Bill Black: (Re) Occupy Greece

Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Cross posted from New Economic Perspectives.

While the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement set its sights on occupying a financial center, Germany has accomplished the vastly more impressive feat of occupying an entire nation – Greece. Germany has experience at occupying Greece having done so during World War II. The art of occupying another nation is to recruit a local puppet to do the dirty work required to repress the citizens. Germany used several puppets, most notoriously the murderous Ioannis Rallis, to (nominally) rule Greece and terrify the Greek people during World War II. (After Germany’s defeat, Rallis was executed for his treason.)

This time around, Germany has been far more successful in recruiting and using a puppet to (nominally) rule Greece and terrify the Greek people before the German occupation. It was able to put its puppet, Lucas Papademos in place and have him “request” that Germany reoccupy Greece. Papademos is not elected. He is in power because his elected predecessor, George Papandreou, announced that Greece would hold a plebiscite on whether to agree to the terms of a deal on Greece’s sovereign debt that would have the effect of surrendering Greece’s remaining sovereignty and consigning the Greek people to an even deeper depression. The inevitable German reaction to the plebiscite was: Democracy in Greece – inconceivable! Germany threatened to destroy Greece’s economy if there were a plebiscite. Germany’s extortion led to the collapse of Papanderou’s elected government and Papademos’ appointment as Greece’s de facto prime minister.

Papademos is a banker and shares the theoclassical economic views that caused the global crisis and then led the ECB and many European leaders to adopt austerity strictures that have hurled the Eurozone back into recession. He has been wrong about the most important economic issues of his time. His economic dogmas, track record of failure, and disdain for democracy and the Greek people made him the perfect puppet to the Germans. For reasons that pass all understanding he is called a “technocrat. His record of economic policy failure demonstrates that “faux shaman” would be a more accurate label.

Germany and Papademos have ended Greece’s political sovereignty, but Greece gave up its economic sovereignty long ago when it adopted the euro. Two aspects of national economic sovereignty were inherently lost with nations that gave up their own currency and adopted the euro. A member nation could no longer have a monetary policy and it could no longer revalue its currency. The designers of the euro required a measure sharply curtailing the member nations’ remaining economic sovereignty. The demand that the euro nations surrender the last vestige of their economic sovereignty was deliberate. The euro’s designers viewed national economic sovereignty as the gravest threat to the euro’s success. Their great fear was that inflation could lead to a weak euro, so they adopted the “Stability and Growth” Pact to sharply limit the member states’ ability to control their fiscal policies. The Pact forbade member nations from running material budgetary deficits even during a severe recession or depression.

The European Central Bank (ECB) was created with a single mandate – preventing even benign inflation. It was directed not to try to counter even severe recessions, mass unemployment, and extreme poverty. It was not even designed to function as a lender of last resort. But the equally important aspect of the ECB was not written into its charter – but understood by everyone. The ECB would be subservient to Germany’s economic views (with an ever diminishing French fig leaf). Germany’s economic view was that hyper-inflation always lurked around the corner and the ECB must act like a eternally vigilant raptor. The nations of the periphery had no realistic hope of influencing ECB policies.

There were three key implications for nations that adopted the euro and surrendered economic sovereignty by giving up their sovereign currency. First, the member nations gave up their only reliable means of recovering from a serious recession or depression. Second, the member nations rendered themselves defenseless to devastating attacks by the bond markets if they fell into economic crisis. Third, the nations of the periphery placed their political sovereignty at grave peril should they fall into economic crisis.

The proven tool kit for recovering from a serious recession includes three policies. The policies are not mutually exclusive. They are typically used in conjunction. A nation that retains its economic sovereignty can speed its recovery from a severe recession by adopting a stimulative fiscal policy, a stimulative monetary policy, and by devaluing its currency. A nation that adopts the euro cannot use any of these methods. The Stability and Growth Pact allows nations to run only a tiny budgetary deficit that is grossly inadequate to replace the lost private sector demand.

A nation that has a sovereign currency whose value floats and whose debts are denominated in its own currency makes an exceptionally poor target for currency attacks. It always has the capacity to repay debts denominated in its own currency, so it makes an even worse target for attacks by the credit markets. A nation that uses the euro is not an issuer of a sovereign currency. It uses another entity’s currency. Its sovereign debts, therefore, are inherently denominated in another currency – typically the euro. When a nation falls into recession or a debt crisis the debt markets produce a vicious cycle. As the sovereign debt increases the rating agencies cut the ratings, which raises the interest rate on the sovereign debt, which increases the debt costs, which leads to further rating downgrades. Note that when the credit rating agencies downgraded the United States the credit markets proceeded to loan vast sums to the U.S. at even lower interest rates. The credit markets rightly view the U.S., in no small part because it has a sovereign currency, as a “safe haven.”

The dynamics of sovereign currencies drive the deficit hawks to distraction. They eagerly await the day, and invent fictional debt ratio “tipping points”, when the credit markets will adopt their Austrian economic views and refuse to lend to the United States. Even Japan’s financial leaders, still able to borrow vast amounts at virtually zero interest rates despite long having one of the highest debt ratios in the world, are so Austrian in their economics that they are unable to understand their monetary system. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) scholars have repeatedly demonstrated analytical and predictive success in explaining the inexplicable (from the dominant theoclassical economics perspective).

The result of the destruction of economic sovereignty is that a nation that adopts the euro and sinks into a severe recession can be forced into an unrecoverable spin. The euro system had no means to deal with such a death spiral that would lead to default and forced withdrawal from the euro. The default of one member nation on its euro debt would cause the debt costs of other euro members trapped in recessions to spike and could lead to a series of defaults and withdrawals from the euro.

The only established institution to assist way out lay outside the euro system, the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF provides loans to nations and demands austerity, privatization, and deregulation in return. Austerity makes recessions worse and deregulation is one of the causes of financial crises, so IMF loans often prove destructive to the recipient nations. The IMF was unwilling to take on the loss exposure of becoming a dominant lender to the periphery. This forced the European Union (EU) and ECB to create a fund that worked in conjunction with the IMF to lend to euro members that went into crisis. The EU lent to periphery nations under austerity, privatization, and deregulatory terms that were even more destructive than those imposed by the IMF. Theoclassical economic dogma has forced the Eurozone back into recession and much of the periphery into depression. This is one of the most destructive and spectacular “own goals” in history.

The ECB’s theoclassical dogma leaves only one means of escaping a severe recession or depression – ending the European safety net and slashing working class wages such that every member state in economic difficulty becomes a major net exporter of goods and services. This is why we call the dogma the “New Mercantilism.” Adam Smith, of course, was motivated to write largely by his desire to expose the folly of mercantilism. Economics is the only “science” I am aware of that has deteriorated dramatically in its predictive ability over the course of 150 years. The ECB’s dogma is premised on a fallacy of basic logic (and is economically illiterate and vicious). One nation’s export is another nation’s import so we cannot all be net exporters. The success of one nation (Germany) in becoming a net exporter in part through substantial reductions in working class wages does not prove that the periphery can emulate its “success” by slashing working class wages. Indeed, the more Germany becomes a net exporter the harder it is for the periphery nations to become net exporters.

In practice, the ECB strategy means that the Irish are trying to substantially reduce working class wages so that they can out export the Portuguese. The Portuguese are trying to cut their working class wages so they can out export the Greeks. The Greeks are slashing working class wages to try to out export the Turks. We call this the “Road to Bangladesh” strategy. Recessions mean that demand is severely inadequate. Cutting working class wages and public sector demand through austerity – simultaneously – during a Great Recession (a depression in the periphery) must reduce demand further and increase unemployment. Indeed, the head of the ECB, Mario Draghi, conceded this in his extraordinary interview in the Wall Street Journal.

Draghi went on to promise that at some unknown point what Paul Krugman aptly derides as “the confidence fairy” would appear and private sector demand would spontaneously surge and drive a robust recovery in the periphery. The defining characteristic of dogma is that because it is not rooted in fact or logic it cannot be refuted by facts or logic. We are left to debate how many confidence fairies can dance on the head of an ECB pinhead.

This was the context that led thousands of regular Italians to invite, and pay the travel costs, to bring a leading MMT scholar, Stephanie Kelton, to Italy and expose the ECB’s most destructive myth – TINA (“there is no alternative”). Stephanie Kelton is a professor of economics at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, the home of other leading MMT scholars. Randall “Randy” Wray, along with Australia’s Bill Mitchell, are the most prominent academics specializing in the development of MMT. (James Galbraith is a prominent MMT scholar, but MMT is not his specialty.) Professor Mathew Forstater runs the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability (CFEPS) at UMKC. CFEPS was created and maintained for years with funding from Warren Mosler, a hedge fund owner who is a leading intellectual contributor to the creation and development of MMT.

The Italians also invited Marshall Auerback, an investment analyst who works closely with MMT’s developers, particularly Warren Mosler and UMKC scholars, in the development of MMT. Auerback writes frequently in top financial blogs, including the UMKC economics blog “New Economic Perspectives” (created and led by Kelton).

The organizer of the Italian “MMT Summit” was Paolo Barnard, a journalist who became convinced that MMT was correct and offered an alternative that Italy needed to embrace. He invited three other speakers, whose specialty is not MMT, to add their views at the Summit in Rimini, Italy. The three speakers were the French economist Alain Parguez (Professor Parguez is best known for the development of the Theory of the Monetary Circuit), the American economist Michael Hudson (an expert on finance), and an American criminologist, lawyer, and former senior financial regulator teaching courses in economics and law at UMKC (me).

