Pentsamendu estrategiko bat ekonomian

Austeritatea klase borroka da

J. D. Alt-en A Strategic Thought1

(i) Gaur egun oso garrantzitsua dena: defizit gastua2

(ii) Arriskua, Trump eta aurrerakoien dilema3

(iii) Obama, austeritatea, zor nazionala, defizit federala eta aurrerakoien arriskua4

(iv) Aukera badago, baina denbora gutxi aurrekontu superabitaren akats apolitikoarekin bukatzeko5

(v) Fiskalitatean datza afera, kontserbadoreen estrategia maltzurra6

(vi) Diruaren funtzionamendua argi eta garbi adieraztea: horixe da aukerarik aproposen


J. D. Alt-en Who will play the Harlequin?8

(a) Aurreko artikuluan esandakoaren laburpena9

(b) Erronka: arlekin gisa tratatua izateko arriskua10

(c ) Meritua: kontserbadoreen defizit belatzak aktibatzea11

(d) Arlekinaren zeregina (diru modernoa esplikatzea) eta aurrerakoi berriena (gastu federaleko programak proposatzea, ‘defiziteko gastuak’ deituz)12

(e) Estrategia aurrerakoi berria: Trump eta belatz fiskalak, gastu federalak, Arlekinen aurka ez egotea, 2020 hauteskundeak irabaztea, fiat-eko diru modernoaren ahalmenak erabiliz13

Nor izan daiteke Arlekin?14

2 Ingelesez: “I’d like to propose that it is important, right now, for existing progressive political leaders to stake out positions in support of direct sovereign spending for the creation of collective goods. If they must, they can call it “deficit spending.” What is important is that they very aggressively get on the record as proposing and supporting federal spending programs to to address specific issues that Americans are struggling with.”

3 Ingelesez: “If this does not happen, there is a real risk that the newly empowered right-wing government of the Trump administration will propose to increase “deficit spending” first. If that were to happen, the progressive cause will have a serious dilemma: Do they push back against Trump―decrying the dangers of increasing the national debt!―or do they get aboard his spending train as more-or-less unnecessary baggage, and watch as it puffs and whistles its way into the hearts of the American heartland?

4 Ingelesez: “I make this suggestion because it seems fairly certain that the last eight years of conservative insistence on fiscal austerity and federal debt reduction have been primarily driven by a political strategy to prevent the Obama administration from accomplishing anything of substance that could endear it to voters. The fact that Obama, himself, aided and abetted the substantial success of this strategy―by publicly agreeing the U.S. “debt” was unsustainable, and embarking on high-profile negotiations to rein in the “federal deficit”―underlies the enormous danger America’s progressive cause now faces.

5 Ingelesez: “With Obama (and the Clinton legacy touting its budget “surplus”) now gone, the opportunity exists for progressives to forcefully reverse the political mistake. But there is not much time. Even though the fiscal-austerity position was a political ploy, it is still very much stuck in the thinking and rhetoric of the House and Senate Republicans. If the progressives come out first, and early―before Trump has an opportunity to reframe their allegiance―the Tea-Party politicians, who built their reputations by refusing to increase the federal debt ceiling, will have no choice but to, once again, loudly denounce and denigrate the spending proposals. If that happens, it will be much more difficult for Trump to initiate the secret weapon of every authoritarian populist government around the world: giving direct cash payments, stipends, and rebates to the unemployed and under-employed voters―transforming them into vehemently loyal supporters. (This is precisely what is happening today in Poland.)

6 Ingelesez: “I’m well aware that current progressive leaders and legislators abhor the possibility of being denigrated and roasted (and made into fools) by fiscal conservatives for irresponsibly proposing to “increase the federal deficit and national debt,” likely causing “run-away inflation and economic catastrophe”―of being challenged to explain how they will collect enough taxes to pay for it all, etc. The problem is―and this is the central point―these progressive leaders are in no position to turn the tables: to make the same accusations to the right-wing conservatives should they choose to play the spending card first. And I think there can be no doubt, unless they are strategically held off, that they will play it. How else can the new government possibly hope to avoid the otherwise unavoidable disappointment of “Trump-populists” when they discover that cutting taxes on the wealthy―and empowering corporations toward increased profits―results in absolutely nothing for them?

