The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Elvis » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:17 pm

Grizzly wrote:Can we combined them or delete my single AOC POST? and posting from my phone is a nightmare.


The post is worth repeating! So let's let the solitary one ride fwiw.


RocketMan wrote:Difficult... to... stay... away...


Rocketman, please do stay around, I for one appreciate your contributions. :basicsmile
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:43 pm

Okay, and since it's the page top again, let's repeat this interesting topic, shall we?

JackRiddler » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:05 am wrote:The Green New Deal resolution:
https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper ... d/full.pdf

14 pages, well-spaced, easy reading.

Don't let the news coverage or the pundits or the comments sections tell you what it says. No, it does not say that air travel and monster trucks will be banned -- funny how merely mentioning high-speed rail incites that reaction), or most of the crazy stuff you may be hearing fourteenth hand.

Let's see what happens if I try copy-pasting the whole thing.

.....................................................................
(Original Signature of Member)
116TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION H. RES. ll
Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New
Deal.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Ms. OCASIO-CORTEZ submitted the following resolution; which was referred to
the Committee on ________________________

RESOLUTION
Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create
a Green New Deal.


Whereas the October 2018 report entitled ‘‘Special Report on
Global Warming of 1.5 oC’’ by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change and the November 2018
Fourth National Climate Assessment report found that—

(1) human activity is the dominant cause of observed
climate change over the past century;

(2) a changing climate is causing sea levels to rise
and an increase in wildfires, severe storms, droughts, and
other extreme weather events that threaten human life,
healthy communities, and critical infrastructure;

2

(3) global warming at or above 2 degrees Celsius beyond
preindustrialized levels will cause—
(A) mass migration from the regions most affected
by climate change;
(B) more than $500,000,000,000 in lost annual
economic output in the United States by the year
2100;
(C) wildfires that, by 2050, will annually burn
at least twice as much forest area in the western
United States than was typically burned by wildfires
in the years preceding 2019;
(D) a loss of more than 99 percent of all coral
reefs on Earth;
(E) more than 350,000,000 more people to be
exposed globally to deadly heat stress by 2050; and
(F) a risk of damage to $1,000,000,000,000 of
public infrastructure and coastal real estate in the
United States; and

(4) global temperatures must be kept below 1.5 degrees
Celsius above preindustrialized levels to avoid the
most severe impacts of a changing climate, which will require—
(A) global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
from human sources of 40 to 60 percent from
2010 levels by 2030; and
(B) net-zero global emissions by 2050;

Whereas, because the United States has historically been responsible
for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse
gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global greenhouse
gas emissions through 2014, and has a high technological
capacity, the United States must take a leading
role in reducing emissions through economic transformation;

3

Whereas the United States is currently experiencing several
related crises, with—

(1) life expectancy declining while basic needs, such
as clean air, clean water, healthy food, and adequate
health care, housing, transportation, and education, are
inaccessible to a significant portion of the United States
population;

(2) a 4-decade trend of wage stagnation,
deindustrialization, and antilabor policies that has led
to—
(A) hourly wages overall stagnating since the
1970s despite increased worker productivity;
(B) the third-worst level of socioeconomic mobility
in the developed world before the Great Recession;
(C) the erosion of the earning and bargaining
power of workers in the United States; and
(D) inadequate resources for public sector
workers to confront the challenges of climate change
at local, State, and Federal levels; and

(3) the greatest income inequality since the 1920s,
with—
(A) the top 1 percent of earners accruing 91
percent of gains in the first few years of economic
recovery after the Great Recession;
(B) a large racial wealth divide amounting to a
difference of 20 times more wealth between the average
white family and the average black family; and
(C) a gender earnings gap that results in
women earning approximately 80 percent as much
as men, at the median;

Whereas climate change, pollution, and environmental destruction
have exacerbated systemic racial, regional,

4

social, environmental, and economic injustices (referred to
in this preamble as ‘‘systemic injustices’’) by disproportionately
affecting indigenous peoples, communities of
color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities,
depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income
workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people
with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this preamble
as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities’’);

Whereas, climate change constitutes a direct threat to the national
security of the United States—

(1) by impacting the economic, environmental, and
social stability of countries and communities around the
world; and

