Introduction

The term ‘innocent fraud’ was introduced by Professor John Kenneth Galbraith in ‘The Economics of Innocent Fraud’, which was the last book he wrote before he died. He used the term to describe fraudulent concepts that were being sustained by the ‘conventional wisdom’ (a term he created in a previous book). The presumption of innocence by those perpetrating the frauds is characteristic of Professor Galbraith’s cynically gracious approach.

This book reviews 7 ‘innocent frauds’ that I suggest are THE most imbedded obstacles to national prosperity. The first 4 concern the federal government budget deficit, the 5th addresses social security, the 6th international trade, and the 7th savings and investment.

I begin with the innocent frauds of the budget deficit, because they are the most pervasive and most damaging to both the US and the rest of the world’s standard of living.”

Ingelesez:

Ask any congressman (as I have many times), or private citizen, how it all works, and he will tell you emphatically that:

The government, has to either tax or borrow to get funds to spend, just like any household has to somehow get the money it needs to spend.”

Furthermore, borrowing in order to spend only delays the eventual taxation, or other income, that is needed to repay all the debt.

They get this from the popular notion that the government, just like any household, must somehow first get money to be able to spend it.

Yes, they have heard that it’s different for a government, but they don’t believe it, and there’s never a convincing explanation that makes sense to them.

What they all miss is the difference between spending your own currency that only you create, and spending a currency someone else creates.

The USD is the creation of the government. So to utilize this popular government/household analogy in a meaningful way, we need to look at a currency created by a household.

One example of the right analogy would be parents creating coupons they can then use to pay their children for doing various household chores. And to make it all work, the children would be required to give their parents 10 coupons a week to avoid punishment.

These coupons are now the new household currency. Think of the parents as ‘spending’ these coupons to purchase ‘services’ (chores) from their children.

The parents, like the government is now the issuer of its own currency. Now you can see what it’s like when a household is the issuer of its own currency.

Can you now see that the parents must first spend their coupons by paying their children to do household chores, to be able to collect the payment of 10 coupons a month from their children? How else can the children get the coupons they owe the parents to avoid punishment?

Likewise, in the real economy, the funds we need to pay taxes must come from government spending (or government lending, which I’m saving for later).

And, neither the government, nor the parents, from inception, can collect more of their own currency than they spend.

So while our politicians truly believe government needs to take our funds either by taxing or borrowing for them to be able to spend, instead, the truth is:

WE NEED THE GOVERNMENT’S SPENDING TO GET THE FUNDS WE NEED TO PAY OUR TAXES.

Beware the shredder!

Here’s an anecdote that shows the government doesn’t need our funds in order to spend.

Consider what happens should you go to the Federal Reserve to pay taxes with actual cash.

First, you hand over a pile of currency to the Fed as payment.

Next, the Federal Reserve counts it, and then gives you a receipt and a thank you for helping to pay for social security, the interest on the national debt, and the Iraq war. And as you, the tax payer, leaves the room and closes the door behind you, they take that hard earned cash you just forked over and throw it in a shredder.

Yes, they throw it away. Destroy it! Why? They have no further use for it. Just like a ticket to the Super Bowl. As you go into the stadium, you hand the man a ticket that was worth maybe $1000, and they tear it up and throw it away.

And just like when the children pay their 10 coupons to their parents every month that were earned by doing their household chores, the parents don’t actually need those coupons for anything.

So if government throws away your cash after collecting it, how does that cash pay for social security, and the rest of their spending?

It doesn’t. Something else is going on.

Just like with the household coupons- the parents are not collecting the coupons because they need them to spend.

Now let’s look at what happens if you pay your taxes by writing a check. It’s almost the exact same thing. When your check ‘clears’, all the government does is change the number in your checking account (downward) when they subtract the payment from your bank balance.

Do they actually get anything real? No, it’s not like they get a gold coin to spend. All they did was change a number in your bank account.

Just like the household. When the children give their coupons to the parents, do the parents get richer? Of course not!

Next question: “So how does government spend when they never actually have anything to spend?”

Good question! Let’s now take a look at the process of how government spends.

Imagine you are expecting your $1,000 social security payment to hit your bank account which already has $500 in it, and you are watching your account on your computer screen. You are about to see how government spends without having anything to spend.

Presto! Suddenly your account statement that read $500 now reads $1,500. What did the government do to give you that money? It simply changed the number in your bank account from 500 to 1,500. It added a ‘1’ and a comma. That’s all.

It didn’t take a gold coin and hammer it into its computer. All it did was change a number in your bank account. It does this by making entries into its own spread sheet which is connected to the banking systems spread sheets.

Government spending is all done by data entry on its own spread sheet we can call ‘The US dollar monetary system’ .

There is no such thing as having to ‘get’ taxes or borrow to make a spread sheet entry that we call ‘spending’. Computer data doesn’t come from anywhere. Everyone knows that!

Where else do we see this happen? Your team kicks a field goal and on the scoreboard the score changes from, say, 7 point to 10 points. Does anyone wonder where the stadium got those three points? Of course not! Or you knock down 5 pins at the bowling alley and your score goes from 10 to 15. Do you worry about where the bowling alley got those points? Do you think all bowling alleys and football stadiums should have a ‘reserve of points’ in a ‘lock box’ to make sure you can get the points you have scored? Of course not! And if the bowling alley discovers you ‘foot faulted’ and takes your score back down by 5 points does the bowling alley now have more score to give out? Of course not!

We all know how ‘data entry’ works, but somehow this has gotten all turned around backwards by our politicians, media, and most all of the prominent main stream economists.

When the federal government spends the funds don’t ‘come from’ anywhere any more than the points ‘come from’ somewhere at the football stadium or the bowling alley.

Nor does collecting taxes (or borrowing) somehow increase the government’s ‘hoard of funds’ available for spending.

In fact, the people at the US Treasury who actually spend the money (by changing numbers on bank accounts up) don’t even have the phone numbers of the people at the IRS who collect taxes (they change the numbers on bank accounts down), or the other people at the US Treasury who do the ‘borrowing’ (issue the Treasury securities). If it mattered at all how much was taxed or borrowed to be able to spend, you’d think they’d at least know each other’s phone numbers! Clearly, it doesn’t matter for their purposes.

From our point of view (not the government’s) we need to first have USD to be able to make payments. Just like the children need to earn the coupons from their parents before they can make their monthly coupon payments. We don’t get to just change numbers like the government does (or the bowling alley and the football stadium), and neither do our children. Our children have to earn or somehow get their coupons to make their payments just like we have to earn or somehow get USD to make our payments.

So, collectively, at what’s called the ‘macro level’, where do we all get the funds to pay taxes or buy government securities?

The answer, as previously stated, is that from inception, the funds to pay taxes can only come from government spending or government lending.

And, as you now understand, this is just like it happens in any household that issues its own ‘coupons’.

Imagine a new country with a newly announced currency. No one has any. Then the government proclaims a property tax. How can it be paid? It can’t, until the government starts spending. Only after the government spends its new currency is does the population have the funds to pay the tax.

To repeat, the funds to pay taxes come from government spending or lending. Where else can they come from???

***For those of you who understand reserve accounting, note that the Fed can’t do what’s called a reserve drain without doing a reserve add. So what does the Fed do on settlement day when Treasury balances increase? It does repos, to add the funds to the banking system that banks then have to buy the Treasury Securities. Otherwise, the funds aren’t there to buy the Treasury securities, and the banks will have overdrafts in their reserve accounts. And what are overdrafts at the Fed? Functionally an overdraft is a loan from the government. So, again, one way or another, the funds that are used to buy the Treasury securities come from the government itself.***

And because the funds to pay taxes, or buy government securities, come from government spending:

The government is best thought of as spending first, and then collecting taxes or borrowing.

And government spending is in no case operationally constrained by revenues. Yes, there can be and there are ‘self-imposed’ constraints on spending by Congress, but that’s an entirely different matter.

And this all means there is no ‘solvency risk’ (the government can’t go broke in its own currency).

A few years ago I gave a talk in Australia at an economics conference. The title was ‘Government Checks Don’t Bounce’.In the audience was the head of research for the Reserve Bank of Australia, a Mr. David Gruen. This was high drama. I had been giving talks for several years to this group of academics and had not convinced most of them that government solvency wasn’t an issue. They always started with the familiar “What Americans don’t understand is that it’s different for a small, open economy like Australia than it is for the United States”, and there seemed to be no way to get it through their perhaps overeducated skulls that at least for this purpose none of that matters. A spread sheet is a spread sheet. All but Professor Bill Mitchell and a few of his colleagues seemed to have this mental block, and they deeply feared what would happen if ‘the markets’ turned against Australia to somehow keep them from being able to ‘finance the deficit’.

So I began my talk about how government checks don’t bounce, and after a few minutes David’s hand shot up with the statement familiar to all modestly advanced economic students: “If the interest rate on the debt is higher than the rate of growth of GDP, than the government’s debt is unsustainable”. It wasn’t even a question. It was presented as a fact.

I then replied “I’m an operations type of guy so tell me, what is it you mean by the word ‘unsustainable?’ Do you mean that if the interest rate is very high, and 20 years from now the government debt has grown to a large enough number, the government won’t be able to make its interest payments, and if it writes a check to a pensioner that check will bounce?”

He got very quiet, deep in thought, and said while he was thinking it through ‘you know, when I came here, I didn’t think I’d have to think through how the Reserve Bank’s check clearing works’ in an attempt at humor. But no one in the room laughed or made a sound. They were totally focused on what his answer might be. Again, this was high drama- it was the ‘showdown’ on this issue.

David finally said “no, we’ll clear the check, but it will cause inflation and the currency will go down. That’s what people mean by unsustainable”. There was dead silence in the room. The long debate was over. Solvency is not an issue, even for a small, open economy. Bill and I instantly commanded an elevated respect, which took the usual outward form of ‘well of course, we always said that’ from the former doubters and skeptics.

I continued with David, “Well, I think most pensioners are concerned about whether the funds will be there when they retire, and whether the government will be able to pay them”. To which David replied, “No, I think they are worried about inflation and the level of the Australian dollar”. To which Martin Watts, head of the economics department at the University of New Castle replied, “The Hell they are, David!” To which David very thoughtfully replied, “Yes, I suppose you’re right”.

So what actually was confirmed to the Sydney academics in attendance that day? Government can spend what they want when they want, just like the football stadium can put points on the board at will. The consequences of overspending might be inflation or a falling currency, but never bounced checks.

Government deficits can never cause a government to miss any size payments.

But as long as government continues to believe this first of 7 deadly innocent frauds- that they need to get money from taxing or borrowing in order to spend, they will continue to support policy that constrains output and employment, and prevents us from achieving what are readily available economic outcomes.”

Ingelesez:

This deadly innocent fraud is often the first answer most give to what they perceive to be the main problem associated with government deficit spending. Borrowing now means paying later. Fortunately, like all of the 7 deadly innocent frauds, it is also readily dismissed in a way that all can understand.

