Interview with Renegade Economist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A week ago I did a fairly wide ranging interview with Ross Ashcroft over at the Renegade Economist.  Thought some of you might be interested.

 

 

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69 Responses to Interview with Renegade Economist

  1. bradanfeasa November 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

    “The nation state is dying because the state has decided to work with someone other than the nation.”

    Great way of putting it Golem. Pretty much sums up the current state of affairs. I wish you could expand on the point you mentioned, about how our democracies are being hollowed out, slowly and silently.

    • Banger November 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

      There is a corollary to that statement and that is that the nation has similarly decided to work with someone other than the state. That “someone” is the corporate sector. This isn’t really a chicken and egg situation but it is something that has come upon us at the same time. In the United States where I live the chief agency that the corporate sector has used is the ability to supply Americans with cheap goods, toys, porn, vehicles, fuel, and, above all, entertainment and an absolutely Orwellian mass communication media. But here’s the problem–this is indeed what the public wants.

  2. bill40 November 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    Thanks Golem enjoyed that but will watch again before commenting it’s late. Why can’t we have people like you on QT, or Max keiser or Bill Mitchell? We are always having choices shoved at us. Strangely these never contain a single alternative.

    • Phil (Mcr) November 14, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Because the BBC is terrified of being called ‘left-wing’

  3. Pat Flannery November 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    One of the best interviews I’ve seen anywhere, by two great thinkers of our times. There is something in that North Sea wind that blows through your attic in Scarborough David. Open that window wide and blow away the cobwebs of our medieval economic thinking.

    • David November 23, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      Mediaeval economic thinking had a lot to recommend it. No re-selling in the same market and guilds guarenteeing quality of workmanship for example.

  4. JohnB November 14, 2013 at 2:14 am #

    That was an excellent interview. That pretty much rings clear parts of what I’ve been thinking for a while now (even right down to the language I’d tend to use), though much more eloquently and in depth.

    I’ve spent a lot of time learning of alternatives myself, but am genuinely stumped at where to begin pushing for implementing them politically – It’d be good to seek out some decent ‘public house’s for doing this :) (though Ireland may not be great for this kind of political activism I think)

  5. Banger November 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Great interview. The big takeaway is that the “there is no alternative” (TINA) has to be broken. The most wonderful thing about being alive today is that solutions to our collective problems or at least the first steps towards solutions are astonishingly plentiful. We have a rich culture below the surface of contemporary life that can be mined if we just, collectively, decide we want to live in a better world–I’m not convinced that most people actually want a better life–change is very threatening and history, at this point, demands it.

  6. The Dork of Cork November 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    Public houses decline when the money becomes hard over time………I would much prefer being in my favourite pubs then wasting my time on the giant internet bullshit machine but I have no choice as social activities are subtracted so that the banking system can scale up for one last time.

    Other then that it was a OK interview.

    However – the official Documentary of the renegade economist comes under savage attack by this greenbacker for starting with a falsehood.

    “The other two horsemen were fluff. I can’t even remember what they were. The first horseman was the topic of money and banking. It is this topic where the film opens up with lies about the Roman Empire in order to promote an Austrian solution, full reserve banking and gold as the legal tender. They tell the lie that monetary debasement is the reason why the Roman Empire collapsed. They didn’t gloss over the history like Austrian economists do when they make the claim. They instead rewrite facts making the claim the Roman Empire was built on a gold and silver standard and that it fell because they started to use brass filler to the silver coins or something to that effect. It was a statement so divorced from the facts that my brain short-circuited.

    Rome was on a bronze and silver standard for the first 270 years. Then, in 50 BC, Rome introduced the gold coin and removed the bronze coins for circulation. It was the Crime of 50 BC, much like the Crime of 1873, when the U.S. demonetized silver and other currencies. Yes, the bronze coins were reintroduced, removed, and reintroduced soon after 50 BC because of the economic instability and destruction that followed when the cheap money that built the Roman Empire was removed from circulation the first time. There is even little physical evidence left of bronze coins being reintroduced the last time. I think someone did too much unlearning of economics.”

    https://libertyrevival.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/the-renegade-economist-and-the-four-horsemen/

  7. Andrea November 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Great interview, good points. Thanks.

    The TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership, is a monster in the cave…ppl don’t realise.

    (Also good on obligations which is another topic, complex ..)

    — About the TPP, a post from *naked capitalism*

    http://tinyurl.com/oo6ldyb

    provides some details that speak to issues, as the Wiki-leaked text is stark, not complete, and thus hard to judge.

    https://wikileaks.org/tpp/

    The State (Nation States in the W to limit it there), as you say, is not just under attack, but capitulating to huge powerful corps, imho has already in many cases joined hands in iron fists, and not lightly with delicate glancing gloves, it has been happening for a long time. That’s a history that remains to be written, if ever. Maybe one should start right now.

    Corps control ever more resources, finance, etc. than many nations. GlencoreXstrata is a prime example.

  8. steviefinn November 14, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Today I got into a conversation with a fella who made some mention of the so called improvement in the UK economy. This led me to remark that this was bullshit, I was then quite shocked due to the fact that he agreed with me, & was then willing to listen to my garbled outpourings on money creation, debt etc. He left me with positivemoney.org scrawled on his hand.

    Not a public house but a backroom in a hotel in Cookstown will be where about 30 of us will be meeting next Monday. I think the group consists mainly of people who are in trouble with the banks, The above video will be a great place to start for those who are willing to listen because the financial war has reached their front doorsteps. It is after all why I arrived here a few years ago – should be an interesting evening.

    • Phil (Mcr) November 14, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      Great work Steve. I really need to come and visit!

    • Andrea November 15, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      Sidebar: About public houses, where I live (Switz.) it was the café. The Brasserie. Ppl would meet and talk, argue, even organize.. (and drink etc. of course.) A lively scene. In part the ‘public house’ existed because ppl’s lodging were small, and public spirit, or proximal geographic ties were important, or high. You lived in a small crummy, often cold, space but other ‘free’ (gotta buy a drink) spaces were open to you.

      You could even stand on a table and make a speech.

      Pass around a petition.

      Iirc, the number of French cafés has been cut by 50% since 1960. (Some study I read, who knows, but looking about it sounds about right. Now there are discos, night clubs, fancy restaurants, fast food places, supermarket caféterias, all of which channel in one class of customer who must behave according to the rules of place.)

