New Deal 2.0 (ND20) is, well, more New Dealish than other web sites, so instead of the usual conflict between deficit hawks and deficit doves, we might see at, say, the New York Times. Here things are shifted to the left, and we see a debate between the deficit doves and the deficit owls. The doves and owls have posted there for awhile without really engaging one another. But recently, the appointment of Jack Lew as OMB Director and the Statement/petition by Sir Harold Evans called “Stimulus Now,” has ended an uneasy truce between these groups. Paul Davidson, Sir Robert Skidelsky, and Jamie Galbraith replied to the Evans petition with a refusal to sign it and an explanation of the deficit owl position. At about the same time, there was an exchange at Paul Krugman’s blog between deficit doves sharing Paul’s position on the deficit and deficit owls, who don’t agree with the deficit dove prescription of short-term deficits until we get a strong recovery and then a “pivot” to deficit reduction eventually resulting in a surplus when times get really good. The deficit owl prescription is to increase Government spending on programs directed toward the public purpose, until all excess productive capacity in the US economy is used, and then cut back on less valuable spending, or raise taxes as necessary to avoid inflation. Deficit owls also believe that there is no need to worry about deficits as long as Government spending hasn’t helped to created enough aggregate demand to use excess productive capacity, and that thereafter, aggregate demand needs to be cut either by reducing spending, raising taxes or both, not in order to reach some arbitrary deficit or surplus number, but rather to achieve the specific goal of avoiding inflation. Now, at ND20, blog posts have begun to appear where deficit doves and owls have been exchanging points of view.
|By: letsgetitdone Monday July 19, 2010 12:06 am|
Paul Krugman, well-known for his opposition to the austerity concerns of the deficit terrorists and his advocacy of additional Government stimulus to lower unemployment and end the recession, just ignited a paradigm conflict which promises to clarify for many, the issues dividing “deficit doves” like Paul, from economists who take a Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) approach to economics, which holds, among other things, that Government deficits and surpluses are not, in themselves important, and that Government spending has to be evaluated relative to its impact on public purposes. Paul said:
|By: letsgetitdone Tuesday July 13, 2010 12:01 am|
Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Co-Chairs of “the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform,” would have us believe that a deficit and debt crisis threatening the fiscal future of the United States is upon us, that “This debt is like a cancer,” and that unless we begin to make across the board cuts in expenditures, and also raise taxes in a way that distributes the pain across all segments of the population, there is no way we will return to fiscal sustainability. This view is false and also alarmist for many reasons.
|By: letsgetitdone Saturday July 10, 2010 11:49 pm|
In my last post, I continued my analysis of the June 26th AmericaSpeaks Community Conversation event I attended in Falls Church, VA, focusing on Step Five in the decision process used in the meeting. In that post I presented the specific option choice frameworks AmericaSpeaks presented to participants in the categories of Non-Defense and Defense spending, and revenue raising, and also analyzed the biases inherent in the way they were structured. In this post, I’ll wind up this analysis of the AmericaSpeaks event, the materials provided to participants, and the biases in their process as I saw them.
|By: letsgetitdone Tuesday July 6, 2010 9:55 pm|
In Part 5, I continued my analysis of the June 26th AmericaSpeaks Community Conversation event I attended in Falls Church, VA, focusing on Step Five in the decision process used in the meeting. In that post the specific option choice frameworks AmericaSpeaks presented to participants in the categories of Health Care and Social Security spending, and analyzed the biases inherent in the way they were structured. In this post I’ll analyze the
Other Non-defense; and Defense Spending categories of Government spending presented to participants in the community conversation and national meeting processes. I’ll also analyze the revenue raising options included in the options workbook.
|By: letsgetitdone Monday July 5, 2010 10:23 am|
In my last post I continued my analysis of the June 26th AmericaSpeaks Community Conversation event I attended in Falls Church, VA, focusing on Step Five in the decision process used in the meeting. In that post I was critical of the overall bias in the general orientation toward the options workbook and the choices to be made in the process. In this post I’ll continue with my examination of step five of this process, shifting my attention to the specific option choice frameworks and the bias inherent in the way they were structured by AmericaSpeaks. Here once again is a statement describing step 5.
|By: letsgetitdone Sunday July 4, 2010 12:18 pm|
In my previous three posts analyzing the June 26th AmericaSpeaks Community Conversation event I attended in Falls Church, VA, I presented the steps in the decision process used for the event, and discussed the pre-conference phase and the first four steps. These reflect a strong and consistent bias toward socializing participants into the idea that there is a deficit problem and that it has to be treated by cutting expenditures and/or raising taxes. The bias was reflected in many little ways in the materials used for the meetings and in the way the first four steps were carried out. The framing of exercises in the decision process continually restricted choices to ones that bring participants back to the supposed problem of a deficit and debt crisis. The web-streamed talks about national conference proceedings and orientations, and the brief constricted discussions of major values issues all worked to fit participants’ thinking to the ideas and frames presented in worksheets and the Federal Budget 101 presentations. Lines of discussion that would have led outside of the intended framing were politely aborted by the facilitators, pleading limited time, and the need to get through the agenda, and give everyone a chance to speak, so that any person developing counter-themes to the major narrative did not have a chance to develop these counter-themes and counter-narratives in the context of the supposedly unbiased process. In this post I’ll continue with my examination of step five of this process.
|By: Gerald McEntee Wednesday June 23, 2010 4:30 pm|
In the worst economy since the Great Depression, far too many Americans are out of work. Despite the rising fears of more job losses, the Senate is refusing to do what is necessary to protect and create jobs.
|By: letsgetitdone Tuesday June 22, 2010 1:24 pm|
This one is a deconstruction of a piece in the Detroit Free Press by a gentleman in the MSM who’s decided to join the Peter G. Peterson/Catfood Commission echo chamber. (My thanks to Sisterkenney for calling it to my attention.)
|By: letsgetitdone Monday June 14, 2010 7:00 am|
Warren Mosler has an important forthcoming book called The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds, which is, fortunately, available right now in a pre-publication version for reading and commenting from Warren’s site.
Jamie Galbraith, Warren’s friend and occasional co-author has recently written a Foreword to the book, which also can serve as a Foreword to the Modern Money (or Monetary) approach to economics. I think the foreword is important enough in itself that I decided to comment on it. That commentary is the subject of this blog post. I’ve arranged the post as a series of quotes and additional, hopefully, value-added, comments on what Jamie said.