My Also Unsatisfying Second Reply From L. Randall Wray

I received a response from L. Randall Wray. My comment is here. It is as follows:

[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.

Tom1

Tom Usher

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.

Background links:

Part 1: My Questions to L. Randall Wray on the Money Multiplier

Part 2: My Questions to L. Randall Wray on the Money Multiplier

Here's Randy Wray's reply, which is also as follows:

Tom: doesn't look like you understood what I wrote. First, take a look at the New Palgrave entry on monetary cranks. It would certainly include "debt free money" as well as "100% money" and, yes, "MMT". Second THERE ARE NO MONIES THAT ARE JUST MEDIA OF EXCHANGE! All monies are on 2 balance sheets--liabilities of issuers and assets of holders. You are thinking of bananas, not monies. Try to shake the bananas out of your head. That is an imaginary world of dupe the dope. You cannot drive money by duping dopes.

I did not receive a notification of his reply even though I should have. I went back to the post for a different reason and happened to see that he had replied.

Randy says that it looks like I didn't understand what he wrote. No, I understood. I just didn't, and still don't, agree.

He says in effect that a child who finds a penny on the sidewalk is now the proud owner of a balance sheet and that magically turns money into something that the child can't use as a medium of exchange for whatever. I'm sorry, but it is because of Randy's style of blurbing things back on the level he does that having an enlightening conversation seems impossible. It's the same approach he took via his first reply: dismissive and too short to explain but rather just repeating himself, as if that's going to turn on the light.

There is nothing about a balance sheet that I can see that precludes money as a medium of exchange. Balance sheets and other financials are just devices for keeping score of units in a given medium of exchange. Non-money assets and liabilities are also translated into unit multiples of that medium of exchange for score keeping, so to speak. The unit just happens to be what is deemed legal tender by the US government and used to pay the IRS. They aren't bananas, though bananas can be on the balance sheet as dollars.

It doesn't matter whether the money is also a commodity, commodity backed, or what is termed fiat.

So, I got nowhere; and EconoMonitor turns off comments and replies, which I don't do except in very rare cases (such as where I'm drawing racists like flies on posts from years and years ago).

Tom1

Tom Usher

An additional post in this miniseries: "Modern Money Theorists Need Instructional Videos!"

Posted in Monetary Reform, United States Notes | Leave a comment

Why Did Bernie Sanders Get Gaza So Wrong? He's a Zionist.

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That's Bernie Sanders. He's not upset there about the innocent children being slaughtered by the evil, lying Zionists running Israel. He's never upset about that.

Why ask why?

The July 8 ITIC report also divulged why Hamas launched its first rocket fire at Israel in more than 19 months on July 7: On that night Israeli forces had bombed and killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza. The ITIC report includes a picture of the six Hamas members. Thus, a report from an authoritative Israeli source described the provocation for the resumption of rocket fire: Hamas rocket fire began only after Israeli forces had engaged in nearly a month of military operations in violation of the ceasefire agreement and had killed 6 Hamas members in Gaza.
...
The facts show that Israeli forces had to work quite hard to get Hamas to end its cease-fire. The killing of the six Hamas members was not an isolated event. Israeli forces and settlers had gone wild on the West Bank starting on June 12 after the kidnaping of three Israeli teens. Israeli forces had also attacked 60 targets in Gaza during those three weeks of June. Then, on the night of July 7, 2014, the Israeli Air Force had attacked approximately 50 more “terrorist targets” in the Gaza Strip, as described in the ITIC report.
...
The Senate resolution names Hamas in nearly every one of its deeply flawed paragraphs. Yet it fails to mention any of the facts about Israel’s military operations in the West Bank and Gaza.
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Why did the Senate get this so wrong? Why did Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy allow their names to be used for pro-war propaganda so at variance with the facts?

James Marc Leas is a Vermont attorney and is a past co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild Free Palestine Subcommittee. He collected evidence in the Gaza Strip from November 27 to December 3, 2012 as part of a 20 member delegation from the US and Europe and co-authored several articles describing findings. He also participated in the National Lawyers Guild delegation to Gaza after Operation Cast Lead in February 2009 and contributed to its report, Onslaught: Israel’s Attack on Gaza and the Rule of Law.

Why Did Bernie Sanders Get Gaza So Wrong? » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.

Tom1

Tom Usher

The US Senate, US government, and The United States of America constitute Zionist occupied territory. The Zionists are terribly wrong, so why are so many Americans backing them? That's easy. Money!

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What We Have Here is the Pot (TIME) Calling the Kettle (RT) Black

A recent TIME article, "Russian Television Under Spotlight After Malaysia Airlines Crash in Ukraine | TIME, by Alex Altman," is written not for dummies but for the gullible, naive, and mostly ignorant. There's nothing wrong with being naive or ignorant as a child or even an adult of low innate intelligence. Even gullibility is understandable for the uninitiated, those who have not been exposed to deception, especially by those who make a "high" dark art of it, which is what we are dealing with here. What isn't right is for adults of relatively high intelligence or higher and who are not mentally unstable and who also have access to the various streams of information and other sources of information to remain ignorant about what's going on with this TIME anti-propaganda propaganda piece.

