How to Pay for the War

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Yves here. While war metaphors have gotten a deserved bad rap, in the US,, they are nevertheless something pols are always willing to fund.

And as for the Green New Deal, I wish MMT advocates would take to tying their economic proposals more tightly to Green New Deal initiatives. For instance, I’ve seen, but nowhere near often enough, the idea of a Climate Conservation Corps. Would people keep whinging about the Job Guarantee if jobs were in, say, the the CCC, public day and elder care centers. and local community initiatives (with local control, emulating the old Federal revenue sharing model)?

By Randy Wray. Originally published at New Economic Perspectives

Remarks by L. Randall Wray at “The Treaty of Versailles at 100: The Consequences of the Peace”, a conference at the Levy Economics Institute, Bard College, May 3, 2019.

I’m going to talk about war, not peace, in relation to our work on the Green New Deal—which I argue is the big MEOW—moral equivalent of war—and how we are going to pay for it. So I’m going to focus on Keynes’s 1940 book— How To Pay for the War—the war that followed the Economic Consequences of the Peace.

Our analysis (and the MMT approach in general) is in line with JM Keynes’s approach. Keynes rightly believed that war planning is not a financial challenge, but a real resource problem.

The issue was not how the British would pay for the war, but rather whether the country could produce enough output for the war effort while leaving enough production to satisfy civilian consumption.

To estimate the amount left for consumption we need to determine the maximum current output we can produce domestically, how much we can net import and how much we need for the war.

My argument is that this is precisely how we prepare for the Green New Deal. “Paying for” the GND is not a problem—the only question is: do we have the resources and technological know-how to rise to the challenge.

While in normal times we operate with significant underutilization of capacity, during war, Keynes argued, we move from the “age of plenty” to the “age of scarcity” since what is available for consumption is relatively fixed.

At the same time, more output produced for military use means more income, which, if spent on consumption would push up prices. Hence, some of the purchasing power must be withdrawn to prevent inflation. Thus, Keynes rightly viewed taxes as a tool for withdrawing demand, not paying for government spending.

He thought taxes could be used to withdraw half of the added demand. The other half would have to come through savings, voluntary or “forced”.

Voluntary savings would only work if everyone saved enough, which can’t be guaranteed. If households don’t save enough, they bid up prices while consuming the same amount of resources, but paying more. The business ”profiteers” would get a windfall income, some saved and the rest taxed away (so businesses would effectively act as tax collectors for the Treasury—the extra consumer demand facing a relatively fixed supply of consumption goods would generate extra tax revenues on profits).

Thus voluntary saving plus taxes would still withdraw demand, but on the backs of workers and to the benefit of profiteers. If workers demanded and got higher wages, the process would simply repeat itself with wages constantly playing catch-up to price increases as workers consumed the same amount of real resources.

Keynes’s preferred solution was deferred consumption. Instead of taxing away workers’ income, which would prevent them from enjoying the fruits of their labor forever (and possibly reduce support for the war effort), he proposed to defer their consumption by depositing a portion of their wages in “blocked” interest-earning deposits.

This solution would avoid inflation, while at the same time more evenly distribute financial wealth toward workers.

Furthermore, this would solve the problem of the slump that would likely follow the war, as workers could increase consumption after the war at a measured pace, spending out of their deferred income.

Keynes recognized that it is not easy for a “free community” to organize for war. It would be necessary to adapt the distributive system of a free community to the limitations of war, when the size of the “cake” would be fixed.

One could neither expect the rich to make all of the necessary sacrifice, nor put too much of the burden on those of low means. Simply taking income away from the rich would not free up a sufficient quantity of resources to move toward the war effort—their propensity to consume is relatively low and they have the ways and means to avoid or evade taxes.

But taking too much income away from those with too little would cause excessive suffering—especially in light of the possibility they’d face rising prices on necessities.

To avoid a wage-price spiral, labor would have to agree to moderate wage demands. This would be easier to obtain if a promise were made that workers would not be permanently deprived of the benefits of working harder now.

In other words, the choice facing workers is to forego increased consumption altogether, or to defer it. In return for working more now, they would be paid more later—accumulating financial wealth in the meantime.

He recommended three principles to guide war planning:

1) use deferred compensation to reward workers;

2) tax higher incomes while exempting the poor; and

3) maintain adequate minimum standards for those with lower incomes such that they would be better off, not worse off, during the war.