We presented and fielded questions from the audience over the course of three days (Friday, was only a 90 minute salute to the attendees, but Saturday ran from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday was a full day). I cannot summarize such extensive presentations, from differing conceptual and disciplinary perspectives, in a brief article. I will note only five aspects of Kelton’s presentation. First, she explained the points I have made above about how entering the euro removed the member nation’s economic sovereignty and left them vulnerable to the bond market death spiral. Second, she showed how the euro designers and the ECB sought to create a condition in which there is no alternative because they systematically sought to eliminate the superior alternatives for recovering from a severe recession or depression. The EU claims to have created a self-fulfilling prophecy of TINA. Kelton showed graphically how the ECB, the bond markets, and the Stability and Growth Pact cumulatively, and increasingly narrowed the policy space within which euro member nations could operate. Third, she showed that there were alternatives, far superior alternatives, for nations with sovereign currencies even in severe economic distress. By explaining the alternative she gave the Italians hope. They have suffered a deluge of national media that buys into TINA hook line and sinker and blames Italians for the crisis. Fourth, she explained why a sovereign currency allowed a nation new policy options, including job guarantee programs that would pay the unemployed to take productive jobs. (The “guarantee” is that one will be offered a job. An employee who fails to perform or engages in misconduct on the job can be fired and refused work.)

Fifth, she explained that the EU’s twin theoclassical dogmas, budget austerity and becoming net exporters through severe cuts in working class wages, are not in fact “alternatives” to recession but means of deepening recessions. Kelton explained that EU nations could not simply “decide” to run a budget surplus or become net exporters. There are two major impediments. “Deciding” to run a budget surplus during a severe recession or depression means some combination of raising taxes (Draghi calls that bad austerity if it involves taxing corporations) and cutting social expenditures. Both actions reduce demand, already inadequate in a recession, and normally act to contract the economy and expand unemployment and poverty, which reduces tax receipts and increases budgetary expenditures. The result is that austerity can increase budgetary deficits rather than cause them to shrink. Under austerity and the euro a member nation has the illusion of control of its budget deficit.

Nations using the euro also lack the ability to ensure that they run a balance of trade surplus (much less the very large surpluses essential to Draghi’s preferred “export driven” strategy). They cannot devalue their currencies (the most effective means of producing a trade surplus) because they do not have a sovereign currency and the ECB, dominated by Germany, insists on a “strong” euro – a major impediment to an export driven strategy. I have explained that the export driven strategy rests on the logical “fallacy of composition” because we cannot all be net exporters. That fallacy is particularly strong for EU members with whom Germany is a significant trading partner. More generally, the export driven strategy ignores essential interaction effects. Other nations with sovereign currencies can devalue them and many of them follow export driven growth strategies (also subject to the fallacy of composition). Even if the EU’s periphery slash working class wages to third world standards they cannot guarantee that other nations will fail to react to the strategy by some combination of import barriers, export subsidies, devaluation, and competitive slashing of (already lower) working class wages. Note that this strategy threatens to create the “trade wars” that can also exacerbate recessions and depressions. Once more, the “only alternative” that Draghi purports to exist to drive a recovery in the periphery turns out to be illusory because a nation using the “strong” euro cannot follow policies that are certain to produce large net trade surpluses even if it reduces its workers’ wages to third world levels.

There were several extraordinary aspects about the MMT Summit from our perspective as speakers. We were astounded by the number of people attending the Summit – over 2100 by a hard count of entrants. (There are a series of YouTube videos showing the attendees.) Paulo Bernardo had to move the forum for the Summit to a basketball stadium because no conference facility was available that could seat so many people. Many of them drove for hours to attend and all of them paid to attend so that they could fund our travel costs. (We were not paid any fee or honorarium and we flew coach, but we stayed in a very nice hotel in Rimini.) This huge number attended despite a major Italian media blackout on the event. The attendees were regular Italians from every walk of life, not elite policy wonks. The people attending were beyond enthused. They sat, in not very comfortable seats, for hours to listen to economists talk economics and while we pitched the level of our presentations to be what we guessed to be appropriate for a general audience, there were plenty of graphs and some sophisticated analytics. They also had to listen to us in translation, and while the professional translators were excellent some things are inevitably lost in translation. We spent hours doing Q&A, and the members of the audience asked us overwhelmingly about economics topics, including specific implementation measures. At breaks, one could see members of the audience engaged in substantive policy discussions and debates with each other. I had somewhat similar experiences in Ireland and Iceland talking to general audiences about the causes of their crises, but the numbers were far smaller. In each country one reaction has been common – they are delighted to hear scholars who do not believe the failed dogmas that caused the crises, who have real alternatives that offer hope, and who are not looking to make a buck off their misfortunes.

I was left with a profound respect for the Italian people and renewed hope that they would say no to TINA and the self-destructive troika dogmas that have caused the Eurozone to spiral back into recession. Thousands of Italians are eager to work to recover Italy’s full economic and political sovereignty and adopt economic policies that were humane and efficient and constrained by real resources – not bad currency choices. MMT opened their eyes to a world of more desirable alternatives that would work well for Italy.

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112 comments

  1. Daniel de Paris

    “Germany has experience at occupying Greece having done so during World War II. The art of occupying another nation is to recruit a local puppet to do the dirty work required to repress the citizens. Germany used several puppets, most notoriously the murderous Ioannis Rallis, to (nominally) rule Greece and terrify the Greek people during World War II. (After Germany’s defeat, Rallis was executed for his treason.)”

    I understand your willingness to support Southern Europe. I understand that you are angry. But these lines change the way I now take what you say later in the text.

    C’est indigne de vous, Monsieur Black.

      1. Frederic Mari

        Would you say you have “experience” in something for having done it once before?

        That comment and the general tone is pointlessly incendiary. And blaming the Germans for everything might look like good clean fun but given historical precedent, it could well end up being like throwing fuel on a fire…

        This crisis was not caused by the Germans, per se. No one put a gun to the Greek people’s heads and forced them to borrow…

        1. F. Beard

          No one put a gun to the Greek people’s heads and forced them to borrow… Frederic Mari

          The alternative to not borrowing from a counterfeiting cartel is to be priced out of the market by those who do borrow.

          Also, credit creation is a gamble on the part of the “lenders”. Gamblers lose. The Germans should man up to their gambling losses.

          But I don’t blame the Germans. The world is caught in a vicious trap which is the money system.

          1. Frederic Mari

            I am not talking about recent borrowings, done under duress/under the pressure of a default. The Greeks might indeed be better off saying “enough”, defaulting and reverting to the drachma. It’s not clear, to say the least but it might be better.

            I am talking about the entire decade prior to 2007/8.

            As to lending being gambling, you’re right. Up to a point. In a bankruptcy, the assets of the defaulting entity end up under the control of the lender. It’s both financially logical and good for dealing with adverse selection and incentivising the borrower correctly.

            In which case, Germany doesn’t have to invade Greece or use puppet regimes. Greece belongs to Germany/the EU banks/the ECB/the IMF.

            Any which way, it was a pointlessly aggressive tone. Everyone in this Greek drama is in the wrong. Singling out the Germans is dangerously senseless.

          2. Foppe

            Why? Because the Germans are “aggressive”? Just as The Greeks are blamed for the fraudulent actions of their corrupt governments, so The Germans are blamed for their role in creating the Maastricht Treaty. Yes, it is unfair, to a point; but it should be quite clear on whose CB the ECB was modeled, so I do not think it unwarranted.

          3. F. Beard

            In a bankruptcy, the assets of the defaulting entity end up under the control of the lender. Frederic Mari

            But why should they? Credit creation steals purchasing power from the entire population and in this case from the Greeks too. The “lenders” should end up with nothing but a bitter experience on the perils of creating liabilities.

          4. Heretic

            To F.Beard and the Frederic Mari

            The German 99% and the Greek 99% are mostly innocent of this fiasco. The Germans should have their Euros deposits shielded by the Ecb, and the Greeks shOuld have their own country.

            It is the German 1% who should be forced to swallow the financial hemlock, and the Greek 1% who should be audited and exposed in full, and dealt with in an appropriate manner.

          5. F. Beard

            It is the German 1% who should be forced to swallow the financial hemlock, and the Greek 1% who should be audited and exposed in full, and dealt with in an appropriate manner. Heretic

            That sounds good but innocents would suffer. Why not instead just bailout the entire Eurozone population equally, including non-debtors, with new fiat just GIVEN not lent to the population? And it’s not just my crackpot idea; Steve Keen advocates it too at http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2012/01/03/the-debtwatch-manifesto/ (scroll down to “A Modern Jubilee”). BTW, I arrived at the same conclusion as Professor Keen from a ethical viewpoint while I suspect he arrived at it more mathematically.

          6. Jim

            I don’t blame the Germans, and neither should you.

            Why not blame the Greek politicans who have ceded monetary sovereignty?

            Argentina said no to its creditors. And so could have Greece.

            Greece could have announced that it was paying 5 cents on the Euro, and was reintroducing the Drachma.

            And it would have thrived, just as Argentina thrived after it left the dollar.

            But its selfish ruling class, more concerned with how the Eurocrats in Brussels would see them than their own constituents, decided to cut a bad deal.

          7. be'emet

            missing from this action: the role of spite. can we consider German motivation as revenge for the enforcement of reparations 90 years ago? We hear all the time how their memory of the runaway inflation that followed still drives their monetary policies. And of revenge as promoter of the subsequent militant expansion eighty years ago. What has changed? what has been forgotten? There’s no satisfaction.

        2. Christophe

          “And blaming the Germans for everything might look like good clean fun but given historical precedent, it could well end up being like throwing fuel on a fire…” -Frederic Mari

          Pray tell, Mr. Mari, what does historical precedent say about your cautious, courteous approach? Did letting Hitler roll over country after country so as not to upset him nor to throw fuel on the fire, in fact keep the conflagration in check? Shall we try it again and expect a dramatically different outcome?