      So social mixing has been lost, partly through ‘targeting’ (and that hasn’t worked out well for many public watering/eating spots), and partly because of increased mobility. Ppl live in one place, work in another, go to public spaces in yet another (if they go at all) so they are living in a series of ‘boxes‘ divorced from their proximal geographic space.

      And of course the rich – who many want to emulate – are not constrained by space at all, and no longer have any territorial ties. (London or the Caymans or Argentina, all the same.) So it’s all cool if you are a minor person to rush around specially if you have a driver or some other ‘advantage’ to travel.

      And it becomes difficult to find a place where ppl meet informally, one has to rent a town hall (say) and ppl have to put it on their agenda, etc.

  9. Phil (Mcr) November 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Rights or obligations has been picked up already, David.

    http://malcolmhenry.com/2013/11/14/rights-or-obligations-which-is-it-going-to-be-scotland/

    How else to heal our atomised society

  10. The Dork of Cork November 15, 2013 at 2:16 am #

    A man who wipes out the logic of MMTers strange jobs creation programme…..C H Douglas.

    Modern MMT Keynesian economics reached a critical mass in 1914 when the Treasury & Central bank of the UK became as one symbiotic unit.
    This mass mobilization was a jobs programme………

    MMT effectively argues we must do pointless jobs of killing some German automan or sweeping the road before the autumn leaves fall – all in order to gain access to capital……how absurd….capital is meant to replace labour in the first place.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_credit.

    In the modern neo liberal world of today Economic sabotage is the creation of scarcity through credit products such as cars & houses.

    “The economic effect of charging all the waste in industry to the consumer so curtails his purchasing power that an increasing percentage of the product of industry must be exported. The effect of this on the worker is that he has to do many times the amount of work which should be necessary to keep him in the highest standard of living, as a result of an artificial inducement to produce things he does not want, which he cannot buy, and which are of no use to the attainment of his internal standard of well-being.[10]
    By modern methods of accounting, the consumer is forced to pay for all the costs of production, including waste. The economic effect of charging the consumer with all waste in industry is that the consumer is forced to do much more work than is necessary. Douglas believed that wasted effort could be directly linked to confusion in regards to the purpose of the economic system, and the belief that the economic system exists to provide employment in order to distribute goods and services.
    But it may be advisable to glance at some of the proximate causes operating to reduce the return for effort ; and to realise the origin of most of the specific instances, it must be borne in mind that the existing economic system distributes goods and services through the same agency which induces goods and services, i.e., payment for work in progress. In other words, if production stops, distribution stops, and, as a consequence, a clear incentive exists to produce useless or superfluous articles in order that useful commodities already existing may be distributed. This perfectly simple reason is the explanation of the increasing necessity of what has come to be called economic sabotage ; the colossal waste of effort which goes on in every walk of life quite unobserved by the majority of people because they are so familiar with it ; a waste which yet so over-taxed the ingenuity of society to extend it that the climax of war only occurred in the moment when a culminating exhibition of organised sabotage was necessary to preserve the system from spontaneous combustion”

    MMT is the scoundrel bankers last refuge.

    • JohnB November 15, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      That the jobs in a job guarantee must be ‘pointless’ is a common straw-man against it (a lot of people back it with the idea that government = inefficient, and private = efficient by definition); look at MMT in terms of efficient use of physical resources (which is, in my view, how all of economics should be viewed).

      The most valuable ‘resource’ you have is labour, because if you fail to utilize all your labour, then every day the labour remains idle, that is potential work/effort left permanently and irrecoverably wasted (this is the ‘output gap’ in GDP) – time wasted, is irrecoverable (workers can’t work extra hours when they regain employment, to recoup the work hours lost when out of employment).

      When the private sector does not want that labour, you can do anything with that labour, and failure to think of something useful to do with idle labour is just a lack of study/research (it’s not necessary an easy thing to study either); you can even do things like stockpile non-perishable goods prone to price volatility (a ‘buffer stock’), to stabilize their price and avoid inflation/volatility when the economy recovers.

      This is effectively saving real productive effort in the present, to be expended in helping the economy run better in the future – this avoids any waste of either resources or labour/effort, whereas unemployment does not save anything, it is just a waste of labour/effort (with a lot of deleterious effects on the population).

      You can have social credit (I’ve not read up on it a lot), while at the same time, still trying to make efficient use of resources like the job guarantee enable – it’s just a policy tool for enabling that.

      • The Dork of Cork November 15, 2013 at 11:54 am #

        @John B

        The “output gap” is a result of a disruption of the flow because there is not enough credit (it must be debt free fiat now) to make the industrial production , distribution consumption system work……its got nothing to do with labour utilization.

        However the production of pure fiat will expose economic sabotage by the scarcity merchants……,,,look at the fuel balance of modern western nations for God sake,,,,,,why is almost all of the liquid fuel wasted ?

        As long as we live in a Industrial system capital will always overpower labour….thats the entire point of the enterprise.

        PS I can think of many things to do with my time without working within the Industrial maw ……or the absurd modern private “service” sector where they pay some young lad to game credit from some old senile pensioner …….its a sick world out there mate.

        • JohnB November 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

          Lack of money (which, as you say, doesn’t need to be sourced from credit), leads to lack of labour utilization, which leads to the output gap – they’re all interrelated and what you’ve said doesn’t really disagree with me (and me mentioning ‘output gap’ was rather ancillary).

          Is what you’re saying, that if countries use debt-free money, there will be the “danger of a good example”, that creates international efforts to suppress it with trade/resource/financial sanctions/manipulation? (in order to discredit it by using said actions to cause inflation, then blaming that on the debt-free money)

          I agree that that would be a potential danger (and it has historical precedent within the commonwealth), but that is something separate to the criticisms of MMT you put in your main post, which I’ve tackled.

        • The Dork of Cork November 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

          Just too be clear : more and more people work to gain access to credit ..not to do anything constructive…….the work is pointless.

          When looked at from this angle it does not matter if you work in the private or public sector.
          Imagine a state utility such as a power company …….a capital intensive operation but with the limited engineering workers doing real work……in the neo liberal world this apparatus is broken up ……..you have 3 different producers and maybe 5 different suppliers selling you the same product.

          I keep saying this but nobody will listen – there is a major jobs programme in Ireland at the moment ……….many of my younger relations are being forced into these absurd creations so as to get money…..their only job is sales …. sales of a vital product if you live in a Industrial ecosystem……all so to give people “the choice” to use the same product !!!!!
          Its not perfume or aftershave they are selling.
          They are not the modern day version of the fucking Avon Girls.