The deferred compensation would be released in installments, timed with the slump that would follow the war.  The system would be “self-liquidating both in terms of real resources and of finance”—as resources were withdrawn from the military they could turn to civilian production, with the deferred compensation providing the income needed to buy that output.

While Keynes argued that “some measure of rationing and price control should play a part” he argued that these should be secondary to taxes and deferred compensation.  Rationing impinges on consumer choice and inevitably has differential impacts across individuals. Price controls can create shortages.

In any case, he argued that an effective program of deferred income will make rationing and price controls easier to implement.

What Keynes wanted to avoid was the UK experience of WWI when the cost of living rose an average of 20-25% annually over the course of the war, and wage hikes tended to match price hikes, but with about a one year lag.

This allowed sufficient but permanent loss of consumption by workers to shift resources to the war.

By contrast, both the US and the UK managed to contain inflation pressures much more successfully in WWII—the UK hit double digit inflation only in 1940 and 1941, and had remarkably low inflation during the remainder of the war; the US barely reached above 10% only in 1942 and in other years inflation ranged from 1.7% to 8%.

Both of them adopted a variety of anti-inflation policies that approximated Keynes’s policy. Given the circumstances, the policies were remarkably effective.

Note that in the US, government spending rose to nearly half of GDP—with the budget deficit rising to 15% of GDP and the national debt climbing to 100% of GDP. In light of that massive mobilization, it is amazing how low inflation was.

I think this will also happen as the GND is phased in—the growth rate will accelerate sharply and the government’s share of GDP will grow from the current 25% or so toward 35% of GDP. At the same time, there will be reduction of private spending on healthcare so we end up with maybe an overall boost of GDP of maybe 2.5%.

If desired, we can reduce the stimulus through deferred consumption—perhaps through a surcharge on payrolls that will be returned through more generous benefits after the GND “war” cools down. Me? I’m an optimist. I believe the GND boost will put us on a sustained higher growth path, without inflation, that will generate the additional resources required.

If we compare that to the WWII build up, all of this seems quite manageable. And the inflation effect will be much lower—in part because we are not producing stuff to blow things up and in part because we face strong deflationary pressures from the east—a couple of billion workers have joined the global production force to keep inflation down.

And some of this shift toward the GND will be reversed quickly once the new infrastructure is in place and we have greened our economy. We will release the deferred compensation and we might end up with a government that is permanently bigger but not by that much—say a third of the economy instead of a quarter. Again, that is no big deal.

We long ago became a post-agricultural society. Since WWII we’ve transitioned to a post industrial society. It makes sense that we are going to have a bigger government since most provisioning already is, and will increasingly be, coming from the service sector—an area where public service Trumps private service—in education, care services—aged and young, healthcare, the arts, and many forms of environmentally-friendly recreation. More parks, less shopping.

In another important contribution—Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren— written in 1930, Keynes speculated about our future– a time when “for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem—how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well.”

By Keynes’s timeline, this should have been reached by 2030. We’ve timed our GND to be completed by 2030. We have 10 years to make Keynes’s vision become reality. The alternative is annihilation.

Some (both heterodox and orthodox alike) argue we just cannot “afford” survival. It is cheaper to just keep doing what we’ve been doing and hope for a different result. That is not only the definition of insanity, but it is—as Keynes would say—unnecessarily defeatist.

The challenge is big; the alternative is unacceptable.

(*Our report, How to Pay for the Green New Deal, by Yeva Nersisyan and L. Randall Wray, will be published soon at the Levy  Economics Institute.)

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  1. ambrit

    The question with the end assertion of the piece is; “Annihilation for whom?”
    It is quite possible that we are facing not an extinction event but a Civilization destroying event. If the latter, then I can well see small groups of like minded people banding together to ride out the buffets and strains of the coming paradigm change. This is not mere Conspiracy Theory babble. “Prepping” is a real phenomenon today, much like Millennial Cults of old. Indeed, the metaphor is too apt, for the modern survivalists are acting on a “faith based” belief system. Whatever the “Faith” involved is, is not as important as the very presence of said “Faith” and it’s effects. In this regard, the Green New Deal must arouse and make use of the same aspects of the human psyche. It must become not just an urgent task, but a full fledged Crusade. Tap into the human mind’s penchant for mysticism and faith and you will have a powerful tool to use. Use it wisely.

    1. Synoia

      Yes, but the effect of climate change is so unpredictable that any small group has a very uncertain probability of survival.

