3 Comments Economics 101 for #OccupyWallStreet

  1. AvatarJulia

    Many thanks for this video. One of the things I’ve noticed with the OWS demonstrations is how they went from extremely radical (when I was there first day of demonstrations the people in attendance were overwhelmingly anarchists and radicals) to extremely reformist. Something that comes up is a Guaranteed National Income where the state makes sure everyone is financially secure. The problem with this is (aside from the fact that it keeps the capitalist system alive) has to do with the fact that the state just doesn’t have enough money to do this. We need much better alternatives to make sure everyone has a decent standard of living.

  2. AvatarPG

    Problem is “public debts” do not exist for governments issuing fiat currencies. Within a fiat currency talking of “public debt” is similar to talking of epicycles within a heliocentric model of the solar system. And if they do not exist there is no point in “paying them”.

    For a government issuing a fiat currency “public debt” is actually savings in the currency.

    One must always ask: how is a currency (money) created? How is it destroyed?

    On the other hand, the point on diminishing returns on capital is a crucial one and it may well explain the current burst of the “public debt” meme.

    Conflating the two issues is not a good idea.

  3. AvatarTodd S.

    Couldn’t agree more with Julia. As Chris Hedges said not too long ago, FDR’s greatest achievement was actually saving capitalism. I find the calls for the state to create jobs particularly odious in that regard. What better way to perpetuate a system based on jobs than to corral people into such jobs created by… drumroll… the system itself? Demanding jobs does not help people recapture their lost agency. It does nothing to shift power from institutions to people. Quite the opposite, I’d say. I hope that no actual demands are forthcoming, but I’d much rather see a demand to abolish the impediments to making a living – things like licensing and patents – than demands to provide more jobs in service to them.

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