          Its the splitting up of successful production and distribution systems all so people can work for the credit to buy things…..but it also destroys the very reason for the Industrial system in the first place.
          So you get a general breakdown of the production / distribution / consumption system anyway.
          Its why the UK is becoming third world despite a increase in employment.

          The sicker your sense of humor the funnier the world gets.

          • JohnB November 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

            Those seem like likely valid problems, and I’m not opposed to the idea of a basic income that would be usable for helping to resolve some of that, and others policies/reforms aimed at solving that – but none of it relates to your criticism of the job guarantee, because the job guarantee is:
            1: compatible with solutions to that, and
            2: can involve useful/meaningful work, instead of being spent on useless work.

            Anyway, we seem to be diverging from the same argument, so will try to leave it there.

          • Roger November 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

            Magnus Mills Novel, The Scheme For Full Employment is a tour de force on the absurdities of Capitalism.

            “The Scheme for Full Employment, Magnus Mills’s strange dystopian parable of blue-collar bureaucracy in haulage depots, is more realistic than you might think. (…) No one has any character and there is no inner life to be detected. Mills has restricted himself to primary emotions and motivations – even the title is especially flat. Like the facsimile roadmap and worksheet which precede the narrative, the world here is schematic, a fully functioning but lifeless machine.” – Leo Benedictus, London Review of Books

            I must say I favour Guaranteed Income over A Job Guarantee. Mike Hall and I have discussed that here briefly before I do agree with Mike its much easier to brief against guaranteed Income by playing on ingrained social mores.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaranteed_minimum_income
            American revolutionary Thomas Paine advocated a basic income guarantee to all US citizens as compensation for “loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property” (Agrarian Justice, 1795).
            French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte echoed Paine’s sentiments and commented that ‘man is entitled by birthright to a share of the Earth’s produce sufficient to fill the needs of his existence’ (Herold, 1955).

            Shelly nails it so well in the Masque of Anarchy.
            ‘What is Freedom?—ye can tell
            That which slavery is, too well—
            For its very name has grown
            To an echo of your own.

            ‘’Tis to work and have such pay
            As just keeps life from day to day
            In your limbs, as in a cell
            For the tyrants’ use to dwell,

            ‘So that ye for them are made
            Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
            With or without your own will bent
            To their defence and nourishment.

            ‘’Tis to see your children weak
            With their mothers pine and peak,
            When the winter winds are bleak,—
            They are dying whilst I speak.

            ‘’Tis to hunger for such diet
            As the rich man in his riot
            Casts to the fat dogs that lie
            Surfeiting beneath his eye ;

            ‘’Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
            Take from Toil a thousandfold
            More than e’er its substance could
            In the tyrannies of old.

            ‘Paper coin—that forgery
            Of the title-deeds, which ye
            Hold to something from the worth
            Of the inheritance of Earth.

            ‘’Tis to be a slave in soul
            And to hold no strong control
            Over your own wills, but be
            All that others make of ye.

            ‘And at length when ye complain
            With a murmur weak and vain
            ’Tis to see the Tyrant’s crew
            Ride over your wives and you—
            Blood is on the grass like dew.

            http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/Classic%20Poems/Shelley/the_mask_of_anarchy.htm

            ”Paper Coin that forgery” priceless, timeless and Timely.

          • JohnB November 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

            The point I make though, is that a job guarantee and a guaranteed income, are not mutually exclusive – you can have both, and the possibility of having one, is not an argument against having the other.

            You may favour one or the other (personally, I favour both, despite not having read up on the basic income a whole lot), but just because you favour one doesn’t mean the other is bad or should be played down.

            The idea of a guaranteed income has more political hurdles though: It is easy to disparage using moral arguments about giving away ‘free money’ and such (this kind of cheap moral argument is what makes the ‘right’ so powerful in rhetoric), whereas the job guarantee does not have this disadvantage – so that makes a job guarantee more politically practical.

            I would still advocate both, but the job guarantee has a better chance of getting adopted in the short/medium term.

          • Phil (Mcr) November 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

            A citizen’s income definitely appeals but when I floated the idea on a popular social network, I was immediately trolled with ”is that for hardworking adults or any old waster?”

            The impulse among so many to align income with work leads me to believe that a Jobs Guarantee would have to sit alongside a Basic Income, much as I agree with DOC that so much work is unnecessary.

          • Mike Hall November 16, 2013 at 2:19 am #

            John B

            There some problems I see with Basic Income.

            1. It doesn’t have a stabilising, counter cyclical function. (The JG is enormously powerful in this respect.)

            2. It has a very ill defined relationship with wage rates, so it’s use as an income ‘floor’ will be equally poorly defined over time.

            3. If money issuance is used in a ‘functional finance’ mode, inflation is highly likely. Ultimately rendering the BI insufficient but without any other ‘backstop’ welfare in place.

            4. If BI and JG were operated together, ‘normal’ jobs would have to offer a minimum of their combined income to be attractive. Getting these ‘price’ levels optimal would be far more complex in what would likely be a less stable system due to the weaker & less automatic counter cyclical ability of the public sector. (Think about the basic Sector Balances and the flows between them.)

            5. If BI is to be at a sufficient level, I doubt anyone would disagree that less ‘work’ will be done. We need as much effort as possible to be applied to changing our economies to ecologically stable infrastructure and operation. The longer we leave this, the more of our ecological capital may be destroyed permanently.

            6. A voluntary JG and unconditional welfare backstop should provide us with a maximum aggregate of goods and services whilst still guaranteeing a basic freedom of participation or not. Work is a highly social activity for humans. JG does not limit what we consider ‘work’.

            7. JG (in a functional finance system) can get us where we want to be – wherever democracy decides that is – with considerable stability and ease of adjustment. The first steps from where we are now are paradigm changing but can be quite incremental. No great upheavals needed.

            I’ve written elsewhere about a proposal to settle the perennial Capital vs Labour dilemma. A dilemma which is pretty much exactly what Paul McCulley (a self proclaimed capitalist, but interesting one) refers to as Capitalism vs Democracy in his talk in Ireland last year, just up on youtube:

            http://mikenormaneconomics.blogspot.ie/2013/11/kilkenomics-paul-mccully-raymond-crotty.html

            The proposal is that we agree a 50/50 split as the target ratio of public sector share of GDP vs private sector. Operated with functional finance and a mix of sovereign money issuance and ‘deposit’ facilities (Tsy bonds), as determined by a (actual) democratic government. A (MMT) JG provides a wage/income floor with its cost allocated equally in the public/private calculation.

