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Cornstalks

Which Country Should I Move To?

80 posts in this topic

I know that to the US, the EU is just a big country but really, that's totally bogus. You might as well say Australia and New Zealand are the same country, or USA & Canada. There are massive differences politically, culturally, religiously, economically, just to name a few. For instance Germany is in the EU, and so is Estonia - the latter has a GDP/capital 1/3 of the former.

Someone mentioned Germany as bad - that's interesting because the English people I know working there say good things about how well-run things are, and the Germans have a massive reputation for efficiency.

I think everyone is either patriotic to their country, or thinks it is falling apart - or often both at once :)

Personally, I think the OP is far to young to decide he knows enough to turn his back on his home country, but is also very wise to go travelling if he can do so. Don't look to move country - you don't know enough to decide - travel various places instead.

And - saying you'll only go to countries with your language is part of the arrogance that makes Americans rather unpopular.
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[quote name='Prune' timestamp='1323666749' post='4893008']
[quote name='Ravyne' timestamp='1323641187' post='4892908']
I don't believe that the American system is sustainable for all the programs we have.[/quote]
Huh?
Taxation is not what pays for government spending, because under a fiat system the government is not revenue constrained. [...][/quote]

Small piece of advice: being correct is not enough in such discussions. If you want to be taken seriously, you also have to make sure that the out-of-band signals you're sending are good. For example: don't sound condescending or offensive. "Huh?" is a bad way to start your comment. It is never a good way to start if your ultimate goal is to convince the other person (or, more likely, some bystanders).

Another point is that your answer could be tailored better to the discussion at hand. Ravyne's belief - as far as I understood - was that it would be impossible to sustain US social programs without raising taxes. To this one could reply that, in fact, [i]a government deficit is a good thing because it provides much needed stimulus to the economy.[/i] Of course, lack of knowledge about the mechanisms behind inflation is bound to come up in such a discussion eventually, and it's up to you how you want to deal with that particular problem.

That way, your contribution to the discussion becomes more useful, and everybody benefits from that. It's an uphill battle to at least get everybody to read basic facts about how the monetary system works, such as [url="http://pragcap.com/resources/understanding-modern-monetary-system"]the one on PragCap[/url] or the [url="http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/p/modern-money-primer.html"]primer by Randall Wray[/url]. You don't help by giving off the vibe of a crazy person (though I admit it often does feel like the inmates are running the asylum).
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[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1323535665' post='4892552']
[quote name='Prune' timestamp='1323508128' post='4892467']
plus, I've no doubt some of our German friends are realizing that after two failed attempts at taking over Europe militarily, they might now be able to subjugate it economically).[/quote]Nothing like a bit of racism :/[/quote]

How is that racist? He is explicitly not over-generalizing - note the "[b]some of[/b] our German friends". And besides, he is fundamentally correct. It has been a common theme in the German media for quite some time that Germany should just buy Greek islands and other assets. It's not just populism either: there has been a report by a German think tank on how a Greek privatisation should be overseen, with the obvious expectations that Germans would buy a large share of the assets which would be sold undoubtedly below value - as always happens in privatisation.

If you are a sociopath - as many high-level managers and politicians are - then this is a very natural thing to want to do from the German perspective. Thanks to net exports, the top 0.1% of Germans hold a lot of financial claims on firms or states in the rest of the EU either directly or indirectly. That is why they do not want to let the Greek and other governments go into bankruptcy: when someone goes into bankruptcy, it is always the creditors who take a loss. (Note how quickly Papandreou was forced to withdraw the idea of a referendum on the austerity measures.) It makes sense to try to convert those financial claims/assets into something more tangible.

The majority of Germans unfortunately do not understand this. To them, the narrative is "we are paying the Greeks to be lazy". They never even get a glimpse of the fact that what is really happening here is class warfare of the German capitalist elite (or at least a significant subgroup) against the rest of the Eurozone, including against German workers. In fact, the class warfare against German workers is the main tool by which they got into their current position of power in the first place.

(In case you haven't heard about it yet, wages in Germany have been stagnant for the last ten years, which created a huge discrepancy between Germany and the rest of the zone. This is what made the German net exports possible, which in turn caused the current account surplus, which led to the accumulation of large financial claims on the rest of the world.)