          I’m not sure what the intent of your comment was, but it sure reads like a threat that the Germans, having once waged an atrocious war, have proven themselves forever to be volatile warmongers who must be placated at every turn to prevent the most dire consequences. That is not my experience of the German people. Even if it were, I would not recommend indulging violent criminals in the hopes that they would return my courtesy. If you do believe Germans to be prone to outbursts of genocide, surely you can come up with a better response than never upsetting them.

    1. Enraged

      As a European with centuries of history behind me, I tend to agree with Daniel de Paris: Bill Black’s article is an over simplication and I find it somewhat inflamatory.

      No one can really understand Europe and the creation of the Euro without going back to who came up with the idea and why. It was a vision shared by countries beat into a pulp by endless wars and having to stand up to the US economic power. Pierre Mendes France, De Gaulle and Adenauer worked extremely hard at setting the premises under which Europe could exist as a federation. It is a process and, like every manmade creation, it will require trials and errors before it comes to full frution or collapse, whichever takes place.

      I don’t believe that we would be talking about Greece, but for this horrendous financial scandal visited upon humanity… by the US and UK bankers. And while everyone is “studying” the European flaws, this country is foreclosing on its own people based on fraudulent documentation and in total disregard of its own laws, its justice system condones fraud, its government is bailing out uncontrollable banks and financial institutions, the entire social fabric of a great country has been torn apart and a complete middle class nearly wiped out.

      I have a tremendous respect for Bill Black but today’s article is symptomatic of a serious case of looking at the speck in the other guy’s eyes while conveniently ignoring the log in his own…

      1. K Ackermann

        I’m just wondering… who does Europe blame for those endless wars?

        I think Bill Black was just telling things as maybe the Greeks see it.

        1. Enraged

          Then maybe we should just leave to the Greeks themselves to tell us how they see it… And work our way through the crisis caused by our banks, including prosecuting the culprits and retoring our systems.

    2. Hugh

      C’est indigné de vous, Monsieur Black. There fixed it for you.

      Economic hard times expose old political faultlines. It was telling from the beginning that Europe’s problems were not defined in European, but national, terms. It was Greece has a problem. Ireland has a problem. Spain, Italy, and Portugal have a problem. Si vous voulez vous indigner, indignez-vous de cela.

      1. Kunst

        @Hugh:

        C’est indigné de vous, Monsieur Black. There fixed it for you.

        No, it was right the first time.

        indigne de vous = disgraceful of you
        indigné de vous = indignant at you

        The latter would be preceded by “Je suis” or equivalent, not “C’est”.

        1. Hugh

          LOL, you have an overly literalist view of language. I was making a pun based on the Spanish indignados. My intent was to change the meaning, and it does scan grammatically at that level.

    3. pelham

      Certainly the Greeks are taking the brunt of this awful austerity drive now, but they and the other periphery countries aren’t the only ones who have a legitimate gripe. As I recall, the great majority of the German people opposed entering the euro in the first place, and precisely because they feared that something like this would happen. The Germans very much wanted to keep the Deutschemark.

      Of course, if they had, Germany wouldn’t have been able to chalk up quite the level of trade surpluses it has achieved since the advent of the euro. That’s on the one hand. But on the other, Europe almost certainly wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in today.

      I also doubt very much that the German people have any desire to seize effective control of Greece. Maybe their leaders do. Maybe their bankers or major investors have their eyes peeled for a huge privatization wave in Greece. I don’t know about that. But Germans in general probably have no such thing in mind and would not benefit.

      In short, what I’m saying is that any given nation’s leadership in our wholly inadequate Western system of democracy seldom has much connection with or concern for the people at large. Special interests of all sorts see to that, chiefly corporate and financial interests. And this is true regardless of whether or not the financial shots are being called by some twisted supra-national central bank.

  2. psychohistorian

    Thanks for the posting.

    While MMT strategies may offer Italy some hope the elephant in the room is the fact that there are not now nor in any currently socially organized western world future going to be enough jobs for all who want one. If our world does not confront the realities of the “Road to Bangladesh” strategy we are doomed to blow each other up if not succumb to a form of social genocide.

    Nationalize the Fed!

    International Debt Jubilee!

    To kill ourselves for the global inherited rich is stupid. It is way past time to end the species shaming construct of ongoing unearned elite social control.

    Our species should be able to do better for itself.

    1. K Ackermann

      I agree with most of what you say, but I’m puzzled about there never being enough jobs. Is it bounded by theory, because I’d like to know which one.

      I realize you didn’t mention automation, but if that is a concern, it shouldn’t be. All large gains in efficiency are disruptive, but I can’t think of a case where they didn’t fuel greater growth.

      I’m talking about efficiency that can be measured with entropy; not nessesarily dollars.

      1. F. Beard

        I realize you didn’t mention automation, but if that is a concern, it shouldn’t be. K Ackermann

        The problem is not automation but that the workers’ own purchasing power has been stolen via counterfeit money (so-called “credit”) to create that automation. Otherwise, the workers would have at least received honest interest rates for their savings and/or received an equity share in the businesses they work at.

        It all goes back to our money system that is based on usury for freshly created money (so-called “credit”) whereby the “credit worthy” (typically the rich or greed driven) exploit the rest of us.

        1. K Ackermann

          If credit was used for investment, then it should neither pull demand forward, nor cause inflation because of the wealth it can produce.

          If I buy a tractor on credit, then I can compete with others who have tractors, and in the process, lower food prices because of my increased productivity.

          1. Heretic

            Actually, I disagree with your statement concerning the effect of credit use and inflation. All spending in real assets or consummables, whether savings based or credit based, represents real demand on the economy. If real demand outstrips real supply, there will always be price increases and inflation in the short term. If the real demand was for investments that address the needs of the economy and expand supply, then there would be some healthy disinflationary pressures (healthy deflation that does not result in widespread defaults???).
            There is also the issue of a substantial time lag between spending on the investment and the time required bring the investment to fruition . (i.e. Low cost solar power and energy storage could really drive down energy prices and pollution, but it will take a long time before we construct enough and deploy enough to affect energy driven inflation).

          2. F. Beard

            If I buy a tractor on credit, then I can compete with others who have tractors, and in the process, lower food prices because of my increased productivity. K Ackermann

            Suppose that new tractor does the work of two older tractors but now only requires one driver. So you have used the stolen purchasing power of the other driver to take away his job!

            Productivity increases are good but the results should be justly shared by the payment of honest interest rates for the workers’ savings and/or equity sharing with the workers.

            Otherwise expect the Luddites to return.

    2. Heretic

      To F. Beard and Psycho-historian
      ‘The problem is not automation but that the workers’ own purchasing power has been stolen via counterfeit money (so-called “credit”) to create that automation. Otherwise, the workers would have at least received honest interest rates for their savings and/or received an equity share in the businesses they work at.’

      This is a case where the government must intervene in economy to promote real productivity (via automation, new R&D), and protect the Wellbeing of the displaced worker. Perhaps we can come to the ideal situation where people can work less, but enjoy the same real income (same standard of living- consumption of real goods via income instead of using credit). We could all use the extra time to sleep more or play with the kids or visit friends…

      Please note, I define real productivity to be unit of output divided by unit of real input (real resource input, waste output to the environment, actual human effort and time required). I disdain the mainstream definition of productivity that measures the output and input via only the monetary price. That definition of productivity can be used to justify slashing wages to labor, or outsourcing work to third world nations where slave labor conditions preside, such as in China. A morally abhorrent outcome.

      1. F. Beard

        We could all use the extra time to sleep more or play with the kids or visit friends… Heretic

        One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind. Ecclesiastes 4:6

  3. jake chase

    Of course, the Euro was a scam from day one. The end game choices are austerity and breakup. Naturally, the Greek politicians prefer austerity: they get to keep borrowing and lining their pockets, while the workers get the austerity. This kind of thing happens because people only think short term when they bother to think at all. Whenever in the past ten years I asked anyone why Europe fell for the Euro, the only answer I got was ‘unrestricted travel’. Why would Greeks want to go anywhere else? For the climate? For the food?

    We made an even worse deal here in America. The workers were told, don’t worry about wage increases because we will give you credit. That worked for nearly 30 years. We are even now working out our own brand of austerity while being a currency issuer. We enforce the worker debts while simultaneously bailing out the bankster debts. Don’t cry for the Greeks. All they have to do is exit the Euro. What do you suggest the American workers do?

  4. allcoppedout

    I find myself revolted by the Establishment and the whole business of gloabalisation as an attack on working class wages as though “competition” demands this. The news for happy shiny people in these circumstances is disgusting. Encouraging kids and their families to take on $100,000 loans to obtain mediocre degrees (and the increased range of post-grad delivered acritcally)for jobs that are undemanding other than in fealty to employers is now a situation I hate working in and avoid as far as I can.
    MMT is OK, but any economics administered by the corrupt faces problems. Academics now make a good study in corruption and I believe we need de-schooling (and more freely available education) and guaranteed work at living wages to break the cycle of corruption.

  5. F. Beard

    Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) scholars have repeatedly demonstrated analytical and predictive success in explaining the inexplicable (from the dominant theoclassical economics perspective). Bill Black

    What is “theoclassical economics”? Is this a mixture of theology and classical economics?

    If so? What theology? The Bible, the foundational spiritual document of the West, forbids usury between fellow countrymen.

    1. skippy

      *Countrymen* is a term couched in ambiguity, in today’s vernacular, you nit wit, know wonder your so confused. It was utilized as an inference to the Jewry — only — *no one else*.