      1. ambrit

        The point would be obvious to anyone whose world view is based on ‘evidence.’ However, the human creature is prone to non-rational ideation and decision making processes.
        Also, at this point in the “game,” a worst case scenario is almost certainly “baked in” to the outcome.
        Given human nature, adequately addressing a problem of this scale requires an almost dictatorial instrumentality. A continued human Mechanical Civilization will require a genuine “Green New World Order.” This GNWO, to be effective, will have to come accoutered with the most pernicious aspects envisioned by the Conspiracy Theory Cadres.
        A new definition of the Zeitgeist Curse: IBGYBH (I’ll be gone, you’ll be here.)

  2. Wukchumni

    The original CCC was the most popular of FDR’s alphabet soup kitchen efforts, lauded across the land for what young men no older than 25, unemployed & unmarried. were accomplishing. There was precisely 1 CCC camp for women, and that was it.

    The then CCC filled 2 needs, getting young men with no jobs & prospects off the streets and teaching them physical labor, which would serve them for life.

    $25 out of their $30 a month pay went home to their family.

    How do you make the Climate Conservation Corps as laudable?

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      Every 18-?? year old (not sure why 25 should be age cutoff) should be guaranteed a paid “national service” position for 2-4 years on the new CCC. Optional but there would be huge take-up.

    2. jrs

      Eleanor Roosevelt pushed and got “She She She” camps for women, although they never served near as many women as the CCC did men, they were a great deal smaller. Though it’s odd how women disappear entirely from HIStory classes.

      1. Wukchumni

        8,500 women in SSS camps versus 3,000,000 men in the CCC works out to almost a third of 1%, a rounding error in the scheme of things.

    3. Anon

      How do you make the Climate Conservation Corps. as laudable as the original CCC?

      You actually develop a program that advances climate mitigation. The CCC wasn’t always doing “good” work. It was doing work that gave folks a paid activity of sometimes marginal utility.

      As you know, riparian, reforestation, erosion control projects are labor intensive, even with today’s modern machinery. Plenty of work for climate mitigation. Many urban/suburban public parks are in need of maintenance of trees/shrubs and facilities in general. Greener, thriving parks might encourage less travel which would indirectly mitigate climate change.

      While not a “resource lands” program, training young men/women to install/monitor PV installations (paid for the GND funds) would also be useful. I’m certain there are websites devoted to this GND topic.

  3. Susan the other`

    Wray is always so calm and collected. His punchline is how insane the deniers are, and willing to dig their own premature graves – for no reason whatsoever.

    1. ambrit

      The answer lies in your last phrase; “..for no reason whatsoever.”
      We are dealing here with people who do not possess ‘Reason,’ but ‘Low Cunning.’

  4. Pookah Harvey

    If the establishment dems don’t jump on board MMT someone else might:
    Bloomberg May 16, 2019 “Marco Rubio Puts Out a Paper Citing Obscure Left-Wing Economists”

    It looks like Marco Rubio didn’t get the memo about Modern Monetary Theory.

    His Republican colleagues in the House and Senate are busy circulating resolutions, or organizing hearings, that denounce the doctrine as a threat to the U.S. economy. But the Florida senator published a 40-page report this week lamenting the decline in American investment, and it draws heavily on ideas associated with MMT.

    Rubio’s report cites Randall Wray and Hyman Minsky,

    1. shtove

      I think Rubio came up in the thread under the latest Boeing article – Lambert’s response was to the effect, I didn’t know Marco was a card carrying communist.

      As Baldrick once said, “Something’s afoot on the wind.”

  5. Summer

    It’s not too big of an emergency that in addition to minimum income standards there aren’t any maximum income standards needed?

    As long as the sky is the limit on one end, there is always that inflation NOOSE.

  6. mle detroit

    Some (both heterodox and orthodox alike) argue we just cannot “afford” survival. It is cheaper to just keep doing what we’ve been doing and hope for a different result. That is not only the definition of insanity, but it is—as Keynes would say—unnecessarily defeatist.

    The late and wonderful Grumpy Cat would agree with Wray that “the Green New Deal… is the big MEOW—moral equivalent of war.” It’s long past time to get serious, humans.

    1. Summer

      All the plans I see are more about saving the economic system for as long as possible than protecting the environment – no matter how many times the word “green” appears in the article.

