Here's the link to L. Randall Wray's post: EconoMonitor : Great Leap Forward » DEBT-FREE MONEY: A NON-SEQUITUR IN SEARCH OF A POLICY.
The following is the comment I submitted (which went in for moderation):
[L. Randall Wray:]
When I’ve engaged advocates of debt-free money, my protestations always generate confusion and the topic gets switched to government payment of interest. The “debt-free money” cranks seem to hate payment of interest by government. I’m not sure, but I think what they really want to do is to prohibit government payment of interest. That is fine with me. ZIRP forever. Stop paying interest on bank reserves, and stop issuing Treasury bills and bonds.
I'm glad to see you say you agree.
As for the use of the term "cranks" while pointing out an issue of semantics, why? The use of the term debt as applying to interest owed by the government is a perfectly legitimate connotation. I often say interest-free money or debt- and interest-free just so the general public might start to draw any connection at all.
You went on a long time trying to prove that money is always debt. It does not have to be. It can be nothing more than a medium of exchange. I have money that is owed to no one. That money is not a debt, per se. No one can look at it and rightly say that someone or group owes something as a result of the fact that it is simply money sitting there, with the exception of the mere existence of Treasurys, which one might rightly argue has some attachment to that money; but that really is a collective argument (the "debt" in debt-free) where I'm discussing the money on my individual level only. So what I just said represents two connotations, both different from yours (which I also consider valid but obviously not to the exclusion of my two connotations mentioned here). Perhaps I'm not as arbitrary as are you when thinking about these matters.
I recall your discussion on the Money Multiplier being dead and that when I attempted to engage a bit concerning the semantics and some other points, you dismissed it and didn't engage upon my follow-up. I was criticized in the LinkedIn MMT group for thinking that you "owed" me a reply, you being a professor of economics while I'm apparently a nobody. Of course, I didn't tell the group that you owed me anything but simply that you had not yet replied. I was simply anticipating anyone wondering whether you had answered.
My question concerning the Money Multiplier was far from unreasonable, and I was fully open to hearing something from you that I might not know about how the Fed actually handles its legal ability to sanction banks (at the Fed's discretion) that don't have sufficient reserves. It was not a question about which comes first: the horse or the cart. Is the multiplier dead because the Fed has chosen not to enforce it? I'm not claiming to know. I have heard you about loans being made first. It's not completely the same issue. That banks can create credit first does not actually answer the question.
A clear explanation about the mechanics would be helpful. Maybe you don't know either on that level. I've considered putting it to the Fed, but maybe you could do it since you're not a "nobody" and let me know their answer.Back more directly to topic of your article, what you wrote above is not lost on me. I have understood for a long time your point about taxes being the practical reason why Federal Reserve Notes (tangible or cyber units) are sought. It's fine. I also have understood the accounting principles.
You actually stated a great deal of common ground in very few words (not your debt argument portion) but in the process, thumbed so many in the eye over nothing but an issue of semantics concerning which you cannot win or lose.
Why not make your next post about advocating for public policies and practices to stop issuing Treasury bills and bonds? That's what I've been advocating for many years now.
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)