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Is Q&A losing it?

If last week’s Q&A panellist Grace Collier is simplistic enough to think the unemployment problem would be solved by those looking for work simply starting their own businesses, why was she on the program in the first place?

If her comments were meant to be taken seriously, what does that tell us about the integrity of the ABC and the Q&A program itself? After all, it’s not the first time so called experts have appeared and made themselves and the program look inadequate.

Mass unemployment, such as we are experiencing today, is a macroeconomic failure at government level. It is a failure of fiscal and/or monetary policy. What it tells us is, that government spending is failing to generate sufficient demand to create the correct level of employment.

Officially, there are 713,300 people unemployed as at September 2016. That is 5.6% of the workforce and sadly, just the tip of the iceberg. In August 2016, there were 1.0814 million underemployed persons or 9.1 per cent of the labour force. Total underutilisation of the workforce (unemployment and underemployment) stood at 14.7 per cent.

In seasonally-adjusted terms, 82.3 per cent of the net jobs created in Australia in the last 12 months have been part-time. In the financial year 2014-15 (latest data) there were only 21,000 net new businesses created in Australia.

Those businesses were essentially new retail outlets, tradespeople sub-contracting and some entrepreneurial ventures destined to fail in the passing of time.

All of this reflects just part of the problem. Those who are employed, who have families, mortgages and credit card debt, the backbone of the country, have no leverage to spend any more. They are conserving. All of which when combined, tells us that private spending is contracting.

When the domestic private sector reduces spending, demand falls, companies lower output and people lose their jobs. It’s not rocket science.

grace-collierThere is little hope for anyone starting a business in an environment where private spending is contracting. An industrial relations expert such as Grace Collier should know that.

She should know that the only remedy for that is increased government spending.

However, it was her subsequent comments on the Q&A program last Monday that need to be unpacked. She said, “The Government does not owe… You know, nobody has an entitlement to a job. Society doesn’t owe you a job. The Government can’t get you a job. The Government shouldn’t have to get you a job. There’s no such thing as Government money. There’s your money and my money.”

What utter rubbish!

Any government that absolved itself of the responsibility of providing jobs would be delinquent in the extreme. Any government that can’t provide jobs for its citizens is delinquent in the execution of its responsibilities.

Whether those jobs are government jobs or come from the private sector or are the product of the entrepreneur, it is the government’s responsibility to create the conditions where those jobs materialise. To suggest otherwise demonstrates sheer ignorance.

On her comments about money, if it is not government money, then from whence did it come? The government is the currency issuer. Of course it’s government money. All money is government money. Even when banks create loans out of thin air, they do so under licence from government.

Which brings us back to the ABC and Q&A. Notwithstanding some excellent discussions that have taken place over the years, Q&A will always be judged by its worst. This was one of its worst.

It needs to ask itself, is it a genuine forum fit for public purpose, or just a ratings’ seeker condescending to the lowest common denominator. That is what last Monday’s program looked like.

83 comments

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  1. Jaquix

    Grace Collier epitomises the Liberal mind-set – Im OK Jack and to hell with you. I could go on but its too tiresome.

  2. economicreform

    I am afraid that she is an economic illiterate. Regrettably, she shares that deficiency with people (on average) to be found in our streets, as well as with many of the parliamentary politicians who represent them.

  3. king1394

    I too was very disappointed in the panel that was wheeled out on Q&A last Monday. It consisted of the pretty, silly Grace Collier, another IPA rep in John Roskam (predictable and one-eyed) and Judith Sloane who is also a very ‘conservative thinker’. For the balance we had Ged Kearney from the ACTU who was passionate but not an impressively quick thinker, the Greens’ Richard di Natale who seems to lack a strong appreciation of the Industrial Relations world and Tim Watts, a Labour backbencher who may still be on training wheels – he tried hard. Apparently the Federal Government did not think the topic, Industrial Relations and Respectful Relationships, was important enough to have a representative present.

    ABC and Q&A need to remember that Industrial Relations is not a marginal issue, but closely related to the lived experience and living standards of most ordinary Australians. It was clear that the ‘right wing’ members of the panel have no interest in respecting working people.

  4. Kylie

    I take it as she is not as stupid as she sounds. Actually I am sure she knows the facts. As per normal liberal party tactics. Tell the public whatever rubbish you like the people are stupid enough to believe you. And the thing is a lot of people must take it in because sadly they got back into government.

    Bottom line that people need to understand:
    – The policy is to cut funding to welfare, health, services, etc.
    – Give tax breaks to the rich
    – This government is not working for the people, they are working for big business and the very wealthy.
    – The unemployment issue is being used as a diversion to distract the public from more serious issues.

  5. helvityni

    I’m happy with small mercies when it comes to ABC, I thank them for the excellent Four Corners report from Nauru, made a grown woman weep, and as I read today,made Dutton very angry…

    The following Q&A was absolutely the pits, the three Liberal representatives had nothing worthwhile to contribute to the program The Media Watch was all talk about clowns, I check if Sales is on 7.30 ,if so, it’s no go…the two relief blokes Haydon and Matt seem to be fairer when interviewing politicians of any side.

  6. Andreas Bimba

    In addition to a failure of the federal government to implement fiscal stimulus, the financial services sector and the rest of the Kleptocracy sucks an ever increasing share of the nations (and world’s) GDP away from the general population and ‘Main Street’, wages and discretionary spending of the ‘masses’ decline or stagnate and unemployment and hardship increase while at the same time government support services are cut or fees imposed.

    For example the banks receive about $80 billion per annum in mortgage repayments for owner occupied and investment properties. My guess would be that this figure would be less than half this amount if we did not have the real estate price bubble that arose out of the Howard era policy of negative gearing for property investments, the 50% CGT concession and allowing foreigners, mostly from China, to invest heavily into the Australian property market.

    Insurance is often a major and increasing expense especially for small businesses and real estate and share market speculation represent a misallocation of capital away from the ‘productive’ economy, with the compulsory superannuation system now managing $2 trillion and management fees being $25 billion per annum.

    In the past we had a moderately well functioning progressive tax system and large businesses and corporations actually paid some tax so money was circulated back down to the general economy and the masses through government spending.

    Moderate trade protection was also in place before the era of neoliberalism which ensured hundreds of thousands of stable relatively well paid jobs were available in manufacturing and related service businesses for unskilled, trades and white collar workers as well as apprenticeships and traineeships for young job seekers.

    Neoliberalism and Monetarism are a con to enrich the top few per cent and we must cut out this cancer.

    Being a genuine expert on unemployment and macroeconomic policy – Bill Mitchell made a very similar post about this same episode of Q&A.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=34625#comments

  7. John Richardson

    Couldn’t have said it better myself … Grace Collier’s presence is just further evidence of Rupert Murdoch’s pervasive reach with the Australian media … but to be fair to her, the rest weren’t much better.
    I reckon I saw Tony Jones rolling his eyes in that familiar “why am I here” way in the first minute of the so-called “show”
    Of course, Q&A will always suffer by having to follow 4 Corners & Media Watch.

