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View Diary: Rachel Maddow: "The most persistent [Republican] myth in the modern politics of American money." (120 comments)

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    •  With effective sound bites (4+ / 0-)

      No need to lie, but definitely a need to dumb down.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:30:36 AM PDT

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      •  But that's not what we're doing (4+ / 0-)

        It's all about how we're going bankrupt and burdening our children with debt. That's why we're approaching the "fiscal cliff" which will suck something like a $Trillion per year out of the productive private economy and allow trillions more to flow from productive to financial assets. That is all the result of the false narrative encapsulated in effective sound bites - dumbed-down, inaccurate, but effective sound bites aimed at frightening the people and steering more and more of the nation's wealth into the coffers of the rich.

        •  That's RW framing (7+ / 0-)

          I'm talking about dumbed-down progressive framing, like how infrastructure spending boosts the economy and pays for itself through increased tax revenue. How the rich needs to pay their fair share again. How we can't afford and don't need more wars or massive defense spending.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 05:46:02 AM PDT

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          •  It's Obama's RW Framing (6+ / 0-)

            He has bought into it entirely. Why else would he have put the cat food commission together? What was it's mandate? My recollection is that it was charged with deficit reduction. Even Bernie Sanders buys into this framing which is something progressives should totally disparage. We need to build our framing around the concept that societies build their futures and commonwealth out of the real resources they possess, not out of money.  Money is only a tool, and it is the simplest and most inexpensive tool we can make. Debt and deficit fear-mongering embraces the exact antithesis of this.

            •  I'm no fan of Obama & Dems' framing either (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              qofdisks, Egg, hungrycoyote, elwior, DSPS owl

              and it's not what I'm advocating. I'm talking genuinely reality-based progressive framing, but "dumbed down" so that even swing voters can understand it.

              Btw, the deficit IS a long-term problem and it's not RW to say so. What's RW is to say that it's an immediate crisis-level problem or that cutting spending (let alone taxes) is the way to bring it down, both of which are false.

              Only a more progressive tax system that forces the rich to pay their fair share, targeted spending on needed and useful programs that will boost the economy both now and long-term, and spending cuts in unnecessary and pointless things like many defense programs, can do that. And it's progressive to say so.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 06:35:11 AM PDT

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              •  I am interested to know why (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hungrycoyote, elwior
                the deficit IS a long-term problem and it's not RW to say so
                What is your theory of the long-term damage of the deficit in an economy based on a sovereign non-convertible currency?  
                •  More to the point, what is Paul Krugman's theory (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  hungrycoyote

                  and that of other actual economists? My understanding that is if left unaddressed, it will lead to runaway inflation and/or severe spending cuts, both of which will hurt the non-rich hard. If you disagree with Krugman et al, please explain.

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 07:56:31 AM PDT

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                  •  The point is that IS what actual economists (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    hungrycoyote

                    theorize. I offered Stephanie Kelton in my original post but we can add L Randall Wray, Scott Fullwiler, James Kenneth Galbraith, and many others. The neoliberal economic theory under which we have operated since the 70's is falling apart because it's based on a fundamental flaw of reasoning and a misunderstanding of the nature of money. Every so often one of the so-called bright lights of mainstream economists begins to grasp this. Perhaps Bernie Sander's economic "Dream Team" will begin to spread that understanding.

                    As for inflation, it is not the result of deficits. The US Gov issues debt to support interest rates, not to back spending. Inflation happens due to inadequate supplies, or demand in excess of capacity. It has nothing to do with Fed. spending unless the federal government overpays relative to the private economy. Without getting to the point where "too many dollars are chasing too few products" you don't get inflation.

                    •  Krugman is ok with long-term deficits? (1+ / 0-)
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                      hungrycoyote

                      News to me. When did he "theorize" this?

                      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                      by kovie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:54:24 AM PDT

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                      •  Really, that's what you read??? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        hungrycoyote

                        That is certainly not what I wrote. Too bad, I was enjoying this conversation. I am sorry to see us begin talking passed one another.  

                        I believe you raised the question about real economic theory vis a vis real economists. That's what I offered. You may follow Krugman with religious fervor, I merely take his words as enjoyable, thoughtful, and generally well measured. But I do note that he didn't make the cut for Bernie's group, nor for any position of influence in any recent administration.

                        But, if you are a Krugman acolyte, then can you explain the inexorable path from deficit to inflation in his terms. He makes mention of this in a column on March 25, 2011 where he begins:

                        Right now, deficits don’t matter — a point borne out by all the evidence. But there’s a school of thought — the modern monetary theory people — who say that deficits never matter, as long as you have your own currency.
                        This immediately throws up a straw man argument which Krugman then follows to it logical conclusion. Easy when you start with a false premise. However, contrary to Krugman's assertion, MMT says deficits are critically important, they always matter, they are almost always necessary, and they must be carefully calibrated. Aside from that, Krugman got it right.

                        I'm done. If you want to get educated on the subject go to New Economic Perspectives or even go to the Money and Public Purpose group here at DK.

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