      1. Geo

        How else will society be motivated to take action if it’s not economically beneficial? Individuals might make sacrifices but the systemic power structure will not. And, an esoteric threat doesn’t usually make people change their ways (ask any doctor how easy it is to get patients to use preventative care) so we need a carrot to guide society toward sustainability before Mother Nature beats us with the stick.

          1. jrs

            I don’t know how much consumption we could really have in a sustainable world. I suspect very little.

            The way I see it the things you need you mostly don’t or shouldn’t have defer (I mean yea you could defer cancer surgery but ..) and the things you don’t need, I don’t know how we get to sustainability without eliminating much of such consumption.

            1. Summer

              That “Green New Slavery” aspect is a hell of a leap of faith. Work now, get paid later…promise

              Meanwhile, while the worker sacrifices are laid out in detail, I don’t see the detail about how the people who apparently are going to still get paid, pay their taxes.

              He didn’t define “worker”.

              He has a lot to say about cutting demand and austerity, no much about the supply.

              While the workers are working for free with the promise of pay later (I want to be there when they propose that in “the hood”), apparently they will still be exporting and clocking dollars.

              This is like the Green New Deal via Milton Friedman.

  7. Stratos

    The idea for “deferred compensation” for workers during the implementation of the Green New Deal is very appealing. I wonder if the deferred payouts could be spread out in 5 to 10 year increments. Perhaps a chunk (25%) added to the Social Security trust fund. That way the deferred compensation would not only benefit people at the end of their work lives, but also their surviving spouses and children.

  8. AlanBreck

    Regarding Mr. Wray’s, comment here: ” I’m an optimist. I believe the GND boost will put us on a sustained higher growth path, without inflation, that will generate the additional resources required.:” I believe both that Mr. Wray has solid grounds for such optimism, and that we need not rely on optimism to reach a sustained higher growth path through a Green New Deal. This is because production of bombs (and other weapons of war) results in dead-end output: there’s nothing useful that redounds to society’s economic benefit from war production. The opposite would be true when we shift resources to the GND: when individuals, organizations, and governments all use less energy, these economic actors will then be able to shift their consumption from fossil fuels to goods such as clean energy, health care, education, vacations, and economic security: hallmarks of a sustained higher growth path.

  9. John

    The I’ll-be dead-and-to-hell-with-my-children-and-grandchildren crowd will always and forever find reasons for doing nothing while the planet burns and drowns because they are comfortable and just fine and why do anything for the losers and the takers and the liberal-lefty-commies. Sounds like a really bad rant from a 1950s J. Edgar Hoover the FBI is your friend and protector, TV Special or one of those movies with the portentous voice of the guy narrating for truth, justice and the American way.

    The Green New Deal is a concept that is being worked out. MMT is an idea that an increasing number find attractive and useful while the business as usual crowd (see first sentence above) find much to harrumph about in each. A generation ago they would be the white mustachioed three piece suit guys in plush chairs at “their club.”

    I really do wish we could get started on this before my children and grandchildren have to live on a planet that burns and drowns while species disappear wholesale.

  10. Brian Davey

    This article it is entirely framed in economic concepts. The New Deal and the War economy of World War Two took place when the global economy had plenty of resources available still for exploitation – minerals, soils, fossil energy. The exploitation of those available resources made possible a huge expansion of the economy that continued for two and a half decades after the world war and started to stutter in the 1970. Thereafter there was a temporary lease of new life from the discovery of new oil resources in the North Sea and Alaska…but the writing was already on the wall by the time that “The Limits to Growth” was published in 1972.

    The Limits to Growth authors predicted a crisis in the first two decades of the 21st century as a result of pollution and wastes (think greenhouse gases as pollutants) and through depletion of materials (think peak oil and the attempt to put it back in time with fracking).

    Like so many others this article by Wray reduces “the emergency” to a climate emergency and ignores (or is blissfully unaware of) the depletion crisis.

    That is true for energy – and other kinds of minerals. I recently read an article by Louis Arnoux in which the minerals and energy resource requirements of a switch to renewable energy are explored. I have no reason to doubt the general story presented in his article on Steve St Angelo’s website which is that replacing 18 Terrawatts of currently installed fossil fuel based power over 20 years (Extinction Rebellion want to do that in 5 years) and replacing it with wind and solar would involve increasing total world production approximately 12 times for concrete, 18 times for steel, 30 times for aluminium, 18 times for copper, 96 times for glass + large amounts of epoxy resins, glass and carbon fibre, mostly non-recyclable and using dangerous chemicals eg phthalates+ substantial amounts of silver, Mg, Cr, Ni, Mo, Li, Co, Nd and other rare eaths.