  8. 1petermcc

    John, I think they have sunk to the depths of aiming for click bait.

    Where once we went to Aunty for insight, now we have to put up with reinforcing stereotypes and the infernal begging for tweets. Sadly there are plenty of Grace’s out there who are happy to push the zealotry.

    It started with Bolt as the resident bad guy, but now we have to endure a virtual Team Bolt, where the more outrageous the claim, the more often you get the gig.

    Gone are the days of Monday Conference (the original not the shallow Couchman imitation) where points were pursued to the point where escape was impossible.

    I can’t watch it anymore. Being agitated before bedtime is too unsettling.

  9. Free Thinker

    John,

    The question needs to be asked as to why with the overwhelming Murdoch media coverage in this country, the ABC needs to continue to showcase perspectives from this source. In so doing it merely becomes a megaphone puppet for the ideology and opinions purveyed by Murdoch’s minions. Which is what the Liberal stacked Board want.

    This week’s Q & A had two regular feature writers from ‘ The Australian’ Judith Sloan conservative economist emeritus professor and Grace Collier, whose ‘ song’ on industrial relations, on Monday night, would have warmed the heart of her employer, Emperor Rupert. Then, we had John Roskam from the IPA whose outlook is also sympatico with that of Murdoch’s minions and that of the Turnbullgovernment, on industrial relations.

    I though Ged Kearney and Richard Di Natale did a good job nonetheless, the latter noting at one stage that ‘Privilege is invisible to those who have it ‘.

    Sadly though, the quality of Q& A has deteriorated, since it began at the beginning of Kevin Rudd’s time as Prime Minister in 2008, and probably due to the pressure exerted from conservative politics. But by default, the Murdoch dynasty is achieving its long term goal of transforming the ABC from an independent news broadcaster to becoming part of its own ideological echo chamber.

  10. Ian Raymond SAFFIN

    The mark of a good civilised country is how well it looks after the most vulnerable. Sadly, in Grace and her boss, Rupert’s entitled world, it’s very dog eat dog.

  11. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    She is yet another simpleton. There is no other word for it. Yet the ABC continue to give them a platform, without providing any evidence to support their ridiculous claims and ideas. It beggars belief.

    But it does also go to show that you can make a living selling your stupidity to the LNP and their toadies. No qualifications are apparently required.

  12. Denis Hay

    I used to love watching the ABC’s News, Current Affair and Q&A, but now I do not watch any TV News or Current Affair programs and Q&A is very hit and miss these days.

    It seems they are in the process of destroying the once only public news outlet that reported “facts” and held politicians to account. Now they are no better than all the other MSM.

    They are just regurgitating half-truths, lies and political spin. They do not seriously challenge politicians when they are blatantly telling lies and never make them back up what they are saying with FACTS.

  13. Denis Hay

    Andrea had highlighted Bill Mitchell’s Modern Monetary Theory. He goes to great length to explain that a Sovereign Government can print as much money as it needs as long as there are enough resources/infrastructure to spend it on. This creates the environment for full-employment and many other benefits. Federal Government budgets which do not have to be balanced, are totally different to State Government and household budgets which do have to be balanced. I notice that Bill Mitchell is never invited on any of the Current Affair or Q&A programs. I have written to the ABC a couple of times asking them to invite Bill on their programs. I wonder why they don’t?

  14. Jexpat

    Steve Laing wrote:” She is yet another simpleton.

    Other words that apply include: “ideologue” and “propagandist.”

  15. lawrencewinder

    The disconnect between the audience and the “Gang of Three” was palpable during that program with even open laughter at some of Le Jongleur Roskam’s usual erroneous banalitys. Sloane was her standard contemptuously arrogant self but at least she didn’t slag off kinder and pre-school teachers this time and the Blonde….pfffft… ’nuff said!

  16. trishcorry

    Right up my street! Cheers balloons and streamers! Pops champagne. Sincere. Raw. Perfect.

  17. Terry2

    The ABC have to dig fairly deep into the conservative barrel to find right-wing characters to appear on Q&A (and the Drum for that matter).

    Both Collier and Sloane are columnists with the Australian and meet the criteria imposed by Murdoch.

    Sad that the ABC have to call on these people for their so called balance.

    They are close to scraping the bottom of that barrel.

  18. diannaart

    The ABC has been bludgeoned into a ‘balance’ that defies logic. Discussing climate requires people who actually understand the science – not just a political ideology. We don’t discuss missions to Mars and then bring on people from the flat earth society – there is no point.

    And yet, people from organisations, such as the IPA – are not expert, educated or even well studied in topics they are invited to discuss. Great for a fight, not for achieving anything.

    Achievement seems to have been lost, we hear a lot about innovation, but not much about how we achieve solutions. Not much about the steps we take and the support needed along the way to formulate any new ideas let alone improving on existing issues.

    Not a day passes when I fail to shake my head at lunatics running our governments and corporations.

  19. Ricardo29

    Unusually for me, i didn’t even start to watch. Hearing Sloan, Collier and Roskam were on the panel i knew i did t wNt to hear it. Even Ged Kearney and Di Natale werent enough of an attraction. Are we seeing the increasingly pernicious influence of Murdoch through his puppet the new ABC Chair?

  20. Keitha Granville

    Actually I think it has shown REALLY WELL what those at the top of the tree actually think, and WHY. It shows that they are all totally devoid of any basic common sense or decency. She has single handedly managed to totally screw their whole argument.

  21. guest

    I love it when we have people like Collier. Sloane and Roskam on Q&A. The Murdoch crowd are always rabbiting on about “freedom of speech” and when right-wingers speak we realise they have nothing of substance to say. It is so interesting to see how when right-wingers are on Q&A for balance, they are by no means ‘balanced’. They are made to look like the ideologues they are – far from reality.

    Colliers talk of the unemployed starting their own businesses matches Turnbull’s advice that the homeless should seek a house or support from their parents, What a set of cloud cuckoo dreamers they are. An interesting model is the failure of the business of Family First Senator Bob Day.

    To suggest that the government does not owe anyone a job is quite contrary to the Coalition mantra of “jobs and growth”. The only growth we have from these people is growth in debt. Roskam does not seem to be fazed by any of that: the government according to him does not have to do anything (except of course to follow the IPA program of demolishing anything Labor).

    These kinds of Coalition representatives are doing a lot of talking at the moment about unions after the “politically-motivated witch-hunt” TURC. Some 40+ union officials have been named for prosecution, but in the last 2 years there have been few
    prosecutions – and the number of CFMEU officials is small. But it is the CFMEU because they are named as responsible for building costs being #0% above proper costs. Yet elsewhere we see that price increases are also blamed on Chinese buyers, negative gearing and builders maximising profits. We saw in the the BR and the Pink Batts program how entre-preneureal builders maximised proftsand caused other problems but investigations focused on Rudd and Gillard. So when there is talk about banks and misbehaviour it all comes down to a chat once a year, certainly not a Royal Commission.