      Skippy… BTW its a murders hand book… thou shalt not kill… with more exceptions than the new FSTB rulings.

      PS. this world is populated with human beings and not countrymen, if you can screw over someone over the boarder, then how long till it seems profitable to do your own mob….eh.

      PS. had the rat been more evolved in might have gone for the jugular, try something more deadly next time.

      1. F. Beard

        It was utilized as an inference to the Jewry — only — *no one else*. skippy

        Not quite. It applies to the Hebrews – descendants of Jacob. Jews are a subset from the tribe of Judah.

        Also, was Aristotle Jewish? Yet he condemned usury.

        know wonder your so confused. skippy

        About what?

        try something more deadly next time. skippy

        I do have a certain attraction for some dangerous animals and redheads.

      2. F. Beard

        PS. this world is populated with human beings and not countrymen, if you can screw over someone over the boarder, then how long till it seems profitable to do your own mob….eh. skippy

        Brotherhood has to start somewhere. The Hebrews were to be a “light to the Gentiles”. And Gentiles could convert.

        Besides, you talk of screwing people over in the same comment in which you desire my death?

      3. skippy

        Please desist with the unverifiable genealogy, its all hearsay.

        Aristotle is not in bible, your inference is biblical, so stop expanding out side your statements.

        Brotherhood is a poor second to Humanity and is a misogynistic ideology, poor Mary. But as you have opined, she liked it.

        Skippy… Desire? When did I infer that? I only pointed out the behavioral engineering you under took was on an animal that could not effect change to its surroundings and if you really wanted to have a go, it should be something that could take your life, if it wants. Go back and read Pilkingtons post and grok it.

        PS. “And Gentiles could convert”… beard, yes as second class believers, not born into thingy, Ethiopians have better a bloodline yet get the shaft, brotherhood… yeah its pretty clear how that works.

        1. F. Beard

          Ethiopians have better a bloodline yet get the shaft, brotherhood… skippy

          I don’t defend the behavior of the Jews; I defend the Bible (or rather let it defend itself by quoting it). You won’t find one hint of racism in the Bible.

          1. skippy

            Once again you blow me away with your self inflected[?]…ignorance.

            Try Ethiopians and stripes.

            Skippy… yet once again you only deflect and engage a small portion of what is laid at your feet, you defend a popular word salad.

            PS. look into the brain trust chemical… your trying to spray me with rubbish.

            http://www.neurosciencemarketing.com/blog/articles/building-trust-chemical-neuromarketing.htm

            Much of what we write about here at Neuromarketing is research that helps explain behavior. In other words, the neuroscientists take known human behavior and use brain imaging or other tools to help understand why that occurs. Generally, magic “buy buttons” are out of the question. Some work performed by Paul Zak, director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Claremont Graduate University, and a team of Swiss researchers, suggests that some seemingly magical ways of influencing human behavior may yet be found.

            A couple of years ago, Zak and his colleagues found that a compound found in the brain, oxytocin, can improve trust of others when sprayed into the nostrils of human subjects.

          2. F. Beard

            you defend a popular word salad. skippy

            Yet a consistent one, I’ve found, and one that has led me to be more humane than, for example, yourself.

            As for Ethiopians and stripes:

            “Can the Ethiopian change his skin
            Or the leopard his spots?
            Then you also can do good
            Who are accustomed to doing evil.”
            Jeremiah 13:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

            Is that the best you can do? Btw, an Ethiopian was the one who rescued Jeremiah from the pit he had been placed in. For his kindness (and courage), the Lord spared him from the destruction of Jerusalem.

          3. craazyman

            there’s a bunch of Ethiopian girls who work the drug store counters down in Northern Virginia, and man are they hot!

            One pharmacist, in particular, named Elsa. I’d hit on her but it’s embarrasing when you’re picking up meds and I don’t have a good rap for those situations, so I just smile. haha hahaha hahaha ahahaha

            A very biblical name. I think. Some may be from Eritrea, which is a big difference if you’re there, but not if you’re here.

            That’s the main problem with the world. Those differences. Who makes them up? I don’t know but I do think about it. I think it’s the same dude who makes up theocrassical economics and gulags. Somehow he wants everybody to be like him. And when they are, he changes his mind and thinks their competition. LOL.

          4. F. Beard

            You remind me of my days going to the pharmacy. It was annoying to be dependent on a doctor and a pharmacy for what I needed to live an enjoyable life. People say I am better being off those drugs but dang they were fun at times and I could THINK. OTOH, I hardly enjoy alcohol at all. Perhaps I should lobby to make alcohol by prescription only to punish those who think my drugs of choice should be prescription only?

          5. F. Beard

            and I don’t have a good rap for those situations, crazyman

            How about: “With a girl like you, I doubt I’d need these things for long [smile]”. Or “I bet your boyfriend doesn’t need drugs”.

          6. craazyman

            You’re cracking me up Beard! :)

            It’s like trying to hit on a waitress in a busy restaurant dining room.

            Enough fun. Back to MMT [and work :( ]

            Thank you Dr. Black for your efforts and your thoughts. Much appreciated!

            One of these days Professer Delerious Tremens will have to post some breif thoughts on MMT and reality.

          7. F. Beard

            Thank you Dr. Black for your efforts and your thoughts. Much appreciated! crazyman

            Seconded!

          8. skippy

            One of the most popular stories of the Bible is the story of Noah who survived a great flood in an ark that he built himself. The story describes Noah and his family as having been chosen by God to be the sole survivors of this devastating disaster due to his superior character and exemplary virtues. The Bible said that Noah was a righteous man.

            But like other Biblical, cultural or historical heroes, Noah was not perfect. The story about Noah continues to describe his life after the flood. An early post-flood incident reveals Noah’s human frailty and imperfection. According to Genesis chapter 9, Noah got drunk and fell asleep naked in his tent. Noah’s son, Ham, discovered his drunkenness and his nudity. Rather than to cover his inebriated and exposed father in a respectful and empathetic manner, Ham spread the inglorious news to his brothers about his honorable father’s insobriety. What the narrative describes as having followed this discovery has contributed to thousands of years of religiously based racism.

            Noah was so disturbed about Ham having disrespected him (and perhaps even worse) that he issued a curse. A curse in Biblical parlance is an infliction of adversity including limitation, restriction or punishment, executed by some power for behavior that violates certain acceptable standards. A curse subjects the person or persons who were cursed to calamities that are attributable to their infraction or misdeed. In light of this understanding of a curse, one would assume that Noah would curse the person with whom he was displeased – Ham. But the text says that Noah cursed Canaan who was a son of Ham and who did nothing wrong. For reasons that have been speculated by all sorts of scholars, Noah skipped a generation and cursed one of the sons of his son who violated his moral expectations. While the explanations vary, they are unanimous in asserting that the curse was on Canaan. Despite this fact, various influential Jewish and Christian traditions have assigned the curse to Ham who is considered to have become the father of most African and Middle Eastern dark skinned people.

            And that is a key link between western religious practice and racism. On its face it is incomprehensible that the same people who prayed to God, accepted Jesus as Savior, believe in Heaven and Hell, could also promote and practice the enslavement and maltreatment of Africans as they did. One must wonder how the highest court of a land that was founded by God fearing men could legally define a black human as being only three fifths human. The fact is that many of these justices like almost everyone in power at that time had been raised in a religious environment that taught that blacks were the descendants of Ham who was cursed by his father. This doctrine has been taught in Sunday schools and preached in pulpits throughout this country. It has been dubbed “The Curse of Ham.”

            What we have inherited is a legacy of racism that is deeper than simple racial preferences or even basic ethnocentrism. American racism has had the aid and comfort of a theological construct perpetuated by churches that attribute racist intentions to God. This was the underpinning of American slavery, Jim Crow laws, and South African Apartheid.

            Until religious leaders from all backgrounds are willing confront this historical reality and exorcise this demonic apostasy from religious culture, we will persist in very shallow, reactionary discussions about race and fail to address the underlying causes that define our thoughts and guide our deeds.

            http://www.thegrio.com/opinion/racisms-roots-in-the-bible.php

            First Church changed

            It is interesting to note that the disciples make no more response. Perhaps they were shocked into speechlessness. They could have been too ashamed, or simply consumed trying to absorb the way in which Jesus has responded to a woman. It could have been a teachable moment.

            But First-Church members were fairly slow learners. This is evidenced years later when Peter is asked to come and minister to gentiles. He finds himself conflicted. Even as the new church was evangelizing converts, they challenged Peter about eating with the “uncircumcised” (Acts 11:1-18).

            Peter considered the uncircumcised’s unorthodox methods of eating and cooking unclean. He struggled with how he could authentically do ministry with “them.” Their ways were entirely too different from the way he had been raised.

            So, as he wrestles with methodology, God comes to him in a dream and says, Do not call anything impure that God has made clean (Acts 11:9). After hearing this three times, Peter concludes, The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them (Acts 11:12).

            It was this same powerful, awesome Holy Spirit who worked within our Canaanite sister, sending her to seek help from a silent Jesus. Notice her expectations of him. Although he was “the other” to her, she expected him to help her. She focused her need — her child’s need — even when she was scorned and reviled. She continued to plead even after being told no.

            The walls of division began to fall because of her faith in one who was different. The stones began to tumble as she lay at his feet, waiting for grace and mercy to fall upon her.

            First Church changed that day. This woman of color — “the other” — was extended the right hand of fellowship, joined the membership and became included in the biblical canon’s record of great faith.

            http://gbgm-umc.org/Response/articles/racism.html

            Skip here…

            Funny how so many ethnic groups were slaughtered, yet one individual is pull out as having been graced by divinity’s blessings after doing the RIGHT THING in divinity’s eyes

            Skippy… This is just a taste. And your reply will be something out of context, hundreds of years out of time line, word salad dressing, one verse to dispel them all with, gibberish?