Professional economists call this the ‘intergenerational’ debt issue. It is thought that if the federal government deficit spends it is somehow leaving the real burden of today’s expenditures to somehow be ‘paid for’ by future generations. And the numbers are staggering. But, fortunately, completely irrelevant.

In fact, the idea of our children being somehow necessarily deprived of real goods and services in the future because of what’s called the national debt is nothing less than ridiculous.

Last year I ran into former Senator and Governor Lowell Weicker of Connecticut and his wife Claudia on a boat dock in St. Croix. I asked Senator Weicker what was wrong with the fiscal policy. He replied we have to stop running up these deficits and leaving the burden of paying for today’s spending to our children.

I then asked him the following two following questions to hopefully illustrate the absurdity of his statement:

When our children build 20 million cars per year 20 years from now, will they have to send them back in time to 2008 to pay off their debt?”

Are we still sending real goods and services back in time to 1945 to pay off the lingering debt from World War II?”

Interestingly, it was Claudia who instantly grasped it, agreed with me, and asked her husband what he had to say to that. All he could say was he had to think about it some more.

Of course we don’t send real goods and services back in time to pay off federal government deficits! And our children won’t have to do that either!

In 2028, just like today, the living will consume their real output of goods and services, no matter how many US Treasury securities are outstanding. There is no such thing as giving up current year output to be sent back in time to previous generations. Our children won’t and can’t pay us back for anything we leave them- even if they wanted to.

What the government deficits can influence, especially if not understood by the politicians, is the current year DISTRIBUTION of real output. Distribution is about who gets all the goods and services that are produced. But any distribution deemed unreasonable by the political forces at any time can be readily altered. Each year, for example, Congress discusses tax policy, always with an eye to the distribution of income and spending. Many seek to tax those ‘who can most afford it’ and direct federal spending to ‘those in need.’ And they also decide how to tax interest, capital gains, estates, etc. as well as how to tax income. All of these are distributional issues. In addition, congress decides who they hire and fire, who they buy things from, and who gets direct payments. Congress also makes laws that directly affect many other aspects of prices and incomes. This is all perfectly legal and business as usual, as each year’s output is ‘divided up’ among the living. None of the real output gets ‘thrown away’ because of outstanding debt, no matter how large. Nor does outstanding debt necessarily reduce output and employment, except when policy makers decide to take measures that do reduce output and employment.

Unfortunately, that is currently the case, and that is why this is a deadly innocent fraud.

So yes, those alive get to consume this year’s output, including the decision to use some of the output as ‘investment goods and services’ which serve to hopefully increase future output. And yes, Congress has a BIG say in who consumes this years output. And previous federal deficits that might alter distribution if left alone can be readily addressed by Congress and altered to their satisfaction.

And those worried about paying off the national debt can’t possibly understand how it all works at the operational, nuts and bolts, debits and credits level. Both ‘money’ and ‘Treasury debt (securities)’ are nothing more than accounts on the governments own books. When a Treasury bill, note, or bond is purchased by a bank, for example, the government makes two entries on its spreadsheet we call the ‘monetary system’.

First, it debits (subtracts from) the buyer’s ‘checking account’ at the Fed, and then it increases (credits) the buyer’s securities account at the Fed. As before, the government simply changes numbers on its own spread sheet. That’s all. And when the bonds come due and need to be paid, government again does simply changes two numbers on their own spread sheet- they debit (subtract from) the bank’s securities account at the Fed and credit (add to) the bank’s ‘checking account’ at the Fed. That’s all- debt paid!

To repeat, paying off the national debt is but a matter of government subtracting the value of the bank’s maturing securities from one account at the Fed, and entering adding that valued to the banks other account at the Fed.

Even briefer- to pay off the national debt the government changes two entries in its own spreadsheet- a number that says how many securities are owned by the private sector is changed down, and another number that says how many USD are being kept at the Fed is changed up. Nothing more. Debt paid, all creditors have their ‘money back’. What’s the big deal? And our children will be able to change numbers on what will be their spread sheet just as easily as we did. Though hopefully with a better understanding!

But for now, the deadly innocent fraud of leaving our debt to our children to pay continues to drive policy, and keep us from optimizing output and employment. This is a price we and our children pay. We make do with less than what we can produce and high levels of unemployment, while our children are deprived of the real investments that would have been made on their behalf if we knew how to keep our human resources fully employed and productive.”

Ingelesez:

Several years ago I had a meeting with Senator Tom Daschle and then Asst. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. I had been discussing these innocent frauds with the Senator, and explaining how they were working against the well being of those who voted for him. So he set up this meeting with the Asst. Treasury Secretary who was also a former Harvard economics professor and had two uncles who had won Nobel prizes in economics, to get his response and hopefully confirm what I was saying.

I opened with a question:

Larry, what’s wrong with the budget deficit?”

To which he replied:

It takes away savings that could be used for investment”.

To which I replied:

No it doesn’t, all Treasury securities do is offset operating factors at the Fed. It has nothing to do with savings and investment”.

To which he replied:

Well, I really don’t understand reserve accounting so I can’t discuss it at that level”.

Senator Daschle was looking at all this in disbelief. The Harvard professor of economics Asst. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers didn’t understand reserve accounting? Sad but true.

So I spend the next twenty minutes explaining the ‘paradox of thrift’ step by step, which he sort of got it right when he finally responded “so we need more investment which will show up as savings?” I responded with a friendly ‘yes’ after giving this first year economics lesson to the good Harvard professor and ended the meeting. And the very next day I saw him on a podium with the Concord Coalition- a band of deficit terrorists- talking about the grave dangers of the budget deficit.

This third deadly innocent fraud was and is alive and well at the very highest levels.

So here’s how it really works, and it could not be simpler:

Any USD government deficit exactly EQUALS the total net increase in the holdings USD financial assets of the rest of us- businesses and households, residents and non residents- what’s called the ‘non government’ sector.

So, for example, if the government deficit was $500 billion last year, it means the net increase in savings for everyone else combined was exactly $500 billion. To the penny.

***For those who understand reserve accounting, that net savings of financial assets is held as some combination of actual cash, Treasury securities, and member bank deposits at the Federal Reserve.***

This is economics 101. It is beyond dispute. It’s an accounting identity. Yet it’s misrepresented continuously, and at the highest levels of political authority. They are just plain wrong.

Just ask anyone at the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), as I have, and they will tell you they have to ‘balance the check book’ and make sure the government deficit equals our new savings, or they have to stay late and find their accounting mistake.

As before, it’s just a bunch of spread sheet entries on the government’s own spreadsheet.

When the accountants debit (subtract from) the account called ‘government’ when government spends, they also credit (add to) the accounts of whoever gets those funds. When the government account goes down, some other account goes up by exactly the same amount.

Yes, it’s that simple.

In July 1999 the front page of the Wall St. Journal had two headlines. On the left was a headline praising the record government budget surplus, and explaining how well fiscal policy was working. On the right margin was a headline that said Americans weren’t saving enough and we had to work harder to save more. Then a few pages later there was a graph with one line showing the surplus going up, and another line showing savings going down. They were identical, but going in opposite directions, and clearly showing the gains in the government surplus roughly equaled the losses in private savings.

There can’t be a budget surplus with private savings increasing (including nonresident savings of USD financial assets). There is no such thing, yet not a single mainstream economist or government official had it right.

So watch this year as the federal deficit goes up and savings goes up. Again, the only source of ‘net USD monetary savings’ (financial assets) for the non government sectors combined (both residents and non residents) is US government deficit spending.

And watch how the same people who want us to save more at the same time want to ‘balance the budget’ by taking away our savings, either through spending cuts or tax increases.

They are all talking out of both sides of their mouths. They are part of the problem, not part of the answer. And at the very highest levels.”

5 Ingelesez:

If there is one thing all members of Congress believe is that social security is broken. President elect Obama says ‘the money won’t be there’, President Bush used the word bankruptcy four times in one day, and Senator McCain says social security is broken. They are all wrong. And one of the major discussions is whether or not to privatize social security. That entire discussion, too, makes no sense whatsoever, so let me begin with that and then move on.

The idea of privatization is that the social security tax and benefits are reduced and instead the amount of the tax reduction is used to buy specified shares of stock. And because the government is going to collect that much less in taxes the budget deficit will be that much higher, and so the government will have to sell that many more Treasury securities to ‘pay for it all’ (as they say).

Got it? They take less each week from your pay check for social security and you get to use the funds you save to buy stocks. You later will collect a bit less in social security payments when you retire, but you will own stocks that will hopefully become worth more than the social security payments you gave up.

From the point of view of the individual it looks like an interesting trade off. The stocks you buy only have to go up modestly over time for you to be quite a bit ahead.

Those who favor this plan say yes, it’s a relatively large ‘one time’ addition to the deficit, but the savings in social security payments down the road for the government pretty much make up for that, and the payments going into the stock market will help the economy grow and prosper.

Those against the proposal say the stock market is too risky for this type of thing, and point to the large drop in 2008 as an example. And if people lose in the stock market the government will be compelled to increase social security retirement payments to keep them out of poverty. Therefore, unless we want to risk a high percentage of our seniors falling below the poverty line, government is taking all the risk.

They are both terribly wrong.

The major flaw in this main stream dialogue is what is called a ‘fallacy of composition’, The typical textbook example of a fallacy of composition is the football game where you can see better if you stand up, and then conclude that everyone could see better if they only stood up. Wrong!

They all are looking at what is called the micro level for the individual social security participants rather than looking at the macro level which includes the entire population.

To understand what’s fundamentally wrong at the macro (big picture, top down) level, you first have to understand that participating in social security is functionally the same as buying a government bond.

With the current social security program you give the government your dollars now and it gives you back dollars later. That is exactly what happens when you buy a government bond. You give the government your dollars now and you get dollars back later. Yes, one might turn out to be a better investment and give you a higher return, but apart from the rate of return, each is the same. Now that you know this, you are way ahead of Congress, by the way.

And now you are ready to read about the conversation of several years back I had with Steve Moore, then head of CATO, now a CNBC regular, and one of the first to advocate privatizing Social Security.

Steve came down to speak about social security at one of my conferences in Florida. He gave his talk that went much like I just stated- by letting people put their money in the stock market rather than making social security payments they will better off over time when they retire, and the one time increase in the government budget deficit will be both well worth it and probably paid down over time in the expansion to follow, as all that money going into stocks will help the economy grow and prosper.

At that point I led off the question and answer session.

Me: “Steve, giving the government money now in the form of social security taxes, and getting it back later is functionally the same as buying a government bond, where you give the government money now and it gives it back to you later. The only difference is the return”.

Steve: “OK, but with government you should get a higher return than with Social Security which only pays your money back at 2% interest. Social Security is a bad investment for individuals”.