            Capitalists take no decision making part in government. Government represents the interests of the majority, by definition in such a system, all on the ‘Labour’ side. (A lifelong wealth cap for officials would probably work well enough.)

            Capitalists, being always in a minority, but controlling 50% of GDP will have higher incomes that the majority. In real terms controlling a 50% share of aggregate goods and services, of whatever is produced.

            But the majority, thru’ government, will have final say on the social usefulness of what both sectors produce, and by what means.

            The whole basis is that humanity has never resolved this basic question. Probably the ultimate cause of most, if not all, conflict between groups of people.

            So lets just agree half each & get on with what really matters? (There’s lots to do..)

          • JohnB November 16, 2013 at 3:11 am #

            Mike Hall:
            All good points, and personally, I think a guaranteed income would need to have stabilizers for enforcing a minimum level of economic activity or work, in order just to have a stable economy (though this is the first time I am applying much thought to it).

            I like the idea of guaranteeing a basic minimum quality of life, and thus a basic income, but it’s important to remember that this also requires a minimum level of economic activity and trade (including exports/imports), required for obtaining the resources for this minimum quality of living (and in general, for avoiding excessive inflation) – very important.

            So I think the guaranteed income and the Job Guarantee, can be two sides of the exact same solution:
            The basic income would ensure that workers have the finances they need to purchase enough to meet a minimum quality of life, and the Job Guarantee can ensure there is an adequate level of economic activity needed to support that.

            In the same way that workers are pushed from the private sector into the Job Guarantee to avoid inflation, workers could be pushed from the basic income (by requiring a certain amount be earned through work – though maybe there are other ways) into entering the job guarantee or private sector (the share of labour between public/private can even become another policy option, as you discuss), when economic activity is lagging.

            One point in particular that you mention, which I agree with 100%, is the immediate need to undertake a Manhattan-Project like effort, utilizing as much economic capacity as possible, towards resolving energy resource and climate change issues – so I see the Job Guarantee as being the policy that comes first on the road to that, then supplemented with a basic income later for minimum social standards (and eventual transition to a ‘leisure economy’ with more free time, when climate issues are less pressing), and then transitioning from MMT to next step, which is a Steady-State economy in line with what Herman Daly promotes, for long-term climate/resources stability.

            My thoughts on this are just relatively unresearched musings though :) (am only putting all these pieces together for the first time) You seem to have put a far greater level of thought/reading into this.

            I went searching, and here is an interesting post on this general topic, from the Heteconomist blog, where the author posts about a ‘Job or Income Guarantee’:
            http://heteconomist.com/job-or-income-guarantee-jig/

          • Andrea November 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

            In Switz. we vote for Federal Mimimum wage (something Switz. does not have but doesn’t really need) and the 1/12 initiative, which stipulates that the difference between the lowest salary and the highest cannot exceed that ratio. I don’t expect either to pass, but things are certainly moving here. I can post more another time if interest.

            The Minder initiative passed:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_referendum_%22against_rip-off_salaries%22

            Soon, we will vote on a minimal guaranteed income, about 2K Euros (the sum is not fixed.)

            Note, these initiatives (and there are others) are not particularly from the left. Friedman and C. Murray for. ex. supported minimal guaranteed income. Minder was for honest, clean capitalism…

      • steviefinn November 15, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

        Unemployment is handy enough as a tool to drive down wages & also provides those who have use for such things, with scapegoats such as – Fat single parent who drinks & smokes, has 10 kids & lives in a 6 bedroom house while living off the taxpayer to the tune of thousands.

        Smokescreen for -Fat billionaire who enjoys the finest wines & cigars, while his 2 kids go to Public school & they all live in a mansion on a country estate, also courtesy of the taxpayer, to the tune of millions & millions.

        • Mike Hall November 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

          Replying to JohnB

          We clearly want the same results John :) I’m just not sure a BI is needed or even possibly able, long term to achieve that.

          I think I would summarise my concerns as what I see as very high levels of uncertainty as to how a BI would operate and evolve over time.

          I think Steve Keen is absolutely right to describe the economy as a ‘dynamic’ system. His most recent youtube series starting here is excellent & really a must watch imo.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb7Tmk2OABo&feature=youtu.be&a

          ‘Dynamic system’ is not mere fancy words. Nor are ‘non linear’ or ‘chaos maths’. They mean the economy can shift out of a seemingly stable range very quickly indeed with disastrous results from an otherwise innocent looking incremental change.

          Besides their dodgy underlying assumptions and complacency, this why the mainstream don’t see crises coming. The numbers, metrics, don’t change very much, well, until they suddenly do and all hell is let loose.

          Dynamic systems can give engineers (like me) and physical scientists the cold sweats – and they work with serious control precision that makes economics look like reading tea leaves.

          What I’m getting at is that even bad as interpreting empirical history in economics is, we have no experience of operating a BI. It’s a whole new layer of complexity in a system that already only the insane would fly in, if it were an aircraft & we had a choice.

          Even if we can get it to work to some likely moving level of ‘acceptance’ criteria (with or without JG) it would probably take years to get there. With the chances of it getting thrown into the dustbin in the meantime very high. It would be a tragedy of the highest order if JG were unfairly tainted with it & perceived to fail.

          We should be avoiding any ‘unknown’, complex or ill defined control elements in the system like the plague. BI is all these things. JG is not.

          From a ‘system’ engineering point of view, a clear ‘negative feedback’ or inherently ‘counter cyclical’ element – actually more powerful than any in the system right now, is exactly what we should be adding. This is JG.

          I like Herman Daly’s ideas, and many others, but given what I’ve just said, the idea of ‘Steady State’ rings alarm bells that words like ‘Great Moderation’ should have rung, but didn’t.

          That said, I do think ‘near steady’ or moderately fluctuating could be possible. But let’s not run before we can walk?

          ‘Functional finance’ and JG is plenty for existing institutions to get their heads around – and the general public too. They are paradigm changing & will have plenty on the inside & outside working to see that it ‘fails’ in some way. Let’s not make their job easier?