P.S.: I'm German.
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[quote name='Prefect' timestamp='1324147572' post='4894838']
Small piece of advice: being correct is not enough in such discussions. If you want to be taken seriously, you also have to make sure that the out-of-band signals you're sending are good. For example: don't sound condescending or offensive. "Huh?" is a bad way to start your comment. It is never a good way to start if your ultimate goal is to convince the other person (or, more likely, some bystanders).[/quote]
The problem with having such a position is that a character flaw should never get in the way of an argument; this is especially the case when I am not relying on my reputation to convince people: that is why I included a number of references in my post.

[quote]Another point is that your answer could be tailored better to the discussion at hand. Ravyne's belief - as far as I understood - was that it would be impossible to sustain US social programs without raising taxes. To this one could reply that, in fact, [i]a government deficit is a good thing because it provides much needed stimulus to the economy.[/i][/quote]
The deficit comment is also something Krugman would say, and he is not an MMTer. So such a statement is not a sufficient differentiation factor, and so I went into more detail.

[quote]That way, your contribution to the discussion becomes more useful, and everybody benefits from that. It's an uphill battle to at least get everybody to read basic facts about how the monetary system works, such as [url="http://pragcap.com/resources/understanding-modern-monetary-system"]the one on PragCap[/url] or the [url="http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/p/modern-money-primer.html"]primer by Randall Wray[/url].[/quote]
Your first link leads to the second link I posted--I was being so helpful that I even saved people an extra click.
[quote]You don't help by giving off the vibe of a crazy person (though I admit it often does feel like the inmates are running the asylum).[/quote]
I don't see that I am giving off such a vibe. Are you sure you're not projecting?
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[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1323389989' post='4891999']

[list][*]Sensible leaders and politics[/list][/quote]

Your not going to find that anywhere.
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[quote name='Prune' timestamp='1324189935' post='4894951']
The problem with having such a position is that a character flaw should never get in the way of an argument; this is especially the case when I am not relying on my reputation to convince people: that is why I included a number of references in my post.
[/quote]

It would be great if the world worked that way. Maybe I'm just around the wrong kind of people, but my impression is that many people do not judge an argument solely on the facts presented, at least not when they see or hear it for the first time. There is a "social proof-based" defensive shield that is instinctively put up, and only after you've passed that will they start to really think things through. Actually, I believe most people (including myself) are like that for many topics.


[quote]The deficit comment is also something Krugman would say, and he is not an MMTer. So such a statement is not a sufficient differentiation factor, and so I went into more detail.[/quote]

You have a point there. Still, it can help to start with a more widely accepted point and then add to that. But you're right, it's important to discuss the difference between typical post-Keynesians like Krugman, who say that there should not be a deficit over the business cycle (i.e. deficits in a downturn should be balanced by surpluses during good times), and the MMT researchers, who have a very convincing argument that increasing government debts (in absolute numbers) are necessary in the long run for a typical country (the only exception being countries like Norway with their massive oil exports).


[quote][quote]You don't help by giving off the vibe of a crazy person (though I admit it often does feel like the inmates are running the asylum).[/quote]
I don't see that I am giving off such a vibe. Are you sure you're not projecting?
[/quote]

I certainly don't think you're a crazy person, and probably I should have worded things differently. What I'm really trying to say is this: try to see things from the perspective of someone who is utterly convinced that sound finance and a return to the gold standard is the way to go. Someone whose entire social circle believes the Robinson Crusoe & Friday story for where money comes from, thinks that deposits create loans, and so on. All those things are wrong, but for someone who has made them [url="http://www.paulgraham.com/identity.html"]part of their identity[/url], they are hard to give up.

To someone like that, the notions of MMT must sound as crazy as the claim that the earth moves around the sun sounded to normal people a few centuries ago.

