MMT

As ideas, memes, and trends trend on Facebook, it’s hard to keep up.  It’s sort of frustrating when you see that something has become such a part of the zeitgeist, part of the current vocabulary,  that everybody is just using its initials and assuming you knnow what it means.

Such with MMT.  I had to ask first what it stood for, and then what it meant.  Fortunately, I was on a thread with people who were genuinely interested in spreading ideas, and not just giving sarcastic answers which amount to “Ha! I knew that weeks ago.  Boy, are you behind the times!”

Basically (and this is probably a gross oversimplification, I’m not an economist), the idea is that if the government decides on a project, the money comes into existence automatically.  The government spends the money, and the work gets done.  Nobody asks where it comes from, and they keep up with taxes, and traffic tickets and such, to keep up  the illusion that the government, like a family  or individual or small business, has to take money in before they can spend it.  What needs to be there (even though  the money doesn’t) is the resources.  For instance, if the government wants to wage a war, there needs to be  factories which will manufacture the airplanes and the bombs for the government to funnel its automatically minted money into.  If some insist on cash,  they can print more.  Health care is  perfectly affordable, as long as there are enough doctors, nurses, hospital beds, and medicines.
And so on.  It’s pretty obviously true.  Money is not a real thing.  It has always depended on people believing in it.  And we do.
I would just add that people who are talking about MMT as if this is a new idea should read more Buckminster Fuller.  He had a formula for calculating the world’s wealth and I can’t find it right now on google but it was something like W=RxTxE.  Wealth equals all the resources that are available, times the current state of technology, i.e. the knowledge of how to use and manipulate them, times energy, which he spoke of in terms of manpower but, really, manpower is barely relevant any more.
It’s a rich planet.  It’s a very wealthy time in history and likely to get more so.  We can either get it together and create a utopian paradise, which would be as easy as having the will to do so, or committing mass suicide as a species.  Our choice.

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