Here are the links:
A Kindergarten Guide to Modern Monetary Theory
Fiscal Sustainability Teach-In and Counter-Conference
A paper by Jan Kregel titled Fiscal Responsibility: What Exactly Does It Mean?
As for Rajiv's views on MMT as well as the severe change in wealth distribution that has taken place the last four decades, he commented:
While MMT explains the process of money creation, which has a set of policy implications, it has been rightly pointed out by both the MMT advocates and critics, that fiscal policy choices are in fact a political choice, and not a set of mathematically derived solutions. What in fact MMT advocates say is that the policy choices will have an impact on the probability of financial collapse, equitable distribution of wealth and income, which are different from what neo-liberal economists claim for those very policy choices.
What is clear in my mind is that fiat money should not be confused with commodity based money. This confusion I believe is what has led to a series of fiscal and monetary policy missteps, starting in the mid 1960's (when the US went off the domestic silver standard), continuing in the 1970's (when it went off the international gold standard). Additional problems were created -- again confusing fiat money and commodity money, when income tax rates were reduced in the 1960's, and then again reduced in the 1980's. These tax cuts for the top income brackets has led to an impoverishment of 90% of the US population. See the research done by Emmanuel Saez at UC Berkeley. It is not an accident that the golden age of American prosperity was in the 1950's and 1960's, and extended into the mid 1970's. Since then, income and wealth disparities have only increased, leading to the necessity of two income families, and longer work hours.
Some of these facts may be playing in the minds of those who advocate going back to a silver and gold standard. But the reasons for going off commodity based money were very valid, and still hold today. It is possible that after the world population stabilizes, and we shift to a "no growth" economy, commodity money could rise again -- though there really is no need of it, money after all is nothing more than an accounting of individual and societal obligations.
RajivI want to thank Rajiv for this contribution and the links he provided. I have been meaning to post on this for some time, and to be honest, I am still reviewing these links, as well as some other writings by Paul Samuelson.
As for the wealth disparity in the US, Francis Fukuyama recently wrote on this topic in his essay titled: Left Out.
But I do disagree with Rajiv on a few points. I have addressed many of these points in prior posts, and will either do so again in subsequent posts, or in the comments section of this article, if there is enough dialogue to flesh out my points. They address the real-world management of money, and how members of the private sector ultimately influence government to their benefit, how money affects trade relationships and imbalances in trade, and how all debt based monetary systems ultimately end in collapse. And by collapse, I don't necessarily mean a lights out, head for the hills situation. The collapse can be drawn out, such as occurred in Ancient Rome with the gradual multi century long debasement of the silver denarius, or an immediate replacement of the monetary system such as occured by the end of Bretton Woods in 1971, or an extreme situation like Weimar Germany.
MMT to me, also represents a command economy to a degree. The USSR was such a command economy that was free of private sector influence. And that too did not end well. On the other hand, in the US during the early 1900s, government was heavily controlled by a wealthy oligarchy (except, to a degree, the Teddy Roosevelt years - a great President) that ultimately ensured its own demise beginning in 1929. In my view, those are two extremes of fiscal and monetary control to effect a coordinated command economy. Keep in mind, that even "Capitalist" Financier John Pierpont Morgan hated the destructive and competitive nature of capitalism, and instead believed in monopolistic trusts that ensured high margins.
A final point I want to make is to distinguish US economic growth under the gold standard, and US Economic growth under MMT/Fiat. Many Austrian School Economists often refer to the US Golden Age of growth that occurred in the late 1800s as proof that a gold standard can foster growth.
I kind of disagree with that. The US was experiencing a massive change during that period from a predominately Agrarian society to an Urban, Industrial Society. But under the post 1971 MMT/Fiat model, the US industrial growth model was running out of steam, or rather, was not growing at a fast enough pace. Enter the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) economy: pure speculation. And so, my conclusion is this: FIRE and MMT feed each other, and create the wealth disparities we see today. FIRE and MMT are the ultimate Ponzi/Pyramid that will end in a spectacular collapse.
And so, maybe a monetary system needs to take into consideration an economy's stage of growth? Rajiv alludes to this. Is it possible? There are always more questions than answers.
Again, I want to thank Rajiv and I look forward to anyone's and everyone's opinions.