    When we get…you know…business people and academics …you know…talking about how wicked Labor and the unions are, we do not get much about…. you know….the Coalition and Big Business.

    At least on Q&A we might at least sometimes have representatives of Labor and unions we do not get in other news outlets.

  22. Jack Straw

    Again Australia and The ABC gets hoodwinked by government pressure in the name of “Balance” in putting these jokers on the show .Sloane,Collier and Roskam are fundermentalist’s. They are wind up puppet dolls who spew out the same shit day after day of their pathetic lives. You would have heard more original and enlightening facts and information from your masseur,hairdresser or your waiter than these sick puppies.

  23. Ele

    You are all missing the point. That is that succeeding governments of both persuasions from the 1970’s have killed education, killed manufacturing (just when all those poorly educated needed a blue collar job), killed the banking and insurance system by giving them free rein to do as they like, and by blindly following the USA and those “good ol’ boys ” from Britain while actively lobbying agaist all other countries in the world. And all the while allowing Master Murdoch’s propaganda machine unlimited access to people through his media machine without realising he is only “in it” for the money.When you have a prime minister who is proud of hiding his money in off-shore accounts, an immigration minister who presides over a system which shunts people off-shore because they are not really refugees and then recognise they are refugees but leaves them to the “mercy” of unfriendly foreign governments and a minister in charge of “welfare” who thinks all recipients are “on the take” . Probably many are now because they have a perfect example of that when they look at the entitlements and actions etc etc of many politicians. You will say “oh but manufactured goods were becoming too expensive, well the wheel has turned and now our vitamins, baby formula (and if we still had steel it would be in demand too) because they are good quality. And to cap it all off can you tell me how did a government department get it so wrong that the trains they ordered from overseas because they were cheaper than those made here (which would have kept locals in jobs), won’t fit on the train line they are supposed to be for aaagh heaven help us

  24. diannaart

    Ele

    Are you new to AIMN? We have discussed the short comings of both sides of politics in detail for a long time.

    There are those who believe the rot started with Howard, while others (this includes yours truly) believe the infiltration of economic rationalism beginning with Thatcher and Reagan certainly provided the catalyst for the ever widening divide between the majority of people and the wealthy.

    Some of us think Labor is the answer, while others believe we need a multi party system.

    Jon Kelly’s article is a part of a multi-branched discussion at AIMN. Please take the time to read the many articles on refugees, education, religion, defence spending, Monetary Money Theory, equal rights for women, LBGTIQ, first Australians and much, much more.

    Maybe some of us don’t get your point, there is a good chance that others are even more aware than you. Making judgements and generalisations about any group of people is always fraught.

    I can see from your comment you have a lot you want to say – looking forward to hearing more from you (a few paragraphs would also make reading easier).

  25. iggy648

    ABS seasonally adjusted figures:
    Million hours worked by Australians in:
    August 2010 1594.1 million
    September 2013 1641.5 million (Labor added: 47.4 million hours per month)
    September 2016 1660.0 million (Coalition added: 18.5 million hours per month)
    There were roughly a million new Australians in each of those periods sharing: (Labor) an additional 12 hours per week, (Coalition) 4.5 hours per week. Jobs and growth?

  26. iggy648

    Maybe they’ll start next year?

  27. oldWomBat

    For anyone to talk about the jobless or unemployment rates rate is meaningless. If someone works in a paid job for any period of time during a week they are deemed employed, but it doesn’t mean they can actually live on what they earn. A more relevant and meaningful discussion would take account of the weekly amount earned by someone with a paid job. This could then be compared to the minimum weekly wage and would give a better idea of how many people are employed in a job that allows them to live (i.e. pay rent, put food on the table, send their children to school etc.).

  28. silkworm

    Judith Sloane was such a precious petal she chucked a wobbly when Di Natale called the conservatives opposing SSM a bunch of “right wing dinosaurs.” Of course the tears she shed were crocodile tears — she was just being a concern troll.

  29. Wayne Turner

    DisGrace more like it.What makes her a “EXPERT?” – Is it self titled with no proof.

    Q & A went down the drain years ago eg: Grahame Morris being on the panel after he has previously encouraged people to “kick to death” the then sitting PM Gillard.If the ABC had any standards,ANYONE that has carried on like that would NOT ever be invited on ANY ABC program again.Plus,how come the AFP never went after him?

  30. totaram

    “She is yet another simpleton..”

    I agree with jexpat. She is not a simpleton. These are people who know that they are here to spout the neoliberal mantras, which more and more people are recognising for what they are: pure propaganda. But the show must go on. I do not know how useful it is for the Q&A program to have these ideologues on it. Does it really expose them to ridicule, as guest would like us to think? Or does it serve the interests of the propagandists? After all, if certain lies are repeated often enough, people begin to believe them. I must say it is difficult to decide. Perhaps a nuanced approach is required.

    Those who spout the most outrageous ideas like Grace Collier might be doing a service, but there are other more subtle and sinister ideas that get embedded into the populace if they are not opposed at some point – like “budget repair” and “govt debt which we leave to our children” etc. These ideas are now believed by almost every politician in Australia, much to the detriment of our joint future.

    Denis Hay: No chance Bill Mitchell will ever be called onto this program. It’s all too hard. That would really spill the beans wouldn’t it? The viewers wouldn’t know where to start, after all the brainwashing they have received. And if it did resonate with viewers, half the ABC would lose their jobs. Just think what happened when a poor unemployed guy questioned why tax breaks for the rich are better than tax breaks for him.

  31. michael lacey

    Would have been nice to have someone like Bill Mitchell. Q and A are really trivialising the debate when they select these people and really do not want any serious debate at all!

  32. Jaquix

    Interesting twist today – The CFMEU have slapped a work ban on the Carlton site where 2 developers illegally demolished a heritage pub. Should be a popular move in Melbourne which values its lovely old buildings. The dodgy developers figured a paltry $200,000 fine well worth their while to get “rid” of the building, after setting fire to it failed.

  33. Don A Kelly

    Another panel member, the federal leader of The Greens political party, Richard Di Natali let the debate down and revealed how far that political party has to come before it is remotely electable, by saying: No-one is asking for a job to be guaranteed. What we need is a plan.

    The following day, Bill Mitchell was interviewed on ABC radio and asked for just that – a Job Guarantee – for all Australians, paid for by our currency-issuing government and administered at local government level.

    That is a plan!

  34. Julian

    She has no idea that she is where she is because of luck and not talent.

  35. matters Not

    are people who know that they are here to spout the neoliberal mantras

    Really? Are you suggesting there are a number of people who consciously ‘know that they are here to spout the neoliberal mantras<? Are you seriously suggesting they are conspirators one and all? That they know a supposedly a theory free truth </em and they are intent on imposing same on us?

    MMT after all is a 'theory' (not that's a problem in itself – after all – 'reality' is always a theoretical construct) but to suggest that MMT adherents 'know' (and others don't) is really a step too far.