    The total Energy requirement of such a huge exercise would be approximately 830 Exajoules. This is approximately 111% of current global annual energy consumption and most of this would have to be from fossil fuels.

    Over 20 years this is about 31 Exajoules per year which would be a drain of 6% of the energy currently being used by the global industrial economy. (at the rate that Extinction Rebellion want it to happen it would take 24% of global energy consumption )

    But this is supposed to happen when the oil and gas industry is in crisis and depletion means extraction costs for oil and gas and coal rise – but you cannot impose ever rising energy costs on the economy without it crashing the non energy sector that must pay these costs. In 2008 the economy also crashed because people and companies could not both service their debts AND pay for oil at $140 a barrel. (Sure there was massive corruption and fraud in the finance sector with liars loans and so on – but the energy crisis was also part of the problem).

    Nor can we just blithely accept that the technologies would develop in such a way to deal with the problems of renewables – particularly its intermittency. OK, energy storage during the course of a day is possible – but not energy storaage between seasons. Studies which look at the cost of battery power on a grid scale arrive at costs in many trillions for a days energy storage. Pumped hydro is cheaper but the sites where it could be developed are limited..

    What is lacking in the Wray piece is any concept of these bio-physical constraints. Using ecological footprint analysis we can say that the planet has overshot the carrying capacity of the planet – and in the USA by a very considerable amount. It must therefor contract. The economy must degrow. It cannot be otherwise. In the USA especially since there the overshoot is so great. Since it is the rich whose carbon intensive lifestyle is the main part of the problem they must take a corresponding large part of the hit – another thing not mentioned by Wray.

    So get real. We have hit the limits to growth. As Tad Patzek explains

    “To compare the WWII industrial effort with the global dislocation necessary to ameliorate some of the effects of climate change is surprisingly naïve… This comparison also neglects to account for the human population that has almost quadrupled between the 1940s and now, and the resource consumption that has increased almost 10-fold. The world today cannot grow its industrial production the way we did during WWII. There is simply not enough of the planet Earth left to be devoured.”

    1. Summer

      It’s also a bit like “We need an economy similar to China’s, but with all the middle men still intact.”

      They are still trying to “fix” the what was a collapse in 2008 and still keep the very same players in tact.

    2. Summer

      “What is lacking in the Wray piece is any concept of these bio-physical constraints.”

      Indeed. It’s a clear plan to continue exporting as usual.

      And no mention of stopping the actual wars and invasions going on. Stopping actual wars would be numero uno for a nice “green” start….

    3. Summer

      “But the company says the test nonetheless represents a major milestone because the five-seat model will “serve as a template for mass production,” according to a spokeswoman for Lilium.”

      ” Workers” will have to wait for deferred rides?

    4. Stratos

      B.D., while good points about resource restraints are made in your argument, I believe there are other factors to consider:

      * The national shift in priorities necessary for a GND may help curb the out-of-control US war economy that currently wastes minerals and energy resources on ships, planes, bombs, bullets and killer robots. Imperial ambitions and greening the economy are likely incompatible. Mineral and energy resources could be used to build a sustainable (low or no growth) economy, instead of destroying lives and polluting air, land and water.

      * Part of sustainablity involves conservation. Another part may involve reclaiming metals, glass and plastics from landfills, as well as, finding ways to crush existing unused concrete structures and repurposing that particular resource.

      * Another shift needed on a global scale is moving away from patriarchy. Under the current system of patriarchy, girls and women in traditional societies (including some religious subcultures in the USA) are not educated or treated as autonomous adults. They are pressured to marry very young and bear children beyond replacement levels. In some societies, girls and women are in plural marriages to one man who derives status from the number of children sired.

      * Finally, there is a strong possibility that mining on asteroids and other planets may become a reality within 50 years. While off world mining may ease shortages of Earth’s resources, there will be unforeseen negative consequences future generations will have to wrestle with…kind of like the situation we have now.

      1. Summer

        Off world mining….
        The spacecraft have to get off this planet first.
        How “green” is that?

  11. Cal2

    Reverse the question:

    Why can’t we pay for National Healthcare the same way we pay for war?

  12. RBHoughton

    I’m not sure about the author’s proposal for people benefitting from war. Is there not a risk of some sacrificing a child for a bigger TV?