          I’ve been studying pretty much most of the ‘alternative’ ideas that are even remotely practical over these last 3 yrs. Unemployed & lots of time. I have only seen two coherent paradigm changing schools of thought which look workable. MMT and positivemoney.org

          Positivemoney lacks any serious focus on unemployment, which MMT nails.

          Positivemoney +appears+ to have an element to explicitly ‘fix’ banking. But it is untried, and with some potential macro economic problems which have no obvious mechanism to repair.

          MMT requires a separate legislative approach to banking, but do have Bill Black in their corner. (Stop 90% of all the derivative gambling.)

          They both use Abba Lerner’s ‘functional finance’ approach.

          (Of these, my preference is MMT)

          Neither is proposing a BI.

          I’m still looking and learning, but given what I’ve said about ‘dynamic’ systems, I think we would be crazy to try and shoot straight for some near Utopian system from where we are now.

          And if the practical changes & new operating levers of reforms are not just relatively simple, but able to be to be grasped by the majority, surely proposing such is a monumental waste of time?

          Talking here about things like Sector Balance analysis. It’s so simple and powerful. Everybody should be taught how it works. Nothing more complicated than 1st year school maths.

          Anyway, I’ve rambled enough, best wishes :)

          • Roger November 17, 2013 at 10:36 am #

            Thanks for that Mike. Informative Rambles are often the most helpful to read. Lots of reading in there for me to follow up on.

            As in this old song Got to get those city boys to Straighten up and Fly Right.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY4jbYNTmKs

        • JohnB November 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

          Yes I’m a big fan of Steve Keen and his work :) I’ve been falling behind on his blog/writing (among others) for a while now though, so will have to get around to that.

          I agree very much on viewing economies as a dynamic system, and of modelling them in a way that must properly include macro accounting in the model.

          I disagree with taking that though, and using it to make economics seem more complicated or ‘esoteric’ – I think with the Basic Income, it will not be difficult to predict its effects on the economy (especially if you mix it with the JG, having say 10% of Basic Income in-hand, and the other 90% needing to be earned in the JG – just adjust percentages as a policy tool), and I think it is precisely Steve Keen’s methods of modelling that may help shed a better understanding of the likely effects of it.

          I actually don’t think macroeconomics is all that complicated in the end, I think the complications come primarily from politics. I also think all the solutions we need are all already known and are not really complicated either, just again the complication is politics.

          Either way: I agree that when starting off, you don’t want both a Basic Income and a Job Guarantee, you want to establish the JG first and have it properly accepted politically, before going further.

          I definitely don’t advocate doing everything all at once, but instead in stages:
          1: Job Guarantee and economic recovery (covering a number of years, 3-5 maybe)

          2: Massive effort to fund work/research/public-works on reducing carbon emissions, using JG type policies, since they allow unlocking the full potential of economies (probably take at least 2-3 decades)
          3: At some stage during the above efforts, introduce social changes including a small basic income

          4: Once the path to reduced carbon emission is on a steady course, increase the basic income and allow the transition to a ‘leisure economy’ with less working hours and output, and increased free time

          5: Over a longer period (latter half of century probably), push towards a steady-state economy without growth (since endless growth is physically impossible) – debt-free money enables this, the rest is just resource management

          Interesting :) I’m a big fan of PositiveMoney.org as well, and yes that and MMT are both good contenders – I view them both as intercompatible as well.
          I think the public banking that PositiveMoney advocates has actually been tried in the past, and (a Libertarian, no less) Bill Still has documented some good history on this, as well as Ellen Brown with Web of Debt (I’ve not had a chance to read much of either yet).

          You could even stick in as step zero above, as a precursor to a full-on Job Guarantee:
          0: Implement a public bank, which funds limited public works projects and business investment, and eliminate government reliance on national debt.

          Yes though, we are all very much on the same page, so I don’t think stuff like a Basic Income should create any divide :)

          • Mike Hall November 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

            John

            I’d put the blame for unnecessarily complicating the macro economy on mainstream (neoclassical) economics. Clearly all the hugely expensive, mathematically dense ‘modelling’ has been worthless along with the contorted and plain absurd assumptions that have been required to prop it up.

            I think there’s some deliberate effort there to obscure how money and banking actually work. If that is properly understood, with some tools like Sector Balances, anyone with education to 18yrs could understand how to make adjustments (typically annually) to taxation & spending control levers.

            But it’s a necessarily iterative process over time, and being a dynamic system I wouldn’t try and change a key price level in one big step change.

            Which is also your feeling too, proposing a 10% BI, 90% JG initial effort.

            That’s sounds perfectly prudent, but I’m not sure I’d consider BI at 10%, well, to be BI at all. I define it as something which stands alone as sufficient to sustain a minimum quality of life. Not sure what a lesser amount is, a subsidy income or some such?

            Anyhow, I would just like to stress again, it is how it might evolve over time (without some constant need to make manual adjustments) that concerns.

            Have a look at Keen’s demonstrations of his ‘Minsky’ dynamic modelling software in that video lecture series & imagine adding in some step functions for BI, to get an idea of what I’m getting at.

            Incidentally Keen presents much of his background research and ideas in that series, including economic history & history of thought in economics. It’s a must see if you find Keen interesting.

            Another nice recent pair of lectures from MMT’s Wray and Kelton is here:

            http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2013/11/randy-wray-stephanie-kelton-present-fields-institute.html

            Stephanie Kelton is particularly good using Sector Balances to discuss the Euro structure’s deep flaws & predictable results.

            The slides are shown & also available for pdf download.

            Wray is excellent on ‘money’.

            Anyhow thanks again for the exchange, I guess we’ll be on to Golem’s new post now, just about to read it :)

          • JohnB November 21, 2013 at 12:37 am #

            I’ve messed around with Minsky a bit (even considered doing some volunteer coding for it :)), but wish I had the knowledge/skillset to do that kind of experimenting – would be fun indeed :)

            I’m about halfway through his lecture series there now (finding a bit of time each day to check each out), and yes it’s very good.

            Yes, good discussion :) Thanks for the insights/exchange.

  11. The Dork of Cork November 15, 2013 at 2:34 am #

    And the real goal of “balancing the books” as seen most especially in Europe is explained.