    Are you arguing that MMT (modern monetary theory) is a misnomer and ought to be renamed (modern monetary truth)? If so, then where does …

  36. paulwalter

    Cant see why Don A Kelly is griping about some imagined minor transgression from Di Natale, given the gaping dishonesty of Sloan as to the brewery workers.

  37. Nicholas

    The ABC has been hammered by the government for years for being too critical of it, particularly the Q&A programme. It’s gotten to the point now where it’s under threat of being abolished completely, or at least restructured and restaffed to the point where it’s unrecognisable. Facing that, why would they facilitate reasonable, intelligent debate for experts to point out more governmental wrongdoings?

  38. totaram

    MattersNot: If you have been keeping up with posts here you would know that MMT is not just a theory, in the same way that General Relativity is not just a theory (It is still called A THEORY). GPS wouldn’t work accurately without General Relativity. Most of MMT is actually descriptive, as has been pointed out any number of times. Sadly, it is true that much of what passes for Macro-economics in the mainstream discourse is actually based on untruths about how banks and lending and fiat currencies and central banks function. In fact most of mainstream (neo-liberal) macro-economics doesn’t want to talk about money at all.

    People in the upper echelons of business very often know how bank lending functions for example, or how increasing govt. debt does not lead to increases in RBA interest rates. The data is there. Yet they keep repeating these “fears”. It is the same with how the loss of the AAA rating will make it “more expensive” for the govt. to borrow, a misapprehension as the following will show:

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/what-is-a-aaa-credit-rating-and-why-does-australia-need-one-20160707-gq17xz.html

    So, yes, it is hard to believe that people high up in the business world don’t at least “suspect” if they don’t actually know that what they are spouting is untrue. They certainly know the lines that support their self-interest, and what their peers will reward them for, either materially or in other more indirect ways. Can you imagine what would happen to Grace Collier’s career if she openly declared herself to be a Greens supporter?

  39. jan

    SSM ? what does this stand for?

    Same sex marriage, Jan.

  40. Zathras

    Start your own business?
    That takes a lot of money.

    Why not just inherit a coal mine?
    Much simpler.

    It’s a lot like Joe Hockey’s solution to housing prices – just get a good job that pays well.
    Sorted!

    These people are too far out of touch with the real world to make valid statements and the ABC should provide more balance on Q&A discussion panels.

  41. Andreas Bimba

    Matters Not. The principles of Modern Monetary Theory operate in our economy all the time. MMT reflects the current reality of our economy where the federal government is the issuer of a fiat (not linked to gold) currency (via the RBA/Treasury).

    The problem is our political and economic leadership in general choose to use inadequate macroeconomic theories like Keynesian economics (Greens) or regressive theories like Monetarism (Coalition and ALP) which was invented to distribute wealth upwards – the so called trickle down theory.

  42. ZaphodB

    When i heard that a panelist on Q&A said “The unemployed should start their own businesses” at first I was confused as most unemployed wouldn’t have the money or collateral to do that. Then I realised she worked for News Corps and i understood what she was really saying was “let them eat cake” and it all made sense

  43. Andreas Bimba

    “she is another right wing simpleton passing by but I will love her till I die”

  44. guest

    Totaram

    does being on Q&A expose speakers to ridicule? Yes it does. Just listen to the audience and other speakers on the panel speaking in reply.

    Look at the comments made on sites such as AIMN.

    Look at the whining and moaning from the Murdoch crowd who complain of bias on the ABC.

    For speakers to speak to an audience and receive comment in reply from other panelists and the audience is most revealing, more revealing than having batteries of journalists repeating the same mantras day after day in the foggy environment of a newspaper, or shock jocks who berate and ridicule contrary listeners.

    By all means bring on Bill Mitchell and no doubt there are others who would be willing to debate with him. Real public debate, not Dorothy Dixers and lying replies in the H of R, is what we desperately need.

  45. Godwin Rules

    If I was on an aged pension or disability pension or unemployment benefits I suggest you form a political party or start protesting loudly now before it’s too late.Most Jews thought there was or lied to themselves that there was “so much Vork for them in Auschwitz”. The Liberal Parties Final Solution is to blow out the budget so that they will be forced to take drastic action upon Welfare. They are Ideologist Nazi’s with a kamikaze spirit. Look at Tony Abbott he would wear a suicide vest and blow himself and others up; just for an approving nod from John Howard. Australians are far too trusting and are very reticent to make waves.That has been our history.Will it be our future? I suggest people on welfare start protesting loudly now before it’s too late.Do it now; even out of self interest..Demand that the budget be reined in.Demand that Multinationals pay appropriate tax. Demand that Business and high income earners pay their fair share of tax. Demand that Australia businesses stay here and employ Australians. ie Westpac Bank, Vodafone, Telstra and others. Demand that Negative Gearing be abolished and foreign ownership of residential housing be curtailed and most of all demand Politician’s spending-waste be reined in Everyone thinks you are just sitting around on your arse bludging anyway. Maybe it is time to do something whilst you are on a benefit because if it does get taken away; you will be in real trouble then.

  46. totaram

    Guest: in the area of economics, Q&A, or the ABC does not even bring on economists from academia, at all. They have a few “go to” economists from the private sector that they consult or interview on any and every issue. It is heartening that Bill Mitchell got onto RN, but such instances are few and far between. I agree with you that full and fair debate would be good, but as you can see the chances of that are receding as we speak.

    Matters Not: Does Grace Collier really believe that an unemployed person without means can simply start up a business of their own? Is she that stupid or ignorant? It is certainly possible, but I don’t think it is true. She was pushing the line that people are unemployed because they don’t really want to work, and all they really need is some more “encouragement” to find work. She knows that the work isn’t available, so she invents this possibility of “starting your own business”.

  47. totaram

    Ooh! Silly me! Just Google Grace Collier. She used to be a union official! The rest of her transformation is all there for everyone to see. She is definitely NOT a poor little innocent misinformed thing. She actually criticised Julia Gillard “for showing her cleavage in parliament” !

  48. Jaquix

    Maybe we should all bombard the ABC with requests for more progressive panellists/guests on their programs. Suggest names like Bill Mitchell and others to give them the idea.

  49. Godwin Rules

    If I was on an aged pension or disability pension or unemployment benefits I suggest you form a political party or start protesting loudly now before it’s too late. Most Jews thought there was or lied to themselves that there was “so much Vork for them in Auschwitz”. The Liberal Parties Final Solution is to blow out the budget so that they will be forced to take drastic action upon Welfare. They are Ideologist Nazi’s with a kamikaze spirit. Look at Tony Abbott he would wear a suicide vest and blow himself and others up; just for an approving nod from John Howard. Australians are far too trusting and are very reticent to make waves. That has been our history. Will it be our future? I suggest people on welfare start protesting loudly now before it’s too late. Do it now; even out of self interest. Demand that the budget be reined in. Demand that Multinationals pay appropriate tax. Demand that Business and high income earners pay their fair share of tax. Demand that Australia businesses stay here and employ Australians. ie Westpac Bank, Vodafone, Telstra and others. Demand that Negative Gearing be abolished and foreign ownership of residential housing be curtailed and most of all demand Politician’s spending-waste be reined in. Everyone thinks you are just sitting around on your arse bludging anyway. Maybe it is time to do something whilst you are on a benefit because if it does get taken away; you will be in real trouble then.

