I will eventually get around to the subject of economics and government finance.
When I'm not thinking about macroeconomics, I think about music and play guitar.
Swami Hoople MMT: .
"The process by which money is created is so simple that the mind is repelled... The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it."
-- John Kenneth Galbraith
Swami Hoople MMT: .
"The Deficit: Nine Myths We Can’t Afford"
Has the federal government run out of money? Will we have to slash Social Security? Will we have to borrow dollars from China for our children to pay back?
(Hint: the answers are all "No."
Swami Hoople MMT: Rep. Ron Wyden is 100% correct:
"We cannot let a popular recovery agenda get derailed by fiscal fearmongering that we know is unjustified and phony.”
Read to see why:
A hidden reason that Joe Biden is trying to go big
Swami Hoople MMT: Thumbs up!
> "Every major economist thinks we should be investing in deficit spending in order to generate economic growth," Biden told reporters Friday, citing low interest rates and limited Federal Reserve powers to fix the Covid-19 crisis.
Swami Hoople MMT: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/11/upshot/trump-economy-lessons-biden.html?smid=tw-share
"The Most Important Thing Biden Can Learn From the Trump Economy"
...A widespread view among economic policy elites, after the runaway inflation in the 1970s and early 1980s, was that elevated unemployment was a necessary cost of keeping prices stable. Also, that the government can’t spend much more money than it takes in without crowding out private investment — leaving the economy weaker over time — and that policymakers should act pre-emptively to ward off these risks.
That intellectual consensus lurked beneath many momentous decisions. Among them: the deficit-reduction agenda of the Bill Clinton administration; the interest rate increases of the Alan Greenspan Fed during George W. Bush’s second term; and the Obama administration’s determination not to increase the deficit in devising its signature health care law.
This view was shaped by a reliance on the “Phillips Curve,” which describes the relationship between the jobless rate and inflation. As applied by a generation of central bankers, it was treated as a useful guide to setting policy. If the unemployment rate went too low, the logic went, inflation was inevitable, so central bankers needed to prevent that from happening.
When Fed leaders raised interest rates in December 2015, for example, their consensus view was that the long-run unemployment rate — the goal they were ultimately seeking — was 4.9 percent.
If the job market kept improving, then-Fed Chair Janet Yellen said at the meeting where that interest rate increase was decided, “we would want to check the pace of employment growth somewhat to reduce the risk of overheating.”
Yet from spring of 2018 to the onset of the pandemic, the United States experienced a jobless rate of 4 percent or lower, with no obvious sign of inflation and many signs that less advantaged workers were able to find work. Reality turned out better than the 2015 officials thought possible.
Since the 1980s, recessions have been rarer than they were in the immediate post-World War II era, but they have been followed by long, “jobless” recoveries. Much of that time has featured weak growth in workers’ wages.
It turns out that when you try to choke off the economy whenever it is starting to get hot, American workers suffer. The Fed has been like a driver who aspires to cruise at the speed limit, but starts tapping the brakes whenever the car gets anywhere close to that limit — and therefore rarely attains it.
[more at link]
Swami Hoople MMT: https://archive.is/0gu3g
"...Instead of taking such common-sense steps as permitting the government to regulate the cost of pharmaceuticals or hospital charges for services, we leave it to a pastiche of insurance companies, hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, corporations, private equity — you name it.
The result is that no one is responsible, costs run rampant and the patient all too often gets stuck holding the bag.
It should be beyond obvious at this point that health care is not a typical consumer good that can be controlled by the market.
The occasional hypochondriac aside, no one chooses to consume medical services. They are forced to do so by illness. The idea that people will compare prices for emergency heart surgery is ludicrous. Cancer patients are more likely to end up in bankruptcy than their healthier peers — not because of a out-of-control shopping habit or failure to compare costs of rival medications, but because their treatment is expensive, deductibles and co-pays are high, and insurers can arbitrarily deny payment.
There are so many ways to financially bleed patients, not to mention other stakeholders, that it’s all but impossible to keep up. Little wonder that GoFundMe says one-third of the donations made through its site are to help people pay medical expenses."
original paywall link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/06/failure-haven-shows-why-we-need-medicare-for-all/
Swami Hoople MMT: David Graeber explains how when the government tries to "balance its budget" it becomes impossible for private citizens to balance theirs. A government dollar (or UK pound) deficit is the dollar surplus of the private sector.
Swami Hoople MMT: Just ordered one of these...! LOL looking at hours of fun & new timbres.
In the early '80s I played on an early, glitchy guitar-synthesizer interface in to a big modular Moog. Pitch tracking has come a long way! This little box is amazing.