Modern Monetary Theory

There's Nothing Modern About MMT

Similar measures have been tried before, right here in America, and they have worked. But that's actually not good news for MMT fans today.

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Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) tells us that governments should finance public spending by creating money. To prevent inflation, MMT advocates say, the government should use taxes to siphon off excess purchasing power, which supposedly would enable the public sector to greatly expand its activities, eliminating the scourge of underemployment.

At a time of skyrocketing national debt and mild inflation, what was once a fringe school of thought with few adherents has captured the public imagination. Rebutting MMT's claims requires a little history, which shows there is nothing "modern" about its prescriptions.

MMT promoters, who are mostly journalists and public intellectuals rather than professional economists, start with a couple of obvious truths: Governments can't default if their debts are denominated in their own currency, and they can create a demand for their currency by imposing tax obligations. From those premises, the theory's supporters leap to some extraordinary conclusions: They argue that there are too many idle resources even in healthy economies and that fiat-money finance is the key to mobilizing those resources. It sounds like clickbait: "Learn this one weird trick to jumpstart the economy!"

Similar measures have been tried before, right here in America, and they have worked. But that isn't good news for MMT fans, because understanding why currency finance worked then means seeing why it won't work now.

A popular myth about early American fiat money claims that various colonial and state governments created hyperinflationary disasters after they experimented with currency finance. But while New England and the Carolinas occasionally made a mess of things before the Revolutionary War, most colonies had a lot of success in issuing their own currency.

E. James Ferguson, a historian of American public finance, explains how it worked: "Governments met expenses by issuing a paper medium….They redeemed this paper, not by giving specie [i.e., hard money, such as gold and silver coins] to those who held it, but by accepting it for taxes or other payments."

This system had two great benefits. First, because hard money was scarce in the colonies, fiat money provided Americans with a much-needed medium of exchange. Second, controlled depreciation—a gradual fall in money's purchasing power, which redistributed wealth from the users of paper money to the issuers—functioned as a uniform and relatively unburdensome form of indirect taxation. This helped governments raise revenue at a time when assessing direct taxes was prohibitively expensive.

These practices lasted into the Early National Period, between the ratification of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Runaway inflation was rare. The colonists-turned-citizens were quite happy with currency finance. In fact, liberty-loving Americans saw fiat money as a way of preserving their freedom. "Most people regarded specie payment as signifying permanent debts, heavy taxes—in a word, oppression," Ferguson observes. "Liberty in their minds was associated with paper money." It meant a debt that was never retired—merely rolled over. Permanent government debt in the case of Great Britain came to be identified with empire, mercantilism, and other "great game" forms of statecraft—all things Jeffersonians, at least, wanted to avoid.

Economic historian Edwin J. Perkins concurs. "Most governments retired or refinanced through debt obligations the fiat currencies emitted in the 1780s at face value, or thereabouts, through tax collections or the mortgage payments of private borrowers," Perkins writes.

Currency entered circulation in two ways. The first was through state-authorized "land banks," which provided short-term mortgages for farm or business improvement. The second was through tax anticipation bills, usually reserved for wartime or financial emergencies. That worked because, to paraphrase a popular economic maxim, it was "timely, targeted, and temporary."

If anything, this system worked too well, at least in the eyes of the Founding Fathers. Men like Alexander Hamilton, Robert Morris, and George Washington were angling for a stronger national government, and they viewed local traditions of public finance as a barrier to their centralizing schemes. Although the nationalists prevailed with the ratification of the Constitution, that doesn't change the impressive record of currency finance during the preconstitutional period.

But that record also explains why fiat-money finance, under the guise of MMT, won't work today. Early American currency finance was kept in check by several political feedback mechanisms.

First was local democratic control. Because of much smaller populations, legislatures were easier to discipline.

Second was jurisdictional competition. If a legislature let currency finance get out of hand in one place, a jurisdiction whose government had its books in order was never too far away.

Third was economic independence. Because of agriculture's prevalence, subsistence farming and barter with neighbors provided an outside option, especially in rural areas.

Fourth was that currency finance responded to specific needs. Relatively small and targeted governments could employ fiat money as a financing mechanism more safely.

None of these conditions exist anymore. MMT advocates think their system can work on a national scale, but they're wrong. It's much harder for citizens to discipline the fiscal authority today, whether by "voting with their feet" or "taking to the hills." And because MMT would transform the fiscal-monetary landscape of the entire country, it is anything but "timely, targeted, and temporary."

Furthermore, even assuming taxes can keep inflation low, does anybody trust today's feckless politicians to enact unpopular levies? Without the supporting economic mechanisms, MMT is exactly what its detractors claim: a sure way to turn a functioning economy into a financial basket case.

Currency finance may be as American as apple pie, but MMT isn't. The political and economic circumstances that once made it attractive are gone, and they aren't coming back. Our fiscal process is indeed broken, and persistent unemployment is certainly a social malady. But MMT offers a cure that's worse than the disease. Finance by fiat money should stay in the history books.