            Bonus… ***in your own words*** provide a retort without biblical verse taken out of context ie. actually address the specific[s in the time, at the time referenced, time travel is not allowed. Hop scotching around the bible is a no no too. Also its funny how one of your amigos pops up for some light banter when the going get rough, attempt to change the tune, quite rudimentary strategy. Try harder.

            Go to John 5:1-15

            In verse 3, “multitudes” were gathered at the pool of Bethsaida, but Jesus picked only one to be healed – a blind and lame man. He disregarded the rest.

            The man had been blind about 38 years, and, you know, yadda yadda yadda, and he was healed.

            And what about the rest of these sad m-f’s? I mean, is it just me? And how often did Jesus just walk past every one of these lame, blind, deaf, or generally messed-up people, ignoring their plight?

            Let’s be real. They didn’t have universal medical care back then. Jesus could have spent His entire day, every day, healing everybody he passed, and still wouldn’t be done, 2000 years later.

            The Bible talks about the bunch of people He was supposed to have healed, and ignores the huge quantities of people He had to ignore.

            (You know, Council of Trent, Nicea, all that – they don’t let out the bad stories, only the ones that look good, right?)

            And, incidentally, really? “Testing her”? Is that His job? (Or “Job”?) To fuck with people? Is that what the Prince of Peace does? “Hey! I’ll heal you, but first, I’ll tell you why I don’t like you! Because, you know something? ‘King of the JEWS’!!! Yeah, baby! It means something! You damned Canaanite wench!!”

            Is that the guy you pray to?

            I’m just curious…

          9. F. Beard

            A curse in Biblical parlance is an infliction of adversity including limitation, restriction or punishment, executed by some power for behavior that violates certain acceptable standards. A curse subjects the person or persons who were cursed to calamities that are attributable to their infraction or misdeed. (via?) Skippy

            Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, so a curse without cause does not alight. Proverbs 26:2

            Also, as with the behavior of the Jews, I do not defend the behavior of Christians. My point has been that Biblical ignorance is the root of our economic problems. I stand by that point.

            As for the rest of your comment, today is not Sunday and I don’t feel in a generous mood.

          10. reslez

            If the Bible really was what people purport it to be, one would expect a work of great wisdom and knowledge. Instead one finds a collection of tribal fairy tales riddled with ignorance. Not a single line anywhere contains evidence the work was inspired by a being who knew more than ancient Middle Eastern men knew. If there is a God, the Bible is not evidence for one.

            It is instead a celebration of violence, hatred of women and foreigners, war, rape, and genocide: a litany of evil committed by humanity in one particular region throughout the ages. Cherry picking a few poetic lines merely makes one wonder how you know to choose those particular lines and ignore the others, yet somehow claim the Bible is your moral guide.

            Which is to say, I’m with skippy.

          11. skippy

            “My point has been that Biblical ignorance is the root of our economic problems. I stand by that point.”… beard.

            At least we agree on one thing “Biblical Ignorance”. If people did study and cross reference with prodigious amounts of history, up to today, they would under stand the affliction it is upon humanity.

            Yet you have been unable to refute the racism charge, where is your corroborating evidence? You say so?

            “Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, so a curse without cause does not alight. Proverbs 26:2″… beardy obtuseness

            Skip here… lets cross reference that OK.

            Numbers 23:8 How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the LORD has not denounced?

            Deuteronomy 23:5 However, the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you.

            2 Samuel 16:12 It may be that the LORD will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.”

            Proverbs 27:8 Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.

            Isaiah 16:2 Like fluttering birds pushed from the nest, so are the women of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.

            Now some peer reviewed commentary:

            Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

            This verse is formed quite in the same way as the preceding:

            As the sparrow in its fluttering, as the swallow in its flying,

            So the curse that is groundless: it cometh not.

            This passage is one of those fifteen (vid., under Psalm 100:3) in which the לא of the text is changed by the Kerı̂ into לו; the Talm., Midrash, and Sohar refer this לּו partly to him who utters the curse himself, against whom also, if he is a judge, such inconsiderate cursing becomes an accusation by God; partly to him who is cursed, for they read from the proverb that the curse of a private person also (הדיוט, ἰδιώτης) is not wont to fall to the ground, and that therefore one ought to be on his guard against giving any occasion for it (vid., Norzi). But Aben Ezra supposes that לא and לו interchange, as much as to say that the undeserved curse falls on him (לו) who curses, and does not fall (לא) on him who is cursed. The figures in 2a harmonize only with לא, according to which the lxx, the Syr., Targ., Venet., and Luther (against Jerome) translate, for the principal matter, that the sparrow and the swallow, although flying out (Proverbs 27:8), return home again to their nest (Ralbag), would be left out of view in the comparison by לו. This emphasizes the fluttering and flying, and is intended to affirm that a groundless curse is a פּרח בּאוּיר, aimless, i.e., a thing hovering in the air, that it fails and does not take effect. Most interpreters explain the two Lameds as declaring the destination: ut passer (sc. natus est) ad vagandum, as the sparrow, through necessity of nature, roves about… (Fleischer). But from Proverbs 25:3 it is evident that the Lamed in both cases declares the reference or the point of comparison: as the sparrow in respect to its fluttering about, etc. The names of the two birds are, according to Aben Ezra, like dreams without a meaning; but the Romanic exposition explains rightly צפּור by passereau, and דּרור by hirondelle, for צפור (Arab. ‘uṣfuwr), twitterer, designates at least preferably the sparrow, and דרור the swallow, from its flight shooting straight out, as it were radiating (vid., under Psalm 84:4); the name of the sparrow, dûrı̂ (found in courtyards), which Wetstein, after Saadia, compares to דרור, is etymologically different.

            (Note: It is true that the Gemara to Negam, Proverbs 14:1, explains the Mishnic צפרים דרור, “house-birds,” for it derives דרור from דור, to dwell.)

            Regarding חנּם, vid., under Proverbs 24:28. Rightly the accentuation separates the words rendered, “so the curse undeserved” (קללת, after Kimchi, Michlol 79b, קללת), from those which follow; לא תבא is the explication of כן: thus hovering in the air is a groundless curse – it does not come (בוא, like e.g., Joshua 21:43). After this proverb, which is formed like Proverbs 26:1, the series now returns to the “fool.”

            Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

            As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying,…. As a bird, particularly the sparrow, as the word (h) is sometimes rendered, leaves its nest and wanders from it; and flies here and there, and settles nowhere; and as the swallow flies to the place from whence it came; or the wild pigeon, as some (i) think is meant, which flies away very swiftly: the swallow has its name in Hebrew from liberty, because it flies about boldly and freely, and makes its nest in houses, to which it goes and comes without fear;

            so the curse causeless shall not come; the mouths of fools or wicked men are full of cursing and bitterness, and especially such who are advanced above others, and are set in high places; who think they have a right to swear at and curse those below them, and by this means to support their authority and power; but what signify their curses which are without a cause? they are vain and fruitless, like Shimei’s cursing David; they fly away, as the above birds are said to do, and fly over the heads of those on whom they are designed to light; yea, return and fall upon the heads of those that curse, as the swallow goes to the place from whence it came; it being a bird of passage, Jeremiah 8:7; in the winter it flies away and betakes itself to some islands on rocks called from thence “chelidonian” (k). According to the “Keri”, or marginal reading, for here is a double reading, it may be rendered, “so the curse causeless shall come to him” (l); that gives it without any reason. The Septuagint takes in both,

            “so a vain curse shall not come upon any;”

            what are all the anathemas of the church of Rome? who can curse whom God has not cursed? yea, such shall be cursed themselves; see Psalm 109:17.

            (h) “sicat passeris”, Mercerus, Gejerus; “ut passer”, Piscator; Schultens. (i) Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 1. c. 8. (k) Vid. Strabo. Geograph. l. 14. p. 458. Dionys. Perieg. v. 506, 507. (l) “in quempiam”, V. L.

            Skippy… see that’s how you should present biblical offerings, yet do not. This summation reminds me of you for some reason:

            The world and the flesh are hinges on which they are hung; and though they move in a course of outward services, yet they are not the nearer to heaven. 15. The sluggard is now out of his bed, but he might have lain there, for any thing he is likely to bring to pass in his work. It is common for men who will not do their duty, to pretend they cannot. Those that are slothful in religion, will not be at the pains to feed their souls with the bread of life, nor to fetch in promised blessings by prayer. 16. He that takes pains in religion, knows he is working for a good Master, and that his labour shall not be in vain.

            Skip here… your slothful in the usage of your gods word, Capiche. On a blog like this and you peddle *Sunday school* (your words) like offerings, expect acknowledgment in other areas of thought? BTW your avatar reminds me of a pedophiles use of sticky candy, toys or promises of special status, to emotionally blind the intended victim[s. Hint, the bible is a sort of Scott’s box… and your in it, the surrender of your mental facility’s to a book from antiquity is not a sign intelligence, it is a hand washing exercise of personal responsibility.

          12. F. Beard

            BTW your avatar reminds me of a pedophiles use of sticky candy, toys or promises of special status, to emotionally blind the intended victim[s. skippy

            An expert on pedophilia are you? Personal experience perhaps?

            And the truth is that you would find fault with ANY avatar I chose, isn’t it?

            And please spare me your amateur psychoanalysis which is another form of ad hominem.

            And forget Biblical expositors; I don’t read them. I find that the Bible interprets itself.

            But I am glad we agree that ignorance of the Bible is a major problem. But of course reading ABOUT the Bible is a worse than useless substitute for reading the Bible itself.