Russia PutinThe first thing you need to know is that all major-mainstream-corporate-media networks in the United States not propaganda devices for a foreign government are propaganda outlets for the US government. Every single one of them works directly and closely with US intelligence in the interest of the sitting US administration.

The collaboration and cooperation is not absolute. There are arguments between such media and the government. There are times when some such networks stand up to the government. For the most part though, that media never does anything that would bring down a US administration without replacing that administration with another that fits within an extremely narrow ideological band bent upon seeing to it that the US plutocracy continue unabated. That includes balancing the recklessness of the libertarian wing of the upper class against the generally more intelligent pseudo-progressive wing of that class.

The ultimate corporate ownership runs the United States. They decide where the money goes and how much. They tolerate only a certain level of dissent because to do so is a pressure relief valve to balance against their own wealth, power, and control that if it were to be as an absolute monarchy, would result in violent revolution and their complete overthrow and demise. In addition, they know that too much concentration of wealth, power, and control results in more and more of their own ranks being eliminated until their remains a small handful and finally that one absolute monarch/emperor. So, they want to avoid both being successively eliminated by their fellow class members and then inevitably a successful violent revolution overthrowing the complete plutocratic-order-cum-absolute-monarchy.

Of course, the Russian Today network (RT) spews Russian propaganda, but so too does TIME spew US propaganda. The very article in question is exactly that: US counter-propaganda, as in counter-intelligence. It is a psychological operation.

Sara Firth

Sara Firth

From the outside, there's no way to know exactly how direct and blatant it is. There's no way to know exactly how witting are the participants. The authors and editors of such pieces are typically the products of decades of US political-socialization. They are literally raised on what they are fed by the US system designed by the lackeys of the mixed plutocracy. Even Sara Firth, referenced in the anti-RT TIME piece, was raised up in that system.

Consider just how little exposure Ms. Firth has had to working within the pro-US mainstream media. The article suggests she had none. Maybe she interned somewhere before graduating and joining RT. That would be little for her to go by.

Don't imagine that if she is genuine that she will not become completely disillusioned after working for a major-mainstream-corporate-media network that's pro-US intelligence: collaborative and cooperative with US "intelligence."

She worked at RT for five years and regrets not having left sooner. Why didn't she leave sooner? Well, the same reasons she didn't leave are the exact same reasons that she will be even twice as hard pressed not to reveal what she learns working within any major-mainstream-corporate-media network that's pro-US intelligence. What bridges would she have left, alternative media? That would be about it, and just how important are career advancement and mammon to Ms. Firth? Alternative media isn't nearly as high-paying (yet). When it becomes as high-paying, by definition, it won't be alternative anymore.

So, how does one read and listen to RT and TIME and all the rest and come away from it all with the truth? One isn't ever too conclude from those sources that one has obtained the whole truth and nothing but concerning all the "coverage." One needs to realize that, at best, reading and listening to a wide range affords one only the voices of those who are each other's enemies. They have both real and fabricated dirt on each other. They work to expose each other while protecting themselves. You as reader/listener are simply left after the dust has settled to attempt to surmise just which version was more accurate.

Was TIME pro or anti the Iraq War? It was pro-war even in the face of clear evidence from anti-war outlets that huge lies and distortions, huge false-propaganda was being used to manipulate American public opinion into clamoring to attack Iraq, which had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11! Most of those same anti-war outlets correctly predicted everything that has since happened in Iraq right down to ISIS. They certainly predicted the sectarian divides ripping Iraq apart in internal battles aided by outside forces. I was one of them.

In other words, TIME played its witting pro-US propaganda role in the lead-up to Shock and Awe and the disastrous occupation of Iraq resulting in many hundreds of thousands dead and millions of refugees and trillions of dollars wasted; and it's not over yet, far from it. That's just one tiny but hugely important example of TIME's collaboration and cooperation with US intelligence under the then sitting administration (George W. Bush presidency) further under the US plutocrats (who own and control the major media, US intelligence, and ultimately, the US government and NATO nations and more).

So, what we have here is the pot (TIME) calling the kettle (RT) black.

Concerning the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that was shot down over Ukraine, there are many unanswered questions. What is disturbing is that the black boxes have been turned over to the UK, a NATO partner headed by a current government (David Cameron) that is, of course, decidedly anti-Russia, anti-Putin.

Why is the US and UK plutocracy anti-Russia and anti-Putin? That's simple. The Russian plutocrats, those termed oligarchs in Russia, are not in sync with the US/UK plutocracy. They are competitors as of yet. The same holds for China. The American-British-Zionist Empire is out for complete, absolute, global domination. Putin is in the way. He hasn't been willing to play ball by American-Zionist rules. He's only been willing to transact business under Zionist rules up to a point, no further.

Why do I emphasize Zionism here? Is doing so anti-Semitic? I emphasize Zionism because the world's elite bankers are ultimately dominated by Zionists, and banking holds the ultimate reins to reigning. It is by this that the US applies economic sanctions against whatever other nation-states it chooses. The global financial settlement houses and many of the central banks are owned by and controlled by those who's agenda is the furtherance of the US plutocracy that is pro-Zionism. It is not anti-Semitic for two main reasons. Semites include non-Jews, and plenty of Jews are thankfully anti-Zionism.

