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Meet the MMT economists advising Senator Bernie Sanders

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    Dear Schmidt and the D-Hub,

    Bernie Sanders is virtually a closet MMT'er at this point. Stephanie Kelton is one of his chief economic advisers. He dined regularly with her when she was chief economist on the Senate Budget Committee. She took the picture of Sen. Sanders with Sandra Bland's mother. There is disagreement on the margins, but as Kelton explains in the video at the link, Sanders is the only candidate talking about 'going big' to deal with the problems this nation faces. This is not a holding action presidential election. Go Big or Go Nowhere. Any candidate that has Stephanie Kelton as a major economic advisor deserves our vote.

    kansascity.com/news/business/article688...

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Never stopped to think about Sanders' advisers. What a potential is being offered by Bernie. What he offers will benefit 90% of the people.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Carlitos Wrote:

    Dear Schmidt and the D-Hub,

    Bernie Sanders is virtually a closet MMT'er at this point. Stephanie Kelton is one of his chief economic advisers. He dined regularly with her when she was chief economist on the Senate Budget Committee. She took the picture of Sen. Sanders with Sandra Bland's mother. There is disagreement on the margins, but as Kelton explains in the video at the link, Sanders is the only candidate talking about 'going big' to deal with the problems this nation faces. This is not a holding action presidential election. Go Big or Go Nowhere. Any candidate that has Stephanie Kelton as a major economic advisor deserves our vote.

    kansascity.com/news/business/article688...

    Carlitos -- Yes I can agree with much of the economic policies of Stephanie Kelton and Bill Black. I haven't taken the time to see where they stand on trade, but I dug out this article by James Galbraith from 2007 that I hope should be consistent with Kelton/Black's views since he is an MMTer. Maybe...

    James Galbraith, The American Prospect, May 9, 2007: Why Populists Need to Re-think Trade

    As you know I am probably the only person on this website that thinks the Trans Pacific Partnership is a good deal overall for America. I know Bernie Sanders has yet to find a trade agreement that he likes. He has even advocated against our membership in the World Trade Organization, which if we withdrew would indeed be "disastrous" to use Bernie's favorite word in describing every trade agreement.

    When I go to Bernie's website and read what he advocates about trade, it makes me shudder. This guy doesn't know what he is talking about. I hope Kelton can educate him.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:
    Carlitos Wrote:

    Dear Schmidt and the D-Hub,

    Bernie Sanders is virtually a closet MMT'er at this point. Stephanie Kelton is one of his chief economic advisers. He dined regularly with her when she was chief economist on the Senate Budget Committee. She took the picture of Sen. Sanders with Sandra Bland's mother. There is disagreement on the margins, but as Kelton explains in the video at the link, Sanders is the only candidate talking about 'going big' to deal with the problems this nation faces. This is not a holding action presidential election. Go Big or Go Nowhere. Any candidate that has Stephanie Kelton as a major economic advisor deserves our vote.

    kansascity.com/news/business/article688...

    Carlitos -- Yes I can agree with much of the economic policies of Stephanie Kelton and Bill Black. I haven't taken the time to see where they stand on trade, but I dug out this article by James Galbraith from 2007 that I hope should be consistent with Kelton/Black's views since he is an MMTer. Maybe...

    James Galbraith, The American Prospect, May 9, 2007: Why Populists Need to Re-think Trade

    As you know I am probably the only person on this website that thinks the Trans Pacific Partnership is a good deal overall for America. I know Bernie Sanders has yet to find a trade agreement that he likes. He has even advocated against our membership in the World Trade Organization, which if we withdrew would indeed be "disastrous" to use Bernie's favorite word in describing every trade agreement.

    When I go to Bernie's website and read what he advocates about trade, it makes me shudder. This guy doesn't know what he is talking about. I hope Kelton can educate him.