            BTW, have you noticed how many people bother to dispute the Bible but how few bother to dispute the Koran or Buddhist and Hindu writings?

          13. F. Beard

            Not a single line anywhere contains evidence the work was inspired by a being who knew more than ancient Middle Eastern men knew. reslez

            I’m afraid you are revealing your Biblical ignorance here. But if you care to learn, Dr. Hugh Ross (Phd Astrophysics) is the best source I know for reconciling the Bible with modern science. See http://www.reasons.org .

            Btw, I appreciate your defense of MMT which is certainly PART of the overall money solution.

          14. Skippy

            Mental pedophilia, (usage of) binding – blinding emotional tools, do some reading, re read above. Btw I have many friends that work in the field of psychoanalysis, head of department at the largest hospital facility in this region, Phd that not long ago worked for the world bank et al. I actually send them comments and ask for further clarification, second, third opinions.

            In your case I have a data base of comments from this blog and quite a few others (you do spend a prodigious amount of time and effort around the tubes. Kinda like a jack in the box that repeats the same thing over and over when handle is cranked. Never able to personally expand on your opines out side a very small box and only begrudgingly when shaken down.

            “And forget Biblical expositors; I don’t read them. I find that the Bible interprets itself.”… beard.

            That just takes the cake beardy, so in your world, you define what it says, it tells you the truth and others are wrong or misguided. Forensic linguistics, peer reviewed subject matter, anything other than *it pops in your head* and fits your personal bias is rubbish…. eh?

            Skippy… MMT is just a theory, its all in the application, you know the political one. Whats the political landscape been like for 40ish years now? Give the numb nuts that drove the world in the ditch the keys to a Ferrari. Heck lets just make Jeremy Clarkson God Emperor of the planet… good luck with that.

          15. F. Beard

            That just takes the cake beardy, so in your world, you define what it says, it tells you the truth and others are wrong or misguided. skippy

            The Bible is not only consistent but it is comprehensive too:

            But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. John 16:13 NASB

            Also, see Proverbs 8 for the Old Testament version.

            You greatly underestimate a Book that has lasted over 3,000 years. It is either the greatest hoax in history or it is the Truth.

          16. Skippy

            The time a belief is held, by how ever many, has nothing to do with its validity. How long was the world flat, heaven was a city on earth, the world a snake eating its tale, survival of the fittest attributed to Darwin and not Hubert (editor of The Economist btw), et al?

            Skippy… all you do is say ‘unsupported stuff’ with nothing to back it up with but…. the level of *your* belief. In fact your confidence in such foggery is the biggest tell of all. You don’t need empirical evidence, opinions of others, facts, realize that theory can be thrown 180% – on its head – with the advent of new information, but, just a chemical reaction in your head that you like, something to give meaning to your life, a word salad to dispel the complexity of this world and our human lack of *total knowledge* (its gods will thingy).

            PS. yet you would have me believe, consider, allow me or mine, humanity be subject to more of this failed ideology of ignorance, yes good times are always attached to everyone believing, the end is nigh, repent now, eternal damnation, reward is an after life exercise, rapture the ultimate destruction this world has known is followed by utopia, etc, etc… Barf!!!

    2. Cindy Elmwood

      I am assuming “theoclassical” economics is a play on neoclassical economics, which has become so dominant and unquestioned in recent years, it’s pretty much a theology. And I’m sure he’s not referring to classicial economics, since he gives Adam Smith a positive mention.

      1. F. Beard

        Thank you. That is succinctly said and sounds spot on.

        I have no problem with economics based on some dogma. “Thou shalt not steal” sounds like a self-evident truth wrt to economics but many disagree when it comes down to cases such as credit creation.

    3. amanasleep

      What is “theoclassical economics”? Is this a mixture of theology and classical economics?

      – F. Beard

      This neologism refers to an economics based on dogma and not scientific or historical inquiry. He is not engaging actual theology, as you do.

      1. F. Beard

        Thanks to both of you.

        Ironically, the dogma comes from non-believers in many cases such as Mises and Rothbard which ignorant believers have fallen for, including a modern form of idolatry – gold worship.

        1. Skippy

          Hay the arch of the covenant is encased in gold… whats up with that?

          Skippy… lots of barbarous relics out there…. eh.

          1. F. Beard

            Hay the arch of the covenant is encased in gold… whats up with that? Skippy

            For someone who has supposedly tracked me all over the Internet you should know the answer to that.

            But here it is again:

            If gold is valuable then why would we wish to waste it in coins or bank vaults and if gold isn’t valuable then what’s the point of using it as money?

          2. Skippy

            Beard psst…

            If you are religious or an atheist, one can determine from any holy book or history, but especially the Bible, that gold and silver are true tangible, physical wealth, which will not burn, and have never lost their desirability, or ability to purchase things. Gold and silver have always been a measuring rod to determine value, and compare things with, or scads of graphs and charts wouldn’t be comparing how many stocks one can buy with gold, or how many dollars it takes to buy gold and silver. When long lost ships are discovered beneath the oceans or seas, their recovery isn’t for their rudders or deck planking, which long ago have disappeared. It is for the gold, which after a thousand years beneath the briny deep, is still brilliant, beautiful, and untarnished. History is not wrong. snip

            Gold is the first, and most frequently mentioned metal in the Bible, as at Genesis 2:11. From the beginning, it has been a noble metal, highly valued for its weight, rarity, durable non-tarnishing luster, shimmering beauty, ductility, and malleability. A number of Old Testament Hebrew terms refer to gold, such as zahav, charuts, kethem, paz, seghor, and ophir. In the New Testament, the Greek words khrysos and khrysion are used as reference to ornaments, coins, and gold in general.

            Solomon’s Temple, extensively used gold in its décor. As is done with several modern coins, even ancient Israel evidently mixed an alloy with gold to harden it. (I kings10:16). David set aside 100,000 talents of gold for Solomon’s Temple. A talent is about 75 pounds! The Temple’s lamp-stands, utensils, forks, bowls, pitchers, basins, cups, etc, were all made of gold and silver, with a very few being made of copper. The cherubs in the Most Holy, the alter of incense, and even the entire inside of the house was overlaid with gold. By today’s prices, the gold in Solomon’s Temple would probably be valued at $50 billion.

            Solomon received large amounts of gold from the King of Tyre (120 talents), the Queen of Sheba (120 talents), and from taxes and revenues from his own merchant fleet. First Kings says that the weight of gold that Solomon received in one year, was 636 talents of gold. The incredible amount of gold that was transacted and used in David and Solomon’s day is unbelievable…but true.

            When Israel captured cities, God commanded that they not use the captured gold and silver for themselves. Evidently the captured gold was re-refined to purify it. The exception was Jericho. Its gold and silver were turned over to the priests and used for sanctuary use, according to Jos. 6:17-19, 24.

            Gold was so valuable and cherished, that in the Bible, gold is likened to wisdom, faith and knowledge. Psalms says that God’s laws and commandments are more desirable than gold. (Psalms 19: 7-10, 119:72, 127) Psalms also says that while gold has great value, it is unable to give life. (Psalms 49: 6-8) Job says that no amount of gold can buy the wisdom that comes from God. (Job 28: 12, 15-17,28) The Apostle peter said ones’ faith is of greater value than gold, which can withstand fire, but be worn away by other means. (I Peter 1:6,7) No amount of gold can deliver one in the day of God’s anger. (Zep 1:18) The point is that gold is the most valuable thing one can possess, according to the Bible, other than knowledge, faith, life, and righteousness.

            http://www.bibleinvestments.com/

            So what does this have to do with what the Bible says about gold & silver? I’ve come to a very simple conclusion in regards to where I want to store my wealth/savings. I have come to a better understanding of our banking/financial system in the last few years and when I compare our ‘dollars’ to physical precious metals it’s an easy decision for me to place the majority of my wealth in precious metals. Yes, I still have a bank account and understand that I have to use dollars to transact business, but I also hold a percentage of my savings in physical precious metals.

            Many of you know that gold and silver have been around since early times. Gold is mentioned in the first(Genesis), & last(Revelation), books of the Bible. Please see Genesis Chapter 2 verses 11 & 12 for the first reference of gold in the Bible. In my studies I have come to realize that according to the Bible-God’s word, gold and silver are considered real money since the beginning of recorded human history.

            http://houghpreciousmetals.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/what-bible-says-about-gold-silver.html

            I’m extremely confident that Israel will become wealthy in gold and silver, and that this will take place before the return of Christ. (Ezekiel 38-39) I am also extremely confident that the Bible does not condemn ownership of gold and silver, as these are truly the only Biblically approved forms of money according to Hebrew law, and the metals are the very embodiment of “just weights and measures”.

            There is one other prophecy passage in the New Testament about gold and silver in James 5:1-6 which is especially relevant to what we see today in the precious metals market.

            James 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

            I do not think that this verse is advice against owning gold and silver. This verse is not saying that it is honorable to maintain wealth in the form of dollars which, remember, are fraudulent weights and measures which are an abomination. Holding dollars would place one in the category of the worker whose wages of wealth were “kept back by fraud” as indicated in James 5:4. If anything, James 5:3-4 is a testimony against the bankers who have stolen gold and silver from the people through fraudulently issuing more and more paper contracts that they never intended to honor in the first place.

            But James 5 is also a testimony against the banking practice of leasing gold and silver. For when they do that, their gold and silver literally “rust away”, as they attempt to continue to list as assets in their books the gold and silver that is gone! Truly, gold does not rust, it is only the insane practice of leasing gold that helps to explain how gold could be cankered and rust away. Furthermore, the verse says that the rust of the gold will be a “witness against you”, and today, we see the increasing awareness among people of the fraudulent banking practice of metals leasing, which, increasingly, is certainly a witness against the banks.