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  2. You can’t eat paper. You can’t build shelter out of paper. You can’t drive paper and the energy you get from burning paper is worth about 1/100th of cent.

    MMT is nothing but a ‘enslavement’ ponzi scheme. Putting YOUR assets and labors at the whim of whoever runs the paper money printing press. EXACTLY as this article points out in that ‘enslavement’ can be managed horribly or okay but lets not *confuse* the very foundation; SLAVERY.

    1. All that also applies to gold (except the burning part). Money is what is useful as a medium of exchange.

      Overprinting of dollars will make it worth less as a medium of exchange. full stop. Nothing else needs to be said.

      1. Off topic, but gold has a lot of practical applications as a material. It’s extreme malleability and nonreactivity make it unique.

        1. …And more importantly can’t be counterfeited…

          1. And has real world scarcity.

            And is recognized as both scarce and valuable by most any person on the surface of the planet.

      2. Yes, too many people focus on “debt in dollars” as the ultimate prophylaxis of defaulting on debts. What they fail to consider is what happens when the gov’t goes back to the trough for another round, which it always does. It would be naive to think the terms will always remain the same especially as the cost of servicing the debt becomes an ever increasing percentage of GDP. I don’t know where that tipping point is but I’m certain it’s well below 100%.

        I also don’t see how the gov’t could tax it’s way out of hyper-inflation. Does it really matter if the burger you order is still $4 when you’re paying another 10% of your income in taxes? It’s just a scheme that shifts actual inflation from product prices to taxes. It’s even worse because the burger flipper also needs more money so they can cover their own higher taxes creating a situation where people are pushed into poverty or need to be paid more which results in both higher prices and higher taxes. They can call it whatever they want but it isn’t chicken soup if it’s just made with chicken feathers.

      3. Understanding money is a lot easier when you understand that money itself is worthless; money is only useful when spent. Think of money as access to resources. This also makes it really clear why inflation is the result of too much paper money: the resources haven’t increased, the number of people chasing those resources hasn’t changed, but the money they can pay has changed, so the price goes up.

        The dumbest thing about MMT and the Green Raw Deal is the idea that just printing more money will suddenly make it possible to rebuild the entire electrical grid from scratch in ten years, among other spendy items. It can’t be done: the reosurces simply do not exist, no matter how much money they print and spend.

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        2. “money is only useful when spent.”

          Not true. Or, at most, occasionally true.

          Money stuffed into a mattress may not be useful, especially if so forgotten. Even more so if it then gets accidentally/unintentionally sent to the landfill or incinerator. But that truly is the exception to the rule.

          Most all other money is in use. Even if it is only passive use.
          Money sitting in a non-interest bearing checking account is still in use – by the bank,

      4. MMTers are well aware that “overspending” leads excess inflation. No need to tell them that.

    2. MMT: High inflation AND high taxes, together at last!

      1. I found the article informative, though. In past encounters with advocates of MMT, they all only mentioned the unbridled spending part, and never mentioned the tax part.

        1. So you are capable of learning… you just continue to not learn in the presence of items that counter your politics. Like you claiming 3 officers died “related” to the Capitol protests.

        2. MMT neither advocates “unbridled spending” nor arbitrarily high taxes. In fact, most MMTers agree that both payroll taxes and corporate taxes should be abolished.

          1. “most MMTers agree that both payroll taxes and corporate taxes should be abolished.”

            To be sure.

            Much the same way “most” open borders people “agree” that the welfare state should be eliminated. Yet what none of them seem to support is eliminating the welfare state as a condition for allowing open borders.

            Same tune, different lyrics.

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  3. https://www.zerohedge.com/political/oregon-proof-leftist-politics-ultimately-lead-tyranny-and-decay

    That said, nothing tops the announcement this past week by the Oregon Health Authority, which has just issued a rule that businesses must now demand proof of vaccination before a customer may enter. If they do not have proof, they must be forced to wear a mask or they must be made to leave. This is the first time I have heard of a state actually codifying vaccine passports into their enforcement mandates, but I’m sure other blue states will follow Oregon’s lead in the near future.

    Keep in mind that these rules are a threat to Oregon businesses as much as they are a threat to the regular public. As one bureaucrat from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration argued:

    “We expect employers to comply, whichever route they take–allowing the vaccination exemption or sticking with current requirements….We will take and investigate complaints alleging employers aren’t requiring face coverings, for example, or checking vaccination status.”

    Don’t forget that this guy is not a law maker, he’s a nobody. He was never elected. Most of these mandates across the country have not yet been debated by a legislature or voted on by citizens. None of the mandates are real law, they are simply Color of Law controls enforced unilaterally outside of the constitution. This is unacceptable.