    But what wonderful writing overall. My mood was raised with every sentence. We can do this so long as we want to. Brave New World indeed. Keynes should be beatified. I asked Yves for a bust years ago and still waiting. I’ll pay for it. Fingers crossed I’ll have one to put on the mantelpiece before long.

    A difference in the world today from Keynes’ times is the proliferation of treasure islands and the recent legislative acts in USA to catch the lion’s share of that business (see Oliver Burroughs “Moneyland” for details). We might need to demonetise the USD with its subsidiary national paper and invent a new global currency preparatory to a GND.

  13. Thinking

    Wouldn’t it be easier to severely limit private debt issuance as a way of reducing demand?

  14. Brian Davey

    Stratos I totally agree that a dismantling of the Military Industrial Complex would release huge resources (and would give the rest of the world a break from being pushed around by the US) – however I fear that the military is probably the last institution in the USA which will relinquish a privileged access to material and energy resources. An obliging and obedience media will keep on manufacturing “threats to the USA” to justify military spending.

    Reclaiming materials from landfill. Yes, but this is an energy intensive process. It’s an idea for the “circulate economy”. It sounds nice but while you can recycle materials you need energy to do this but you can’t recycle energy. That’s the second law of thermodynamics. “Ah” you may say, “but how about energy harvested by renewable energy systems? The problem is that renewable energy systems must be built and the minerals needed to build them are in scarce supply. Here’s an EU study on that…

    In fact because renewable energy is delivered mostly as electricity and because burning petrol and diesel generates greenhouse gases there is an idea that we need electric cars. For example the European Union envisages ramping up the production of Electric Vehicles by 200 times by 2030. (There is another optimistic article about EVs on the NC website now).. Corresponding to this would be an increased demand for production inputs of cobalt, lithium and nickel and copper to build the electrical vehicles. However at 100 times the demand world cobalt resources would be exhausted in 8 months, lithium in 5 years; nickel in 4 months and copper in 5 months.

    Simon Michaux, a scientist specialising in the economics and availability of minerals in Finland, puts it like this – “Most of the proposals to roll out a new electrical technology on a ubiquitous scale before 2030 [are] unlikely to go as planned”. What’s more, if this is the strategy, then, as Michaux puts it “the question of what mineral deposits are available is likely to be eclipsed by the question of “who gets acccess to those deposits.”

    And that is where the US Military Industrial Complex will doubtless claim that the US has first prirority on those resources – or they will discover a lack of democracy in the countries producing them so that there is once again a need for regime change…

    Your point about patriachy is a good one – unfortunately it is not the population of the poor world that is consuming resources on a vast scale – it is the rich countries and above all the USA.

    As for your last point I think this illustrates a point made by petroleum geologist Art Berman – “Americans have more belief in technologies that have not yet been invented than they do in God”.

    Putting men on the moon was possible…once. But as Tim Watkins explains, quoting Paul Kennedy:

    The only reason the Apollo programme was possible at all is that it came at the very apex of the greatest expansion of production and trade that the world has ever witnessed. To quote from historian Paul Kennedy:

    “The accumulated world industrial output between 1953 and 1973 was comparable in volume to that of the entire century and a half which separated 1953 from 1800. The recovery of war-damaged economies, the development of new technologies, the continued shift from agriculture to industry, the harnessing of national resources within ‘planned economies,’ and the spread of industrialization to the Third World all helped to effect this dramatic change. In an even more emphatic way, and for much the same reasons, the volume of world trade also grew spectacularly after 1945…”

    At the time it cost $25 billion dollars which would be $150 billion in todays dollars. That was nearly half a century ago – since then there have been other more modest manned space flights in the earths’ orbit but even those have now been ended as far as the US is concerned. The last USA space shuttle was 8 years ago. If the USA cannot afford this where are the resources going to come from to mine asteroids?

    Here is something by me on the GND on the Feasta website

  15. Scott1

    Every time I see the 10yr. timetable mentioned I feel obliged to mention that it is the melting of the methane happening now that is the reason for that time to get ahead of the power curve. I use the “power curve” today because it feels good to write Power Curve. The idea that you must stay ahead of the airplane. On the ground in a car you just go slower most of the time, though a truck driver is dealing with weight & gravity & hills & could just stop on the way up the hill.

    I’ve gone off the reservation & round the bend. It is a world problem meaning we have to have a world fund that pays for the whole shebang. We’ve hit the population numbers early because of the methane melt never factored in as calculations were made regarding energy sourcing & use demanded by civilization which demands excess energy.