(2) by acting as a threat multiplier;

Whereas the Federal Government-led mobilizations during
World War II and the New Deal created the greatest
middle class that the United States has ever seen, but
many members of frontline and vulnerable communities
were excluded from many of the economic and societal
benefits of those mobilizations; and

Whereas the House of Representatives recognizes that a new
national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on
a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal
era is a historic opportunity—

(1) to create millions of good, high-wage jobs in the
United States;

(2) to provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and
economic security for all people of the United States; and

(3) to counteract systemic injustices: Now, therefore,
be it

5

1 Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Rep
2 resentatives that—
3 (1) it is the duty of the Federal Government to
4 create a Green New Deal—
5 (A) to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas
6 emissions through a fair and just transition for
7 all communities and workers;
8 (B) to create millions of good, high-wage
9 jobs and ensure prosperity and economic secu
10 rity for all people of the United States;
11 (C) to invest in the infrastructure and in
12 dustry of the United States to sustainably meet
13 the challenges of the 21st century;
14 (D) to secure for all people of the United
15 States for generations to come—
16 (i) clean air and water;
17 (ii) climate and community resiliency;
18 (iii) healthy food;
19 (iv) access to nature; and
20 (v) a sustainable environment; and
21 (E) to promote justice and equity by stop
22 ping current, preventing future, and repairing
23 historic oppression of indigenous peoples, com
24 munities of color, migrant communities,
25 deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural

6

1 communities, the poor, low-income workers,
2 women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with
3 disabilities, and youth (referred to in this reso
4 lution as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable commu
5 nities’’);
6 (2) the goals described in subparagraphs (A)
7 through (E) of paragraph (1) (referred to in this
8 resolution as the ‘‘Green New Deal goals’’) should
9 be accomplished through a 10-year national mobili
10 zation (referred to in this resolution as the ‘‘Green
11 New Deal mobilization’’) that will require the fol
12 lowing goals and projects—
13 (A) building resiliency against climate
14 change-related disasters, such as extreme
15 weather, including by leveraging funding and
16 providing investments for community-defined
17 projects and strategies;
18 (B) repairing and upgrading the infra
19 structure in the United States, including—
20 (i) by eliminating pollution and green
21 house gas emissions as much as techno
22 logically feasible;
23 (ii) by guaranteeing universal access
24 to clean water;

7

1 (iii) by reducing the risks posed by cli
2 mate impacts; and
3 (iv) by ensuring that any infrastruc
4 ture bill considered by Congress addresses
5 climate change;
6 (C) meeting 100 percent of the power de
7 mand in the United States through clean, re
8 newable, and zero-emission energy sources, in
9 cluding—
10 (i) by dramatically expanding and up
11 grading renewable power sources; and
12 (ii) by deploying new capacity;
13 (D) building or upgrading to energy-effi
14 cient, distributed, and ‘‘smart’’ power grids,
15 and ensuring affordable access to electricity;
16 (E) upgrading all existing buildings in the
17 United States and building new buildings to
18 achieve maximum energy efficiency, water effi
19 ciency, safety, affordability, comfort, and dura
20 bility, including through electrification;
21 (F) spurring massive growth in clean man
22 ufacturing in the United States and removing
23 pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from
24 manufacturing and industry as much as is tech25
nologically feasible, including by expanding re

8

1 newable energy manufacturing and investing in
2 existing manufacturing and industry;
3 (G) working collaboratively with farmers
4 and ranchers in the United States to remove
5 pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from
6 the agricultural sector as much as is techno
7 logically feasible, including—
8 (i) by supporting family farming;
9 (ii) by investing in sustainable farm
10 ing and land use practices that increase
11 soil health; and
12 (iii) by building a more sustainable
13 food system that ensures universal access
14 to healthy food;
15 (H) overhauling transportation systems in
16 the United States to remove pollution and
17 greenhouse gas emissions from the transpor
18 tation sector as much as is technologically fea
19 sible, including through investment in—
20 (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure
21 and manufacturing;
22 (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible
23 public transit; and
24 (iii) high-speed rail;