    As those of us in the liberty media have been warning since the beginning of the pandemic hype, the end game was always going to be vaccine passports; it was always about control of the citizenry, it was never about saving lives. We told people that vaccine passports were coming and the media called us crazy. Now Oregon is proving us right. Of course, Oregon is not the only blue state setting the standard for tyranny. Most leftist dominated states are pushing similar measures.

    1. “The fact of the matter is, the left/right paradigm is a reality. The political elites at the top of the pyramid have no loyalties to either side, but regular people at the bottom of the pyramid are indelibly separated. The proof is in the actions of blue states vs red states.

      Perhaps there are many Democrats out there who do not necessarily agree with the cultism of social justice warriors. Maybe they don’t support the unhinged thirst for vicarious control that vaccine virtue signalers display. But if they don’t support it they are not saying much about it out loud. This is indeed about sides, and “moderation” at this point is a joke. One side is supported by real science, the other side is ignoring the science for the convenience of their ideology. One side is clearly right, and the other side is clearly wrong.

      Conservatives want to be left alone, and leftists want to dictate the lives of others. Conservatives are for freedom, and leftists are not. There is no debating this any longer. The question is, which side are you on?”

      1. Well I usually don’t read Nardz articles because they tend to be paranoia-filled drivel, but I took a chance with this one. And let’s take this little gem:

        Conservatives want to be left alone, and leftists want to dictate the lives of others. Conservatives are for freedom, and leftists are not.

        And in support of this statement, the author of the article notes that in Montana,

        A law has been passed which prevents any establishment including schools, colleges and medical facilities from demanding proof of vaccination before offering services. Vaccine passports will not be allowed in Montana.

        This is NOT an example of conservatives wanting to be “left alone” or being “for freedom”. This is an example of the state dictating to companies how to run their affairs. If a private business wants to demand proof of vaccination before permitting patrons to enter, why shouldn’t they have the right to do so?

        So this is actually an example of both Team Red and Team Blue acting like fascist assholes with regards to property rights. One team wants to force every business to accept only vaccinated people. The other team wants to force every business to ignore vaccination status. Neither one wants to actually *leave it up to the business itself* how it wants to deal with the vaccination status of their potential customers.

        1. If a private business wants to demand proof of vaccination before permitting patrons to enter, why shouldn’t they have the right to do so?

          Replace “vaccination” with “ethnicity ”.
          Feel the same way?

          1. Is ethnicity a choice?

            Should businesses be forced to accept drunk patrons? Should ‘no shirt no shoes no service’ signs be banned? Should high-class businesses have the right to enforce a dress code?

            1. So you have moral judgements on what is an is not acceptable and want to force others to your moral code. Just say so.

              Someone who had covid has the same immunity as someone who got a vaccine.

            2. Is ethnicity a choice?

              Okay, replace “vaccination”, with “Christianity”.
              You just adore little rules for farming people, don’t you.

            3. “Is ethnicity a choice?”

              Behold the totalitarian mindset. You only “free” insofar as it involves that in which you have no choice.

        2. Once again, we screech “both sides” when one group passes a law that says “you have to be left alone” vs another group that passes a law demanding a piece of flair resulting in the categorization of private citizens and different treatment based on those categorizations.

          No, the former is not ideal, but they’re worlds apart in effect and intent.

          Once again, we keep shaking certain trees and I find it very informative in who and what falls out of those trees to defend the tree.

          1. one group passes a law that says “you have to be left alone”

            That’s not what is happening though. Montana is taking away control of the business owner’s property rights just as much as Oregon is.

            No, the former is not ideal, but they’re worlds apart in effect and intent.

            Well then maybe we should talk about what the ideal actually is. In my mind, the ideal is that when it comes to vaccination status, business owners should decide who to let in their store. Can we agree on that?

            1. So the jeff you agree with the ethnicity comment above? Yes in a perfect world people would decide but please stop trying to defend one side as equally as bad as the other. The mt rule says don’t. You can easily make a risk assement for some thing that didn’t work masks and can go in or not. Especially if you had the vaccine why do you care? Why does there need to be a rule? Also if you are obese, non vaccinated for flu do i get to deny you entry until you fix your issue in some predetermined way. I voted for gianforte for this exact reason. Its not a surprise that this is the first republican gov in 16 years. People understood what places like Oregon would do long before today. We actively talked about that crappy thought process you support amd said no. I’m disappointed you want to both sides this

              1. Look, the libertarian solution is that property owners get to decide what happens on their property. If they want to require everyone wear a mask, they ought to have the right to do so. If they want to require everyone be vaccinated, they ought to have the right to do so. If they want to have no requirements whatsoever, they ought to have the right to do so.

                But this isn’t really about property rights, this is about social judgment. Because, if a business owner’s property rights are actually acknowledged that they may require that vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks, but nonvaccinated people do, then wearing a mask becomes a type of scarlet letter. It is a symbol to everyone that you aren’t vaccinated, and you don’t want to be judged as a “bad person” for refusing to get a vaccine. Well I’m sorry, but unless there is some valid medical reason for not getting a vaccine, people are going to judge your decisions regardless. You can’t stop that and you can’t legislate that. That is why both sides are bad on this topic. Both sides want to legislate normative behavior.