    “This seems to be a suitable occasion on which to emphasise the proposition that a Balanced Budget is quite inconsistent with the use of Social Credit (i.e., Real Credit – the ability to deliver goods and services ‘as, when and where required’) in the modern world, and is simply a statement in accounting figures that the progress of the country is stationary, i.e., that it consumes exactly what it produces, including capital assets. The result of the acceptance of this proposition is that all capital appreciation becomes quite automatically the property of those WHO CREATE AND ISSUE THE MONEY [i.e., the banking system] and the necessary unbalancing of the Budget is covered by Debts……….”

  12. Roger November 15, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    I enjoyed that david, well done! What above all else I really liked was your encouragement of people to seek out and consider different ways of doing things for there are alternatives.

    • Phil (Mcr) November 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      I’ve chatted to the interviewer a couple of times, seems like a really good guy. I think he’s a bit of a (Henry) Georgist.

      • The Dork of Cork November 16, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

        @Phil;
        A land tax under the present monetary system is the worst of all worlds…….its a classic half arsed method that works against the original thrust of the idea which is a particular speciality of Irish solutions to external bank problems

        Many people I have met recently are trying to escape the monetary /Industrial system by turning hobbit.
        A tax on land will merely return these poor people back to Mordor which is of course the real purpose of many “progressive ideas”

        Its interesting to Note that CH Douglas was not a fan of Georgist ideas.

        • Phil (Mcr) November 17, 2013 at 4:09 am #

          I have to say I’m out of my depth regarding the merits of Social Credit vs Job Guarantees vs LVT.

          Would LVT work if alongside what Positive Money are proposing?

          They have just published their second report, ‘Sovereign Money’. This would bridge the gap between the status quo and their view of what ‘Modern Money’ would look like.

          https://www.positivemoney.org/2013/11/sovereign-money-creation-vs-modernising-money/

          As I understand it, Steve Keen / Ann Pettifor are not in the Positive Money camp.

          • Mike Hall November 18, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

            I’d say Steve and Ann have similar problems with it as MMT do.

            (Keen I believe now has no disagreements with MMT’s descriptive parts (ie most of it). Notably, Keen doesn’t criticise the prescriptive bits either – I’d call that an ‘abstention’. Which may be for the simple reason it’s not his personal research focus & doesn’t have time to fully engage with it.)

            It’s this whole question of allowing an appropriate and unrestricted flow of endogenous money supply changes in the economy with PM’s banking set up.

            It does seem a real fudge in PM to me, as I’ve noted in what Scott Fulwiler (MMT) wrote once. Unfortunately in a link I’ve little hope of finding very easily among the hundreds I’ve accumulated.

            IIRC the argument goes something like this :-

            If ‘full reserve’ can actually achieve some restriction on unwarranted expansion of money thru’ banks’ lending, let’s say for asset bubbles. Then how will it not also place restrictions on similar ‘endogenous’ monetary expansion for ‘useful’ (productive economy expanding) purposes? Which latter will stymie economic growth & new employment. Consider this in terms of all the individual bank lending decisions?

            If it doesn’t have any real restricting ability in practice….and there’s valid doubts about this….(Think about aggregation (not addition) & with a time function, a la Keen ‘dynamics’, of all these micro lending decisions & it’s not a given.)….then why bother with it at all?

            If I understand it correctly, PM have government feeding in increments on monetary expansion (debt fee, in a ‘functional finance’ structure), but MMT (and me) find this a very vaguely presented proposal. How exactly would this work and respond appropriately to the micro economy’s needs? Isn’t it also largely a duplication of banks’ arguably core ‘micro’ risk management function? If we want that (I’m not averse), why not just have a major public banking sector? (Lots of other good reasons for that.)

            All in all, I’m not persuaded myself. I think we’re going to still need to ban much of shadow banking & the derivatives casino anyway & put in place some seriously vigilant & resourced public interest regulation. (Paralleling what we need to do with our laughable ‘democratic’ systems, or we’re fecked anyway!)

  13. The Dork of Cork November 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    @Rodger
    Thanks for that Magnus Mills reference …..never heard of him ….I will drop into my local second bookshop to see if I can get a copy as it sounds like my kind of humour.

    At this time of year MMT jobs programme sounds like war mobilization to me.

    I am sick of cunning plans however funny (if you have a dark sense of humour)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKRxX3s3JlM

    – watching Vincent Browne last night (a obvious Fabian socialist) I realized they have been debating “the crisis” in TV3 land for longer then the First and even second world war……..
    But it is high comedy on one level ….with a very obviously tight as a ducks ass German girl and a local Irish politician talking about high finance.
    Even the Great Halls pictorial weekly of 1970s Irish TV could not have imagined this…

    PS
    The Great War was never a class war – how could it be ?
    Scions of the landed aristocracy were wiped out en masse.

    It was merely the banking system scaling up by whatever means at its disposal….so it disposed of people.

    • Roger November 15, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Try This Dork,

      Its priceless, DADA lives,

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discordianism

      The Sacred Chao is a symbol used by Discordians to illustrate the interrelatedness of order and disorder. It resembles a Yin-Yang symbol, but according to the Principia Discordia:
      The Sacred Chao is not the Yin-Yang of the Taoists. It is the Hodge-Podge of the Erisians. And, instead of a Podge spot on the Hodge side, it has a pentagon which symbolizes the Aneristic Principle, and instead of a Hodge spot on the Podge side, it depicts the Golden Apple of Discordia to symbolize the Eristic Principle. The Sacred Chao symbolizes absolutely everything anyone need ever know about absolutely anything, and more! It even symbolizes everything not worth knowing, depicted by the empty space surrounding the Hodge-Podge.
      —Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia, Page 00049
      The choice of the pentagon as a symbol of the Aneristic Principle is partly related to The Pentagon in Virginia near Washington, D.C., partly a nod to the Law of Fives, partially for the Golden Ratio references associated with the pentagon/apple allegory, and wholly for the five-sided pentagon from the “Starbuck’s Pebbles” story in the Discordia. The Golden Apple of Discordia is the one from the story of The Original Snub (below).

      Davids reference to the Old Religion being preached from a text in Latin and the Jibberish of Neo Classical Economics notated in Algerbraic Brail hit a strong note with me as well.

      Read this last week Oestrem is one of my favourites on the Web, one of the many blggers Golem mentions as the new Pamphleteers.

      http://oestrem.com/thingstwice/2013/09/this-machine/

      “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Obama, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.”