The elite of the Zionist Empire and the elite of Russia are now at economic war with each other (the Zionists started it), which such types of war can, and often do, turn into hot military war. Economic wars are much easier, vastly less messy, and most importantly, less obvious to the general public and harder for that public to understand and counter.

What has been TIME's role in the lies told about Iran's nuclear program? TIME was just as all the other main US media. It went right along with the lies. Only after people such as I continually called out the Bush and Obama administration to supply the evidence that Iran has a nuclear-weapons program did the vast majority of the mainstream begin saying suspected nuclear-weapons program rather than simply nuclear-weapons program. That change forced the US to lower its drive to military war. It did so because simultaneously, others and I (mostly I that I know of) made clear that we would be sure to draw the clear comparisons with the lead-up to Iraq, the lies and distortions, etc. The plutocracies hired thinkers realized that such would likely tip the balance to revolution to overthrow them all.

That's how it works.

Why doesn't the plutocracy simply murder everyone like me? That too would tip the scales. They nevertheless do as much of that as they can. They also focus upon certain types so as to not draw extra attention to what the murdered stood for: Better to keep some people more marginalized and only begin to become willing to take greater risks of exposure if those marginalized ones garner too much support and following. They marginalize by blocking, banning, censoring, and belittling (further duped those they've duped).

So, if I'm marginalized, how could I have any such impact? Any voice can be echoed and echoed and again without the original receiving attribution. That's how it works.

Why hasn't Alex Jones been eliminated? He doesn't pose a great enough threat because he can be too easily explained away to the more intelligent, who could become and/or are a real threat. He is left in place (so far) because he is then pointed to as proof that the US government isn't what Jones claims it is. He's left in place because the plutocrats aren't about to let the laissez-faire types come into dominance because to do so would result in overthrow.

It would result in overthrow because laissez-faire capitalism would result in the most extreme inequality possible. The masses of people couldn't stand it. The better educated and more astute philosophers of economics directly under the ultimate elite plutocrats and who work for them whether they know it or not (most of them know it full well but for obvious reasons, don't draw attention to it) make clear just how tolerant of elitism the system is, just how gullible, naive, and ignorant the general population is and can be caused to remain.

What's an example of how Jones can be easily explained away? "U.S. announces arrests in border crackdown on human smuggling | Reuters"

For many weeks now, Alex Jones' INFOWARS network has been claiming that the US Obama administration has been intentionally causing mass immigration into the US from Central America in order to increase Democratic Party registrations. It is a ridiculous claim though it has been seem as not only plausible but actual by Jones' typical followers. That's because where there's a little smoke, Jones calls massive fire every time.

The top leadership of the Obama administration has pretty much ignored Jones because the administration simply intentionally allowed Jones the rope to hang himself out to dry on the issue. The administration was going about doing what the Reuters piece says and knew that it would be enough to make intelligent people disregard Jones and conclude that he is what is termed a "crank." Where Jones might actually be on to something, which does happen, the administration will eventually react but not directly to Jones but rather to those in the rest of the libertarian and neocon wings who are mainstream acceptable. Jones is unacceptable.

The Democratic Party's policy toward immigrants is much more "liberal" than that of the Republican Party, and it is true that generally, immigrants from Latin America more often choose the Democratic Party over the Republican because the Democratic Party is more interested in the interests of the common people than is the Republican Party, that tends to support old-fashioned "business" interests that typically don't operate with the workers' welfare in mind but as expendable, replaceable wage-slaves only worth what it costs to replace them.

The two parties operate within that narrow ideological band I mentioned and are each easily controlled by the plutocrats who lean a little this way and a little that, sometimes wholly anarcho-capitalistic (such as do the Koch brothers) but never wholly left, which would be left socialism (democratic socialism where the common person has an equal voice with every other citizen and there is no elite).

What does the American Zionists-controlled empire want regarding Ukraine? That's simple. They want Ukraine to become just more occupied and control territory. They want to control the purse strings. First and foremost, it's always about the purse strings.

(You might inquire of the TIME article's author, Alex Altman, his views on Israel. He seems to shy away from the topic while he hates on Russia.)

Mammon is the tool and the master. Mammon in the "right" hands, the cleverest hands, the most selfishly conniving hands, satisfies the greatest ego the most. However, it never completely satisfies.

Tom1

Tom Usher

That type of person is insatiable. He will continue devouring for himself as long as possible. He is the ultimate sociopath, the ultimate narcissist. Other humans are only pawns to be used as means to feed his ego and to pleasure himself. He is Satan incarnate. All those who work for him are his fools.

This is the last message he wants you to see, but he's too afraid to kill it outright. You may not believe in such things, but he will even use spiritual means to keep you from linking to it, etc. because it is not easily explained away. In fact, it's not able to be really explained away at all.

Posted in Libertarian Capitalism | Leave a comment