9

1 (I) mitigating and managing the long-term
2 adverse health, economic, and other effects of
3 pollution and climate change, including by pro
4 viding funding for community-defined projects
5 and strategies;
6 (J) removing greenhouse gases from the
7 atmosphere and reducing pollution by restoring
8 natural ecosystems through proven low-tech so
9 lutions that increase soil carbon storage, such
10 as land preservation and afforestation;
11 (K) restoring and protecting threatened,
12 endangered, and fragile ecosystems through lo
13 cally appropriate and science-based projects
14 that enhance biodiversity and support climate
15 resiliency;
16 (L) cleaning up existing hazardous waste
17 and abandoned sites, ensuring economic devel
18 opment and sustainability on those sites;
19 (M) identifying other emission and pollu
20 tion sources and creating solutions to remove
21 them; and
22 (N) promoting the international exchange
23 of technology, expertise, products, funding, and
24 services, with the aim of making the United
25 States the international leader on climate ac

10

1 tion, and to help other countries achieve a
2 Green New Deal;
3 (3) a Green New Deal must be developed
4 through transparent and inclusive consultation, col
5 laboration, and partnership with frontline and vul
6 nerable communities, labor unions, worker coopera
7 tives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses;
8 and
9 (4) to achieve the Green New Deal goals and
10 mobilization, a Green New Deal will require the fol
11 lowing goals and projects—
12 (A) providing and leveraging, in a way that
13 ensures that the public receives appropriate
14 ownership stakes and returns on investment,
15 adequate capital (including through community
16 grants, public banks, and other public financ
17 ing), technical expertise, supporting policies,
18 and other forms of assistance to communities,
19 organizations, Federal, State, and local govern
20 ment agencies, and businesses working on the
21 Green New Deal mobilization;
22 (B) ensuring that the Federal Government
23 takes into account the complete environmental
24 and social costs and impacts of emissions
25 through—

11

1 (i) existing laws;
2 (ii) new policies and programs; and
3 (iii) ensuring that frontline and vul
4 nerable communities shall not be adversely
5 affected;
6 (C) providing resources, training, and
7 high-quality education, including higher edu
8 cation, to all people of the United States, with
9 a focus on frontline and vulnerable commu
10 nities, so that all people of the United States
11 may be full and equal participants in the Green
12 New Deal mobilization;
13 (D) making public investments in the re
14 search and development of new clean and re
15 newable energy technologies and industries;
16 (E) directing investments to spur economic
17 development, deepen and diversify industry and
18 business in local and regional economies, and
19 build wealth and community ownership, while
20 prioritizing high-quality job creation and eco
21 nomic, social, and environmental benefits in
22 frontline and vulnerable communities, and
23 deindustrialized communities, that may other
24 wise struggle with the transition away from
25 greenhouse gas intensive industries;

12

1 (F) ensuring the use of democratic and
2 participatory processes that are inclusive of and
3 led by frontline and vulnerable communities and
4 workers to plan, implement, and administer the
5 Green New Deal mobilization at the local level;
6 (G) ensuring that the Green New Deal mo
7 bilization creates high-quality union jobs that
8 pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers
9 training and advancement opportunities, and
10 guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers
11 affected by the transition;
12 (H) guaranteeing a job with a family-sus
13 taining wage, adequate family and medical
14 leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to
15 all people of the United States;
16 (I) strengthening and protecting the right
17 of all workers to organize, unionize, and collec
18 tively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and
19 harassment;
20 (J) strengthening and enforcing labor,
21 workplace health and safety, antidiscrimination,
22 and wage and hour standards across all employ
23 ers, industries, and sectors;
24 (K) enacting and enforcing trade rules,
25 procurement standards, and border adjustments

13

1 with strong labor and environmental protec
2 tions—
3 (i) to stop the transfer of jobs and
4 pollution overseas; and
5 (ii) to grow domestic manufacturing
6 in the United States;
7 (L) ensuring that public lands, waters, and
8 oceans are protected and that eminent domain
9 is not abused;
10 (M) obtaining the free, prior, and informed
11 consent of indigenous peoples for all decisions
12 that affect indigenous peoples and their tradi
13 tional territories, honoring all treaties and
14 agreements with indigenous peoples, and pro
15 tecting and enforcing the sovereignty and land
16 rights of indigenous peoples;
17 (N) ensuring a commercial environment
18 where every businessperson is free from unfair
19 competition and domination by domestic or
20 international monopolies; and
21 (O) providing all people of the United
22 States with—
23 (i) high-quality health care;
24 (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate
25 housing;

14

1 (iii) economic security; and
2 (iv) clean water, clean air, healthy and
3 affordable food, and access to nature.