So if you really want to convince the more open-minded among that group of people, you need to tread carefully and diplomatically. Don't tone down the message itself - it's important that people get exposed to it fully - but be careful in how you present it so as not to drive people away needlessly.
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[quote name='Prefect' timestamp='1324147572' post='4894838']
[quote name='Prune' timestamp='1323666749' post='4893008']
[quote name='Ravyne' timestamp='1323641187' post='4892908']
I don't believe that the American system is sustainable for all the programs we have.[/quote]
Huh?
Taxation is not what pays for government spending, because under a fiat system the government is not revenue constrained. [...][/quote]

Small piece of advice: being correct is not enough in such discussions. If you want to be taken seriously, you also have to make sure that the out-of-band signals you're sending are good. For example: don't sound condescending or offensive. "Huh?" is a bad way to start your comment. It is never a good way to start if your ultimate goal is to convince the other person (or, more likely, some bystanders).
[/quote]

Minor irony based on a true story: upon reading that post you quoted I though; oh there we have the local condescending MMT nut again. But 'Prune' didnt ring a bell.

'Prefect', thats the name I was thinking of :).
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[quote name='Eelco' timestamp='1324224036' post='4895011']
Minor irony based on a true story: upon reading that post you quoted I though; oh there we have the local condescending MMT nut again. But 'Prune' didnt ring a bell.

'Prefect', thats the name I was thinking of :).
[/quote]
I know what you mean. It's easy to get carried away. But I try ;)

(Does calling me a 'nut' make you feel better? Or where does this come from?)
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[quote name='Prefect' timestamp='1324204046' post='4894971']
What I'm really trying to say is this: try to see things from the perspective of someone who is utterly convinced that sound finance and a return to the gold standard is the way to go. Someone whose entire social circle believes the Robinson Crusoe & Friday story for where money comes from, thinks that deposits create loans, and so on.[/quote]
But here's the thing: [b]such a position was actually where I started from![/b] I even used to be a (mild) fan of Ron Paul, though now I believe he'd be a worse president than freakin' Ru Paul. Then the topic came up when I was chatting with a bona fide genius acquaintance and he easily destroyed every argument I had or copied and pasted in the MSN chat from various sources. And when I say destroyed, I mean nuked to atomic dust. Then I researched MMT, seeking holes to use in my next discussion with said friend, but instead ended up overriding my ego and overcoming my ignorance. And if someone as narcissistic as I am can do it, so can anyone else. It was the same sort of extreme conversion as when I read the interpretation of QM Mohrhoff puts forth and suddenly everything made sense and gained perfect clarity. http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0105097 (also now an expanded form is available as a book on Amazon).

My approach may be a bit condescending, but it's because I have limited patience and I get offended easily. I know it's paying off nonetheless. I've convinced several people on Slashdot to inform themselves and now I have a number of them backing me up and correcting the misguided, so I'm doing my bit to spread the knowledge that in retrospect should be obvious.
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"I don't see that I am giving off such a vibe."

Yeah. Sorry. You are. Your post is all ranty and foamy.

Just as an example; "It is exactly such misunderstandings by the politicos of some very fundamental aspects of how modern monetary systems actually work"

You're blessed with knowledge that the entire political leadership of the western world has either stupidly spurned or just never bothered to learn? And the absolute assertion that MMT is a definitive description of the world's monetary system? Posted by someone on a games development site? Yep. That comes across as ever so very slightly looney.


"their emotional commitment to irrational ideology."

Good job none of that is happening round here.
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[quote name='Katie' timestamp='1324246865' post='4895104']
Posted by someone on a games development site?[/quote]
In regards to the truth-value of any statements I've made, it matters not an iota where it was posted and by whom it was posted.
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[quote name='Prefect' timestamp='1324231619' post='4895038']
[quote name='Eelco' timestamp='1324224036' post='4895011']
Minor irony based on a true story: upon reading that post you quoted I though; oh there we have the local condescending MMT nut again. But 'Prune' didnt ring a bell.

'Prefect', thats the name I was thinking of :).
[/quote]
I know what you mean. It's easy to get carried away. But I try ;)
[/quote]
No worries.
[quote]
(Does calling me a 'nut' make you feel better? Or where does this come from?)
[/quote]
From the fact that I think MMT is nutty. Granted, not any more nutty than say, the Paulian brand of austrianism, but thats a low bar to beat.
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[quote name='Prune' timestamp='1324247042' post='4895105']
[quote name='Katie' timestamp='1324246865' post='4895104']
Posted by someone on a games development site?[/quote]
In regards to the truth-value of any statements I've made, it matters not an iota where it was posted and by whom it was posted.
[/quote]