    I am totally agsinst isolationism, supply/demand, recovering jobs through attrition and other artificial serendipitous controls. I didn't see much about trade on Bernie's website. I'll go back again. But I couldn't find much of anything especially short circuiting money affecting output by the Fed keeping rates near zero. Unfairly making low yields attractive.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Following Schmidts link to Bernie's site I realize have been going to the wrong Bernie sight. Will follow up more on "Feel the Bern".
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Chicago Tribune: What Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders don't get about the causes of our trade deficit

    "What he overlooks is that this country is one of the most inviting places for people abroad to invest their money. Since 2001, foreign direct investment in the United States has more than doubled. Last year, foreigners bought $11 trillion worth of stocks.

    "They also wanted other assets — nearly $1.4 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds and $1.2 trillion in corporate bonds. We may run a deficit on the trade side, but we consistently boast a surplus on the capital side. That's a good thing."

    "One fact that Trump and Bernie Sanders never mention is that our trade imbalance is all in goods. When it comes to services — such as travel, banking services, royalties, legal advice and education of foreign students — we export far more than we import. In each of the past five years, our surplus in services has exceeded $200 billion."

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    Just a few things that Bernie never mentions...

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: As you know I am probably the only person on this website that thinks the Trans Pacific Partnership is a good deal overall for America. I know Bernie Sanders has yet to find a trade agreement that he likes. He has even advocated against our membership in the World Trade Organization, which if we withdrew would indeed be "disastrous" to use Bernie's favorite word in describing every trade agreement.

    Your writings on it changed my opinion on the agreement, so maybe there are two of us.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Also from the Chicago Tribune article. I want Carlitos to comment on this:

    "The late economist Herbert Stein wrote the entry on "balance of payments" in "The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics." "A deficit in the current account is always" — always — "accompanied by an equal surplus in the capital account, and vice versa," he noted.

    "Confronting that simple fact means recognizing that the trade deficit is merely the flip side of a healthy phenomenon. If no one wanted to invest here, we'd be running a trade surplus — and we'd regret it.

    "What economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis noted in 2006 remains true today: "Capital account surpluses, and therefore current account deficits, are being driven primarily by foreign demand for U.S. assets" — not by unfair trade practices, cheap foreign labor or currency manipulation."

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    Carlitos. - Do you agree?

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    I think this thread exceeds the capacity of casual inspection to produce any meaningful comments. For example trillions of dollars of purchases of stocks, bonds, notes and securities means they have also purchased x amount of income. What and how are the effects of that. Plus those are purchases of obligations not commodities. What is the effect of that. Also the capital surplus is not a surplus when it is representative of an obligation. It is debt. Explaining the selling of income as a positive when the selling of income is representative of losing sustainability is wrong. Foreign purchase of our assets means we can't afford them. Putting a positive on that is short sighted self serving to profiting interests. The capital surplus is only real in a specialized definition. Putting a positive spin on conditions preceding bankruptcy clouds the overlying problem. When countries stand in line to buy our` products that is good. When`they buy our inincome that is bad. Bernie has it right.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Dallas, TX
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    Yes, the current account deficit is just a mirror image of the capital account surplus, just like how the government deficit is a mirror of the non-government surplus. Balances, as they say, balance. As a point of logic, the foreign sector has to save its U.S. financial assets(i.e. don't buy stuff from us with the dollars they got selling us their stuff) in order for there to be a foreign sector surplus. If they sell us more stuff than we sell them, we get more stuff from them then they do from us, and they get more dollars from us than we get from them. So you really can't say that unfair trade practices, cheap foreign labor, or currency manipulation could be CAUSES of the foreign sector's surplus. But you could say that demand for U.S. assets drives foreign nations towards unfair practices, cheap labor, and or so-called "currency manipulation," which aids in their ability to accumulate surpluses. Export nations have to purchase fx to support exchange rates or the fundamentals drive up their currency, making their goods more expenses in terms of the currency of those importing their goods. So there has to be a conscious decision to save in the foreign currency that precedes exchange rate "manipulation."