                1. “Look, the libertarian solution is that property owners get to decide what happens on their property.”

                  No. The libertarian solution is that everyone minds their own fucking business and don’t tell other people what to do.

                  Your so officious and fascist that you can’t seem to comprehend that libertarianism is a life philosophy and not government operations policy.

                  1. No. The libertarian solution is that everyone minds their own fucking business and don’t tell other people what to do.

                    So who sets the rules for what happens on an individual’s private property? Can the owner set rules for proper behavior on his/her property? Or would that be impermissibly “tell[ing] other people what to do”? Property owners are not slaves to their customers.

                  2. … I hate to say it, but chemjeff is right. Private property is foundational for libertarianism.

                    Yes, that involves a lot of ‘mind your own fucking business’ – so long as you stay off my property. Once you’re on my property, it is my business, as is a choice to exclude you from my property if i desire.

                    Now, i personally happen to think masks are just security theatre. If i was running such a business, i wouldn’t require them. But I’m not going to mind the business of *other owners* on the choices they make.

                    You aren’t on the side of ‘everyone minds their own fucking business’. You want to mind property-owners’ business, while the leftists want to mind both (owners and customers). It’s the property owner’s business what they allow to happen on their property, because its their property, and they’re entitled to mind it however they see fit. Stop minding it for them – it’s not your right.

                2. But you can legislate it. You can do so while using rhetoric that suggests you support individual free choice. All it takes is a bumper sticker.

                3. If they want to require everyone be vaccinated, they ought to have the right to do so.

                  I think without a law a business could be sued for requiring private medical information for whatever reason.

          2. vs another group that passes a law demanding a piece of flair resulting in the categorization of private citizens and different treatment based on those categorizations.

            Like voter ID?
            Like work permits?
            Like RealID?

            And you know as well as I do that it is only because the government is so incompetent that they haven’t yet required everyone to get some sort of digital ID.

            And if we’re going to go full-on globalist anarchism, then – what about *actual* passports?

            We are literally one SCOTUS decision away from the government declaring that police officers demanding that citizens present ID, and arresting those who don’t comply, is not an “unreasonable” search.

            If you want to be fully opposed to a “Papieren, bitte” regime then i am fully on board with you. But we are already so far along down the “Papieren, bitte” path that I can’t get so worked up in rage when Team Blue in this case proposes yet one more instance of the same thing. Yes it is wrong, but it was also wrong the last 100 times that people from both teams proposed the same things. It was also wrong when Team Red (and many on Team Blue) demanded that workers show proof of citizenship before being able to hold down a job legally. And on it goes.

            1. Who here has promoted real ID?

              And you continue to lie about immigration ignoring the welfare state issue of open borders. That’s what you do.

              Voter ID? LOL. The IDs are free dumbass. Fraud is not harmless.

              1. A couple things that I liked about living in the ‘social democrat’ paradise of Danmark: $0 minimum wage and strict voter ID laws.

              2. ID costs me $54 in Washington.

                1. Ouch!
                  54 bucks, huh.

            2. There’s a world of difference between making sure you’re a citizen in order to vote or work and telling businesses that they have the right to inquire about my medical history and then forcing them to do so.

              1. He’ll respond that you dont wear a mask but we all know that it clearly create a class with of people situation that leads to nothing good but anger and jusgements. Also can we talk about the time value of money lost on this ridiculous requirement? What door checkers? Seriously i think we can agree less bureaucracy is good more is a waste of money especially in this ridiculous way

                1. Sorry iPhone typing apologies

              2. Of course there is. The difference is, the “Papieren, Bitte” regime is okay when your team does it.

                1. That’s a weird way to try and rationalize voter fraud.

              3. Businesses have a right to meddle in your footwear choices, if by meddling you mean they won’t allow you inside if you don’t go by their rules. What about private property don’t you get?

                1. Libertarianism is also a personal philosophy Tony. Not just business regulations and policy.

                  We should never compel private entities to act in a laissez-faire manner, but we should always encourage it.

                  1. We should never compel private entities to act in a laissez-faire manner,

                    Like what Montana did, in compelling all businesses to accept everyone regardless of vaccination status?

                    1. I’m against that. Where did you get the idea I endorsed that bill?

                      I’m totally against businesses making that demand on customers, but I’m also against government compulsion not too.
                      Whether business or government or religion, I’m against busybodies forcing others to do stuff.

                      This is a hard concept for you, isn’t it.