Under most reasonable assumptions, yes, the truth value of what you say doesn't depend on where you post it, or how you say it. But it's also independent of [i]whether you say it in the first place[/i], and so when you say something, people are going to expect a relatively logical argument (versus one that omits both vital background information and vital inferences). So if [i]your own unique way of expressing[/i] your thoughts doesn't actually contain such an argument, people are going to dismiss you based on the [i]actual content of your posts[/i] rather than simply saying "well, his conclusions might still be right, so I'll just assume he [i]meant[/i] to post a valid argument."
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[quote]
From the fact that I think MMT is nutty. Granted, not any more nutty than say, the Paulian brand of austrianism, but thats a low bar to beat.
[/quote]

It's not nutty, it's just not really a revelation. Quite apart from anything, it's functionally equivalent to the current mainstream monetary theories plus the concept of directly capitalised QE to fund keynesian cycles.

It's **unrealistic** because it relies on people being perfect -- it relies on the government never ever ever succumbing to the temptation to debase the currency rather than fully close the currency loop. And that's rather unlikely to stay the case given that governments want to be popular. Having an independent money issuing body will tend to keep the main currency user (the government) more honest.
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[color="#808080"][quote name='Katie' timestamp='1324290492' post='4895242']
[quote]
From the fact that I think MMT is nutty. Granted, not any more nutty than say, the Paulian brand of austrianism, but thats a low bar to beat.
[/quote][font="Arial"]

It's not nutty, it's just not really a revelation. Quite apart from anything, it's functionally equivalent to the current mainstream monetary theories plus the concept of directly capitalised QE to fund keynesian cycles.

It's **unrealistic** because it relies on people being perfect -- it relies on the government never ever ever succumbing to the temptation to debase the currency rather than fully close the currency loop. And that's rather unlikely to stay the case given that governments want to be popular. Having an independent money issuing body will tend to keep the main currency user (the government) more honest.
[/quote]

I agree; its mostly equivalent to other economic nuttiness, with some different emphasis here and there. That said, I do believe there a some particularly wrong elements that I discussed with Prefect before. Taken from one of the primers posted, for example:

[size="2"]'Money is always created by the state and must therefore be regulated by the state'
[/size]
[size="2"]Uhm, what? The only way the state is a special actor in all of this, is that it takes the liberty to rewrite monetary contracts at its whims. How many dollars you owe it, or how many dollars it has, is up to its own discretion. But lots of contracts can fullfill the variety of roles typically associated under the nomer 'money'. And are still in use today, in parralel with the fiat system.[/size]

[size="2"]Failure to appreciate this fact lead to all kinds of confusion, such as denialism as to the relation between the price and supply of 'money'. Doubling the supply of dollars does not double the amount of 'money', but is expected to affect the price-level in proportion to the net change in total monetary instruments (assuming a constant supply of non-monetary goods).[/size][/font][/color]
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[quote name='Prefect' timestamp='1324148690' post='4894841']
[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1323535665' post='4892552']
[quote name='Prune' timestamp='1323508128' post='4892467']
plus, I've no doubt some of our German friends are realizing that after two failed attempts at taking over Europe militarily, they might now be able to subjugate it economically).[/quote]Nothing like a bit of racism :/[/quote]

How is that racist? He is explicitly not over-generalizing - note the "[b]some of[/b] our German friends". And besides, he is fundamentally correct. It has been a common theme in the German media for quite some time that Germany should just buy Greek islands and other assets. It's not just populism either: there has been a report by a German think tank on how a Greek privatisation should be overseen, with the obvious expectations that Germans would buy a large share of the assets which would be sold undoubtedly below value - as always happens in privatisation.[/quote]I'm obviously not disputing the idea that some German people want economic power. It's the small matter of linking that to two world wars...

Decades have passed - is Prune suggesting that the "some" German business leaders and politicians today are ones who failed to take it over military? I doubt most were alive, let alone the ones responsible.

Many if not most countries have companies wanting economic power, so trying to link it to world wars is misleading. It also comes across as an attempt to make "some" Germans look bad by linking it to military action, particularly the second world war - I think Godwin applies here. Even if we ignore the long passage of time, there is also no reason to think that the people doing this are motivated by military action or Nazism or whatever else from the world wars - I might as well try to criticise Apple's patent-trolling, or the wealth inequality that exists in the US, by saying "after invading Iraq".