  50. guest

    Totaram

    We are both right.

    The ABC is using people who are in the celebrity category because they are the people we know about. If Collier can say that the unemployed can start their own businesses, we are reminded that Turnbull said those without a house should seek help from parents and Hockey said if people could not afford houses they should get higher paying wages. We see how far they are from reality.

    And yes, we need some new blood. We know what the regulars are going to say. By all means bring on Bill Mitchell and economists, but also Climate Change experts and deniers, or renewable energy people vs coal merchants, or border security people vs UNHCR or Amnesty International…etc. But I fear it might be a little too serious – not enough “theatre”. A range of topics is useful, but often lacks real depth; the little moments count.

    Remember Prof Brian Cox vs the One Nation Climate Change expert? Or Pauline sitting next to Muslim Sam?

    And some very telling moments have come from questioners themselves.

  51. totaram

    “Remember Prof Brian Cox vs the One Nation Climate Change expert?”
    I didn’t watch, sorry. I have it from reliable sources that readers’ comments at “the Australian” were of the majority view that Brain Cox was demolished by Malcolm Roberts. I hope the rest of Australia thought otherwise, but I can’t be sure. The fact that 90% of those who vote for the coalition are voting against their own interests makes me wonder what is going on and what can be done about it.

  52. Declan McCallion

    Q&A, I do not believe are loosing it. What I see happening is a mirroring of what is becoming the societal norm.

    The extreme, ultra right, what can only be summed up as nutters have largely been given a big chunck of air time in the public realm. On major issues in the economy, foreign policy and social policy their extreme, impractical, unethical, simplistic and distortions are somehow being given pseudo credibility as serious remedies to the complex issues facing our nation.

    And so, Q&A. A victim of the widening gap of what we accept, in emotive terms as illustrated by Colliers “start a business” simplistic but somehow a credible solution thrown around. The gap that has given us the renewed remedies, somehow credible, proferred by Hanson and ilk, the LNP Government, so chaotic and inept it has resolved to let the ultra right, extreme elements of their party, control the narrative.

    The simplistic have been given a voice. One not prepared to examine detailed problems and contribute to debate, societal education or solution contribution. Their shrieks are, what they believe, the only panacea to all that ails us. Sadly, we, society have let them.

    Q&A has become a reflection of what we have allowed to happen to our nation. Where once the token extreme contributor was present there is now a substantial showing of them in each panel we have to ask, are WE loosing it and Q&A just showing us what we now accept?

  53. jimhaz

    [She said, “The Government does not owe… You know, nobody has an entitlement to a job. Society doesn’t owe you a job. The Government can’t get you a job. The Government shouldn’t have to get you a job. There’s no such thing as Government money. There’s your money and my money.”

    What utter rubbish!]

    It is NOT rubbish at all. What is rubbish is the context in which these comments were used by Collier.

    The governments responsibility is to create the environment in which jobs will be created, not to create the jobs. There is no system, including the “MMT will fix things crap” where govs can afford long term to create jobs without there being an adequate economic return.

    They have failed (not that 5.6% is anything out of the ordinary) as like any herd group they are subject to all the selfish lures that are made available to them, the main one being self-interest and self-protection. Awfully hard to go against world trends such as policies that allow the rich to get richer. Unfortunately our conservative politicians follow the US to the letter, and the ALP follows them when it suits the short term.

    Ele’s post was the only realistic one.

  54. Andreas Bimba

    Godwin Rules, here’s a new party for the unemployed, underemployed and actually all of us, and they also have a sound understanding of macroeconomics – The Australian Employment Party or AEP, links below.

    http://www.australianemploymentparty.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/520023444868205/

    Most of your comments are sound, including the Jewish pronunciation joke?, except the need for the balanced federal budget. For an economy to grow the money supply must grow by an equivalent amount, this is best done by the federal government running a deficit. As the federal government has currency issuing powers no debt needs to be incurred in order to ‘fund’ the deficit. Morrison’s last budget deficit may be large but actually it is not large enough, despite all the claims by the ALP that should know better than to also push ‘trickle down’ Monetarist balanced budget bull shit. The Modern Monetary Theory economists have been telling everyone this for decades, without the colourful language, and it is TRUE.

    By all means bring on some mass disobedience and I will also cheer if our dear leader’s limo is turned over with him in it and …..

    …………

    Totaram’s comment: “The fact that 90% of those who vote for the coalition are voting against their own interests makes me wonder what is going on and what can be done about it.” deserves some collective brain storming.

    My vote is for storming the ‘Bastille’ if things don’t improve decisively after the next federal election in 2019 – long wait though!!!

  55. Andreas Bimba

    Jimhaz, the MMT economists “will fix things crap” does not stink. Please make the effort to learn about MMT as I don’t know of anything better but Keynesian fiscal stimulus is almost as good.

    Most of the benefit of MMT fiscal stimulus is to invigorate the economy that allows all parts of the private sector to obtain an adequate rate of return. The increased government spending benefits many and is economically sustainable for a government that issues it’s own currency. The Job Guarantee program is also an essential component to provide work for those who cannot find it in the wider economy. All this economic growth must however be within a reducing environmental impact, especially global warming. Good industrial/commercial policy and trade policy are also essential.

  56. jimhaz

    Nope, nothing to learn. In fact as far as i am concerned the USA has been using an underhand version of MMT for 20 years and they are in great shape. China has been doing a similar trick. Any country with debt over 100% of GDP is doing the same.

    Most of the benefit of MMT is not as a stimulus (mid level deficit debt should do that), but refers to the logic of using the unemployed labour resource to produce, rather than to just sit there idle sucking up the production of others. Trouble is no government is smart enough to know where and how to utilise that resource (for instance MMT used to sustain jobs in car manufacture would be a dead loss), and it becomes a gravy train and they they tend to use it to feed government funds to the 1%. My point here is that it must be income producing work, which is rarely government work.

    I acknowledge I could be wrong – it may be that MMT based inflation is the tool that could crush the 1% political power and that is why low inflation always gets the highest monetary policy precedent. Inflation only devalues preexisting wealth.

  57. Andreas Bimba

    The MMT approach is not inflationary as fiscal stimulus does not go beyond the growth capacity of the economy. Indeed regulating the size of the deficit is the most effective way of controlling inflation.

    Yes the U.S., Chinese and Japanese governments have been running large fiscal deficits and would have been far worse off if they didn’t. The U.S. should have ran higher deficits, had moderate trade protection and spent less on the military and more on universal state sector health care and free education for example.

    The Job Guarantee program is intended for the residual unemployed that would be present after substantial economic stimulus. A bit more than a mid level deficit.