                    2. We mostly agree then.

                  2. We don’t need to encourage it. The market will encourage it if we leave well enough alone.

            3. You’re comparing grocery shopping with voting? Damn you’re stupid.

      2. Leftists are sub human savages and should not be treated at the same level as civilized humans, but as the violent lawless criminals that they are. The main difference between civilized humans and savages is the ability to understand and comply with basic rules of a civilized society. Property rights: if it’s not yours, you can’t take it, can’t use it and you have 0 say in how and when it’s used. REAL tolerance: unless your natural rights have been directly violated, just because you don’t like something someone else does (or doesn’t do) that doesn’t give you the right to force them to change their behavior under threat of violence (or vote to have the government do it for you).
        Leftists do not agree with these basic principles. Without having an agreement on such basic principles, there can be no civilized discussion or compromise made with such people. At this point it’s literally split up the country or have a bloody civil war. It’s time to realize the left will simply not stop until you have less control over your own life than slaves do and the political and democratic process will simply not stop them and more drastic measures are necessary.
        Republicans are unprincipled pussies and hypocrites but they aren’t inherently anti-freedom unlike democrats. I’ve never voted republican but I can somewhat see why liberty minded folks do as the “anybody but a democrat” vote who actually has a chance of winning, so I judge their tactics, not their principles/priorities. I was going to vote for Trump as an “anybody but a democrat” vote until the federal government’s pandemic response mostly happened under his watch and Trump showed how weak his fidelity and resolve is to maintain liberty (and fiscal sanity).
        After the totalitarian nightmare of 2020 anybody who voted for the massive government democrats is either pro tyranny or a useful idiot. Either way they have no place in a civilized society and can not be reasoned with.

    2. Even less motivation to visit Oregon.

      1. I wanted to visit Washington this year, but I’m thinking they might pass the same shit. If they do then I guess I can skip it.

      2. I told my mom I’m not coming this summer she can come to mt. She’s a hardcore bernie lover and even she admits that freedoms are way better here

    3. Seems strange, to me at least, for Oregon subsidize Amazon, Doordash, and other delivery based companies.

      The fact that an unelected nobody tyrant is fully wielding the power of their little bureaucratic fiefdom however does not seem strange at all. I’ll even wager that they’ve worked out a full chain of butt kissing gets them promoted to the governor’s office if not the president’s cabinet.

    4. So how do you feel about the state of Florida (run by Republicans) requiring genital checks on children to prevent the scourge of trans girls playing in sports?

      1. Lol, the fucking demagoguery Tony serves up is truly amazing.

        If you’re biologically male but you think your a girl, then you’re on the same level as someone who thinks they’re Napoleon, or a canary, or a piece of toast.
        Your delusion should be treated, not indulged. Why should little girls be forced to play along with your insanity.

        1. So you favor the state checking children’s genitals for the purposes of children’s sports integrity?

      2. If children want to lie about their whether they were born a girl or boy, then I suppose genital checks it is.

        You know what else the state does? They have these things called radar which can tell how fast you’re driving and they use it prior to writing you a ticket for speeding. This is needed because apparently people cannot be trusted to report any failure, on purpose or accident, to maintain proper speed to the relevant authorities.

        They also have these things called breathalyzers which they can use, to some degree of accuracy, to tell how much alcohol someone currently has in their blood stream. It seems people refuse to go to the proper authorities and tell them they’ve been driving after ingesting too much alcohol to do so safely.

        Fucking idiot.

        1. Damn squirrels – that should be a reply to Tony the resident genuis (misspelled on purpose).

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  6. “Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) tells us that governments should finance public spending by creating money. To prevent inflation, MMT advocates say, the government should use taxes to siphon off excess purchasing power, which supposedly would enable the public sector to greatly expand its activities, eliminating the scourge of underemployment.”

    Damn that “excess” purchasing power, AKA people choosing what to spend their money on. Given never-ending efforts by progressives to also selectively tax specific business activities and goods, why not simply eliminate money altogether? Our “elected” leaders and their appointed staff would just tell us where to report for work each day, and then distribute food and water at the end of the week.

    1. Also, wtf with trying to solve “underemployment” and unemployment with inflation. Folks would like to, you know, retire at some point in their life. Or maybe have a shot at having one parent able to stay home with the kids.

      1. And yet you advocate for politicians that believe in government paternalism.

        Then again, if you are like Tony (you are) you believe someone should be able to retire at the age of 18 if they want to. This whole self responsibility is shunned by your side.

      2. MMT does not advocate solving underemployment with inflation…not sure where you’re getting your info from.

    2. I’m sorry but the article (and the quote from it here) is objectively wrong about what MMT is. MMT does not say governments “should” finance public spending by creating money. MMT says all public spending by the federal government IS money creation. All federal taxes destroy money. Taxes reduce aggregate demand by reducing the spending power of the private sector.

    3. But you want them to dictate which version of history children should learn, correct?

      1. “which version of history”

        The fact that you think actual history comes in “versions” tells us everything we need to know about you.
        “Narrative über alles”.

        1. I would bet real money that you don’t know fuck about history.

          1. I would bet serious money you never graduated high school. This isn’t just a random insult. I really don’t think you’ve got a high school diploma.