7 Ingelesez: It would be better, of course, if the progressive leaders came clean and proposed the direct issuing of sovereign fiat money to pay American citizens to build and do useful things. I realize that’s too much to ask. It may well be, however, this is the best opportunity there will ever be for some brave, intelligent, progressive leader to come right out and propose that we begin properly using the money that we actually have―the democratically controlled sovereign fiat money which our government issues every day in the billions of dollars, to monetize the profit-making efforts of American enterprise. He or she, of course, will be vilified and mocked as a harlequin. But maybe it is best to play the harlequin now, let the reality of modern fiat money begin to seep into America’s awareness while, at the same time, keeping the Tea Party fiscal-“hysteriots” screaming in Donald Trump’s ear.”

9 Ingelesez: “In a recent essay (“A Strategic Thought”) I suggested that right now is an opportune moment for some brave progressive leader to step out and explain what modern fiat money is, why we’ve been using, in fact, it for the past half century, and how it changes the way we imagine our federal government pays for public goods.

10 Ingelesez: “Whoever takes on this challenge, I suggested, would be treated as a harlequin by mainstream media and economic pundits—and would be marginalized and shunned by other political leaders on both sides of the aisle. No main-stream politician is ready to hear—let alone agree—that the federal government can issue and spend as many dollars as needed to accomplish whatever the nation has the real resources to undertake. No main-stream economic pundit is ready to hear that our federal “deficit” is a necessary aspect of a healthy fiat monetary system. No main-stream Republican or Democrat is ready to acquiesce to the reality that our national “debt” is not something we have to “repay” to anyone but is, in fact, the savings account of our private sector economy. No main-stream anybody who, by definition, depends on their position in the main-stream idea-flow for their livelihood and personal status, is ready or willing to hear, or even seriously listen to, any of those realities. Yet at some point all of it has to be formally presented and argued on the national stageotherwise, modern fiat money, and the enormous possibilities it creates for human society, will continue to languish forever as a suppressed and poorly understood reality.”

11 Ingelesez: “Putting modern fiat money on the stage now, I suggested, would have the merit (in the near term) of keeping the conservative deficit hawks activated—which will pose the same difficulty for President Trump as it did for President Obama: it will force him to put any spending proposals through a “budget deficit” and “national debt” logic. This will, in effect, make it virtually impossible for him to spend in any meaningful way—which is strategically important because, as I noted, one of the essential tools of every authoritarian populist is to send a stream of dollars, perks, or rebates to his, or her, voters.”

12 Ingelesez: “In the meantime, the newly emerging progressives—who I believe will rise out of the ashes of the “old” Democratic Party—can stand just far enough to the side of the Harlequin to avoid being pummeled themselves. While the Harlequin makes a constant fool of herself, or himself, explaining the realities of modern fiat money and the possibilities it unfolds, the “new progressives” can propose serious federal spending programs that would, if implemented, have dramatic impacts on specific, real communities-in-need across America. As I suggested, the new progressives can safely call these proposals “deficit spending”—fitting themselves (at least temporarily) into the existing misunderstandings and power-structures of the monetary system. But the Harlequin’s message will be out there, and can be picked up and echoed in many different ways. Once it is on the stage of serious debate—even if its “role” is to be shamelessly and irrationally denigrated—its arguments and possibilities will begin to percolate into popular awareness.

13 Ingelesez: “The “new progressive strategy,” then, is to (a) keep Trump tied up with the fiscal hawks of his own party; (b) make serious federal spending proposals that would provide real assistance to communities-in-need across America (whether those proposals currently have any prospect of enactment or not); (c) do not directly contradict or delegitimize the message of the Harlequin, but allow, enable, and (to the extent possible) assist it to percolate into the popular awareness; (d) make a strong showing in the mid-term elections based upon the concrete spending proposals to assist specific local communities; (e) win the Presidency in 2020 with a “new progressive” platform that includes at least a “preliminary” acknowledgement of the possibilities of using modern fiat money more rationally to achieve national goals and address the real needs of America’s struggling citizens.”

14 Ingelesez: “But who is willing to play the Harlequin? Who has the public face, credibility, knowledge, charisma—and courage—to pull it off? Any suggestions?”

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