Professor L. Randall Wray of the Department of Economics, University of Missouri, Kansas City is one of the leaders of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) approach to economics. His blogs are very clearly and simply written, well-organized, thorough, and generally fairly dispassionate. But the recent attack of the right on Fannie and Freddy really blew his gasket, and he responded with a really passionate rant against all the present attempts by the righties to impoverish the middle class, the old, the young, and generally everyone else except the rich in a post entitled: “The Wingnuts Go After Fannie and Freddy.”
|By: letsgetitdone Monday August 16, 2010 8:42 pm|
Hint: it’s not Republicans.
Social Security remains one of the greatest achievements of the Democratic Party since its creation 75 years ago. Although Republicans have historically fulminated against the program (Ronald Reagan once likened it as something akin to “socialism”), they have actually made little headway in touching this sacred “third rail” in American politics. President Bush pushed for partial privatization of the program in 2005, but the proposal gained no policy traction (even within his own party) because Social Security continues to be hugely popular with American voters. It’s a universal program that benefits all Americans, not a government handout to a few privileged corporations.
|By: letsgetitdone Wednesday August 11, 2010 8:01 pm|
Today, Dean Baker questioned the sanity of The Washington Post, after its editorial staff once again came out for cuts in Social Security to avert a crisis which will not be manifest until 2037. In reply to the Post’s observation that this year is the first in which the Social Security program will pay out more than it takes in, and that this is a warning sign, Dean points out that it:
. . . certainly is a warning sign. The falloff in Social Security tax revenue is a warning that the economy is seriously depressed due to the collapse of the housing bubble. Double digit unemployment leads to all sorts of problems, including the strains that it places on pension funds like Social Security.
He then goes on to criticize the Post for not advocating the urgency of the need to get back to full employment to solve any pending shortfall in Social Security, and for advocating instead for possible Fiscal Commission–recommended “balanced” measures, including Social Security spending cuts to be implemented gradually to avert the projected 2037 crisis.
Dean then advocates that we reject this recommendation and wait to act. He says:
|By: letsgetitdone Thursday August 5, 2010 10:41 am|
The Washington Post editorial page has been one of the primary MSM outlets for aggressive deficit terrorism. There is an axis of deficit terrorism in Washington DC today. It runs from Hooverite Republicans such as Judd Gregg and Mike Spence, to Blue Dog Democrats like Evan Bayh and Kent Conrad, to media organizations like CNN, WaPo, and the Peter G. Peterson funded The Fiscal Times, to foundations like The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and Peterson-funded think tanks like AmericaSpeaks, to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), to high-level Administration people like OMB Director designate Jack Lew, and judging by his speech and actions, to Barack Obama himself. This axis has been laying down a carpet of continuous propaganda for many months now distracting attention from the immediate problem of getting people back to work, and toward doing something about an assumed long-term problem, that some argue is fictional, and that many others think may, but, will most probably not, occur
Last Saturday, the WaPo added to its place in progressive infamy with an editorial that managed, in a few short paragraphs, to repeat many of the false arguments the deficit terrorists use to scare Americans into thinking that we really have to cut Government spending as soon as we can or we will be facing unbearable suffering in future years. This post will review that editorial in detail. It begins:
|By: Doug Martin Thursday August 5, 2010 5:25 am|
Peter Peterson’s Letter to Warren Buffett: Let Old People Eat Cat Food to Save the Unborn
|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: 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.)