I campaigned for you in the primaries and general election of 2008, write about the economics of climate change, work in the area of energy efficiency and renewable energy, and am a climate activist in Northern California.
For more than two weeks, Ukraine has been swept by massive pro-European, anti-government protests, the largest the country has seen since the Orange Revolution of 2004. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have stormed the streets of Kyiv, following President’s Yanukovych decision to put on hold a major trade and cooperation agreement with the EU. Pressure from Putin’s Russia is cited as the main reason for the President’s U-turn.
Money and art, in the minds of some, are now one and the same.
Paul Krugman has a new post that explains why the debate over money- vs. bond-financing of government deficits is really much ado about nothing. In it, he essentially echoes longstanding MMT-core principles, as we will show below. Indeed, MMT blogs have written as much many times previously (for example, see here, here, here, and here).
Stated as above, the deficit hysteria-driven austerity campaign would have never gotten off the ground; no one outside the financial industry or its paid minions would choose to design society to facilitate the financial sector’s enrichment at the expense of the rest of the economy.
The austerity push by politicians, political operatives, and pundits of the last 5 years is the height of economic, political, and social perversity and stupidity. Yet, as it still resonates in the halls of power, in the White House and Congress, and in many parts of the media, it still requires explanation and clarification. Besides inspiring the reduced level of government funding we are now seeing in the US and elsewhere, the deficit hysteria campaign is threatening to undermine what remains of the American social safety net that helped form and support the American middle class over the past 70 years. In addition, now and in the future, we will need a government able to use the full range of fiscal (i.e. financial) tools to combat climate change, tools which the austerity campaign seeks to lame or sequester for the benefit of a small financial elite. In the latest turn, deficit hysterics are trying to incite intergenerational warfare between the young and the old, accusing the latter of taking more than their share of public financial resources which the young will need later in life.
Our deficit hysterians love to raise the specter of China. Supposedly Uncle Sam is at the mercy of the Chinese, who have a stranglehold on the supply of dollars necessary to keep the US government above water. If the Chinese suddenly decided to stop lending those scare dollars, Uncle Sam would be forced to default.
As the US government shutdown was still in effect and the prospect of a debt default loomed, President Obama held an extraordinary and revealing White House press briefing on October 8th in which he clarified his then position vis-à-vis the shutdown and debt ceiling. After the shutdown was (temporarily) ended on October 17th, Obama made a fairly extensive public statement airing his views of how he sees economic policy and government’s role. While I have not followed every one of Obama’s press conferences or speeches, in both of these public appearances, Obama went into unusual detail and lengths to expand on his views of politics, government and the economy. In addition, he marked out his most combative stance vis-à-vis the Republicans to date. Also in his October 17th statement we had the clearest statement for a number of decades, of some of the benefits of having a government at all from a top American political leader.
In his May 2011 column, “Is There Really an Output Gap,” CNBC financial blogger John Carney argues that the output gap—the difference between the economy’s potential performance and its actual performance—is a flawed theoretical construct that policymakers should avoid using as a basis for economic policy. Carney presents most of this through a “thought experiment” involving a hypothetical tobacco-based U.S. economy called Tobacco America.
By William K. Black The big banks are desperate to prevent Janet Yellen from being appointed as Bernanke’s successor to run the Fed. Their sexist…