Dr. Mark Blyth has a new video. Titled, “So can we have it all?” He says a lot of MMT like things. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15032825
Prof. Mark Blyth has a new video out. Titled, “So can we have it all?” It’s dated 7/16/2019.

McMaster Humanities
Published on Jul 16, 2019
This lecture is part of the McMaster Department of Philosophy’s Summer School in Capitalism, democratic solidarity, and Institutional design.


He says quite a lot about MMT. Like, he says that after Brexit the UK will see food prices rise because the Pound will fall. He doesn’t say one way or the other if this will stabilize {which would mean the there would be no inflation, because inflation must be ‘on-going’} or if it would not stabilize and there would be inflation. This is to Prof. Bill Mitchell a huge difference. Mark says that because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency the US can do much more deficit spending by taking advantage of what MMT allows, but doesn’t say that Canada, Australia, etc. can. He never mentions Japan which Prof. Bill Mitchell says has been deficit spending for 20 to 30 years and not seen a fall in the yen.

I have a lot of trouble following it on the 1st watch. It seems like he uses many words and phrases that an economics student will know, but I don’t .

Prof. Blyth is even talking about an MMT type Job Guarantee program but with a different name. A JG replaces using a buffer against inflation using the suffering of the unemployed with a buffer against inflation using a JG program where everyone who wants a job {and can show up on time and to the work} will have a job until the private sector offers her/him a better job.
In the US with a wage of $5 over the current $7.35/hr. But he doesn’t mention ‘benefits’, so only a sort of MMT like JG program.

The link,

If you want to listen to a 1 hr. talk by Mark to see what this currently popular contrarian economist is saying to his followers.
#15032881
Steve_American wrote:Prof. Mark Blyth has a new video out. Titled, “So can we have it all?” It’s dated 7/16/2019.



He says quite a lot about MMT. Like, he says that after Brexit the UK will see food prices rise because the Pound will fall. He doesn’t say one way or the other if this will stabilize {which would mean the there would be no inflation, because inflation must be ‘on-going’} or if it would not stabilize and there would be inflation. This is to Prof. Bill Mitchell a huge difference. Mark says that because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency the US can do much more deficit spending by taking advantage of what MMT allows, but doesn’t say that Canada, Australia, etc. can. He never mentions Japan which Prof. Bill Mitchell says has been deficit spending for 20 to 30 years and not seen a fall in the yen.

I have a lot of trouble following it on the 1st watch. It seems like he uses many words and phrases that an economics student will know, but I don’t .

Prof. Blyth is even talking about an MMT type Job Guarantee program but with a different name. A JG replaces using a buffer against inflation using the suffering of the unemployed with a buffer against inflation using a JG program where everyone who wants a job {and can show up on time and to the work} will have a job until the private sector offers her/him a better job.
In the US with a wage of $5 over the current $7.35/hr. But he doesn’t mention ‘benefits’, so only a sort of MMT like JG program.

The link,

If you want to listen to a 1 hr. talk by Mark to see what this currently popular contrarian economist is saying to his followers.


Mark Blyth is not exactly a supporter of MMT by the way. He just explains that it can be implemented in positive and negative ways. His general opinion is to be a bit suspicious about it due to the fact that he doesn't think that it will be used in a proper way in general. As he puts it, it was invented basically by Finance and who is to benefit the most from basically unlimited spending and low taxes? This is asset bubble creation at the expense of the 95% people who live of wages and not capital/assets.

His main points are usually:
1) Capitalism is not a static system. There are flavours of capitalism if you will.
2) We have shifted from Lazay fair of pre World War 1 - Inbetween 2 wars to Full employment/Labour empowered capitalism of Coldwar to once again Lazay fair neoliberalism since the 80s and now that system requires a shift back to Full employment/Labour empowered capitalist model if we don't want to see Nazis and Commies running around again.
3) The economic models and philosophies that he discusses to achieve that are basically tools on how it might be possible to do it.
#15033061
@JohnRawls,
With all due respect, John; the title of my OP clearly implied that I was aware the Mark Blyth is not an MMTer.
However, he is moving toward accepting the MMT positions. In this video he {for the 1st time} talks about a job guarantee program. It's not a full MMT type JG, but Mark s getting there.
I've seen many of Mark's videos and I've NEVER seen where he says that MMT would be applied wrong. There is always that risk though.