Me: “OK, I’ll get to the investment aspect later, but let me continue. Under your privatization proposal, the government would reduce Social Security payments and the employees would put that money into the stock market”.

Steve: “Yes, about $100 per month, and only into approved, high quality stocks”.

Me: “OK, and the US Treasury would have to issue and sell additional securities to cover the reduced revenues”.

Steve: “Yes, and it would also be reducing social security payments down the road”.

Me: “Right. So to continue with my point, the employees buying the stock buy them from someone else, so all the stocks do is change hands. No new money goes into the economy”.

Steve: “Right”.

Me: “And the people who sold the stock then have the money from the sale which is the money that buys the government bonds”.

Steve: “Yes, you can think of it that way”.

Me: “So what’s happened is the employees stopped buying into social security, which we agree is functionally the same as a government bond, and instead bought stocks. And other people sold their stocks and bought the newly issued government bonds. So looking at it from the macro level, nothing of substance has changed? All that happened is some stocks changed hands, and some bonds changed hands. Total stocks outstanding and total bonds outstanding, if you count social security as a bond, remained about the same. And so this should have no influence on the economy, or total savings, or anything else apart from generating transactions costs?”

Steve: “Yes, I suppose you can look at it that way, but I look at it as privatizing, and I believe people can invest their money better than government can”.

Me: “Ok, but you agree the amount of stocks held by the public hasn’t changed, so with this proposal nothing changes for the economy as a whole”.

Steve: “But it does change things for Social Security participants”.

Me: “Yes, with exactly the opposite change for others. And none of this has even been discussed by Congress or any mainstream economist? It seems you have an ideological bias towards privatization rhetoric, rather than the substance of the proposal”.

Steve: “I like it because I believe in privatization- I believe that you can invest your money better than government can”.

I’ll let Steve have the last word here. The proposal in no way changes the number of shares of stock or which stocks that the American public would hold for investment. So at the macro level it is not the case of allowing the nation to ‘invest better than the government can’. And Steve knows that, but it doesn’t matter, and he continues to peddle the same illogical story that he knows is illogical. And he gets no criticism from the media apart from the discussion as to whether stocks are a better investment than social security, and whether the bonds the government has to sell will take away savings that could be used for investment, and whether the government risks its solvency by going even deeper into debt.

See how the deadly innocent frauds continuously compound and obscure any chance for legitimate analysis?

And it gets worse yet.

The ‘intergenerational’ story continues with something like this:

The problem is that 30 years from the there will be a lot more retired people and proportionately fewer workers. [that part’s ok] and the Social Security trust fund will run out of money [silly, but they believe it], so to solve the problem we need to figure out a way to be able to provide seniors with enough money to pay for the goods and services they need”.

With that last statement they assume that real problem of fewer workers and more retirees, which is also known as the dependency ratio, can be ‘solved’ by making sure the retirees have sufficient funds to buy what they need.

The real problem is, however, if the remaining workers aren’t sufficiently productive there will be a general shortage of goods and services and more ‘money to spend’ will only drive up prices, and not somehow create more goods and services.

The story deteriorates further as it continues:

Therefore, government needs to cut spending or increase taxes today, to accumulate the funds for tomorrow’s expenditures”.

And it gets even worse. Any mainstream economist will agree that there pretty much isn’t anything in the way of real goods we can produce today that will be useful 50 years from now. They go on to say that the only thing we can do for our descendants that far into the future is to do our best to make sure that they have the knowledge and technology to help them meet their future demands.

So the final irony is that in order to somehow ‘save’ public funds for the future, what we do is cut back on expenditures today, which does nothing but set our economy back and cause the growth of output and employment declines.

And, for the final ‘worse yet’ the great irony is that the first thing we cut back on is education- the one thing the mainstream agrees we can actually do that actually helps our children down the road.

Should our policy makers ever actually get a handle on how the monetary system functions, they would understand that we can pay seniors whatever we want regardless of what the balance in the Social Security trust fund happens to be. They would realize the issue is equity, and possibly inflation, but never government solvency. They would realize that if they want seniors to have more income, it’s a simple matter of raising benefits. If they are concerned about the future, they would support the education they thought would be most valuable for that purpose.

But they don’t understand so they won’t see it that way until they do understand, as the deadly innocent fraud of Social Security takes its toll.

Ingelesez:

By now you might suspect that, once again, the mainstream has it all backwards, including the trade issue.

To get on track with the trade issue, always remember this:
In economics, unlike religion, it’s better to receive than to give.

Likewise:
Imports are real benefits.
Exports are real costs.

In other words, going to work to produce real goods and services to export to someone else to consume, does you no good at all.

Unless you get to import and consume the real goods and services they produce in return.

And also remember:
The real wealth of a nation is all it produces, plus all it imports, minus what it must export.

And, therefore, a trade deficit increases our real standard of living. How can it be any other way? And the higher the trade deficit the better!

Yes, the mainstream economists, politicians, and media all have the trade issue completely backwards. Sad but true.

To further make the point, if general McArthur had proclaimed after WWII that since Japan had lost the war, they would be required to send the US 2 million cars a year and get nothing in return, the result would have been a major international uproar about US exploitation of conquered enemies. We would have been accused of fostering a repeat of the aftermath of WWI, where the allies demanded reparations from Germany that were presumably so high and exploitative they caused WWII.

Yet for over 50 years, Japan has in fact been sending us about 2 million cars per year, and we have been sending them little or nothing. And, surprisingly (?) they think this means they are winning, and we think we are losing.

Same with China- they think they are winning because they keep our stores full of products and get nothing in return. And our leaders agree and think we are losing.

This is madness on a grand scheme!

Now take a fresh look at the headlines and commentary we see and hear daily:

  • The US is suffering from a trade deficit.

  • The trade deficit is an UNSUSTAINABLE IMBALANCE.

  • The US is LOSING JOBS to China.

  • Like a drunken sailor, we are borrowing from abroad to fund our spending habits.

It is all wrong. We are benefiting IMMENSELY from the trade deficit. The rest of the world has been sending us hundreds of $billion worth of real goods and services more than we send them, which they get to produce and export, and we get to import and consume.

Is this an unsustainable imbalance? Why would it be? As long as they want to send us goods and services without demanding any goods and services in return, why should we not be able to take them? There is no reason, except a complete misunderstanding of our monetary system by our leaders.

Recall from the previous innocent frauds, the US can ALWAYS support domestic output and employment with fiscal policy- even when China, or any other nation, decides to send us real goods and services that displace our industries previously doing that work. All we have to do is keep American spending power high enough to be able to buy BOTH what foreigners want to sell us AND all the goods and services we can produce as ourselves. Yes, jobs may be lost in one or more industries, but with the right fiscal policy there will be sufficient domestic spending power to be able to employ those willing and able to work producing other goods and services for our consumption. In fact, up until recently unemployment remained relatively low even as our trade deficit went ever higher.

So what about all the noise about the US borrowing from abroad like drunken sailor to fund our spending habits? Also not true! Here’s what’s really going on:

Domestic credit is funding foreign savings

What does this mean? Let’s look at an example of a typical transaction.

Assume you live in the US and decide to buy a car made in Germany.

You got to a US bank, get accepted for a loan, and spend the funds on the car.

So where do things then stand? You exchanged the borrowed funds for the car, the German car company has a deposit in the bank, and the bank has a loan to you and a deposit belonging to the German car company on their books.

You would rather have the car than the funds, or you would not have bought it.

The German company would rather have the funds than the car, or they would not have sold it.

The banks wants loans and deposits, or they wouldn’t have made the loan.

Where is the imbalance? The bank has a loan and a deposit, so they are in balance. The German car company has the $US deposit they want, so they are in balance, and you have the car you want and a car payment you agreed to, so you are happy as well.

So there is no imbalance. Everyone is happy with what they have at that point in time.

And the bank loan has funded the German desire to hold a USD deposit at the bank.

Where’s the ‘foreign capital’? There isn’t any. The entire notion is inapplicable. Domestic credit funds foreign savings. We are not dependent on foreign savings for funding anything. Nor can we be.”

7 Ingelesez:

Second to last but not the least, this innocent fraud undermines our entire economy, as it diverts real resources away from the real sectors to the financial sector, with results in real investment being directed in a manner totally divorced from public purpose. In fact, it’s my guess that this deadly innocent fraud might be draining over 20% annually from useful output and employment — a staggering statistic, unmatched in human history. And it directly leads the type of financial crisis we’ve been going through.

It begins with what’s called “the paradox of thrift” in the economics textbooks, which goes something like this: In our economy, spending must equal all income, including profits, for the output of the economy to get sold. (Think about that for a moment to make sure you’ve got it before moving on.) If anyone attempts to save by spending less than his income, at least one other person must make up for that by spending more than his own income, or else the output of the economy won’t get sold.

Unsold output means excess inventories, and the low sales means production and employment cuts, and thus less total income. And that shortfall of income is equal to the amount not spent by the person trying to save. Think of it as the person who’s trying to save (by not spending his income) losing his job, and then not getting any income, because his employer can’t sell all the output.

So the paradox is, “decisions to save by not spending income result in less income and no new net savings.” Likewise, decisions to spend more than one’s income by going into debt cause incomes to rise and can drive real investment and savings. Consider this extreme example to make the point. Suppose everyone ordered a new pluggable hybrid car from our domestic auto industry. Because the industry can’t currently produce that many cars, they would hire us, and borrow to pay us to first build the new factories to meet the new demand. That means we’d all be working on new plants and equipment — capital goods — and getting paid. But there would not yet be anything to buy, so we would necessarily be “saving” our money for the day the new cars roll off the new assembly lines. The decision to spend on new cars in this case results in less spending and more savings. And funds spent on the production of the capital goods, which constitute real investment, leads to an equal amount of savings.

I like to say it this way: “Savings is the accounting record of investment.”

Professor Basil Moore

I had this discussion with a Professor Basil Moore in 1996 at a conference in New Hampshire, and he asked if he could use that expression in a book he wanted to write. I’m pleased to report the book with that name has been published and I’ve heard it’s a good read. (I’m waiting for my autographed copy.)

Unfortunately, Congress, the media and mainstream economists get this all wrong, and somehow conclude that we need more savings so that there will be funding for investment. What seems to make perfect sense at the micro level is again totally wrong at the macro level. Just as loans create deposits in the banking system, it is investment that creates savings.

So what do our leaders do in their infinite wisdom when investment falls, usually, because of low spending? They invariably decide “we need more savings so there will be more money for investment.” (And I’ve never heard a single objection from any mainstream economist.) To accomplish this Congress uses the tax structure to create tax-advantaged savings incentives, such as pension funds, IRA’s and all sorts of tax-advantaged institutions that accumulate reserves on a tax deferred basis. Predictably, all that these incentives do is remove aggregate demand (spending power). They function to keep us from spending our money to buy our output, which slows the economy and introduces the need for private sector credit expansion and public sector deficit spending just to get us back to even.