            After finding out you don’t actually understand simple things like energy infrastructure, basic chemistry or history beyond 60’s America, I think you’re a dropout.

  7. Economics is the only academic discipline where the ignorant routinely express their ignorant opinion. Hell, they are encouraged to!

    Imagine if ignorant people did the say with genetics: “Lysenko had the right idea, don’t judge him by Stalin’s failure.” Or agriculture: “You should shift your furrows six degrees clockwise. That’s called crop rotation.” Or computer programming: “Too many programming languages, everyone should just use Esperanto.”

    1. Haha very funny assembly or bust!

      1. No one needs more than 3 computer languages.

        1. Only three computer languages sounds kinda nice, until you realize one of them is inevitably going to end up being goddamn JavaScript.

          1. Yeah. Why let people choose what they want to code in. Que horriblé.

          2. Nobody, and I mean nobody, chooses to use JavaScript.

            1. I dunno. It was confined to browser programming and then some people, under no coercion whatsoever, decided to use it for server-side programming. Why, God, why??!!!

              1. Nerd!

              2. Ugh. That sounds disgusting. I’d rather learn Python.

                1. Nothing wrong with Python, particularly as a ‘gateway language’ to computer science and more sophisticated programming.

              3. And I pity the people who wrote Ajax. Ever look at the source for that? It makes the Linux kernel read like prose.

                1. I’ll take your word for it.

            2. Popular sites using JavaScript
              Google.com
              Youtube.com
              Tmall.com
              Baidu.com
              Qq.com
              Sohu.com
              Facebook.com
              Taobao.com
              360.cn
              Amazon.com

              Is there anything you actually know instead of feel?

              https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/cp-javascript

  8. Just make sure you buy your wheelbarrow early, or you won’t be able to afford something to carry your cash in to go to Taco Bell.

    1. but youll need a second wheel barrow of money to buy a wheel barrow to carry it in

      1. I’m predicting a shortage of wheelbarrows.

        1. Nobody needs more than two wheelbarrows.

          The central planning committee.

  9. “But while New England and the Carolinas occasionally made a mess of things before the Revolutionary War, most colonies had a lot of success in issuing their own currency.”

    THAT IS EXACTLY what led to Lincoln attacking the South with the US military.

    The Govt. had enacted Crowbar. Laws in the 1850s. BANK SEIZURES.

    The phoney war for slavery, of which Booker T Washington said ” the General Government was behind slavery” was a ruse.
    ( Autobiography, p. 168)

    The South had its own BANKS AND MONEY.

  10. MMT is a heterodox monetary theory.

    The same people that say “We believe in science! Trust experts!” are essentially saying “…except when it pertains to economics, in which case, our policies can’t survive serious scrutiny!”

    That’s why these people can’t be in charge.

    1. They’ve been in charge the whole time. Politicians just don’t admit to it. MMTers are describing what’s going on. We are not doing what politicians and you say we are doing. The only policy shifts MMTers advocate are to remove some of the middle men in the process and be honest about what’s going on. Make the fed a fully public thing, for example.

      1. Your secret knowledge of facts beyond the understanding of mainstream economics is impressive

  11. There’s so much incorrect information article. I wish critics would actually bother reading MMT literature before spouting off their “criticisms”.

    On the most basic level, MMT is not ‘advocating’ for fiat money creation or saying we ‘should’ finance public expenditures this way. MMT describes how this ALREADY functions. If you can’t understand this basic concept, you have no business writing articles on the subject.

    1. I thought MMT literature was just an otherwise blank book with ‘Ctrl+P’ on the second page.

  12. If Republicans wanted clingernomics to have a chance in America, they should have refrained from hitching their political wagons to the bigots, gun nuts, superstitious slack-jaws, and anti-abortion absolutists.

  13. So in other words MMT changes nothing.
    You either tax the amount printed and burn it, or you get the same inflation you would have gotten from just printing it. So you could have jused skipped the printing and burning and just done the taking. Did I get that right?

  14. I also don’t see how the gov’t could tax it’s way out of hyper-inflation. Does it really matter if the burger you order is still $4 when you’re paying another 10% of your income in taxes? It’s just a scheme that shifts actual inflation from product prices to taxes. It’s even worse because the burger flipper also needs more money so they can cover their own higher taxes creating a situation where people are pushed into poverty or need to be paid more which results in both higher prices and higher taxes. https://wapexclusive.com/ , They can call it whatever they want but it isn’t chicken soup if it’s just made with chicken feathers.

  15. MMT always reminds me of a perpetual motion machine.

    1. It shouldn’t. When you get down to it, regardless of what flourishes of paperwork are attached to the process, the government and private market manage the resources available to them. If the United States weren’t on a resource-rich continent with a stable modern society and two oceans to shield it from most conflicts, it would have a tougher time doing big things.

      Planet earth only looks like a perpetual motion machine because it is supplied energy by a star that’s going to last another few billion years.