    Why is the world offering us this enormous net-benefit?

    We're the largest economy in the world. Our stock market is half of the world stock market. Much of the world operates on fixed exchange regimes and borrows in U.S. dollars (we've done a lot to organize that in the post WWII world). Our military is all over the globe spending dollars. And there's a whole lot of nations with less political, economic, and legal stability than the United States of America.

    Other nations have chronic shortages of vehicles for savings; there is a general world-wide shortage even with the United States. Demand leakages are a world-wide issue. Every neoliberal ran economy (probably all of them except for North Korea) around the world sucks right now and has sucked for some time. And it all comes back to the Deficit Terrorism that western educated neoliberals have put in place around the globe. But I digress......

    The moral problem with taking advantage of this enormous benefit these nations offer the United States is that it comes at the expense of foreign people's real standards of living. There is a legitimate basis for trade restrictions based on environmental protections and human rights. That's something that I think Bernie Sanders best understands, if not the economics of it all.

    The problem is we do not take advantage of this enormous benefit, because of the Deficit Terrorist restrictions on running the appropriate offsetting government budget deficits. So not only are foreigners worse off in real terms, but so are many of our own, fueling global inequalities. Because of our trade deficits, taxes can be lower or government spending can be higher. And they need to be, the fiscal adjustment needs to be proactive, as opposed to bleeding out government deficits through recession reactively.

    The actual economic mainstream framework that says "free trade" is good assumes full employment conditions. So if we don't have full employment, we have a problem.

    Hopefully, Stephanie Kelton is having a conversation with Bernie about the MMT view on trade, which she's been writing about for over a decade. Please see the following:

    "When Exports Are a Cost and Imports Are a Benefit: The Conditions under Which Free Trade Is Beneficial"

    cfeps.org/pubs/wp-pdf/WP26-HenryBell.pdf

    "RE-ESTABLISHING THE GROUNDS FOR FREE TRADE: THE (FORGOTTON?) ASSUMPTION OF FULL EMPLOYMENT IN MAINSTREAM THEORY*"

    citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?...

    Bernie is politically constrained and has given the "I can't say that" answer before to the headliner MMT'ers.

    Generally, I subscribe to Lerner's Law: never concede scientific principle. And that means telling the truth when scientific principle is at stake. So I cannot endorse Bernie's balancing act of accepting MMT truths privately and saying the political acceptable things and raising political capital on grounds I reject. But I can see why a politician would want to move quietly on this knowledge and why maybe an election year debate is not the place for this. You have to be willing to put out the sufficient effort to advance the football in political combat and debate. MMT people need to be as quick to go on the attack as our opponents are ready to pounce with the rabid half-truths and the vast assortment of false arguments and intellectual dishonest attacks MMT is subject to on a daily basis. We just don't have the media organization to break out of the box. There's more wrong with the world than just our understanding of money. So MMT is largely pocketed to the internet and small policy circles around the globe. Sanders relationship with MMT shows he is politically pragmatic. A seat at the President's table is worth a concession or two to the political realities we face.

    But you either believe in telling the truth or you are some sort of subversive.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Carlitos Wrote:

    Dear Schmidt and the D-Hub,

    Bernie Sanders is virtually a closet MMT'er at this point. Stephanie Kelton is one of his chief economic advisers. He dined regularly with her when she was chief economist on the Senate Budget Committee. She took the picture of Sen. Sanders with Sandra Bland's mother. There is disagreement on the margins, but as Kelton explains in the video at the link, Sanders is the only candidate talking about 'going big' to deal with the problems this nation faces. This is not a holding action presidential election. Go Big or Go Nowhere. Any candidate that has Stephanie Kelton as a major economic advisor deserves our vote.

    kansascity.com/news/business/article688...

    Perfect -- midwestern economic advisers; the midwest, at this point, is the only thing holding this shitstorm together. Kansas City rocks.