This is why the seemingly-enormous deficits turn out not to be as inflationary as they might otherwise be.

In fact it’s the Congressionally-engineered tax incentives to reduce our spending (called “demand leakages”) that cut deeply into our spending power, meaning that the government needs to run higher deficits to keep us at full employment. Ironically, it’s the same Congressmen pushing the tax-advantaged savings programs, thinking we need more savings to have money for investment, that are categorically opposed to federal deficit spending.

And, of course, it gets even worse! The massive pools of funds (created by this deadly innocent fraud #6, that savings are needed for investment) also need to be managed for the further purpose of compounding the monetary savings for the beneficiaries of the future. The problem is that, in addition to requiring higher federal deficits, the trillions of dollars compounding in these funds are the support base of the dreaded financial sector. They employ thousands of pension fund managers whipping around vast sums of dollars, which are largely subject to government regulation. For the most part, that means investing in publicly-traded stocks, rated bonds and some diversification to other strategies such as hedge funds and passive commodity strategies. And, feeding on these “bloated whales,” are the inevitable sharks — the thousands of financial professionals in the brokerage, banking and financial management industries who owe their existence to this 6th deadly innocent fraud.”

Ingelesez:

Your reward for getting this far is that you already know the truth about this most common criticism of government deficits. I saved this for last so you would have all the tools to make a decisive and informed response.

First, why does government tax? Not to get money, but instead to take away our spending power if it thinks we have too much spending power and it’s causing inflation.

Why are we running higher deficits today? Because the “department store” has a lot of unsold goods and services in it, unemployment is high and output is lower than capacity. The government is buying what it wants and we don’t have enough after-tax spending power to buy what’s left over. So we cut taxes and maybe increase government spending to increase spending power and help clear the shelves of unsold goods and services.

And why would we ever increase taxes? Not for the government to get money to spend — we know it doesn’t work that way. We would increase taxes only when our spending power is too high, and unemployment has gotten very low, and the shelves have gone empty due to our excess spending power, and our available spending power is causing unwanted inflation.

So the statement “Higher deficits today mean higher taxes tomorrow” in fact is saying, “Higher deficits today, when unemployment is high, will cause unemployment to go down to the point we need to raise taxes to cool down a booming economy.” Agreed!”

Warren Mosler-ek 2010ean: Gobernuaren diruaz

2010ean, Mosler aurkeztu zen AEBtako senaturako.

Denbora hartan 100 milioi dolarreko apustu bat egin zuen:

Senate Candidate Bets Congress $100 Million That the U.S. Government Cannot Run out of Money

(https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20101022005577/en/Senate-Candidate-Bets-Congress-10)

Warren Mosler Offers $100 Million of His Own Money to Pay Down the Federal Deficit If Any Lawmaker Can Prove Him Wrong

October 22, 2010 Eastern Daylight Time

(i) Albistea: AEBtako Gobernuari dirua bukatzen ari zaiola dela eta

WATERBURY, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Warren Mosler, Connecticut’s Independent candidate for U.S. Senate today announced that it is an indisputable fact that U.S. Government spending is not operationally constrained by revenue and will give $100 million of his own money to pay down the Federal deficit if any Congressman or Senator can prove him wrong. “I am running for U.S. Senate to see my policies implemented to create the 20 million jobs we need. And to do this it must be understood that there is simply no such thing as the U.S. Federal government running out of money, nor is the Federal government operationally dependent on borrowing from China or anyone else. U.S. statesindividuals, and companies can indeed become insolvent, but U.S. government checks will never bounce,” states Mosler. “Yes, large Federal deficits that push the economy beyond the point of full employment can lead to inflation or currency devaluation, but not bankruptcy and not bounced checks. If lawmakers today understood this fact, they would not be looking to cut Social Security and we would not still be mired in this disastrous recession.”

(ii) Sistema monetarioa: Obama Presidentea, Fed-eko Bernanke, Fed-ren ordainketak, zergak, bankuko kontuak eta zenbakiak, konputagailu baten teklatua

With 37 years of experience as an ‘insider’ in monetary operations, Mosler knows that President Obama is wrong when he says that the U.S. government has ‘run out of money’ and is dependent on borrowing from China in order to spend. As Fed Chairman Bernanke publicly stated in March of 2009, the Fed makes payments by simply marking up numbers in bank accounts with its computer. Mosler explains further; “The Government doesn’t get anything ‘real’ when it taxes and doesn’t give up anything ‘real’ when it spends. There is no gold coin that goes into a bucket at the Fed when you are taxed and the government doesn’t hammer a gold coin into its computer when it spends. It just changes numbers in our bank accounts.” Mosler likens this scenario to a football game; when a touchdown is scored, the number on the scoreboard changes from 0 to 6. No one wonders where the stadium got the 6 points, no one demands that stadiums keep a reserve of points in a “lockbox” and no one is worried about using up all the points and thereby denying our children the chance to play.

Warren Mosler urges his opponents, Linda McMahon and Richard Blumenthal, and the entirety of Congress to recognize how the monetary system actually works and implement a full payroll tax (FICA) holiday and his other proposals to restore full employment and prosperity while not cutting Social Security benefits or eligibility.

(iii) About Warren Mosler

Warren Mosler is running as an Independent. His populist economic message features: 1) A full payroll tax (FICA) holiday so that people working for a living can afford to buy the goods and services they produce. 2) $500 per capita Federal revenue distribution for the states 3) An $8/hr federally funded job to anyone willing and able to work to facilitate the transition from unemployment to private sector employment. He has also pledged never to vote for cuts in Social Security payments or benefits. Warren is a native of Manchester, Conn., where his father worked in a small insurance office and his mother was a night-shift nurse. After graduating from the University of Connecticut (BA Economics, 1971), and working on financial trading desks in NYC and Chicago, Warren started his current investment firm in 1982. For the last twenty years, Warren has also been involved in the academic community, publishing numerous journal articles, and giving conference presentations around the globe. Mosler’s new book “The 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy is a non-technical guide to the actual workings of the monetary system and exposes the most commonly held misconceptions. He also founded Mosler Automotive, which builds the Mosler MT900, the world’s top performance car that also gets 30 mpg at 55 mph.

(iv) Liburua

Ikus Warren Mosler: Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy

(https://medium.com/@deficitowls/deadly-innocent-frauds-of-economic-policy-f45206adf05)

By Warren Mosler. Re-posted from http://moslereconomics.com/mandatory-readings/innocent-frauds/, with additions from the published book. For the whole book, go to http://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF.pdf.

Ikus Warren Mosler: zazpi gezur politika ekonomikoan (bertsio laburtua)

Liburua espainieraz, hemen: Warren Mosler-en liburua espainieraz

Katalunia: U-1 (O-1) eta I-20 (S-20), bideoak

(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtMfZwDrlnScKg9OzKjtJvQ/videos)

1-O”

English version:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmszwyfInNY)

Versió en català:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWLto7JBjrk)

Versión en castellano

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKQ4NDN-G7A)

S-20”

English version:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do5KQV5Qgow)

Versió en català:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVKbl4_ufYU)

Versión en castellano:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bN8ZM-V4Jo)

Gehigarriak:

Katalunia: autodeterminazio-erreferenduma (hausnarketa-eguna)

Brusela eta Katalunia (edo Katalunia eta Brusela)

El primer dia d’octubre (Urriko lehen eguna)

Els ‘secrets d’Estat’ de l’1 d’octubre  (https://directa.cat/secrets-destat-de-l1-doctubre)

2017ko urriak 1

Katalunia eta Altsasu kasua

MANIFEST “El cas Altsasu i l’agreujant de discriminació per raons ideològiques”

MANIFIESTO “El caso Altsasu y la agravante de discriminación por razones ideológicas”

MANIFESTUA “Altsasu kasua eta bereizkeriaren larriagotzea arrazoi ideologikoak direla eta

(katalanez, espainieraz eta euskaraz)

Comissió de Defensa ICAB‏ @ComDefensaICAB

(https://twitter.com/ComDefensaICAB/status/1015527551073226752)

Publiquem el Manifest “El cas Altsasu i l’agreujant de discriminació per raons ideològiques” que promovem juntament amb @AdvoCATsPerCAT, @CollectiuPraga i @ACDDH després de la Jornada del dia 6/7/18.

Laster euskarazko bertsioa

Ya publicada la versión castellana #AltsasukoakAske

2018 uzt. 7

Comissió de Defensa ICAB‏ @ComDefensaICAB

(https://twitter.com/ComDefensaICAB/status/1015277250780987395)

Publicamos el Manifiesto “El caso Altsasu y la agravante de discriminación por razones ideológicas” que promovemos juntamente con @AdvoCATsPerCAT , @CollectiuPraga y @ACDDH después de la Jornada de hoy.

Laster euskarazko bertsioa

Properament la versió en català #AltsasukoakAske

2018 uzt. 6

“Altsasu kasua eta bereizkeriaren larriagotzea arrazoi ideologikoak direla eta” Adierazpena

argitaratzen dugu batera @AdvoCATsPerCAT-ekin, @CollectiuPraga-ekin eta @ACDD-arekin Bartzelonan 2018ko uztailaren 6an ospatutako Jardunaldiaren ondoren #AltsasukoakASKE

(https://twitter.com/ComDefensaICAB/status/1017370545506144257)

2018 uzt. 12

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez eta Puerto Rico

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in her own words

Sarrera gisa, ikus ondokoa: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez DTM-ko programarekin

Segida:

Elkarrizketa: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, In Her Own Words

In an extensive interview, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discusses the nuts and bolts of her recent victory, why centrist Democrats are vulnerable to left-wing challengers, voter disenfranchisement, the political status of Puerto Rico, and much more.

(…)… many journalists were asking the same exact questions. Multiple reporters at Univision that I had sat down with asked me, “How do you define yourself?” That was the first time that a reporter, especially one at a TV network, asked me that question.

What was your answer?

I said, “I’m an educator, I’m an organizer, and I am an unapologetic champion for working families.” The way that I think of myself is as an organizer. No other network allowed me to tell that story, and that’s fine. Honestly, it’s good. It’s a good thing if the political establishment wants to dismiss my win for superficial reasons. If someone is going to say that my win is due to demographic reasons — frankly, I think it’s a form of intellectual laziness, but let that happen.

Let them not learn the lessons, because the people, the progressive movement, the movement for working families, the movement for economic, social, and racial justice, the movement to empower working-class people, the movement for Puerto Rico, the movement for Ferguson, the movement for criminal justice reform — those people are paying attention. Those people are saying, “How did she actually win?”

You’re asking me this question. DSA wants to know this question. They authentically want to know, because these are the communities that we built a coalition of.

DSA played a very important role, but so did Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, so did Justice Democrats, so did a lot of labor and tenant organizers, Muslim community organizers, young Jewish organizations. We were very deliberate about building a coalition of people that were on the forefront of activism in the progressive movement.

