The Economic Theory That Could Fuel a Climate Change Revolution https://earther.gizmodo.com/the-economic-theory-that-could-fuel-a-climate-change-re-1843982640?utm_medium=sharefromsite&utm_source=earther_twitter
2020 eka. 12
eta 16beste erabiltzaileei erantzuten
Politicians to voters: “We have to tax to get the money to spend, and what we don’t tax we have to borrow from the likes of China and leave the bill to our grandchildren” vs “we have to spend first to provide taxpayers with the money to pay taxes and to be able to net save.”
2020 eka. 12
Bill Mitchell defines as neoliberal “any person who believes that the state has to collect taxes or issue debt in order to spend”.
Hona hemen “política vasca” delakoan egin daitekeen, egin behar den (dugun!) bakarra: Reclaiming the State!! https://jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1v2xvvp
Gauza bera “de la política vasca”. Osasun eta higiene afera izatetik at, noski!
Quant més desconnectat estiguis de la política catalana més probable que siguis independentista. I que conservis la salut mental, també.
2020 eka. 16
(a) Nazio-estatua dela eta
Gogoratu ondoko hau:
(b) Reclaiming the State
(c) Ba ote dago irtenbide ekonomikorik Euskal Herrian?
(d) Pandemia eta geroko arorakoa
Non dago dirua?
“Earther: What do you think the most important thing is for a layperson to really understand about modern monetary theory and our current moment?
Stephanie Kelton: I think the most important thing is, it’s meant to be empowering. It’s meant to help people see through the myth. And it’s not just one myth, it’s a web of interconnected myths that feed on one another.
The most important thing it does is clear the fog so that we can all have a more fruitful debate. It can’t be a lack of financing. That cannot be the reason that we don’t act, whether it’s to build 21st-century education or to deal with climate change or make sure every American has health care. A lack of money cannot be an excuse anymore. It’s focused on the limits that matter. What can we do to make efficient and socially useful use of the resources that we have at our disposal and respect the planet in the process?
Earther: Do we really have to completely shift our way of thinking about finances and policy to address the climate crisis?
Kelton: The real issue is about shifting the focus away from the financing to the real resources. So what do we want to do at a climate program? Should it include a job guarantee? And if so, how does that work? Should we build 11 million new homes and make them sustainable and green? Where do we get the construction workers and the architects and the engineers and the machines and all the stuff that we’re going to need to do that?
If we don’t have those things or we can’t produce them to carry out this mission, then we can’t have these things. But if we have them and we have the capacity to build and produce them, then that’s the right way to approach this.
Earther: You mention a few things in the book like a Cash-for-Clunkers program for coal plants. What else would you do to kickstart this transition to a low-carbon economy?
Kelton: I think it’s really important to be clear that I try to stay in my lane. I’m not a climate scientist. I’m not an environmental economist. What I try to do is get together with people who are experts in that space for whom the big hurdle has always been, where are we going to get the money to do [these things]?
I accept the goal of flattening the curve and getting to net-zero carbon emissions. But I’m not the person to lay out that program.
Earther: What do you see as your lane?
Kelton: If money is one thing that stands in our way or the perception, a lack of financing is a primary barrier, then let’s at least remove one obstacle. And that’s where I think I can be useful. Obviously, there are other points of resistance like the fossil fuel industry and political and other considerations.
My concern is that I don’t see yet the kind of big, ambitious program here. The concern is that nations are going to let the window close, and it’s going to be harder and harder to address climate change, and it’s going to be more and more costly. And when I say costly, I don’t just mean GDP. I mean life. Human life. Not addressing climate change is going to lead to a lot of suffering that is avoidable.
“We would be foolish to let the opportunity slip through our fingers.”
Earther: In addition to talking about the people’s economy, you talk about the caring economy. What does that look like in the context of the climate crisis?
Kelton: For me, it starts with a recognition that we should be caring for people, caring for our communities, and caring for our planet. So if I look at a city like Flint, Michigan, I see not caring for people in that community and hundreds of communities like it across this country where you can’t turn on the faucet and safely drink what comes out of the tap.
I don’t know who doesn’t feel better about living in a world where people are treated in a way that makes us feel proud to call ourselves Americans, where communities are cleaned up and homes are habitable and people are cared for when they’re sick, and we’re not destroying our climate and filling our oceans with plastic and waste. I don’t wanna get goofy, but it’s about all of life’s creatures as well.
Earther: I don’t think that’s goofy. I would also like to see that. To change course just a bit, in the book you mention the Greek debt crisis a few times because it doesn’t issue its own currency. What about countries or states that don’t issue their own currency? Could that eventually impede their ability to financing the things they need to do on climate?
Kelton: Maybe. It depends what they want to do. Take California, which has led the nation for decades on climate. They have a vehicle emissions standard, which forces auto manufacturers—if they want access to the largest state in the country—to build cars that can be sold and driven in California. Regulations can have a material impact on the extent to which we continue to pollute the planet. But when it comes to large-scale investment of the kind that are imagined in the Green New Deal, it can’t be 50 states trying to coordinate. For that, you need a currency-issuing power.
The European Central Bank is that power, it’s not that you don’t have one in the Euro Zone. It’s just that that power rests with the monetary authority, and the fiscal authorities don’t have the capacity to do what our Congress can do.
Earther: What else do we need to be thinking of aside from who can issue money or set policy?
Kelton: If you want to do some small-ball, half-a-trillion-dollars program, we could do that tomorrow and run it to Congress without a so-called pay for, and we wouldn’t get an inflation problem. We could do a couple trillion [in response to the coronavirus], I strongly suspect.
But at some point, the bigger you want to go, the more those inflation offsets like taxes become important. Let’s take the Sanders climate plan and say let’s do that, and let’s do it fast because time is of the essence. Let’s try to spend all 16 trillion-plus in the next couple of years. The real contribution of MMT is first recognizing that a government can spend without taxing or borrowing. That the time for offsets is when that spending would otherwise carry the risk of accelerating inflation. You have to know your economic landscape. You have to know how much slack there is in the economy to safely absorb that spending before the offsets become necessary.
Earther: Given the risks of the climate crisis, it’s always a good idea to address it. It seems like you’re saying is that we will get the most bang for our buck by investing now.
Kelton: This is an enormous opportunity that has opened up around us right now where we can re-employ people. Industries are changing. There is an opportunity to have a burst of new, innovative investments and burgeoning of new industry around green everything. Not just electricity, but housing and transportation, a whole range of things. We would be foolish to let the opportunity slip through our fingers.”