And no, "some" doesn't change my point - "I only said 'some Black people'..." Even though it may well be true that there exists at least one German businessman who is seeking economic power because of some connection to the world wars and wanting Germany to take over Europe in the same kind of sense, I'm not sure that this is typical, or significantly more likely than other countries.

[quote]P.S.: I'm German.[/quote]And I'm English - so? As you say yourself, he wasn't talking about all Germans, and presumably wasn't referring to you, unless you're one of these business leaders wanting to gain power. (If Prune was German, then there might be a point that I had misinterpreted whatever it was that he was trying to say, but judging by his phrasing and his earlier posts, he's not; if you mean to say that you being German means it adds weight to your view that it's okay to criticise "some" Germans today for the world wars, I might as well say that me being not-German adds weight to my view that any such connection is spurious.)

As you yourself said:

[quote]If you want to be taken seriously, you also have to make sure that the out-of-band signals you're sending are good.[/quote]Similarly, bringing in world wars when talking about Germany, when it's nothing to do with the world wars, doesn't help the discussion. Or if you do, don't be surprised when someone calls you on it, as I did with Prune.
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[quote name='cowsarenotevil' timestamp='1324253052' post='4895133']
So if [i]your own unique way of expressing[/i] your thoughts doesn't actually contain such an argument, people are going to dismiss you based on the [i]actual content of your posts[/i] rather than simply saying "well, his conclusions might still be right, so I'll just assume he [i]meant[/i] to post a valid argument."[/quote]
It is contained in the references I posted. Why repeat what's already written in great detail and more eloquently than I can muster as an ESL writer?
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[quote name='Katie' timestamp='1324290492' post='4895242']
It's not nutty, it's just not really a revelation. Quite apart from anything, it's functionally equivalent to the current mainstream monetary theories plus the concept of directly capitalised QE to fund keynesian cycles.
[/quote]

There are some statements that clearly set MMT researchers apart from everybody else. In particular, you mention Keynesian cycles. Keynes himself was very adamant that the government should run surpluses in good times to offset the deficit from bad times. MMT contradicts this. There may be situation where Keynes' prescription applies, but in the vast majority of cases it does not according to MMT.

(MMT does say that the government deficit should behave counter-cyclically, ideally via automatic spending and taxation adjustments; the distinction here is that this does [i]not[/i] imply a balanced budget in the long run.)

That said, I agree that calling MMT a revelation is perhaps an exaggeration. However, understanding the nature of money beyond the naive everyday view that we develop as children and most people never shed even as adults is quite an enlightenment, and many people go through this precisely because they learn about MMT.

[quote]It's **unrealistic** because it relies on people being perfect[/quote]

It's better not to mix up MMT as a descriptive theory with the policy prescriptions that are typically derived from the descriptive part. Saying that MMT as a descriptive theory is unrealistic doesn't make sense. It's either true or false (or perhaps true with some flaws, or false with some truths).

[quote]it relies on the government never ever ever succumbing to the temptation to debase the currency rather than fully close the currency loop.[/quote]

There is quite a lot that is wrong here. First of all: debasing the currency vs. "closing the currency loop" is a false dichotomy. Second, "debasement" is an inaccurate term for this discussion anyway - the days of the gold standard are over, and the days of coins that are denominated at material value have been over even longer. Third, the "currency loop" is broken in more places than just the government. Most importantly, it is broken when private actors save, and it is broken by bank money creation. This is not a uniquely MMT observation either. It is accepted by everyone who understands endogenous money. So even if the government wanted to, it simply [i]cannot[/i] close the currency loop, because there is always the private sector.