I could not have won without the support of DSA, but our success isn’t entirely thanks to one individual group. If there was, it would probably be Justice Democrats or Brand New Congress, because they’re the ones that convinced me to run in the first place. I would not have chosen to run if they hadn’t nudged me, but our electoral organizing was successful because we built a coalition.

(…)

There was this incredibly powerful moment in your televised debate with Crowley when he pledged to support you in the general election if you won the primary. Then he tried to set a trap by asking if you would do the same if he won. Your response was that you’d have to go back to the organized people who backed you, groups like DSA, and ask them — that you couldn’t make that decision on your own.

(…)

My candidacy is a movement candidacy. It operates in a very unusual way, because when I first started this race, I thought about how people just do this for themselves. I still can’t believe that someone will wake up and say, “I want to be the congressman or a senator.” They organize their entire campaign around that person’s individual identity. They’ll say, “I’m the best person for this job,” and then they literally try to organize thousands of people around the rallying cry of, “I’m awesome.”

For me, that’s way too much pressure. And I don’t think that that’s what resonates with people. Even when you look at how people rallied around Barack Obama — regardless of how you feel about his politics, it wasn’t just him, it was what he represented to so many people. For me, on that stage, I knew that I represented a movement — a movement that operated with input.

I got a lot of heat from the establishment afterwards, but the only people that were upset about that [comment] were people that already work for the Democratic Party. I got a lot of respect from voters for that. I went to the bodega a week or two after the debate, and my cousin was there with some friends. They watched the debate, and everyone was like, “That was gangster.”

I’ve never seen anything like it.

There is this illusion among Democratic incumbents that New Yorkers love them, that New Yorkers love the Democratic establishment.

(…)

I think people start demanding that the establishment change course, when we really need to replace the establishment and be the ones who change the course ourselves.

My opponent, 99 percent of his financing came from corporations, lobbyists, and big-money donations. Less than 1 percent came from small-dollar donations. I had the flip. If you have an incumbent that continues to be overwhelmingly financed by corporations and corporate money, who is saying the same things that they were saying in September 2016, you should be concerned.

If the Trump presidency has not jolted a person into changing their fundamental approach, then they’re not going to change. I do think some folks have. I’m not saying, “burn the whole thing to the ground,” because I do think that there are legitimately some folks that are having a change of heart.

To be honest, this is what Crowley did as well. I received his mailer — he didn’t take me off his mailing list, so I have ten of these mailers in my home with my name on them, and a lot of them have Trump’s face on them. (…)

Puerto Ricoz hitz bi

Puerto Rico, estatu libre asoziatua? Ibarretxe-ren paradigma. Mandanga-ren azken helburua.

Paradisu galdua.

Baskongaden konfederazioa Espainiarekin?

Sarrera gisa, ikus ondokoak:

Puerto Rico zorretan

Segida, aurreko elkarrizketan:

(…)

Your victory makes me more confident than ever that the Left will one day, in the maybe medium term, be the political majority in this country. But so many of our political institutions are so radically undemocratic, and it seems very likely to me that a conservative minority in the coming years will use institutions like the Supreme Court, like the Senate, to block the popular will.

Political scientist David Faris recently published a book laying out a program of measures that could constitutionally democratize the American system that includes expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court, and granting Washington DC and Puerto Rico statehood. The future of Puerto Rico should be decided by the people of Puerto Rico, but I would welcome those two Senate seats. And passing federal legislation that would require states to make it easier rather than harder to vote. Do you think that it’s time to begin a discussion about more radical, constitutional measures to democratize the system?

Absolutely. It’s unfortunate what is being called radical nowadays. Enfranchising Americans that already have the constitutional right to vote — radical? Like, really? This is where we’re at? But it is where we’re at. I’m entirely supportive of it. Right now, if you have a deadline for voter registration in a state like mine, that is an artifice. Because with our technology, there’s no reason that that should be the case.

For me, as a Puerto Rican woman, I’m looking towards my elders and trying to have an authentic conversation on the status of Puerto Rico. The very fact that we have literally millions of people who are American citizens that to this day are disenfranchised and denied the right to vote in presidential elections is so foundationally wrong — one of the most premier injustices in our democracy today.

It’s not just Puerto Rico. This is the US Virgin Islands, Guam, every United States territory — which are their colony — of the United States. Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States. The fact that you can be born in the United States as an American citizen and denied the right to vote and denied federal representation — that’s why four thousand people died in Puerto Rico.

I’m not making a stance on statehood, but I guarantee you that if Puerto Rico had votes in a presidential election, if they did have two senators, if they did have representation, four thousand people would not have died. I guarantee you. It’s gross and it’s cynical, but it’s true. If they’re independent, perhaps four thousand people wouldn’t have died. But the fundamental political status of Puerto Ricans and people who are colonized by the United States makes them second-class citizens. It’s not radical to make all US citizens full persons in the eyes of the law. (…)

Ba ote daukate inongo parekorik Puerto Rico-k eta Baskongadek?

Zein, Ibarretxe jauna?

Zein, Arnaldo jauna?

El duet de mots estat propi evitava de parlar, clarament, d’independència i en substituïa, de fet, la paraula, mentre que l’autodeterminació era reemplaçada per la poètica expressió dret a decidir. Ara hem recuperat el nom de cada cosa i no hi valen, doncs, més subterfugis per embolcallar amb mots equívocs la nostra aspiració col·lectiva. El llenguatge, les paraules, mai no són gratuïtes i constitueixen, en canvi, un factor clau en tot procés emancipador, tant per als propis nacionals, com per a l’estat del qual hom vol separar-se, com per a la comunitat internacional.” (Carod- Rovira, Acte de terminació)

Acte de terminació

«No cal que el dret a l’autodeterminació aparegui en una constitució per no posar obstacles a què un poble pugui decidir el seu futur»

(https://www.naciodigital.cat/opinio/17997/acte/terminacio)

per Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira, 11 de juliol de 2018

El dret a l’autodeterminació dels pobles torna a situar-se al bell mig del debat polític, si és que mai ha deixat de ser-hi, aquests darrers anys. Que el president de la Generalitat en parli obertament és un símptoma positiu que les coses, més lentament del que voldríem, van canviant. Quan el procés caminava sota una hegemonia cultural fonamentalment convergent, era aquella etapa de la timidesa terminològica, en què semblava que no es volguessin dir les coses pel seu nom, no fos cas que algú s’adonés del que volíem de debò. Així el referèndum era una consulta o, més estrambòtic encara, un procés participatiu.

El duet de mots estat propi evitava de parlar, clarament, d’independència i en substituïa, de fet, la paraula, mentre que l’autodeterminació era reemplaçada per la poètica expressió dret a decidir. Ara hem recuperat el nom de cada cosa i no hi valen, doncs, més subterfugis per embolcallar amb mots equívocs la nostra aspiració col·lectiva. El llenguatge, les paraules, mai no són gratuïtes i constitueixen, en canvi, un factor clau en tot procés emancipador, tant per als propis nacionals, com per a l’estat del qual hom vol separar-se, com per a la comunitat internacional.

És curiosa la rapidesa amb què, de la part espanyola, s’apressen a fer dues afirmacions precipitades: l’autodeterminació no forma part de l’ordenament jurídic espanyol i, a més, aquest suposat dret no apareix a cap constitució. En tots dos casos, menteixen. En primer lloc, tots els estats que formen part de l’Organització de Nacions Unides, en la mesura que en són membres, n’accepten la seva normativa bàsica, la qual passa a formar part també de l’ordenament jurídic de cada estat, entre la qual hi ha el dret dels pobles a l’autodeterminació. El problema ve, però, en el moment de decidir què és un poble i qui pot anomenar-se’n. La pregunta, pel que fa a nosaltres, és ben senzilla: nosaltres som un poble? Existeix el poble català? I quina és la nostra relació amb l’autodeterminació

En realitat, aquesta ve de lluny. El diumenge 2 d’agost de 1931, es votava en referèndum l’Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya conegut com Estatut de Núria,  en el preàmbul del qual el primer que pot llegir-s’hi és això: “La Diputació provisional de la Generalitat de Catalunya en la redacció del projecte únic d’Estatut ha partit del dret que té Catalunya, com a poble, a l’autodeterminació”. La nostra reivindicació no només està ben fonamentada sinó que compta amb precedents tan importants com haver estat sotmesa a referèndum i aconseguit una victòria esclatant favorable al text proposat (99,45% de SÍ) que, com sempre passa, les corts espanyoles es van encarregar d’escapçar, aigualir i trinxar. Després, durant la dictadura, tots els partits que hi lluitaven en contra en defensaven aquest dret, el qual va incorporar-se al programa comú de l’Assemblea de Catalunya.

Un altre dels llocs comuns, mentida també, és quan afirmen que d’això de l’autodeterminació no se’n parla en cap constitució.  Si deixessin, per uns instants, aquesta supèrbia tan característica i giressin els ulls cap a l’únic país del món que només fa frontera amb Espanya, podien llegir-ne l’article 7 de la constitució de la República portuguesa, que diu això: 

1. Portugal rege-se nas relações internacionais pelos princípios da independência nacional, do direito dos povos à autodeterminação e à independência, da igualdade entre os Estados, da solução pacífica dos conflitos internacionais, da não ingerência nas assuntos internos dos outros Estados e da cooperação com todos os outros povos para a emancipação e o progresso da Humanidade. 

2. Portugal preconiza a abolição de todas as formas de imperialismo, colonialismo e agressão, o desarmamento geral, simultâneo e controlado, a dissolução dos blocos político-militares e o estabelecimento de um sistema de segurança colectiva, com vista à criação de uma ordem internacional capaz de assegurar a paz e a justiça nas relações entre os povos. 

3. Portugal reconhece o direito dos povos à insurreição contra todas as formas de opressão, nomeadamente contra o colonialismo e o imperialismo, e manterá laços especiais de amizade e cooperação com os países de língua portuguesa.

La proximitat del portuguès amb les altres llengües romàniques en fa innecessària la traducció, però el contingut és ben clar. De fet, no cal que el dret a l’autodeterminació aparegui en una constitució per no posar obstacles a què un poble pugui decidir el seu futur. Canadà, on no hi apareix, ha vist ja dos referèndums on el poble del Quebec s’ha pronunciat sobre el seu futur. I al Regne Unit, on no disposen d’un text constitucional escrit, convencional, sinó d’una tradició constitucional determinada, el govern britànic va acordar un referèndum on es preguntava als escocesos si volien convertir-se en estat independent.

Tard o d’hora, quan tinguem aquí la força popular, la voluntat política i el determini institucional incontestables per la seva suficiència i representativitat, haurem de fer el mateix. Llavors, finalment, amb el nostre vot reconegut per la comunitat internacional, Espanya no tindrà altre remei que admetre que som majoria els que volem l’autodeterminació per convertir-la en acte de terminació de la nostra dependència.

Hitzak ari bira, dugun egina (Etxepare)

(Bai, mila esker Gorkatxu!)