I disagree the MMT was created by Financiers. Yes, one of the early MMTers was one but he is one of 6 {or so} and he hasn't struck me as being all in for himself. Quite the opposite. [For those who care, his name is DR. Warren Mossler.]
All MMTers are in agreement that the only policy they demand is their real JG {job guarantee} program must replace unemployment as the way the gov. avoids inflation. They all agree that otherwise MMT is meerly the correct way to actually see what is going on. That Neo-liberal economics is intended to hide the truth of what is going on behind a bunch of lies. The main one being that govs. like the US, UK, NZ, Japan, etc. {but not Greece and Spain, etc} are like a comp. or family. MMT says the govs. are the opposite of families, because they actually can never pay off their debts without forcing the national economy into a very deep Depression. And, that the Gov. debt is actually an asset of its holders; taking it away seems unfair. This is true if it is done slowly with a surplus or fast {overnight} by just defaulting on the whole debt. Note that I'm saying that defaulting on it or taxing it away are really the same thing, both are "a taking".

[For those who care and have an open mind, this is because taxes destroy currency & money and the only way to pay off the debt is to tax and run a surplus. And the economy needs the cash or income to keep it going. In about 1836 or so the US Gov. did pay off its national debt, but this did cause a very bad Depression that lasted until the Mexican War 10 years later increased Gov. spending and much {or most?} of the money came from land sales in the states between the then frontier and the Mississippi {in AL, MS, TN, KE, OH, ID, IL, MI, etc.}, not from taxes.]
#15039434
@ JohnRawls,
The main place I disagree with Mark Blyth is where he argues that the shift to Neo-Liberal policies happened because of inflation brought on by labor having the power to drive up wages too high.
. . . I think it was caused by a large conspiracy of rich guys. They formed an organization in 1937 to undo the New Deal. It was called the Foundation or The Family. It still exists. It funded think tanks and chairs in Economics Departments at many Univs. that pushed conservative economics. It took a while to lay the ground work and then it used the OPEC oil price spikes to fairly rapidly cause a shift in policies. Then the Democratic Party led by Gov. Bill Clinton in the early 90s sold out the vast majority of American voters. And this happened not just in America, the UK Labour Party sold out the voters before it happened in America.
. . . So, I contend that the inflation was caused mostly by OPEC driving up the price of oil, not just once but several times. This forced comp. to raise prices to cover the increase in their costs. Because it was repeated over some time it looked like inflation. But it wasn't inflation it was a result of monopoly power being used to drive up the prices that the monopoly controlled. And the price of oil drove up most other prices and that drove up all other prices.

But, I'm no expert. I just don't buy Mark's argument. For example, why not find a way to solve the problem of too much labor power over wages or find a way to see that investment earned enough return to justify doing it going forward. The US did exactly that in WWII it could have done it in the late 70s. But, it didn't. Instead it caused the totally flawed and bogus Neo-Liberal economic theory to be come the standard theory. Bogus because it is based on false assumptions that are just assumed to be close enough to reality to give the correct policy guidance. And then, the theory was never tested against the outcomes to confirm that it was giving correct policy guidance. This was done on purpose because the goal was not truth or helping the mass of people of the various nations; the goal was to make the rich richer by making the workers slowly poorer. IMHO.
#15039442
Steve_American wrote:
. . . So, I contend that the inflation was caused mostly by OPEC driving up the price of oil, not just once but several times. This forced comp. to raise prices to cover the increase in their costs. Because it was repeated over some time it looked like inflation. But it wasn't inflation it was a result of monopoly power being used to drive up the prices that the monopoly controlled. And the price of oil drove up most other prices and that drove up all other prices.