            There is a rather complimentary passage in Revelation 13:16-18 which describes the mark of the beast which is required to buy and sell. There must be some sort of compulsory system of tracking electronic credits, such as an implantable microchip or tattoo of some sort which properly identifies people who are authorized to buy and sell. Cash and physical possession of items of monetary value like gold and silver are simply incompatible with such a system.

            http://www.bibleprophesy.org/goldsilver.htm

            Skippy… I don’t know beardy, the old bible seems to be chocker block with references, my favorite bit of history…

            The Old Testament recognised the land of Ophir, which was somewhere in Africa, as a source of gold in antiquity. King Solomon’s ship convoys sailed down the Red Sea from Ezion-geber (present-day Elath), ‘and they went to Ophir and fetched from thence gold’. Unwilling to risk a delay in the construction of the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem, Solomon arranged with his ally, Hiram, king of Tyre, to sail a second fleet to Ophir by an alternate route:

            And the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish
            with the navy of Hiram.
            Once every three years came the navy of Tarshish,
            bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and monkeys.

            Skip here… anyway I don’t care much for it, more concerned about clean air, water, food and living with people that care more about social cohesion, than profit of any kind.

            PS.. raciest gold bugs, its not looking good beard.

          3. F. Beard

            Hey skippy,

            How about quote marks and/or other visual aids to separate your thoughts from those of others?

            Also, I have already told you that I mostly ignore Biblical commentary; the Bible interprets itself IF READ SUFFICIENTLY. Ya see, reconciling those supposed contradictions allows deeper insight.

          4. Skippy

            Hay beard… every thing above is broken down to simple extracts with the link at the bottom. My words are prefaced with skip here or skippy… whats not to understand?

            “Also, I have already told you that I mostly ignore Biblical commentary; the Bible interprets itself IF READ SUFFICIENTLY. Ya see, reconciling those supposed contradictions allows deeper insight.”… beardy.

            Skip here…

            1. “I mostly ignore Biblical commentary”… beardy.

            Skip here… wowzers, are you saying you *IGNORE* others thoughts arbitrarily or do you use some mental template like Jefferson did to cut out the bits he didn’tlike or agree with?

            2. “the Bible interprets itself IF READ SUFFICIENTLY… beardy.

            Skip here… Evidence please or I’m I just to take you at your word, you know, believe you, the guy that demises others thoughts based on your own special ability? The guy that strings together a paragraph at most, with a stand alone biblical verse (zero context from whence it came) as supporting evidence…. really?

            3. “Ya see, reconciling those supposed contradictions allows deeper insight”… beardy.

            Skip here… See #2, plus the contradictions are not dispelled with a verse form across the bible, which can be hundreds of years removed. You can’t on one hand love your enemy, yet on the other wipe them from the face of the planet, down to the kids and dogs, burn and salt it. That’s just skitzo…

            Skippy… too me its the same with MMR/MMT, everyone talks up the benefits with out addressing the down side and every thing has a down side to it, plus the unintended consequences. The fervent need to believe as asserted by the faithful of any ology – ism always sets my BS radar off. For instance what happens to the USD with its relationship with oil down the road, people in my sphere of the world are preparing for the Asian Century, other country’s establishing a more competitive – trusted world currency, is MMT just the final extension of derivative finance?

    4. Min

      F. Beard:

      “What is “theoclassical economics”? Is this a mixture of theology and classical economics?

      “If so? What theology?”

      The worship of Mammon?

      1. F. Beard

        The worship of Mammon? Min

        Yes and particularly the love of usury which come to think of it is a love of enslaving people.

  6. F. Beard

    This was the context that led thousands of regular Italians to invite, and pay the travel costs, to bring a leading MMT scholar, Stephanie Kelton, to Italy and expose the ECB’s most destructive myth – TINA (“there is no alternative”). Bill Black [bold added]

    Because a government backed/enforced usury for counterfeit money (“credit”) cartel is ethical (it isn’t), libertarian (nope), stable (See Great Depression), safe (See major causes of WW II) or ordained by God (Nope, not in the Bible)?

  7. andrew hartman

    of course the italians love MMT: it says they shouldn’t have to pay a price for
    too much debt loaded onto an aging population and outmoded economy.

  8. Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

    Bill Black said, “A nation that retains its economic sovereignty can speed its recovery from a severe recession by adopting a stimulative fiscal policy, a stimulative monetary policy, and by devaluing its currency.”

    However, devaluing currency, which stimulates exports, is unnecessary, if monetary policy is stimulative. All exports do is bring the nation’s sovereign currency home. But the nation can produce as much of its sovereign currency as it wishes.

    However, devaluing currency can be inflationary. Completely unnecessary.

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  9. Gil Gamesh

    But, Bill, haven’t you heard? Greece’s social democracy is the cause of all its problems, not the technical fiddle-faddle you are espousing. Any country that foolishly diverts public spending to its people will suffer the same fate. Thank god the US is no social democracy, and that soon (but not soon enough) our entitlement programs will be abolished or privatized, so that wise shepherds like Dimon and Blankfein can run them.
    Americans are truly wondrous. 90% of them own nothing. They could, rather easily, live in a society where all their basic needs (housing, health care, pensions, jobs) could be provided, and comfortably so. But no, and hell no. They’d rather keep that .0001% chance of getting filthy, stinking rich. Oh well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

    1. F. Beard

      The problem is that most Americans think the money system is just or that “there is no alternative [TINA]”. The Left should be pounding on the counterfeiting and usury aspects of our money system except THEY AGREE WITH IT so long as they are in charge.

    1. ray

      Why do you think you know my level of understanding? I think you are being a pompous ass but MAYBE I’m wrong

    2. skippy

      Monetary sovereign is a vacuous delineation, built upon theocracy’s opines.

      Skippy… preface that with a study of sovereignty through out the ages.

        1. Skippy

          I’m opposed to people speaking in gibberish from antiquity, which only obfuscates what is really going on ie like *monetary sovereigns* have little or no exposure to the central banking system, other nations (china?),

          Lets see, your solutions boil down to more electrons of price (MMT), yet no mention of societal value, no regulatory frame work, no legal forbearance, dogs printing coupons (kinda like sub prime loans thingy [that worked well]), re-enable mass consumerism – which leads to more energy problems and further reduction of the worlds environment so 5% of the world population can feel good about its self (after decades of manufactured desire mental imprinting), and_all_will_be_well.

          Skippy… I have presented alternative metrics (CCT/E) to yours, your mock indignation is no more than a cheap conman’s trick. Trying to imbue a negative emotional context with mere uttering of…

          “As usual, Skippy is opposed to any solution or partial solution. Useless much?”…

          Opposed to ANY solution? How can this be fact when I have presented alternatives, is your memory so short or defective?

          “As usual”…

          Nice try a framing the conversation in that I engage in the repetitive, seems that’s your one trick pony ie. common coupons, MMT, Gawd said so…

          “Useless much?”…

          Well beardy, methinks your not, excellent example of cognitive dissonance extrema, hell you should be in congress or the senate as you would fit right in.

          Skippy… per your Muslim – Hindu inference, well, they did not create this problem, they tended to stay in their patch until your mob showed up – at their door step – claiming superiority and picked a fight. Same goes for the Asian mob, sitting around doing their thing and here comes the gawdhead ideological scouts stirring up trouble and softening up the population for *their market needs*. At least the Asians had the chutzpa to put their gods feet on the ground and not hiding in the heavens, gods that hide… ummm.

          PS. its like a bar fight when the security shows up, the one usually claiming victim status the loudest… is the one that started the frackus in the beginning.

        2. F. Beard

          re-enable mass consumerism – which leads to more energy problems skippy

          What energy problems? Don’t you remember that Popular Mechanics article from the 60s’?

          If we don’t end this Depression people will eventually be itching for war jobs like they did in the 30’s. And WW III is likely to be very hard on the environment.

          As for consumerism per se, it is natural that the disposed should seek comfort wherever they might find it.

          1. Skippy

            Please stop with the WWIII will occur if things are not done your way, grasping at extremist out comes is a mental manipulators tool.

            We have massive energy problems. Even if we use the last bit we have now, there are consequences to extraction, loss of arable land, pollution, destruction of species and environment, water, water, water, diminishing returns EROI, etc, etc, and can back it up with evidence and not some biblical reference or threat from a crystal ball.

            Depression?

            Oh you mean people not getting rich any more or the end to trickle down economics? But realizing that there needs to be more sharing of resources to a social well being outcome? That there is more to life than personal – national wealth… oh spiritual beardy one.

            Skippy… all this coming form someone that presently lives a so called comfortable life, euro 7 passenger luxury car, top self interior accoutrements, original art, private schooling for kids, associates with the betters of my patch, holidays with and at the places of the well heeled, just had a casual conversation with the principle of RBS *** boutique financial proveyor at a kids sporting event (ooh la la), hears more standing around than most can access via a Bloomberg terminal, have personal access across almost all the worlds economic sectors from the ground up via personal contacts, ex military and mercenary experience, that has had the actual responsibility of other human beings lives and their charges lives in my lap, that will actually lose money to help others out, puts social cohesion before my own needs, that forgives the most egregious personal transgressions for social well being…… yet you assert biblical vagary’s and monetary theocracy’s as a panacea? The same shite that got us here… really?