This last point is actually something that should appeal to libertarian types: a lot of the MMT prescriptions are basically that the government should act defensively vs. the actions of the private sector. That should be easy to embrace for a libertarian.
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[quote name='Katie' timestamp='1324290492' post='4895242']It's not nutty, it's just not really a revelation. Quite apart from anything, it's functionally equivalent to the current mainstream monetary theories plus the concept of directly capitalised QE to fund keynesian cycles.[/quote]
Well, MMT largely a descriptive theory; it just applying a rational approach to modeling existing fiat systems. However, it can serve as the springboard for prescriptive ideas:
[url="http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=5098"]http://bilbo.economi...et/blog/?p=5098[/url]
[url="http://www.cfeps.org/pubs/wp-pdf/WP37-MoslerForstater.pdf"]http://www.cfeps.org/pubs/wp-pdf/WP37-MoslerForstater.pdf[/url]
[quote]It's **unrealistic** because it relies on people being perfect -- it relies on the government never ever ever succumbing to the temptation to debase the currency rather than fully close the currency loop.[/quote]
So which mainstream economic theory fully embraces the concept of the agents in the system being only boundedly rational?
[quote]And that's rather unlikely to stay the case given that governments want to be popular.[/quote]
So just because there are difficulties doing something, that thing shouldn't be done? Through education, public opinion can be shifted over time and make the ground fertile for change.
[quote]Having an independent money issuing body will tend to keep the main currency user (the government) more honest.[/quote]
Some central banks may be independent from government (at least in any direct manner), but they are not independent in general.
There's a much bigger problem with the reverse direction of influence: the lack of government independence. People who enter office plan primarily for when they are out of office and so they basically start very early in being inducted into some particular niche, so they'll be taken care of thereafter; thus, they spend very little time focusing on service and most of the time on setting up their post-government career. This means basically just doing whatever party bosses and lobbyists tell them to do (so they can thereafter do the same).
Allowing large horizontally integrated multi-industry conglomerates to operate across the economy, including in financial instruments, means that's pretty much where most of the effective sources of legislation are, and the US especially is pretty much die-hard committed to promoting.
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[quote name='Eelco' timestamp='1324303261' post='4895282'][color="#000000"][font="Arial"]
[size="2"]'Money is always created by the state and must therefore be regulated by the state'
[/size]
[size="2"]Uhm, what? The only way the state is a special actor in all of this, is that it takes the liberty to rewrite monetary contracts at its whims.
[/size][/font][/color][/quote]

Open your eyes. All relevant money systems in the world today exist as creations of the state, under the rules of the state.

I agree with you that it is, in principle, possible for a money system to be created by somebody other than a state. Clearly, there are some examples of this in history, and it is attempted occasionally without too much success in the sense of achieved relevance (see e.g. Bitcoin). And that's the key point here. Those other money system remain too small to be of relevance. So if you want to pretend that money is not created by the state, a productive discussion with you is pretty much impossible. One could say that you have to accept the fact that the Emperor has no clothes.

By the way: MMT is slowly but surely gaining traction among other economists. Here's an [url="http://www.boeckler.de/pdf/v_2011_10_27_lavoie.pdf"]interesting paper[/url] by someone who basically agrees in all points, but just thinks the message should be toned down. (There is one minor point where he does disagree, which I believe to be a mistake in how he accounts for net financial assets. But I digress.)
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[quote name='Prefect' timestamp='1324319811' post='4895407']
By the way: MMT is slowly but surely gaining traction among other economists[/quote]
Not only economists--check this out: [url="http://www.ourdime.us/1291/concepts/sen-sanders-showing-mmt-some-love-while-reforming-fed/"]http://www.ourdime.u...-reforming-fed/[/url]
Quoting: "Senator Bernie Sanders put together a panel of economists and other public policy experts to come up with a plan to “reform” the Federal Reserve structure....The surprising part was that the panel had a significant number of MMT economists. People like L. Randall Wray, William Black, James Galbraith, and Stephanie Kelton. With all that MMT on the council and the strong showing from the UMKC economics department, I’m optimistic about the reforms they’ll come up with. Wray has been writing about the Fed since being on the panel. I think it gives a little hint of the kind of things he and other MMT economists are recommending."
Also, the Fed itself is putting out stuff like [url="http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2010/201041/index.html"]http://www.federalre...1041/index.html[/url] correcting the money multiplier myth:
Quoting: "A second issue involves the effect of the large volume of reserves created as we buy assets....The huge quantity of bank reserves that were created has been seen largely as a byproduct of the purchases that would be unlikely to have a significant independent effect on financial markets and the economy. This view is not consistent with the simple models in many textbooks or the monetarist tradition in monetary policy, which emphasizes a line of causation from reserves to the money supply to economic activity and inflation....will need to watch and study this channel carefully."
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[quote name='Prefect' timestamp='1324319811' post='4895407']
[quote name='Eelco' timestamp='1324303261' post='4895282'][color="#000000"][font="Arial"]
[size="2"]'Money is always created by the state and must therefore be regulated by the state'
[/size]
[size="2"]Uhm, what? The only way the state is a special actor in all of this, is that it takes the liberty to rewrite monetary contracts at its whims.
[/size][/font][/color][/quote]