Oil was definitely part of it. Nixon got the Fed to increase the money supply to help him get re-elected, that was part of it.

But that dodges why the economy was wobbly in the early 70s. That's easy, the cost of empire was starting to drag on the economy. During that period, the Boomers were coming of age. There were a lot of them, and the result was increased unemployment (because there weren't enough jobs to go around).

You can argue that the oil price shocks weren't inflation, but they were inflationary, which makes the distinction largely academic.

Don't feel bad, though. The Fed misread the situation badly when it tightened money during the one in the late 70s. But because OPEC outside the country, that had no influence over the price. But it did throw a monkey wrench into the economy.

Look into what the Koch brothers did with their Kochtopus. In the 80s, they built the best propaganda machine the world had ever seen.
#15039737
Steve_American wrote:. . . So, I contend that the inflation was caused mostly by OPEC driving up the price of oil, not just once but several times. This forced comp. to raise prices to cover the increase in their costs. Because it was repeated over some time it looked like inflation. But it wasn't inflation it was a result of monopoly power being used to drive up the prices that the monopoly controlled. And the price of oil drove up most other prices and that drove up all other prices.


There are different measures of inflation. CPI is the one most often cited, but as the name says, it measures consumer-price inflation. An increase in import prices obviously affects it directly. Another measure is the GDP deflator, it's what Nominal GDP is multiplied with to get Real GDP. Since imports are subtracted to get GDP, import prices have no direct effect on it (i.e. domestically produced goods may get more expensive, but to the extent that is caused by higher import prices it will not affect the GDP deflator). The fact that the GDP deflator went up in the 70s as well, with a certain delay, suggests that inflation wasn't caused only by the oil price increase.

See e.g. here:
https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/p ... 086/654439
#15040045
@ Rugoz,
Very early in your linked article I found this ---

"Although we come to the same conclusion as Blinder (1979) that oil caused a spike in consumer-price inflation during the two most stagflationary episodes, we show that oil prices do not provide a plausible explanation of the sustained inflation that occurred in the GDP deflator as well as in the CPI."

So, it looks to me like your source confirms my thinking. It doesn't refute my thinking. It then goes on to talk about the next 3 supply price shocks.

My point is/was to doubt Dr. Blyth's claim that the inflation of the 70s was caused by the investor class going on "strike" and refusing to invest or hire when demand rose.

There were other things going on at the end of the 60s and the early 70s. Things like the soldiers coming home as America pulled out of the Vietnam War. They would need jobs. Many didn't quickly find jobs and so increased unemployment, I assume.
#15042189
Here's Mark Blyth on the macro'n'cheese podcast, which is specifically an MMT vehicle :

http://macroncheese.com/wage-stagnation ... mark-blyth

He says MMT correctly describes the "monetary plumbing" but thinks it's something of a distraction from the political obstacles progressives face.

Not sure I agree but Prof. Blyth is sparkling as always.
#15042196
SueDeNîmes wrote:Here's Mark Blyth on the macro'n'cheese podcast, which is specifically an MMT vehicle :
http://macroncheese.com/wage-stagnation ... mark-blyth
He says MMT correctly describes the "monetary plumbing" but thinks it's something of a distraction from the political obstacles progressives face.
Not sure I agree but Prof. Blyth is sparkling as always.

If in 2020 Progressives can get the Presidency, Dem control of the House and Senate, then they can end the filibuster rule for a while.
At that point the only political obstacles they will face are fellow Dems who are moderates or more likely have sold out to the plutocrats.

This is exactly what happened to Obama. Just 2 or even 1 Dem Senator kept him from jamming things thru the Senate. Then in Oct. {or so} Sen. Kennedy died and Obama lost control of the Senate in any case. Then to add insult to injury the Dem running in Mass. to replace Sen. Kennedy lost the race. She lost in just about the most liberal state in the Union. How? I think that enough voters lost faith in the Hope and Change that Obama had promised but had failed to deliver even one thing so far on election night, which was in Jan., 2010 {10 mo. before the mid-terms}. So, they stayed home for the mid-terms too.

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