            Too me… you are a zealot that lives in a cave and pops his head out to opine about the recalcitrance of humanity to conform to your cave murals. I weep…

          2. Skippy

            “As for consumerism per se, it is natural that the disposed should seek comfort wherever they might find it.”… beardy

            See here is what I ‘m talking about, on one hand you pander to the brainwashed manufactured desire chubs ie. they are predisposed from wealth’s bounty (cough cheap shite, TV’s, cheap defective housing, crap food, fashion cycles nearing tomorrow, massive amounts of product that last weeks or months, shipping of food half way around the world [most country’s ship their best over seas or interstate to fetch better prices at the loss of the local community’s dietary needs, i apps, sugar in every food product [its toxic]), et al.

            Nothing natural about it beard, its manufactured, consumerism, its a creation of hole cloth by the .001%, buy* and for the .001%, same shite since before the time of your objects desire and others, Graebers book offer clues, yet you dally…ummm… stuck in the arm chair?

            Skippy… legion is making a list and checking it twice.. thrice… whom will you be.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmdPQp6Jcdk&feature=related

          3. F. Beard

            But realizing that there needs to be more sharing of resources to a social well being outcome? skippy

            Yep. Common stock as money would “share” wealth and power. But you are opposed to that.

            That there is more to life than personal – national wealth… oh spiritual beardy one. skippy

            Our spirituality is tested and shaped by how we handle our material goods:

            What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. James 2:14-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

  10. H.M. Niebisch

    Mr. Black’s post was biased and offensive. Germany wants to occupy Greece? Why? For what purpose? Conjuring ghosts of Europe past in order to compare what is happening in Greece today to WWII is beyond the pail. The post serves no other purpose than to cast Germany in the worst possible light. Mr. Black is so blinded by his prejudices that he can’t even get his story strait about how Greece lost its sovereignty: “Germany and Papademos have ended Greece’s political sovereignty, but Greece gave up its economic sovereignty long ago when it adopted the euro.” Well which is it? Who ended Greek sovereignty? Germany? Papademos? The Greeks themselves? Mr. Black has put his personal biases and prejudices on the table for all to see. I for one will skip any posts and commentary he may have to make on the subject of the Greek debt crisis and I would hope others will cast a more critical eye on any future posts as well.

    1. charles sereno

      Disclosure — I’m no economist. I suggest that the present woes of the Eurozone have a historical precedent. For more than 150 years, blacks in the US have undergone an austerity diktat. (This group was a nation in a union of many nations, but with no say.) They accepted their degraded labor cost (only because it was their only choice) in the hope that their “exports” would lift them up. It never happened. Lesser members of the Eurozone should take note.

    2. Jim

      Well stated. Too many progressives give the Greek establishment a pass. Had it not been for it, Greece would not have ceded its monetary sovereignty.

      I can’t blame Germans or Germany. They are looking out for their best interests, as they should, as members of a sovereign nation.

      What so many of you can’t digest is that sovereign nations exist for a reason. And Germany and Greece are separate nations.

      Did we as progressives get upset when the US refused to continue plugging the Argentine budget deficits back in 2001 – after all, we all belong to the Americas.

      So why are so many of you incensed that the German voter does not want to continue financing the operating losses of the South, whether it be through direct transfers or inflation.

      1. reslez

        Argentina isn’t a member of the United States. If it were, it would be bailed out the same way Arkansas and Louisiana are bailed out every year by federal transfers from Massachusetts and California. The U.S. and Argentina have made no such political or economic commitment.

        But Greece and Germany are both members of the European Union. They have made an explicit agreement to share the same lifeboat.

        Maybe choose a better example.

  11. Stephen Neumeier

    I am a fan of Bill Black regarding his thoughts on white collar crime and fraud but his opening comments about Germany turn me off.

  12. Hugh

    I agree with Heretic above. We need to distinguish between German and Greek, or core and periphery, 1%s, on the one hand, and German and Greek 99%s on the other. The bad actors in this have been the 1%s. The bagholders have been the 99%s.

    Turning the 99%s against each other is just a tactic of class war.

  13. Vinz Klortho

    MMT works fine as a monetary system, with one fairly severe and extreme constraint:

    The immediate execution by half-hanging, disemboweling and drawing and quartering of any elected official, government, Federal Reserve or banking/credit system employee that causes, enables, authorizes or in any way otherwise facilitates the spending of money in excess of the productive capacity of the economy.

    Put that into legislation, and I’m good to go.

    Let’s gut Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi as an example to get started.

    Vinz Klortho

    1. F. Beard

      What about the fascists who advocate a gold standard – a previous tool of banker oppression?

        1. F. Beard

          Inflation is not the only way to steal via the exclusive right to create money. Risk-free hoarding/deflation is another way.

    2. reslez

      Let’s gut Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi as an example to get started.

      Why, are they guilty of causing inflation? And why single out a pair of women who have had peripheral involvement at best?

      If I were you I’d move some former Wall Street CEOS higher on your list, since their reckless loans and financial market churn caused far more inflationary damage.

  14. Vinz Klortho

    MMT will only realistically work in a system with a much smaller government, and hence is reasonably compatible with Austrians, Ron Paul, gold standard folks, and true conservatives. Here’s why:

    1) Money is power

    2) MMT gives the government the ability to create large amounts of money

    3) Corrupt individuals will get elected or work for companies to get control of that power.

    4) If corrupt individuals or companies control the ability of the government to create large amounts of money, the MMT monetary system will fail.

    Therefore, the only possible successful form of government operating under the MMT monetary system must be one that minimizes the amount of money the government creates, ie a government that is “small” relative to the productive capacity of the economy.

    Vinz Klortho

    1. F. Beard

      Therefore, the only possible successful form of government operating under the MMT monetary system must be one that minimizes the amount of money the government creates, Vinz Klortho

      False. If government money were only de jure and de facto legal tender for government debts and not private ones then excessive government money creation would ONLY hurt government and its payees; the private sector would in fact find it EASIER to pay taxes with the cheaper government money.

      1. Vinz Klortho

        I didn’t realize the discussion was regarding multiple independent “free banking” monetary systems.

        Your statement, while true subject to it’s conditions, is also irrelevant.

        Vinz

        1. F. Beard

          Nope. You said “…the only possible successful form of government…”. You are wrong.

          See Matthew 22:16-22 for the implicit requirement that both private AND government money supplies should exist.

          1. Vinz Klortho

            I’m not sure what you are trying to accomplish by being so deliberately obtuse.

            Vinz

          2. charles sereno

            F.Beard: IMO, some of your scholarly references are more enlightening than your frequent orations. Case in point, Matthew 22:16-22. For the benefit of readers, here it is —

            New International Version (NIV)
            16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax[a] to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

            Jesus calls these minions “hypocrites” and traps them into producing an idolatrous Roman coin with Caesar’s “graven image.” Then he says, “Give back to Caesar what you should have no truck with.” Then they left to plot another cheap trick with their managers.

          3. F. Beard

            Then he says, “Give back to Caesar what you should have no truck with.” charles sereno

            One should not put words in another’s mouth, especially God’s. And for confirmation that we should be subject to government see Romans 13:1-7.

          4. charles sereno

            F.Beard: Find someone who misunderstood my “quote.” I think it extraordinary for you to assert that God has a mouth or that Paul is his official spokesperson.

          5. F. Beard

            I think it extraordinary for you to assert that God has a mouth or that Paul is his official spokesperson.

            Wow! It’s just orthodox Christianity that Jesus is God and that Paul was an apostle.

            So much for YOUR ability to interpret Scripture!

          6. Skippy

            Holy crapola beardy… are you batman wandering his yard at a late hour in Sun Valley ,saying I’m the bat, after ingesting a few intoxicating mental bottles of what?

            Skippy… sometimes I feel like you are control piece of code to define reality in this computerized experiment we call life, an absurdity one must over come to reach a new level of conciseness, a teat one must remove ones self from to grow up.

    2. reslez

      MMT already “works”. It describes the fiat system currently in place.

      The government already spends at will. It spends trillions of dollars on bank bailouts and wars, then pretends no money exists for health care or education.

      Corrupt individuals are already in control of the monetary system. They have already created as much money as they want for themselves.

      Smaller government would merely allow private tyrannies to take more explicit control of the levers of power. It would not liberate anyone. Imperial Rome had elections too. But you can’t vote Jamie Dimond out of office.

  15. Kunst

    “After Germany’s defeat, Rallis was executed for his treason.”

    According to Wikipedia:

    “After the liberation of Greece, Rallis was sentenced to life imprisonment for collaboration. He died in jail, in 1946.”

    I did see one reference elsewhere that might suggest he was sentenced to death.

  16. proximity1

    Gee! Do “the Germans”–alone, of all people in the world!–actually direct the course of the German political policy apparatus? If so, maybe they’d help other people figure out how to wrest control from a corrupt oligarchic elite–Americans, for example, certainly don’t decide anything of substantive importance. On every two years, U.S. voters–those that bother–are invited to participate in a grotesque sham in which people are encouraged to think that they’re having some effective part in “their” government.

    Meanwhile, life, politics, business, and corruption goes on as before, uhindered by those brief episodes of sham participation–and no one’s opinion (except that of the members of the owning and controling class) is asked or welcome until the next election cycle.

    Can we, then, fairly blame “the Germans”? Do they actually run their system’s elite? We should ask for lessons in political practice from them.

  17. Eric L

    Was the Eurozone created to test Ron Paul’s economic theories? Got federalism? Check. Taxes don’t flow from rich states to poor as in the US.

    But this is the clincher:

    “The European Central Bank (ECB) was created with a single mandate – preventing even benign inflation.”

    So they decided to create a money supply that governments can’t print, can’t change in value relative to their trade partners, being run to not create inflation — why didn’t they just adopt the gold standard? What would be different? More volatility I guess, but there is absolutely nothing I’ve heard a gold bug suggest was great about the gold standard that the Euro doesn’t have.

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