      1. “Planet earth only looks like a perpetual motion machine because it is supplied energy by a star”

        Are you claiming that the motion of the planets is due to solar fusion and not stellar mass?

        1. What is the motion of the planets “due to”? What an interesting philosophical question.

          I think the explanatory value of cause and effect is quite semantic, and the concept of cause and effect ultimately meaningless.

          Why does cause precede effect? I think these are just words we made up. Physics is the same backward and forward.

  16. MMT is for economists who failed at math.

    Like AOC.

    1. We have been told (including by the Smithsonian) that math is racist and logical numeracy is the legacy of 1619. Failing math is just proud resistance!

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  18. MMT proponents will tell you that they are being descriptive rather than prescriptive. The US government behaves as if it’s operating under MMT principles, even if politicians flap their pie holes about a bunch of nonsense at the same time.

    Your main critique is that bad politicians could get in control of the federal government and do stupid things. Yes, that is always a threat. I don’t know where this ludicrous argument comes from that as long as you don’t use a tool, then the bad guys won’t think of it when they’re in power.

    Yeah, we have to not vote for psychopathic morons to high office. That is always the case. MMT is beside the point. They can destroy the country without any help from a set of economic principles.

    1. “MMT proponents will tell you that they are being descriptive rather than prescriptive.”

      I have most definitely had online conversations with Modern Monetary Theory proponents who were being prescriptive. As I noted above, they tended to talk about the free spending side of the theory, and leave out any talk about taxes.

      1. If you disabuse yourself of all the nonsense economic talk, it clears your mind to use the tools already available for your ends. It’s those saying we have to cut this or that program to save the federal government money; whatever that could mean, who are lying and offering bad policy based on a lie.

        1. It’s those saying we have to cut this or that program to save the federal government money; whatever that could mean, who are lying and offering bad policy based on a lie.

          Are you saying there’s no government program we couldn’t do without? Additionally saying that by cutting an entire program from government it wouldn’t save money?

          Given expenditures one year wouldn’t exist the next year, getting rid of government programs without increasing spending would save money.

          Where’s the lie? Other that the lies you just told?

    2. MMT is a heterodox economic theory, and mainstream economists disagree with it.

      The US government acts like it prefers mainstream economics: it issues bonds as a funding measure, not a monetary policy measure.

      The only way I could see the government acting according to MMT would be for the fed and congress to coordinate on both tax policy and bond buying. As it stands, the fed is keeping interest rates low and buying bonds, while democrats that control the government trying to raise taxes, which suggests, if we assume MMT, that the fed wants to stimulate the economy while democrats want to contract it, and they just can’t agree.

      Or, they’re not really doing MMT.

      I can tell you one thing: if they’re doing MMT, they’re definitely being disingenuous about it.

      1. Yes, they are. Both parties talk about the federal budget as if it’s a household budget. I suppose that’s because they believe it or think we’re stupid.

        Raising taxes on the rich is not a means to reuse revenue, it’s a means to affect the distribution of money. That would be the policy end regardless of the excuse given. The same Keynesian supply and demand principles apply however; cutting taxes on the rich is stimulative, just inefficiently so.

        1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax
          “A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures.[2]”

          1. That’s certainly can be the case. How many times do I have to explain to you: the world is what we make of it. Every single noun in these sentences represents a concept that human beings made up out of thin air.

            European Union member states can’t do MMT, for example, because they can’t print currency.

            In the United States, however, we have a central bank charged with adjusting the fiat money supply, and a tax code totally uncorrelated to public spending.

            You’re right that the US federal government issues bonds, but it can achieve the same ends in a less roundabout way by simply printing the money it needs. Does there seem to be a dwindling supply of bonds?

            It’s not that the US government doesn’t tax first and spend later, it’s that it cannot. It does not collect taxes, count the earnings, and then set a budget. It spends whatever Congress tells it to spend, and that money is created when it does the spending. Taxing, in reality, if not in rhetoric, like bond issuance and “budget deficits,” is about adjusting the money supply and making a policy choice about its distribution.

            1. Taxation doesn’t effect the money supply. Taxation transfers wealth to the government, and, by threats of fines or imprisonment, increases the demand for dollars, since everyone has to exchange non-dollar wealth for dollars to pay taxes.

              The extent to which we control the economy with taxes is the extent to which we embrace systemic violence against peaceful people to achieve economic goals. Without that violence, the dollar would have no value.

              Since the value of taxation is based on violence against peaceful people, I’m not a big fan. And it’s concerning how well society embraces such value, lest we slip into despotism.

              Fun fact: the first taxes in recorded history were justified by the rulers being descendants from gods. Were they doing MMT without knowing it?

              Do you think it’s a weird coincidence that no matter how much progress we make in culture, science, secularism, etc, the ruling class still manages to justify policies thousands of years old, invented by authoritarians without any concern for democracy?

              You ever consider that maybe your theories are serving others more than you? Even just a little?