    The car industry just needs a 15% tariff and some grants when new plants are built. No ongoing subsidy is needed.

    The internationally tradable goods and services sector of the economy remains vitally important as this is what primarily sustains the value of our currency relative to others and determines the price we pay for imports.

    Ownership of the enterprise (state or private) is irrelevant to whether the output of the enterprise has real economic value.

  58. Matters Not

    Andreas Bimba at 10:14 am

    regressive theories like Monetarism (Coalition and ALP) which was invented to distribute wealth upwards – the so called trickle down theory

    So we have economic theories (in contrast to decisions made) that aren’t descriptive but were invented to distribute wealth upwards ?

    Now that’s a claim that’s at a far end of the conspiracy scale! Re economic theories ‘invented’ to distribute wealth upwards . Would you have a link for that?

    Not talking about ‘outcomes’ BTW, but ‘intentions’ which you clearly stated.

  59. totaram

    MattersNot: I have more than a “link”. I have a book you can read, just for starters. It’s actually available free as a pdf now it seems so here is the link:

    http://www.downloads.newera.org.za/Interesting/Economists%20and%20the%20Powerful.pdf

    Economists and the Powerful. Convenient Theories,. Distorted Facts, Ample Rewards. Norbert Häring and Niall Douglas .

    I would urge everyone to read it if they haven’t done so already…

  60. totaram

    Here’s another bit of reading:

    https://www.ineteconomics.org/uploads/papers/Keen-Paper.pdf

    Economics and the Powerful: Faulty
    Analysis, Economic Advice, and the
    Imperatives of Power
    Steve Keen, Visiting Professor, Goldsmith College, University of London

    “Look! Up there in the sky! What is it? Is it a plane? Is it a bird?”
    No, it’s a distraction from the robbery that is taking place in broad daylight on the
    ground.

  61. Andreas Bimba

    Matters Not. Have a look at fig. A in this link.

    http://www.epi.org/publication/understanding-the-historic-divergence-between-productivity-and-a-typical-workers-pay-why-it-matters-and-why-its-real/

    The flat lining of wages for workers in the U.S., which will be similar for Australia, began in the mid to late 1970’s when Reagan, Thatcher and Fraser/Hawke went away from Keynesian stimulus and near to full employment policies to Monetarism and smaller deficits, tax cuts for the wealthy, free trade, government cuts, privatisations, weakening of unions and labour laws and the rest.

    It is unreasonable to assume flat wages was an unforseen consequence and realistically redistribution of wealth upwards must have been the real objective of those primarily in the financial services sector that drove the process. Similar charts of the per centage of GDP taken by the financial services sector show the increase also started in the 1970’s.

  62. Pingback: Is Q&A losing it? | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

  63. doobasdad

    Q and A is a farce. I attended the Tasmanian program in Hobart, some years ago. On several occasions I was asked by the production team to ask a question, from a list. I submitted my own question and it never got a mention. The only question asked outside the set questions was yelled out by an audience member, who was promptly silenced for her trouble. Sorry guys, it’s a setup. A stage show.

  64. Matters Not

    Andreas Bimba, my post of October 21, 2016 at 11:07 pm was entirely about a claim made in your post that – regressive theories … which was invented to distribute wealth upwards

    I repeat again, where is the evidence that theorists like Friedman et al theorised with mala fides (‘bad faith’). That they invented ‘theory’ to distribute wealth upwards.?

    I don’t need any more links about MMT because I have read extensively on the subject. What I want is some evidence re your extraordinary claim that they invented such theories with the ‘deliberate’ intent to distribute wealth upwards.?

    Or was it simply a loose use of language?

  65. Andreas Bimba

    Matters Not. Malcolm Roberts and his question, “show me the empirical evidence” comes to mind. If you reject the evidence no amount of additional evidence will do.

    Why the big surprise about Monetarism being a component of wealth redistribution upwards? Don’t expect a nice paragraph from Milton Friedman that spells this out. This is not the style of the U.S. east coast banking elite that effectively controls the U.S., to be so honest. One has to look at actions and results. The results of wealth concentration are clear, the policy decisions made that produced this result are clear.

    Monetarism discourages the use of fiscal policy by national governments, in other words balanced budgets or even surpluses are the objective. Inflation is instead crudely controlled using interest rates. When combined with chronic tax evasion and massive tax concessions for the wealthy, revenue is constrained therefore the government sector is forced to shrink. Poorer people are the major beneficiaries of the welfare state so they get less. The important wealth redistribution role of government which assists with economic growth, is also reduced, so again wealth accumulates at the top. The private sector is just deemed to be good and efficient and anything done by this sector to accumulate wealth is deemed to be good including real estate and share market speculation at extreme levels.The less regulated financial services sector is let free to cheat, scam and defraud, again accumulating wealth. Weakening trade unions and global free trade, may not be strictly Monetarism but come with the package of neoliberalism, which act to lower wages for workers which again increases wealth disparity.

    In regard to Monetarism, if it’s sold to the customer as cake but always stinks, then it probably never was cake.

  66. Trish Corry

    Andreas, I have been following MMT commentary, but not commenting as such. I have read many a battle between Matters not and MMT advocates.

    Your response to Matters not sounds like a Trump version of ‘blame other things’. The Malcolm Roberts request for empirical evidence being thrown around this site, is nothing but a disguised personal attack and an insult to the other person’s intelligence. Can we really just cut this nonsense out on this site? Asking for an explanation or to rebut someone’s answer – is not being Malcolm Roberts. Requests for explanation and rebuttals are standard debating technique.

    I liken MMT to the Libertarian advocates who espouse Libertarian economic theories. It has not been applied in a real situation, and it is a theory at best, yet it is their Utopia. Any objection to this Utopia are standard answers: You are a moron who does not understand economics, or you are a socialist lefty thief who steals people’s money through taxation.

    I see the same things with MMT advocates. Questioners are either Morons who need educating by the dumping of 10,000 links, or they are branded as Neo-Liberalists and advocates of neo-liberalism. It is a bit self defeating if you want to champion this great new way economic way forward.

    I find it incredible that for an economic theory or model, the risk factors are never addressed, or can be explained – just the ‘goodness’ of it all.

    The struggle for MMT advocates to explain MMT in layman’s terms without ten tonnes of links is astounding.

    As I have said, I have been observing these convos for sometime and whilst Matters Not gives me a hard time 99.9% of the time; I will certainly say in this instance, you (as a collective) are failing absolutely to address any of his realistic expectations of explanation and defense of this topic for a period of time now.

    I am pro-basic income. But as for everything else; I am yet to see a convincing argument on the MMT side. As someone who has no alignment with any economic theory (I do not find it an interesting topic), I am open to anything that will make the world fairer, but MMT so far has too many holes that cannot be addressed, when people ask simple questions. That raises alarm bells for me.

  67. Kaye Lee

    I believe MN is arguing semantics rather than economic theories. As for a layman’s version of MMT, for myself, I view it as a way to fund deficit spending without having to issue bonds – we could just credit an account at the RBA with an appropriate amount and, provided the money is spent wisely to employ the unused productive capacity in our economy, it will not be inflationary.