Joserra Etxebarria eta dirua egiteko ‘makina’

(Lantxo hau Joserra-ri egindako omenaldi-gisako liburuan azaldu da: Bai, jauna, bai: fisika euskaraz! Jose Ramon Etxebarria irakaslearen omenez, UEU, Bilbo 2018, 325-337orr.)

UEUko hitzaldi baten hasieran izan zen. Joserrak hurbildu zitzaigun, eta bat batean honela esan zigun: “Nik badakit zergatik AEB den inperio nagusia. Makina batekin egiten ditu dolarrak eta gero mundu osoak AEBkoei benetako produktuak eta zerbitzuak ematen dizkie dolar horiek eskuratzearen ordez. Kontua da AEBk nahi duen beste dolar martxan jar dezakeela makinarekin, kostua nulua izanik”, edo oso antzeko zerbait.

Aipaturiko pasadizoa segur aski honelako lanari zegokion: Zertan zetzan Iraken aurkako gerra hura?1

Ikertu nahi genuena hauxe zen: AEBren inperialismoa eta petrolioaren gaineko gerla.

Denbora hartan, eta epe luze batez, Bernard Schmitt ekonomialaria nuen gidari, zirkuitu-teoriaren aitapontekoa2.

Joserra euskara zuzentzaile nagusia izan da UEUn, denbora luzez. Nire lan askotxo eta zenbait liburu zuzendu ditu, goitik behera, berak ongi ulertzeko zertan zetzan gaia eta irakurle potentzialari ulertzeko bidea errazteko asmoz.

Dirudienez, Joserrak erakutsi nahi zigun berak finantza-ekonomia ikasi zuela, eta oso ongi gainera. Bai, makinaren eredua hainbat hitzalditan erabiltzen nuen.

Ez dakit Joserrak makroekonomiaz eta finantza-ekonomiaz ikasi zuen; nik berarekin euskaraz, bai, asko eta era sakon batean ikasi nuen, paragrafo bakoitzeko lerroz lerro, esaldiz esaldi begiratuz eta zuzenduz, harik eta guztia ongi ulertu eta txukundu arte.

Finantzari dagokionez, kontua da dirua ez soilik ez-materialdu dela, ez soilik aktibo/pasibo bat dela, baizik eta orain badakigula ordenagailu baten teklatuaren bidez idazten diren zenbakiak direla gaur egungo dirua, horiek beroriek eta ez beste ezer.

Orain badakigu, zirkuitu-teoria labur samarra geratu dela, bereziki Mosler-ek egindako kritika eta gero3. Halaber, badakigu dirua inprimatzea4 zaharkitu eta desegokia dela gaur egunean, dirua ulertu ahal izateko.

Gainera, eta konkretuki petrolioaren prezioa jartzeko afera ez dagokio inongo inperiori, prezio jartzaileari baizik. Horrela ikasi genuen 2011n: Petrolioaren prezioak: nondik nora?5

Warren Mosler-en hitzez, It’s good to be price setter.”

Diru Teoria Modernoa (DTM6) eta dirua

DTM-k transakzio bertikalak7 eta transakzio horizontalak8 bereizten ditu9.

(a) Osagai bertikala

State (consolidated Treasury and Central Bank)
|

Private Sector–”Warehouse”- (cash, reserves, State securities)

Consumption (Tax Payment)

(Currency Analysis: The Vertical Component)

Adierazpenak10

(b) Osagai horizontala11

Farmer
|
Private Sector – “Warehouse”–>–>–>Credit Activity–>–>–>
|
Consumption (Eating)

(General Commodity Analysis)

Adierazpenak12

(c) Osagai bertikala eta horizontala13

State (consolidated Treasury and Central Bank)
|
Private Sector – “Warehouse”–>–>–>Credit Activity–>–>–>
|
Consumption (Tax Payment)

(Currency Analysis: Vertical and Horizontal Components)

Adierazpenak14

Oharrak:

Estatua da monetaren jaulkitzaile bakarra15

Bankuak Estatuaren eta sektore pribatuaren artean tarteko gisa16.

Monetaren hasierako eskaria, zergak ordaintzeko beharra17

Modeloa eta zirkuitu monetarioa18

Zirkuitu monetarioa eta osagai bertikala19

Kreditua (eragiketa horizontala)20

Billetea zirkulazioan21

Billetea eta bankua tarteko moduan22

Banku gordailuak, maileguak eta eragiketa bertikalak23

Fondoak beti datoz Estatutik24

Enpresaria, produkzioa, mozkina, banku mailegua25

Zergak, aktiboen zergak eta transakzioen zergak26

Estatuak gastatu behar du, zergak ordaintzearren eta sektore pribatuak Estatutik moneta unitatea gehiago lortu behar du, ondasun eta zerbitzu errealen truke27

Sektore pribatuko desio kolektiboa soilik konpondu daiteke osagai bertikalean28

Eragiketa horizontalak ondorioak dauzka, kasu, Estatu defizitaren gastu gutxitze batek deflazioa ekar lezake29

Osagai horizontala osagai bertikal baten palankaz jasotzea (leveraging) da30

Hornitzaile soil baten kasua da estatu-moneta31

Estatuaren kasuan, Estatua bere monetaren prezio jartzailea da32

Estatuaren aukera praktiko bat: stock motelgailu bat kudeatzea33

Estatu defizit gastua eta etorkizuneko zergapetzea34

Ondorioa

Hasiera hasieratik zirkuitu monetarioak Estatuaren rol zentrala kontuan edukiz, eta zirkuitu monetarioan bertan osagai bertikala eta horizontala sartzeak aparteko garrantzi teorikoa izan du Diru Teoria Modernoan garatzean35

Gehigarri gisa, ikus, besteak beste, ondokoak:

Gobernuak sorturiko dirua eta bankuek sorturikoa36; Warren Mosler 1997an: bankuek sorturiko dirua eta gobernuak sorturikoa37 eta Kongresua eta Gobernua (Altxor publikoa gehi Banku zentrala)38.

Nola sortzen da dirua, hortaz?

Teklatuen bidez sortzen da dirua39. Horrek dena aldatzen du: Zer egin bankuekin? FEDtik eta EBZtik Euskal Herrira40.

Izan ere, eta aipatu bezala, orain badakigu bi diru mota daudela edozein ekonomiatan: transakzio horizontaleko dirua eta transakzio bertikaleko dirua. Biak sortzen dira airetik, ezdeusetik, teklatu baten bidez gauzatzen dira. Baina haien arteko diferentzia erabatekoa da.

‘Inperio’aren afera

Orduan, zertan geratzen da ‘inperio’aren afera, zertan datza AEBk daukan abantaila mundu-mailako merkataritza-transferentziatan?

Arazoa argitzeko, Michael Hudson eta Warren Mosler-en arteko eztabaida sakonari so egin behar diogu.

Mosler-en eta Hudson-en arteko eztabaida

Hudson-ek behin baino gehiagotan azpimarratu duenez, AEB ez da inoiz euroaren aurka egon: EBko atzerritar trukeko erreserbak AEBk ikusi ditu bere Altxor Publikoari egindako mailegu gisa; haren ustez, horretantxe datza AEBrentzako bazka librearen giltza. (Hudson-ek Superalismoa izeneko liburua 1972an idatzi zuen, 2003an edizio berria -hitzaurrea, sarrera eta datu berriekin-. 2009ko martxoan, artikulu interesgarri bat plazaratu zuen, gai berberaz41.)

Eztabaida Hudson-en Dollar Hegemony and the Rise of China artikuluaren inguruan da42. Hudson-en iritziz, “Orain AEBko Altxor Publikoak 4 x 1012 dolar zor dizkie atzerritar banku zentralei.”

Aldiz, Mosler-ek dioenez, Fed-en (AEBko Erreserba Federala) betebehar bakarra azaltzen da Altxor Publikoko bono horiek (4 x 1012) epemuga eguneratzen direnean, ordainkizun bilakatzen direnean. Fed-ek banku zentralaren bonoen kontua kargatu egiten du Fed-en eta banku zentralaren erreserba-kontua abonatu egiten du Fed-en. Ez dago beste ezer gehiagorik egiteko.

Hudson-ek: “Banku zentral gehienek beren truke-tasak baxu edukitzen dituzte beren dolar-sarrerak birziklatuz AEBko Altxor Publikoko IOU-ak erosteko.” Baina Mosler-ek: Erosten dituztenak AEBko finantza-aktiboak dira, Altxor Publikoko bonoak bezala, eta haiengatik ordaintzen dute beren moneta propioan.

Hudson-ek gaineratzen duenez, “birziklatze horrek ahalbidetzen dio AEBri bere atzerriko gastu militarra eta bere barneko aurrekontu-defizita finantzatzeko 1950etik. Hortaz, Europak eta Asiak beren atzerritar truke mozkinak erabili dituzte polo bakarra den AEBko base militarrak finantzatzeko…

Mosler-ek, aldiz: AEBko dolar-gastua ez dute sarrerek mugatzen. Banku zentralek AEBko dolarrak erosten dituzte beren esportazio-industriak babesteko, beren kaltetan. Mosler-en iritziz, AEBko 4 x 1012 dolarreko kanpo-korra dolarretan da izendatua, ez atzerriko monetan. Hortaz, ez dago inolako arazorik ordaintzeko (alderantziz, atzerriko monetan izendatua izan balitz, AEBk arazoa izango zukeen.)

Are gehiago, dolarren atzerritar birziklatzeak AEBko Altxor Publikoko bonoetan ez dauka inongo zerikusirik AEBk bere inperialismoa finantzatzeko, zeren AEBk nahi duen beste moneta kopuru jaulki baitezake. Izan ere, AEBko gobernu-gastu guztia ‘banku kontuetan zenbakiak markatuz’ lortzen da, aspaldian ez dena Bernanke-k argitu zuen moduan43. Beraz, Hudson-ek ez dauka arrazoirik, birziklaturiko dolarrek ez baitituzte AEBko atzerriko abenturak finantzatzen.

Ordainketa-balantzaren kontuei dagokienez, hona hemen bien arteko elkarrizketa.

Hudson-en aburuz, atzerritarrek ez badituzte beren dolarrak birziklatzen AEBko tituluak erosiz, orduan beren monetak altxatuko dira. Mosler-en iritziz, kausatze-prozesua pixka bat desberdina da. Hasten da AEBri ondasun edo zerbitzu bat saltzearekin, atzerritar konpainia dolarretan ordaindua izanik. Ordainketa hori kreditu bat da AEBko banku-kontu bati dagokiona, beren izenean, zuzenki edo zeharka. Normalean, konpainia horrek gero dolar horiek salduko lituzke bere moneta propioak lortzearren, moneta propioen obligazio lokalak betetzeko. Haren balantze-orria normalki moneta propioan dago, non atzerritar monetaren jabetzak espekulatiboak kontsideratuko bailirateke. Dolar horien salmentak moneta propioaren altxatzea kausatzen du. Baldin eta banku zentralak ez badu nahi bere moneta propioa altxatzea, berak erosiko ditu dolarrak eta edukiko bere Fed-eko kontuan. Hortaz, atzerritar bankuek dolarrak erosten dituzte beren truke-tasak baxu edukitzeko. Haiek uste dute hori beharrezkoa dela beren esportatzaileak lehiakorrak izateko, eta ondorioz, beren esportazio-sektorean langabezia alboratzeko.