              1. Maybe they are or maybe they aren’t, but at least they’re not based on a fantastical contradiction.

                You want to be able to put US dollars into your accounts, call it your property, but you don’t want a government around to issue the dollars in the first place?

                And I don’t think you’ve made it clear, but I presume you want government agents to expel trespassers from your property should that become necessary.

                Or are you advocating for a system of barter-based feudalism and asking me to say that sounds like a swell idea?

                Your ideas seem to come from the incoherent bull pucky that “principled” conservatives used to let emerge from their mouths. That money is something you earned by some mystical right of the universe (which has a printing press), and that taxation is parasitism by an outside force you have no use for.

                Yet at the same time you get hysterically enraged over the gender of Mr. Potato Head.

                1. Which is to say, I don’t believe anything you say, because you aren’t comfortable with even a little shift in the culture around you, so I doubt you’d actually be willing to give up the concept of property itself, the concept of law enforcement, and the concept of money. All of those are a tad bit more radical than a toy company changing its marketing strategy.

                  So if you’re being disingenuous about what you actually want in the real world, what are you doing here? Mental masturbation about fantasy worlds? If that’s the case, can we at least talk about something more fleshed out like Westeros?

                2. “ You want to be able to put US dollars into your accounts, call it your property, but you don’t want a government around to issue the dollars in the first place?”
                  No.

                  “ And I don’t think you’ve made it clear, but I presume you want government agents to expel trespassers from your property should that become necessary.”

                  It wouldn’t be wrong if they did, but as a general rule, the rest of what government does is the violence against peaceful people.

                  Since your straw man have no applicability to what I think, the rest of your comment is meaningless. But good try putting whoever that is in their place.

                  1. I almost forgot, your worldview depends on the likelihood that an ungoverned people will, with near-100% fidelity, behave like well-mannered peaceful people out of the goodness of their own hearts.

                    1. Not really. Just that a majority of people will reject violence against peaceful people as a way to organize society.

                      In other words, the same criteria that democracy calls for.

                    2. You’re right in a sense, because people without access to food and clean water don’t, in fact, engage in violent revolution. Only the middle class when their cultural artifacts are threatened by a suspect class.

                      I’m totally on board with organizing society in a radically different way. I’m a little unclear about how to get from here to there without either violence or using the system we’re in to make laws and redistribute resources to our ends.

                    3. Of course I’m right.

                      If we achieve it working with the current system of laws and without inflicting violence against peaceful people, I’m fine with that.

                    4. The problem is that you and Mike Liarson / Dee are making terrible arguments, based on nothing, and that Brian is in fact correct.

  19. MMT is always preached and shilled by online nutjobs like Robert Reich

  20. I also don’t see how the gov’t could tax it’s way out of hyper-inflation. Does it really matter if the burger you order is still $4 when you’re paying another 10% of your income in taxes? It’s just a scheme that shifts actual inflation from product prices to taxes. It’s even worse because the burger flipper also needs more money so they can cover their own higher taxes creating a situation where people are pushed into poverty or need to be paid more which results in both higher prices
    ( https://wapexclusive.com )and higher taxes. They can call it whatever they want but it isn’t chicken soup if it’s just made with chicken feathers.

  21. Liberals buying into the Dick Cheney school of economics that “deficits don’t matter”
    A philosophy that worked so well in Venezuela. Right?

  22. Public investment in infrastructure, with higher employment, and high taxes on the rich, worked very well in the 1950s and led to the greatest expansion of prosperity in US history. After the tax cuts for the wealthy of the 1970s and 1980s, this turned around, and the chances of youngsters joining the middle class have largely been destroyed, based largely on the policies of a fine public speaker but lousy economist, Ronald Reagan. Disciplining the authorities can be done with voting, not with lowering employment so as to save rich political contributors some taxes. Amazon, Apple and Walmart pay zero federal income taxes. President Eisenhower would not have let them get away with it.

  23. Amazon, Apple and Walmart pay zero federal income taxes.

    That’s a lie. Quick google searches shows Apple paying:

    Apple income taxes for the twelve months ending March 31, 2021 were $13.317B, a 34.84% increase year-over-year. Apple annual income taxes for 2020 were $9.68B, a 7.64% decline from 2019. Apple annual income taxes for 2019 were $10.481B, a 21.62% decline from 2018. Apple annual income taxes for 2018 were $13.372B, a 15.03% decline from 2017.

    & while Amazon hasn’t had to pay taxes due to operating for years at a loss, they are starting to pay federal corporate taxes in 2019 and 2020.

    Any other lies you wish to tell?

    WalMart:

    Walmart income taxes for the twelve months ending April 30, 2021 were $6.569B, a 31.75% increase year-over-year. Walmart annual income taxes for 2021 were $6.858B, a 39.53% increase from 2020. Walmart annual income taxes for 2020 were $4.915B, a 14.81% increase from 2019.

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