    I have other issues with MMT but I understand on a basic level that we have that capacity. They don’t care about accounting but I do so I sometimes have problems with proponents in that regard. I would like to understand possible effects on exchange rates. I also see no point in a bond market because I think interest rates/money supply could be influenced in an easier way. The bond market seems to me a totally unnecessary artificial construct.

  68. Terry2

    “On several occasions I was asked by the production team to ask a question, from a list. I submitted my own question and it never got a mention. ”

    This is a very serious charge. Have you taken it up with ABC management ? Have you had a response from ABC ?

    If correct, it cannot be left where it is, as an unsubstantiated allegation.

    My understanding is that all questions are submitted in advance and the Q&A team nominate those that will get to air, I don’t know what criteria they use but topicality would obviously be part of it : your question obviously didn’t fit but can you provide some evidence of the ‘list’ you refer to.

  69. Kaye Lee

    As for Malcolm Roberts, the point is made that he just ignores the proof he is shown (which is not the case with MN). He just grilled the nation’s chief scientist Alan Finkel at Senate hearings.

    “Roberts wants “empirical evidence” presented in a way that is “short and simple.” And to an extent, that’s understandable – we all want things explained to us in a way that we can understand. But as Finkel points out, that’s not how science works. “Science is complex,” he says. “Especially today with the issues that we’re tackling, many of which are decided through modeling and statistic approaches, it’s not always as simple to say ‘here is a definitive piece of evidence one way or the other.’”

    Scientists also have to contend with constant attacks on their credibility. When Roberts asks Finkel “on whose data” he relies in order to make the assertion “that the temperature is going up and up and up,” Finkel responds with a list of some of the most reputable scientific organisations on the planet, including NASA, the UK Bureau of Meteorology, America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and “pretty much…every major scientific organisation in the world.” But how is Finkel supposed to respond when Roberts then expresses skepticism as to the integrity of their findings, or indeed, the legitimacy of audits into said findings?”

    http://junkee.com/malcolm-roberts-taking-australias-top-scientist-proves-broken-climate-debate-become/87923#8KAIXSgmg0Ji3yB5.99

  70. Jake

    Roberts is insult to man kind.Not that it means anything he’d give Grant Dehner a run for his money in height stakes.

  71. Terry2

    Perhaps Malcolm Roberts, like most climate sceptics, would be well advised to take note of the precautionary principle until such time as they have sufficient empirical evidence to satisfy them :

    “When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”

    In other words business as usual is not an option !

  72. totaram

    Matters Not: You asked Andreas a question and I answered it with a link to a whole book. The title of the book answers your question. Yet you chose to ignore it. I find that strange.

    Talking about Milton Friedman, I suggest you read up on the history of his ideas.

  73. Kaye Lee

    I think you are misunderstanding MN’s question. He was asking if Friedman’s deliberate goal was to distribute wealth upwards or was this just an outcome that occurred. I found this paper interesting in that regard…

    “There is a certain tension in Milton Friedman’s views on the issue of freedom versus equality, which was much more nuanced than is commonly assumed. On the one hand, he argued that economic policy should focus on freedom as a primary value; stressing equality per se could lead to economic inefficiency as well as jeopardizing freedom itself. On the other hand, he famously advocated government-sponsored poverty alleviation by way of the negative income tax, a form of income redistribution that is inconsistent with his general theory of the free-market economy. His justification for this policy, however, was not on egalitarian grounds. Rather, his main motivation seems to have been compassion.”

    http://macaulay.cuny.edu/eportfolios/thorne15/files/2015/03/Cole-Milton-Friedman-on-Income-Inequaity.pdf

    It seems to indicate that he knew the wealth would move upwards but that should be countered by….horror of horrors….government intervention and redistribution.

  74. diannaart

    Good one, Kaye Lee.

    Besides who wants to sell a scheme that admits it is only for the wealthy?

  75. Kaye Lee

    Another interesting paragraph from the paper…

    The progressive income tax, for instance, has introduced many distortions in the economy, but it has not had a very large impact on the actual distribution of after-tax incomes. Friedman conjectures that this is partly due to increased inequality in the distribution of pretax incomes (thus partially cancelling the equalizing effect of the tax schedule) but mostly to the effect of loopholes that allow for tax avoidance. In practice, these opportunities are usually available only for large incomes (e.g., tax-free municipal bonds), and their net effect is to reduce the effective tax rates far below the nominal rates. This reduction in effective taxation is achieved, however, “at the cost of a great waste of resources, and of the introduction of widespread inequity” because the existence of loopholes “make[s] the incidence of the taxes capricious and unequal. People at the same economic level pay very different taxes depending on the accident of the source of their income and the opportunities they have to evade the tax.”

    Kinda blows the arguments for tax cuts to the wealthy. The negative income tax is an interesting idea (pp246-7). Run by the tax office, it would eliminate all the other ‘ragbag’ of payments and a great deal of bureaucracy. There is a sliding scale of payment so those on benefits have no reason to forego work when they can get it. On first reading, sounds good to me.

  76. Matters Not

    totaram, yes you gave me a link to a book and another to an article by Keen. I didn’t finish the book for a number or reasons (including small type making for difficult reading with my failing sight) but I did read some associated reviews, Yes they were quite positive about the book by and large but both advanced almost the same reservations. The first reviewer:

    Some sections of “Economics and the Powerful” are less convincing. The authors occasionally flirt with wild conspiracy theories, claiming for instance that the influence of “the powerful” has been so comprehensive that is has become invisible: “Most of the bright and successful mainstream economists who are honestly convinced that their approach is the right one will never realize that their success is aided by a very uneven playing field.”

    The excesses are regrettable, because they undercut a strong and thought-provoking thesis.

    I will remind you that my questioning of Andreas relates to his extraordinary claim re theories invented to distribute wealth upwards. Pointing me to a work that also suffers from the accusation of ‘wild conspiracy theories’ is not helpful. The second reviewer had this to say.

    Despite occasional and regrettable dabbling in conspiracy theory, this is one of those books which everyone should read, but unfortunately few will.

    I don’t have a background in ‘economics’ but I am always sceptical of ‘conspiracy’ theories. While I am certainly not a fan of Friedman, the idea that he had the intent of developing a conceptual framework intent on ‘distributing wealth upwards’ is a stretch too far. Yes he does make many unfounded assumptions about ‘human nature’ and the like but that does not make his works as those of a ‘conspirator’.

    As for Keen, I associate him with making foolish bets based on his ‘theories’ and then having to take a long walk up a hill.

    As for your comment:

    The title of the book answers your question.

    Really? I assume you are joking.

  77. Matters Not

    Andreas Bimba, I find Roberts to be of little intellectual value. What I find particularly galling is his wide range of conspiracy theories. You know – that climate scientists have the intent of misleading us so that they can get ever more funding. Also, we have the UN which is trying to bring about a world takeover on behalf of Jewish bankers.