Mosler-ek dioenez, normalki atzerritar banku zentralak bere Altxor Publikoko tituluak AEBko Altxor Publikotik erosten ditu dolarren bidez, zeinak merkatuan jadanik erosi baititu. Ez ditu egiten atzerriko transakzioak AEBko Altxor Publikoarekin. Atzerritar banku zentralek ez dituzte AEBko Altxor Publikoko tituluak moneta propioan.

Izan ere, banku zentralek dolarrak erosten dituzte beren esportazio-industriak babesteko, eta hori egiten dute beren makroekonomien konturako. Transakzio horiek egitean, atzerritako herrialdeak ongi ezagutzen du zer-nolako terminoetan eta baldintzetan arituko den, berak ondasun errealak eta zerbitzuak AEBri saltzen dizkionean, Fed-eko dolar balantzaren trukean.

Atzerriko banku zentralen dolarrak ez dira birziklatzen AEBko aurrekontu federalaren defizita finantzatzeko, Hudson-ek uste duen bezala. Kasu, AEBko sektore militarrak gastatzen duenean, ondasun errealak eta zerbitzuak erosten dizkie saltzaileei merkatu-prezioetan. Munduko herrialde askotan gauzatzen dira eragiketa horiek eta herrialde gehienek ez dituzte Banku Zentralean metaturiko dolar-balantzak44. Sektore militarrak gastatzen du gainontzeko gobernu-sektoreek egiten duten antzera –Fed-i esanez saltzailearen Fed-eko kide bankuko (edo dagokioneko) kontua kreditatzea-.

Egia esan, atzerritar sektoreak dolar aktibo finantzarioak metatzeko desioak ahalbidetzen du gobernu-defizita handiagoa izatea, baina ‘inflazioa’ sorrarazi gabe.

Paul Krugman Nobel saridunak ez du ulertzen prozesu hori45. Esportazioak kostu errealak izanik eta inportazioak onura errealak, AEBk aparteko abantailak lortzen ditu merkataritza defizitetik. Hori dela eta, gainontzeko herrialdeek AEBra esportatzen dutenean, hori egiten dute beren makroekonomien konturako.

Hortxe dago desberdintasuna: AEB-ren defizita AEB-rentzako onuragarria den bitartean, gainontzeko herrialdeen esportazioa herrialde horien kalterako da.

(Eztabaida osoa ondoko linkean46 ikus daiteke.)

PS: Mila esker Joserra, erakutsitako eskuzabaltasunagatik, euskararen jakituria dela eta. Plazer handi bat izan da zurekin lan egitea, eta ikastea!


Ikus Quantum Macroeconomics: The legacy of Bernard Schmitt: https://books.google.es/books?id=-Q4xDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT19&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

Ingelesez: MMT; alegia, Modern Money Theory.

7 Vertical transactions: “MMT labels any transactions between the government sector and the non-government sector as a vertical transaction. The government sector is considered to include the treasury and the central bank, whereas the non-government sector includes private individuals and firms (including the private banking system) and the external sector – that is, foreign buyers and sellers. (“Deficit Spending 101 – Part 1 : Vertical Transactions”, Bill Mitchell, 21 February 2009)

In any given time period, the government’s budget can be either in deficit or in surplus. A deficit occurs when the government spends more than it taxes; and a surplus occurs when a government taxes more than it spends. MMT states that as a matter of accounting, it follows that government budget deficits add net financial assets to the private sector. This is because a budget deficit means that a government has deposited more money into private bank accounts than it has removed in taxes. A budget surplus means the opposite: in total, the government has removed more money from private bank accounts via taxes than it has put back in via spending.

Therefore, budget deficits add net financial assets to the private sector; whereas budget surpluses remove financial assets from the private sector. This is widely represented in macroeconomic theory by the national income identity:

G − T = S − I − NX

where G is government spending, T is taxes, S is savings, I is investment and NX is net exports.

The conclusion that MMT draws from this is that it is only possible for the non government sector to accumulate a surplus if the government runs budget deficits. The non government sector can be further split into foreign users of the currency and domestic users.

MMT economists aim to run deficits as much as the private sector wants to save and for real resources to be fully used e.g. full employment. As most private sectors want to net save and globally, external balances must add up to zero, MMT economists usually advocate budget deficits.

Further information: Sectoral balances.

Horizontal transactions: “MMT economists describe any transactions within the private sector as “horizontal” transactions, including the expansion of the broad money supply through the extension of credit by banks.

MMT economists regard the concept of the money multiplier, where a bank is completely constrained in lending through the deposits it holds and its capital requirement, as misleading (“Money multiplier and other myths”, Bill Mitchell, 21 April 2009 ). Rather than being a practical limitation on lending, the cost of borrowing funds from the interbank market (or the central bank) represents a profitability consideration when the private bank lends in excess of its reserve and/or capital requirements (see interaction between government and the banking sector).

According to MMT, bank credit should be regarded as a “leverage” of the monetary base and should not be regarded as increasing the net financial assets held by an economy, with only the government or central bank able to issue high powered money with no corresponding liability (“Money multiplier and other myths”, Bill Mitchell, 21 April 2009). Stephanie Kelton argues that bank money is generally accepted in settlement of debt and taxes because of state guarantees, but that state-issued high-powered money sits atop a “hierarchy of money” (Kelton, Stephanie (Bell) (2001), “The Role of the State and the Hierarchy of Money” , Cambridge Journal of Economics (Cambridge) (25): 149–163).”

Ikus W. Mosler eta M. Forstater (1998) “A General Framework for the Analysis of Currencies and Commodities”, in P. Davidson and J. Kregel (eds.) Full Employment and Price Stability in a Global Economy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. (http://www.mosler.org/docs/docs/general2.htm) eta A General Analytical Framework for the Analysis of Currencies and Other Commodities.

10 Ingelesez: “The tax liability lies at the bottom of the vertical, exogenous, component of the currency. At the top is the State (here presented as a consolidated Treasury and Central Bank), which is effectively the sole issuer of units of its currency, as it controls the issue of currency units by any of its designated agents. The middle is occupied by the private sector. It exchanges goods and services for the currency units of the state, pays taxes, and accumulates what is left over (State deficit spending) in the form of cash in circulation, reserves (clearing balances at the State’s Central Bank), or Treasury securities (“deposits” offered by the CB). For comparative purposes later in the paper, this accumulation will be considered “warehoused.” The currency units used for the payment of taxes (or any other currency units transferred to the State), for this analysis, is considered to be consumed (destroyed) in the process. As the State can issue paper currency units or accounting information at the CB at will, tax payments need not be considered a reflux back to the state for the process to continue. In fact, the assumption of such reflux would imply a function of that process that this analysis emphasizes does not exist.

This completes the basic vertical component. Agents are said to participate in vertical activity if they obtain the unit of account from the State, pay taxes to the State, or intermediate the process. Central bank policy determines the relative distribution of the accumulated currency units of the private sector between cash, reserves (clearing balances), and Treasury securities. State (deficit) spending determines the magnitude of those accumulated financial assets.”

11 Ingelesez: “The horizontal component concerns the broad category of credit. In contrast with the vertical component, gross expansion of the horizontal component is endogenous, and nets to 0. The majority of circuit analysis begins and ends with the horizontal component. Even when the State is introduced, it too is assumed to behave horizontally. State taxing and borrowing are treated identically to private sector selling and borrowing. Though this treatment of the State may not be technically incorrect, the use of the vertical component adds a characterization of State activity previously ignored.

Any commodity has at least a vertical component. Horizontal activity represents leveraged activity of a vertical component. For analytical purposes, a unit of a currency is a commodity with no cost of production, no substitution, no inherent storage costs or transaction costs, and no product differentiation. Corn can be used to specifically demonstrate how a currency lends itself to the same analysis as commodities.”

12 Ingelesez: “With corn, the farmer can be considered at the top of the vertical component, and consumption (eating) at the bottom. The private sector remains in the middle, and transfers non corn (generally units of a currency) up to the farmer who sends down the corn in exchange. If the private sector purchases more corn than it immediately consumes, the difference is warehoused (accumulated). If we were to use the same language with corn as we do with currency, we would say that when the farmer exchanges more corn to the private sector than the private sector consumes, the farmer is engaging in the deficit spending of corn.”

13 Ingelesez: “The corn futures market is a leveraging of physical corn. There is a short position for every long position. Likewise, the creation of bank loans and their corresponding deposits is a leveraging of the currency, and every short position, or borrower, has a long position, or depositor, on the other side of the ledger. The futures market also happens to be a market that leverages the currency, as corn, for example, is exchanged for units of the currency. Thus the horizontal component for currency analysis can be indicated by introducing credit into the picture.”

14 Ingelesez. “This model is consistent with the Post Keynesian notion that reserve imbalances can be reconciled only by the central bank. In this model, the horizontal activity always nets to 0. Reserves are clearing balances that can only come from vertical activity. Furthermore, in the US system, the Fed controls the mix in the “warehouse” and can, for example, by purchasing securities on the open market, decrease securities held by the private sector and increase reserves of the private sector (clearing balances). Because of deposit insurance, in effect the Fed guarantees that inter-bank checks will clear when presented at the Fed. This means that if the banking system doesn’t have sufficient reserves as required by the Fed, at least one bank will be showing an overdraft at its account at the Fed. Such an overdraft is, of course, a loan from the Fed, and an example of vertical activity. So, in the US system, required reserves come from the Fed in one form or another on demand, and the Fed sets the terms of exchange–interest rate and collateral–for the transaction.

15 Ingelesez: “The State is effectively the sole issuer of its currency. As Lerner and Colander put it, “if anything is a natural monopoly, the money supply is” (1980, p. 84). This means that the State is also the price setter for its currency when it issues and exchanges it for goods and services. It is also price setter of the interest (own) rate for its currency (Keynes, 1936, ch. 17) The latter is accomplished by managing the clearing balances and securities offered for sale. The corn farmer, however, is generally not the single supplier of corn, and therefore is not a price setter. In addition, as there is no central warehouse, or its equivalent, the “own rate” for corn is 0% or negative, reflecting only a cost of storage and a cost of short selling.”

16 Ingelesez: “The model allows for two primary paths in the vertical component of a currency. The first is described above (Ikus Dirua: transakzio bertikalak eta horizontalak (2)) , and the second exists because it will be assumed that the State allows bank deposits to be used for payment of taxes. Therefore banks are allowed to automatically function as intermediaries between the State and the private sector. This happens whenever a bank draft (check) is used for payment of taxes. The banking system is simultaneously obligated to accept funds from the State on terms dictated by the State to cover clearing balances debited when such checks clear.”