      On Pamphleteers.

      http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2011/11/blogging-new-free-press-21st-century.html

      Blake believed that Paine’s “Energetic Genius” led him to perform miracles: “Is it a greater miracle to feed five thousand men with five loaves than to overthrow all the armies of Europe with a small pamphlet?”

      http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2012/11/the-narcissism-of-small-differences-in.html

      The Fascists, down to the last smalltime demagogue, continuously
      emphasize ritualistic ceremonies and hierarchical differentiations. The less hierarchy within
      the setup of a highly rationalized and quantified industrial society is warranted, the more
      artificial hierarchies with no objective
      raison d’être
      are built up and rigidly imposed by
      Fascists for purely psycho-technical reasons.
      Hitler’s famous formula,
      Verantwortung nach
      oben, Autorität nach unten
      , (responsibility towards above, authority towards below)

      Regarding the 1914-1918 Conflict I have found this writer ( Robert Moore) Persuasive.

      For a dispassionate analysis of the Corporate Statist drift towards Corporatocracy I recommend this interview by Sue Supriano of K Boo Radio in Oregan.

      Links dead sorry.

      http://www.suesupriano.com/article.php?&id=111

      http://www.suesupriano.com/article.php?&id=112

      Its with Robert Moore and in it Moore describes his book

      http://escapingthematrix.org/TOC.shtml

      “”Escaping the Matrix: How We the People Can Change the World” — Moore talks about the first half of his book which focuses on the issues of hierarchy and manipulation of the people with lies…
      Richard Moore: Part 2 “Escaping the Matrix: How We the People Can Change the World” — Moore talks about the second part of his book which focuses on how we can build a more localized, democratic society…
      .
      Above just pasted from another blog here.
      http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2012/07/platos-cave-tales-from-libetarian-drive.html

  14. ambrosius November 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    ” IF there must be trouble let it be in my day that my child may have peace.”
    [ Thomas Paine .]
    Well…so go ahead and sue the people Oh Mighty Corporation. You with the forty two thousands rotten heads. Go ahead and have your days. They won’t last long and they will also prove to be your last.
    As Osho says : ” I laugh in your general direction.”
    Know you not that help is on His Way ? But not for you who are “men [not of God ] but of meats and drinks and clothing “. [letter of Aristea. ]
    Of course the American and French revolutions were also carefully contrived for future times behind closed doors and this was not in coffee houses nor cocoa shops. Neither was there anything new under the sun back then in the 1760′s when the smart marrano Weishaupt paced the seminary digesting Loyola’s laws and imposed theirs and his plan on us. On us already so divided by them into opposing sides, so disobedient and so dumb. ” All the better ,he said ” to destroy all governments and religions .” We know enough about them all. Or should. Money in and money out. Our ignorance is ours but theirs is a science.
    ” The more eminent the specialist the more dangerous he is “. [P. Wallace Connon]
    So go right ahead, and do what you cannot help doing oh corporations and sue earth’s inhabitants, who are so displaced in believing that you are in charge and hatch that social cataclysm which you are planning to avoid. To Brazil ?
    Many who understand your scams and your fake recoveries have arrived and not even your tyrannies will bail you out next time. No mercy for you world wide. No; none. Not even in deepest Borneo, nor in Paraguay, will you be allowed to hide. The very stones and trees will rat you out. And after there is a special place in hell for such as you. Something that overwhelms….. a final countdown.
    There neither planes nor drones will help you .
    This is a new paradigm that peeks. The world is round. [ Isaiah 40:22 ---- 712 BC. ]
    It was the Phoenicians, those accomplished sea farers that successfully conditioned men not to cross the Straits. [ The earth is flat….you will all fall of the deep end... ]
    And it worked for at least one thousand years. It was their business. Their thing.
    ” Competition is a sin.” [Rockefeller.] Money in, money out and without linear mathematics. It has always been so and we let them slurp and suck.
    They like the meat but not the bone. They, like top slice and then to dice and then to chop and mince and that is why we all arrive together to this disastrous times .Them and us “Chairmen of ego ink” and we disobey God’s Law ’cause we only follow ours. Why they mostly win.
    Transparency in government is never an option. It is the criterion for true living and
    ” If it is not good for everyone it is not good at all.” [ Ubuntu.] Also in The Law.
    I agree with you about having no rights but plenty of obligations. One is responsible all the way. Also that the nation state has died. Ours. It was treason .We agreed with The enemy within that has betrayed us, willing fools all by hocus pocus. We were left with theirs. must build differently or we will perish. Theirs is not an option and it is profoundly demeaning. “We always put our own on top ” [ Carol Quigley.]
    ” When your mind allows you to accept and understand that the United States , Great Britain and the Vatican are corporations which are nothing but fictional entities which have been placed into your mind, you will understand that your slavery is because we believe in fictions.” [ Stephen Ames.
    ]For me it was a pleasure hearing you. Thank you.

    • Roger November 15, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

      I have been reading through this today, its hard to believe it was written in 1548. Apparently by a good freind of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.

      http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Discourse_on_Voluntary_Servitude
      ”Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? ´´

      I think Étienne de La Boétie and Shelly would have got along famously.

      ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
      In unvanquishable number—
      Shake your chains to earth like dew
      Which in sleep had fallen on you—
      Ye are many—they are few.’

      And one last list of troubles to share.

      In The General idea of the Revolution 1851 Proudhon urged a “society without authority.” In a subchapter called “What is Government?” he wrote:
      To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place[d] under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.[24]

  15. The Dork of Cork November 16, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    As long as we live in a Industrial society ( and England is not a post industrial society as is often claimed…why ? it imports a vast amount of industrial products ) you need free credit to sustain the production consumption system.

    A pre industrial society values human &animal labour much more so because the energy in society is oats and spuds which drive primary energy consumption rather then coal and oil.

    • Mike Hall November 16, 2013 at 2:42 am #

      Dork

      You always seem to post about the use of key resources in society and the undeniable fact that what we’re doing is not sustainable much longer. (As a basic interpretation of your overall approach, to me at least.)

      Whilst I believe you’ve agreed with at least the partial analysis of many offerings in the blogosphere, IIRC you’ve always proffered some ‘fatal’ or unworkable flaw in them.

      But I’ve never seen you offer a solution? Do you have one? Is there a way out of this mess, even a path, in your view for 7? 8? billion humans. Or are we all just writing humanity’s epitaph, more or less?