Open your eyes. All relevant money systems in the world today exist as creations of the state, under the rules of the state.

I agree with you that it is, in principle, possible for a money system to be created by somebody other than a state. Clearly, there are some examples of this in history, and it is attempted occasionally without too much success in the sense of achieved relevance (see e.g. Bitcoin). And that's the key point here. Those other money system remain too small to be of relevance. So if you want to pretend that money is not created by the state, a productive discussion with you is pretty much impossible. One could say that you have to accept the fact that the Emperor has no clothes.
[/quote]

The 'money systems', yes. The 'money', no.

Money is a loosly coupled set of qualities. In some contexts, it means a store of value. In some, a source of liquidity. And in others, a denominator of a contract.

Especially in the age of fiat currencies, only fools store a significant amount of value in the form of 'money'. Liquidity comes in many forms. Just yesterday, I traded one beer in the one bar versus another beer in the next bar. Contracts can be denominated, at least in principle, in any denomination. Even if a contract in some fiat currency is forced upon you (a tax burden for instance), one can hedge against the exchange rate of dollars and sheep such as to effectively be taxed in terms of sheep. But granted, the latter does not happen that much (whether in sheep or anything else). It is in fact in the denomination of long term contracts such as mortgages that fiat currencies have the most relevance.

Anyway, the point is that 'money' is a much more general thing than coins, bills, account balances, or gold bars for that matter. These are but particular means to some ends. I guess one could say that MMTers are like goldbugs, just with a different fixation. Its a shame that 'fiatbug' does not quite have the same ring to it, but maybe thats just a matter of getting used to it.
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[quote]Liquidity comes in many forms. Just yesterday, I traded one beer in the one bar versus another beer in the next bar.[/quote]

I like that example. Liquidity indeed :P

[quote]Contracts can be denominated, at least in principle, in any denomination.[/quote]

True. In practice though, that's rarely the case. In the developed world, contracts are basically always denominated in the country's currency. Where contracts cross boundaries, they are usually denominated in one of the participating currencies (or perhaps a basket). In developing countries, larger contracts are often denominated in foreign currencies like USD, Euro or CHF or whatever.

So I don't know. You need some kind of fundamental goodwill towards others to have any kind of useful discussion, and you don't seem to be prepared to have that towards MMT. [i]Of course[/i] MMT researchers are aware of the things you write (admittedly, things may be different for some of the "acolytes"). The point is that they consider them to be irrelevant for the claims they're making. So what if they don't always go to the full length of explaining all that, especially in an exposee intended for a normal audience? You can't always put the full disclaimer everywhere.

[quote]Anyway, the point is that 'money' is a much more general thing than coins, bills, account balances, or gold bars for that matter. These are but particular means to some ends. I guess one could say that MMTers are like goldbugs, just with a different fixation.[/quote]

It's kind of ironic that you didn't mention reserves or bonds. If there's one thing MMT really brought to the table in terms of "money things", it's the importance of understanding how reserves and the bond market work (this goes back to Mosler's paper in 1994). Other than that, I would say the next thing they repeat over and over again is the sectoral balances, which is not about "money things" at all. I have seen "money as a contract" emphasized by MMTers much more than by the people who write against MMT, so that's a weird criticism on your part.
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Aside from all this arguing, why not look into Dubai in the UAE? I've not lived there myself but I would consider moving there if there was a job for me. It has an interesting culture and you'd surely meet lots of other ex-pats there. You can get a job in an English-speaking firm and the locals seem to have at least a grasp of some English also, due to the large number of ex-pats and holiday makers.

Seems to be a more relaxed way of life out in such areas.
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