    Since we do not have a World Government yet and human nature is what it is we have to have a War to make a World Government that has its own Treasury to pay for its own Armed forces and force units below and above the neck. Cyberwar is a new part of Hybrid War operations that have been fun for Putin to play with.
    To found a Government of Governments the question is what is the best war to put professional warriors and soldiers & sailors and pilots & agents of secret war to doing?

    I have seen it more possible to put together a nation of airports, sea ports, space ports, & with offices for Passport support as more possible than a Government of Governments, but now it is too late to do things in a linear order. My model nation of airports becomes necessary as part of the whole shebang.

    I’d be hiring Engineers first. If we don’t have the real resources we can make systems that funnel resources into the best available resources stretched by the best systems.

    The Carbon Engineering System for sucking carbon dioxide out of the air & combining it with water to make hydrocarbons is the system I’d be putting on all airports where the fuel farms are already. BTU requirements for airplane engines are high and will be the last use for hydrocarbon fuels. So get ahead by putting those systems on the airports now.

    The war to pick as the best war to have is the war to eliminate nuclear weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I know that there are people born with as much of an honorable destiny as soldiers as there are of those born to the destiny of singing or acting or even becoming a politician. I’d rather give them a good job. They must have the best of everything better than the US or any other society with loyalty to a particular flag.
    The Nation of Earth requires a colorful flag.

    Because of the peculiar nature of human beings war in time of threats is appealing.
    There are two, not one, but two existential threats to human civilization. The bang one is really not fair to labor.
    It is unique because we engineered devices that have become suicide devices. We have proved we have for that purpose infinite numbers of money. The war to eliminate nuclear weapons will have to have two stages or it will cause some nations to ignite the apocalyptic riot in the belief they have to. Whatever nations that have just 10 good nuclear weapons will be the allowable number allowed for the US or any other nation.
    The Gov. of Govs. Earth Nation Army will have the power to limit arsenals to 10, and that will be its mission and that will make the Gov. of Govs. Treasury.

    Once the Treasury is made the number 2 threat that is really number one has a bank fund in place to pay for concurrent Earth Energy machines & systems.

    You hire the best engineers for both jobs and set them to work for transnational currency notes.

    I pray as a way of thought at night as I lay down my head. I have asked people who know me
    & know Randall Wray for an introduction because I like his jib and bearing. I suspect you have to say prayers out loud to people for them to have much real effect.

    If you know Randall please ask him to read this.
    “The Price of Peace” by Keynes was some great writing when Keynes wrote about who and why Versalles was a very flawed armistice agreement. Keynes eyes were laid on Clemenceau & Wilson & the German delegation who had been lied to by Wilson who failed & fled tying to make himself look good when he was more like flushed out to sea.

    After WWII debts were finally written down or off completely. A group was created easy to stiff. Paying off NAZI bankers and other creditors wasn’t popular.

    Capitalism now is in crisis because the US Treasury has become about paying parasites more than they are worth through a captured system where Americans have become the reinsurers of a bad bunch led by a sociopath who achieved celebrity dictator status the same way Hindenburg helped Aldolf. The 2019 National Emergency is way to like the National Emergency of 1933 Germany.

    A war with Iran is not a good war.

    Thank you. As said I would really like it if Randall Wray took a look at my letter here inspired by his column.

  16. Barry

    A broad based payments tax of .02 percent of the 5 quadrillion dollars of input last year would return 10 trillion. Then you could eliminate all of taxes by giving the states and municipalities 1 trillion to eliminate property and sales tax, another 4 trillion goes for federal spending, the last 5 trillion you give every adult a 24 thousand dollar UBI with the exception of those over seventy 30 thousand. This is all done through the Fed which creates a matching output. You eliminate the Banks ability too use deposit taking ability to create the money and set the interest rate at zero. Non deposit taking financial institutions with good credit data and underwriting abilities to access credit at super low rates for small innovated companies for climate, technology, education and healthcare subsidised by the Fed. This is part of the new Financial Freedom Act coming next year after DC law firms who right bills for congress put the bipartisan bill up to Congress which when it goes viral will put real pressure on the Congress critters to sign.

  17. Karl Brantz

    Anything promised or planned by a confiscatory, warmongering Continuing Criminal Enterprise such as the USA cabal is a losing proposition. Any efforts to address climate change must dismantle this obstacle first.

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