      Serious question. I’m genuinely curious :)

      Oh, and if you have one, could you try and begin with some simply explained terms, avoiding concepts like ‘entropy’ for example, without really describing what you mean by that in the human context. Thanks :)

      • Mike Hall November 16, 2013 at 2:46 am #

        I suppose with these looming so called ‘trade’ deals about to establish the final global control by banks and corporations – last nail in the coffin of democracy’s 60 year coma? – we’ve not a lot of time left?

  16. The Dork of Cork November 16, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    @Mike
    Its not sustainable for most of us but perhaps the banking system will write many people off when the banks can balance their books much like the period in Ireland between the 1820s and 1840s when “we” joined the last banking union.
    So the danger for most of us is when the banking system escapes from their losses……that means the end of life for many.

    I looked at economic relationships in the past from a geographic and spatial view ……I guess growing up in the deflation of the 80s and inflation of the 90s I could not quite figure out what was going on as from a domestic Physiocratic prism Irish commerce did not make any sense.

    Only when I began to understand the monetary system did I come to realize how the banking system deals with scale.
    The Scale of everything is key to understanding how the monetary system based in fulcrums such as London can bend the physical economy to its will causing huge externalties (because of the wastage this incurs) for the rest of us.

    As for a solution ?
    As long as governments are advised & take advice by IMF creeps such as Donal Donovan there is no hope for us.

    They want a Victorian Ireland again and they have got it.
    We in Ireland were both a conduit inflationary jurisdiction on the way up and a conduit deflationary jurisdiction on the way down.
    A very easy place for the banks to manage larger scale euro area scarcity in their own interests.

  17. The Dork of Cork November 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    @Mike
    I just realized I did not really answer your question.

    The system will have to descale if most of us are to survive – however there is huge problems to this goal as there is a inertia in the distribution system which is very difficult to overcome despite its absurdity (multiple cross border value added operations with sunk capital costs)
    Even national level operations may be too big although Dirigisme activities are needed on this level as market states or local authorities don’t do this sort of thing.

    But you must remember national activity does also overpower local connections…….If you read the book “20 years a Growing”
    http://books.google.ie/books/about/Twenty_Years_A_Growing.html?id=bCsKEEyRCAsC&redir_esc=y

    you come to realize that the Keynesian stimulus of the first world war turned the Blasket islands into a more monetary economy.
    Why ?
    The islands accumulated vast surplus goods from torpedoed boats…..what to do with all that surplus ?? ……..save in monetary units perhaps….then buy goods with monetary units rather then go out and kill a rabbit.
    Post great war – Once the Irish nation state scaled up it did not just deflate Cork city ( Energy via taxes went to Dublin )
    Blasket Island people now more dependent on money followed it to Dingle town and further afield.

    So if we were living in a non criminal world the central question of our time is at what scale is commercial activity appropriate ?
    Too small and you get very poor efficiency
    Too large and you get greater and greater losses in redundancy.

    • Mike Hall November 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

      Thanks Dork.

      I’ll have to think on what you’ve put there. I guess tho’, if I’ve understood what you mean ‘descale’ – I’m assuming driven by both ecological & economic management criteria – then that’s not likely to be done in any orderly way.

      Anyhow, appreciate your answer.

  18. Phil (Mcr) November 17, 2013 at 4:17 am #

    Ex-Fraud Cop, Rowan Bosworth, on how the relatively affluent are fleeced by the City all the time.

    http://rowans-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-criminal-history-of-scandal-in-uk.html

  19. Phil (Mcr) November 17, 2013 at 4:21 am #

    David says the nation is being betrayed by the State.

    Just noticed an anti-state treatise by a gold-bug, got big props from none other than the Head of BBC News (and former Murdoch Newscorp man) James Harding. No wonder anti-austerity / protect the NHS protests get no coverage.

    Reminds one of Stephanie Flanders’ betrayal.

    • M_T_Wallet November 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      Flanders – not all that bright.

      I like the comments and links on here. However, if I may proffer a suggestion, some could do with being a little more concise.

      As for guaranteed income – like Tax Credits – does it not let Corps off the hook? With TaxPayers picking up the shortfall. Min wage v Living wage?

      Land as an asset or value is surely the real problem for the last 5000 years?

  20. M_T_Wallet November 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Indeed Roger.

    However this site is filled with contributions from persons ever so slightly better infored than average Daily Heil readers / writers.

    As a passive contributor I’d prefer to be able to decipher points elucidated more readily.

    Lord Madleson is the greatest political prevaricator in my lifetime and would / does readily use 1000 words when 50 would do. I’d prefer other didn’t.

  21. Jamie_Griff November 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Slightly OT, and possibly a bit rude given how little I’ve been commenting here recently, but I wanted to let you all know about a new theatre show I’ll be performing at the Camden People’s Theatre from 16th – 18th December.

    The Quant is part performance lecture on financial risk, part glimpse into the soul of a physics grad turned quantitative trader. It explodes the myth of the ‘rogue trader’ and shines a light on the personal cost of pursuing a career in the murky world of derivatives trading.

    Tickets can be found via the website.

    If anyone is able to make it please let me know – it’d be great to meet you afterwards.

    • Golem XIV November 20, 2013 at 9:24 am #

      Morning Jamie,

      Not rude at all. I think you should post a reminder again nearer the time on whatever strand is going then.

      Living up in Scarborough I am not likely to be able to see the play. BUT I would like to hear your thoughts. Perhaps, if you don’t mind, we could talk some time?

      .

    • Hawkeye November 20, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      That’s great news Jamie!

      Will definitely be booking a ticket and will try and get some others along too.

      Just noticed that some of the links in your post don’t quite work. Looks like it should read:

      http://quanttheatre.co.uk/

      See you on stage next month!

      – Hawkeye

      • Jamie_Griff November 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

        Hawkeye by name… Thanks for correcting!

        Golem – thanks for the encouragement. I’d love to talk sometime. I’d also love to take The Quant on a UK tour so watch this space…

        Desmond (below) – thank you! It’s a small thing but hopefully the small things all add up.

        • steviefinn November 21, 2013 at 1:16 am #

          Break a leg Jamie :)

  22. desmond November 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    wow well done Jamie… The Quant written and performed by you.. Entertainment is the brilliant way to inform people with something valid in this ocean of lies.. I wish you all the very best..

  23. Robin Smith December 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

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    http://www.meltfund.com/2013/06/datasourceurldocs.html

    I know Mr Ashcroft. He knows this stuff well. He’s helping obscure it from the people.

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