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  •  Re two of your statements (0+ / 0-)

    A link you included noting that

    … buyers are taking up arms in record numbers.
    and your conclusion
    Perhaps it is time to accept the things we cannot change - all of the above. And change the things we can - mental health care, eforcement of existing laws, expanded background checks, armed security for our children and teachers.
    On the latter, which is easier to change: those things you listed -or- ourselves? Simple question.

    That is, is it easier to change our understanding and focus, or to pass legislation in an adverse environment?

    On the former: who benefits from "buyers are taking up arms in record numbers." Again, simple question.

    I ask, not to be coy, but to allude to a re-direction.

    United We Understand

    by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:39:53 PM PST

    •  I can change (0+ / 0-)

      but I can't make anyone else do so.

      Is that what you are asking?

      •  What I meant was … (0+ / 0-)

        directed more at Progressives in general -- because the goals they seek are (definitionally?) for the greater societal benefit.

        To best improve the odds of our actually accomplishing that, in these political climes, requires (as I have only recently come to understand), an appreciation of how certain myths of economics have misdirected our framings.

        Taking, as examples, the items on your list -- all require $, particularly #1, 2, and 4. The moment any such proposals are raised, the myths of economics control the framing. And we (not only dems in general, but progressives as well) buy into that framing -- with the words we use and the debates we engage in.

        We talk about "government spending" for programs of our liking and then quickly accept that such discussions must occur in the context of "federal deficit" and "federal debt".

        That framing has been bulldozed onto us by a school of economics that has ruled undergraduate and collegiate economics teaching for decades. It uses a macro-economic accounting system that is corrupt (pluses are minuses, etc.) and has been thoroughly disproven when applied in the context of a government (like ours and several others around the world, but not the EU) that is "monetarily sovereign" -- i.e., that can issue currency to satisfy its "public purpose".

        I know this might sound foreign or irrelevant -- but that's because those who benefit (Banksters, etc.) from the corrupt system -- called "neo-liberal" economics -- have so shaped the public discourse, that it IS strange.

        And, as we know from Frank Luntz and others, repetition has created that effect -- from economics classes, to the WSJ, to …. And it blends in with so many other memes in our heritage: hard work, penny saved, balance your checkbook, ….

        And it's most certainly relevant -- understanding it is more key to our success than any other component of our "progressive" framing at this point in time.

        That's what I meant by changing ourselves. All of us. And there's nothing to feel bad about here -- even Krugman doesn't fully understand (though he's been incrementally moving towards it recently).

        Back to the words: "federal deficit". For a government that can issue currency, the term "de-ficit" improperly carries a negative connotation. It's better thought of -- and if we don't recognize this, nobody will -- as government's "net contribution" to the economy (or society).

        This re-framing comes from a theory of economics -- referred to as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) -- that provides, without self-serving distortions, a description of money and government's relation to it.

        It's something we can use -- if we change ourselves by learning about it. I apologize on its behalf, that learning will  take a bit of effort -- but that's because it's different from what we know and MMT, though it builds on work from early last century, has only recently been re-discovered, evolved, and pursued with vigor (mostly at UMKC).

        Because this progress is so recent, the message and reframing hasn't fully formed. The math is all there but the public presentation is still being evolved. Part of that work is happening here at dKos in the Money and Public Purpose group, where much is cross-posted from New Economic Perspectives.

        For starters, there's a fun, quick, explanatory video, MMT for Dummiez, recently published at that site.

        Another oft-cited intro is by Warren Mosler (in the credits for that video) -- Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy.

        "'Deficit' is the Wrong Word and Concept" was posted by Michael Hoexter at NEP, here.

        bunnygirl60 has also done some excellent write-ups on dKos and here in an alter-ego.

        Apologies for being cryptic in my earlier comment and perhaps sounding like I might be selling something here.

        But it will really help. For a whole bunch of reasons -- not the least of which is Obama is beguiled by that same neoliberal malarkey. It's why he talks about "balancing the budget". The "budget" doesn't need to be "balanced". Government needs to make a larger contribution to the societal welfare -- in other words we need a BIGGER deficit.

        But that won't happen (even ignoring repubs) -- there won't even be an argument for it. Every single one of Obama's economic advisors is a lawyer (Geitner, Lew, and Daley, as well as Obama, are all trained as lawyers, and then employed in "finance" in various capacities) beholden and beguiled by neoliberal mythology.

        To show you how deep this is --

        Lew's predecessor as chief of staff was William Daley. Daley is a lawyer. Daley was on the executive board of J.P. Morgan- Chase during the crisis and before that he was on Fannie Mae's board of directors. Daley is a member of "Third Way's" controlling board. Third Way is a Pete Peterson ally that lobbies in favor of austerity and cuts to the safety net. It pushes Wall Street's, and Pete Peterson's, greatest dream -- privatizing Social Security. Privatization would allow Wall Street to increase its profits by hundreds of billions of dollars in fees for managing our retirement savings,
        from (MMT proponent) William Black's 1/10 piece in HuffPo "Jacob Lew: Another Brick in the Wall Street on the Potomac"

        We need to change ourselves, so we can teach Obama.

        Obama has asked us to correct him when he is mistaken. He is. His entire economic framing is self-defeating. Because he doesn't know. (And like I said, in a sense that's ok, because even Krugman doesn't fully get it.)

        Again, apologies, but I hope that helps.

        United We Understand

        by dorkenergy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 04:18:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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