    That Milton Friedman developed his theories to deliberately bring about the distribution of wealth upwards is just as laughable.

    I stress I am not talking about how his views play out. It’s his INTENTION that’s been under discussion.

  78. Andreas Bimba

    Matters Not, why is it laughable to believe that Friedman set out his theories to distribute wealth upwards if in practice that is precisely what they do? It’s either deliberate, incompetence or his ideas were hijacked for evil purposes. The man was no fool, was in a position to advise changes to his policy settings as the consequences became obvious but his theory was not changed and he was intimately connected with the U.S. banking elite that has greatly enriched itself over the last few decades – a TRUE CONSPIRACY THEORY I would think?

    The Chicago School economists hated socialism, the welfare state and were particularly fond of Pinochet. To them it was a war between the private enterprise system and democratic socialism or statism. Do you know of a ‘laissez faire’ private enterprise or capitalist system that does not distribute wealth upwards? The constraints on government imposed by Monetarist theory combined with an enlarged and deregulated private sector effectively mandates upwards wealth distribution and as most of us know not much trickling down occurs.

    Someone like Bill Mitchell is probably aware of a quote from Milton Friedman where he lets the ‘naked truth’ slip out that would be to your satisfaction but I don’t have what you want. The reference to Malcolm Roberts was a cheap shot and I don’t think that was appropriate in your case.

    Thanks Kaye for your relevant comments and thanks totaram but I haven’t read all your links yet.

    Trish Corry, you mentioned that MMT hasn’t been explained simply, risk factors can’t be addressed, you have yet to see a convincing argument for MMT and it has too many holes that cannot be addressed. Now these comments do deserve a Malcolm Roberts reference but I will try to explain.

    …………………

    MMT in brief:

    Our economy (and all other nations) operate in accordance with MMT principles now, ever since the gold standard was dropped by Nixon.

    When the federal government spends money it is created, when it is taxed it is extinguished.

    The federal government is the currency issuer and does not need to borrow or even collect taxes in order to spend.

    Taxes are still necessary to create economic space for government spending so as to avoid inflation.

    Taxes also perform the essential role of wealth redistribution which helps with maintaining consumption demand, and for providing incentives and disincentives – for example smoking or carbon taxes.

    A Job Guarantee program is a cost effective and socially inclusive way of ensuring all those who want to work can have an adequately paid and meaningful job and this program provides a pool of ‘job ready’ employees for better paid jobs as they arise in the wider economy.

    Net federal government spending (deficits) can be much higher than currently without being inflationary, inflation will only start to kick in if real resources are fully utilised such as everyone is employed, all businesses at capacity or productive growth capacity is exceeded. This aspect allows us all to benefit from a full employment economy and considerably more government services and/or tax cuts.

    What’s not to like here?

    ……………….

    Kaye, Friedman’s negative income tax idea isn’t so good as it’s just like the basic income guarantee that when spread too widely will by necessity be insufficient to provide an adequate living income. It also does nothing to ensure unemployment is low or eliminated. The MMT Job Guarantee program is for the residual that cannot find work in the wider economy after economic stimulus and is much more narrowly focused and in addition society benefits from the work performed. A generous social welfare system would also operate in parallel for the benefit of those who cannot work.

  79. totaram

    Matters Not:

    I will cease debating whether these theories were DELIBERATELY invented in order to trickle wealth upwards. That would be so hard to prove. You would need to look into the minds of all those economists who were involved. Let us agree that these theories do trickle wealth upwards. Then all that remains is to show that these theories are highly “supported” in many ways by the rich and the powerful, while any theory that counters these is vilified or suppressed, or denied funding by governments. Witness the many well-funded “think tanks”, around the world that “support” neo-liberal economics. You only have to see how the IPA is in on every important program on the ABC, while the very limp-lettuce Labor-supporting TAI hardly ever gets a look in, even though it has not embraced MMT, but simply explodes some neo-liberal myths.. Witness how at every turn we are told that govt. debt will cause a disaster like rising interest rates etc. I just watched the ABC news where they complained that Spain’s reliance on wind energy has led to a govt. debt of x billion euros. There was no understanding by the presenter that we cannot become like Greece and Spain because we have not given away our sovereign currency. Their govt. debt and our govt. debt is completely different, but there was no indication that this might be so. And so it goes.

    Conspiracy theories: It is hard to believe that hundreds of thousands of scientists are in a conspiracy about climate change. Yet there are those that believe it. On the other hand, the number of people who own the trillions on this planet (the 0.01%) are very few. While they may not actually “conspire”, they would very easily find agreement on the sorts of ideas that need to be “encouraged”, when they meet at their various “events” like the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the IPA, where Gina, Rupert, and other luminaries were present. Or Davos. Do I need to go on?

    Just to add: how does it matter what their intentions were? The results are what we need to worry about.

  80. Matters Not

    Andreas Bimba, you made an initial ‘claim’ that:

    economic theories ‘invented’ to distribute wealth upwards

    Having failed to provide any evidence to supportt that claim, and despite some valiant attempts at distractions, you now are reduced to:

    why is it laughable to believe that Friedman set out his theories to distribute wealth upwards if in practice that is precisely what they do?

    As I made clear in many posts, what I was taking to task was your claim that there was a deliberate ‘intention’ involved as to certain outcomes. I stress again, I was never about the outcome(s), real, imagined or otherwise, just your claim that Friedman and others had an ‘evil’, deliberate intent.

    But you do now go on:

    It’s either deliberate, incompetence or his ideas were hijacked for evil purposes.

    So now there’s now ‘options’ as to motivation(s)? While above, there weren’t any – and ‘theories “invented” to distribute wealth upwards have now been revised – (and apparently retreated from)..

    Just for the record. I believe that MMT seems to advance the way we conceptualise ‘monetary’ theory, but not let’s ‘reify’ it.

    I suspect that in the years to come, the MMT theorists will revise their ‘theories’. After all, it’s what happens with all ‘progressive’ theories.

  81. Matters Not

    totaram at 7:59 pm

    will cease debating whether these theories were DELIBERATELY invented in order to trickle wealth upwards. That would be so hard to prove.

    If it’s so hard to prove (and I agree completely), then why make the claim in the first place and (worse still) spend so much time trying to defend that nonsense. As for:

    It is hard to believe that hundreds of thousands of scientists are in a conspiracy about climate change. Yet there are those that believe it.

    Again I agree, re conspiracy theories and ‘climate change’, but correct me if I am wrong, you were trying to do exactly that above. You know, conspiracies and ‘economic’ theories and why they were developed.

    But don’t worry about me, I just read what people write, the words they choose (or not) and give meaning to same

  82. Andreas Bimba

    Just to add to this story, Milton Friedman published many books as well as many influential articles, changing the way economics is taught throughout the world displacing Keynesian economic theory. He was one of the boys working with this lot engaged in another conspiracy theory:

    http://billmoyers.com/content/the-powell-memo-a-call-to-arms-for-corporations/

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