17 Ingelesez: “Initial demand for the currency- that which is necessary to pay taxes- originates with those with tax liabilities. When analyzing an economy, knowledge of the type of tax liabilities in force is fundamental to understanding its operation. For example, an asset tax, such as a property tax, will yield different results than a transaction tax, such as a sales tax, value added tax, or income tax.”

18 Ingelesez: “We now proceed with an example of how this model can be integrated into an analysis of the monetary circuit. In this example, we begin with the following assumptions:

1) The State has levied an equal head tax on all individuals.

2) The State hires only labor.
3) There is no net desire to save net financial assets (no deficit spending and no corresponding involuntary unemployment- …).
4) The State does not hire all the available labor (there is a private sector).
5) Producers qualify for bank credit.
6) Consumers have no access to credit.”

19 Ingelesez: “The monetary circuit begins with the vertical component, when the State describes that which it will accept for payment of taxes. The head tax is payable only in units of that currency. This causes taxpayers to offer goods and services in return for units of the currency. The State is now able to use its currency to purchase goods and services. This process results in the monetization of transactions in the State’s currency. Taxpayers are continuously offering goods and services for sale, and soon other private sector agents who desire that which is offered for sale, seek the means of obtaining units of the currency demanded by the sellers. The forces at work in the vertical component are sufficient to cause sellers of goods and services to denominate their offers in units of the State’s currency. There follows an exchange in the unit of account from the State to the private sector, and from the private sector to the State, as the State spends and the taxes are paid.”

20 Ingelesez: “Credit (horizontal activity) arises when a buyer desires to make a purchase by borrowing that which the seller demands. The buyer could borrow directly from the seller. This would result in the transfer of the items sold in exchange for a promissory note of the buyer, denominated in the State’s currency, accepted by the seller. This note can be considered a form of money, depending on one’s definition of money. The note presumably has value, or the seller would not have accepted it. But clearly any value is subject to change, as the buyer’s financial condition may vary. There is also no reason such a note could not be negotiable, and circulate in the economy, as each new holder of the note attempts to use it to purchase from other sellers. Reflux could occur either when the original issuer of the note obtains it back via a sale of goods or services, or when the original issuer of the note retires it by exchanging it for State currency.”

21 Ingelesez: “Notice that while the note was circulating, it was not an acceptable means of tax payment. The note was, however, an example of the leveraging of the State currency. It was endogenous horizontal activity. The holder of the note had a “long” position and the issuer a “short” position. The net was always 0. The note was, however, denominated in units of the State’s currency. Horizontal activity is always denominated in units of a vertical component.”

22 Ingelesez: “The same transaction could have been intermediated by a bank. Perhaps the seller did not want to accept the note of the buyer, but would accept a bank deposit. The buyer could then go to a bank and request a loan. If approved, the result would be that the bank would hold the buyer’s note, and grant the seller a deposit in the bank. Banking thus assumes the credit risk of the buyer (presumably expressed in the interest rate charged). Banks undertaking this type of business activity are similar to insurance institutions, managing risk through analysis and diversity. Again, this is horizontal activity.

23 Ingelesez: “Bank deposits are the accounting records of loans. There is gross expansion of financial assets, but the net is always 0. For every deposit there is a loan from which it originated. Do note, however, that as bank deposits are acceptable for tax payment, they may function as part of the vertical component. Again, the banks acting in this capacity are, in the case of deposits being used for tax payment, intermediating vertical activity.”

24 Ingelesez: “Tax payers not wishing state employment, or who don’t qualify for State employment, will seek other, alternative means of obtaining currency. Directly or indirectly the needed funds must, given the above assumptions, ultimately come from someone employed by the State. In the simplest case, individuals offer goods and services to those employed by the state in return for some of the currency originally earned from the State.

Non taxpayers, too, are apt to become monetized, as when they see goods and services for sale they, too, desire units of the State currency of denomination. They may, for example, sell their labor to those employed by the State, and then, with the currency units thus obtained, make purchases from tax payers not employed by the State.

25Ingelesez: “At some point, an entrepreneur may arise and attempt to organize production, with the objective of making a profit, which can then be used to make personal purchases. This may begin by borrowing from a bank to pay the wage bill, and end with the recovery of expenditures and profit through sales of  final output. The example of this paragraph is representative of existing circuit analysis. But now we can go further, as even the most complex of the interactions of firms, consumers, taxpayers, and the State are readily examined in the context of our model.

26 Ingelesez: “This example assumed a head tax. It could have assumed a transaction tax, such as an income tax. Note, however, that an income tax on income earned by the private sector from State employment will not drive the model. Working for the State, one would simply get a net payment of currency units for which there would be no further use. What would be required is an imputed income tax on transactions within the private sector. These transactions–private sector employment–would then generate a net private sector tax liability that would require sales of goods and services to the State. Note that this would have to include an imputed tax, otherwise the private sector would (continue to) trade in some other medium of exchange.

It is also clear that transactions taxes have the effect of discouraging those transactions subject to the tax. Thus the model lends itself to the analysis of the differences between various asset taxes and transactions taxes.

27 Ingelesez: “From inception, the State must spend or otherwise provide that which is necessary to pay taxes. And, for all practical purposes, the private sector will be willing to obtain more currency units from the State in exchange for real goods and services than the minimum required for its current tax liability. The extra currency units accumulated are called net private sector savings of financial assets denominated in the unit of account. I have elsewhere used the term H(nfa) (Mosler, 1997-98). This is analogous to the private sector buying more corn from the farmer than just the exact amount of current consumption.”

28 Ingelesez: “If the State (or Farmer) does not offer to provide the amount desired by the tax payer (or consumer), there is, by definition, a shortage. Horizontal activity cannot provide for any net accumulation. A collective desire in the private sector can only be resolved in the vertical component. As Moore (1988) argues, only the central bank can resolve a reserve imbalance. In a similar vein, Keynes demonstrated that, except in the unlikely case of an “accident,” actual and desired net savings will only be equal at full employment “by design,” i.e., the State running a budget deficit (Keynes, 1936, p. 28).”

29 Ingelesez: “This is not to say that horizontal activity cannot effect a change in the desire to net save. For example, a rise in the price of corn on the futures exchange due to a shortage could certainly reduce the desire to net save corn. The corn market may stabilize at a higher price. Such stability occurs when the actual net savings of corn equals the desired net savings of corn. Likewise, a reduction in State deficit spending could result in a deflation that stabilized when prices fell enough for private sector agents to lower their collective desire to net save, and make purchases either through spending net savings or incurring new debt.”

30 Ingelesez: “The horizontal component is a leveraging of a vertical component. This implies price sensitivity to supply and demand changes that may originate in the vertical component. Changes in fiscal balance are analogous to changes in the expected harvest or mine output. Changes in taxation are analogous to changes in consumption demand. Fiscal balance occurs only when the State runs a fiscal policy that allows actual H(nfa) to equal desired H(nfa) (Mosler, 1997-98). With most other commodities, the market is allowed to maintain this balance. Price changes are continuous as inventories rise and fall for the various commodities.”

31 Ingelesez: “The State currency, however, is a case of a single supplier. (…).”

32 Ingelesez: “In the case of the State as single supplier of its currency of issue, the State is in the position of price setter of its currency. It can unilaterally set the terms of exchange that it will offer to those seeking its currency. Ironically, no State currently seems to recognize this. To the contrary, states act as if they were in competition with other buyers when conducting purchases with their own currency. They believe and act as if they must raise revenue through taxing or borrowing to fund spending. They have chosen the option of setting the quantity of their currency they wish to spend via a budgeting process, and then exchanging that currency at market prices for desired goods and services. Like the water monopolist, spending too much will drive up prices (reduce the value of the currency) and spending too little triggers a deflation (increase the value of the currency). In addition, there is no long term “right amount” as the (world wide) desire to net save that currency may be constantly changing. Hence a fluctuating NAIRU, removing most practical value from the concept.”

33 Ingelesez: “The other practical option for the State, as single supplier of its currency, if it wishes to maintain a market economy, is to administer a buffer stock. Gold has traditionally served this role. The State would set the price at which it would buy or sell gold, and then conduct monetary and fiscal policy such that the buffer stock remained credible. Graham (1937) long ago proposed that commodities other than gold might serve a similar function. In “Full Employment and Price Stability” the option to use labor as the State’s buffer stock was presented (Mosler, 1997-98). Clearly, when administering a buffer stock, purchases made at the designated price are not inflationary. They do prevent deflation below that level. Nor are sales from the buffer stock deflationary. Rather, they serve to inhibit inflation.”

34 Ingelesez: “It has been continuously argued and widely accepted that State deficit spending represents future taxation. Our model, however, clearly demonstrates that this is not the case. For example, if farmers sell more corn than the population will consume that period, they can be said to be deficit spending corn which will sit in the warehouse. Does that imply either that consumption must go up some day, or that future production will be curtailed? Not necessarily. It may be argued that the future value of corn will fall some day, but that would depend on the desired inventory in the future. In fact, corn traders carefully watch the inventories. They have some conception of the “right” size, consistent with stable prices. That “right” amount will naturally fluctuate with population size, availability of substitutes, etc. In the case of the single supplier, like the water monopolist who sets price and lets the market buy all it wants, sales in excess of current consumption again do not necessarily either mean future increases in consumption or lower future output. Nor do they necessarily mean a fall in future water prices.

The same is true for the State as issuer of its currency. The State does not force anyone to exchange goods and services for its currency. The exchange is with willing sellers who desire the currency. Deficit spending occurs only if the private sector is desirous of accumulating units of the currency in order to net save. Hyperinflation is the condition in which the private sector no longer desires the currency unit (as reflected in the price level).

35 Ingelesez: “This paper outlines an alternative way of viewing the monetary circuit that takes into consideration the central role of the State from the beginning of the analysis. Vertical and horizontal components of the monetary circuit were introduced and their relation analyzed. It was shown that this framework is applicable not only to currency, but to any commodity. This is because, while currency does not obtain its value by virtue of its status as a commodity, once endowed with value a tax driven currency can be analyzed like any other commodity. In addition to debunking the myth that deficits imply future taxation, it was also shown that such a framework is highly applicable to the current Asian financial crisis.”

44 Liburuan hauxe zegoen: Munduko herrialde askotan gauzatzen dira eragiketa horiek eta herrialde gehienek ez dituzte Banku Zentralean metaturiko dolar-balantzak.” Mosler-en hitzak, alta hauexek dira: “Munduko herrialde askotan gauzatzen dira eragiketa horiek eta herrialde gehienek ez dituzte dolar-balantzak metatzen dituzten Banku Zentralak” (ikus, Mosler-en eta Hudson-en arteko eztabaida).