VerDate Nov 24 2008 09:55 Feb 07, 2019 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\USERS\WPBURKE\APPDATA\ROAMING\SOFTQUAD\XMETAL\7.0\GEN\C\OCASNY~1.
February 7, 2019 (9:55 a.m.)
G:\M\16\OCASNY\OCASNY_005.XML
g:\VHLC\020719\020719.032.xml (717120|3)

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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby RocketMan » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:39 pm

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/01/alexandr ... pOPNKx_aFE

If Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weren’t provoking outrage from her Democratic colleagues within her first days in Congress, she wouldn’t be doing it right.

Politico ran a very revealing story this morning about the socialist congresswoman, summed up in its headline: “Exasperated Democrats try to rein in Ocasio-Cortez.” House Dems’ grievances include high crimes like encouraging primary challenges to centrist, pro-corporate Democrats and pushing for (gasp!) a committee appointment they don’t think she deserves.

And how could she publicly call out the Democratic leadership’s commitment to “PAY-GO,” the Grover Norquist-esque rule that, by requiring new spending to include offsets that prevent a federal budget deficit increase, could block policies like Medicare for All or a Green New Deal from reaching a House vote?

Even more elected Democrats would speak up against AOC, but they are petrified by the awesome power of her Twitter account: “So far, most [House Democrats] have kept their criticism of Ocasio-Cortez private, fearful she’ll sic her massive following on them by firing off a tweet.”

As unbecoming as this whining by some of the world’s most powerful elected officials is, the party’s disciplinary power is on full display in the piece. Elected leaders warn she will be isolated in the House if she doesn’t tone it down and back off what Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) calls “sniping [with]in our Democratic Caucus.”

“The chances that the Democratic caucus will stand by and watch its chair [Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D–NY)] get attack[ed] and people piling on him — by Democrats! — is so obscene that I think you’ll find one of the strongest reactions that could possibly be anticipated,” Rep. Cleaver said. (Politico previously reported Ocasio-Cortez supports primarying Jeffries; in today’s story, she denies it.)

Many of the quoted officials seems to be channeling the Rock, demanding that AOC know her role and shut her mouth, or else.

The article paints a portrait of a fairly pathetic party, led by officials who style themselves as #Resistance leaders but shit their pants when a twenty-nine-year-old with a Twitter following joins them and actually takes pro-working class, stop-the-world-from-burning-to-a-crisp policies seriously. “People are afraid of her,” one jittery, anonymous Democratic aide says, perhaps while wearing a fake mustache and trench coat, calling from a payphone on the outskirts of the capital.
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Grizzly » Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:20 pm

What I want to believe...^^^

What I really believe:

Image

or is it the other way around?
If Barthes can forgive me, “What the public wants is the image of passion Justice, not passion Justice itself.”
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Re: More socialism for the rich

Postby Sounder » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:47 am

The fake opposition shown by The Green New Deal contains a ramping up of neo-liberal spending habits that Yellow Vests many others are tired of financing. We are tired of this top down way that only really supports the top. The rich get the entitlements and we are supposed to pay for them?

A real green new deal will reduce the use of tech and rare earth minerals. The real green new deal will orient peoples value sets away from acquisitiveness and our techno-humanist on to trans-human fantasies.



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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Elvis » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:07 pm

Sounder wrote:The fake opposition shown by The Green New Deal contains a ramping up of neo-liberal spending habits that Yellow Vests many others are tired of financing. We are tired of this top down way that only really supports the top. The rich get the entitlements and we are supposed to pay for them?

A real green new deal will reduce the use of tech and rare earth minerals. The real green new deal will orient peoples value sets away from acquisitiveness and our techno-humanist on to trans-human fantasies.



Sounder, you really ought to study the MMT thread or the materials linked there.

That video is a hugely disappointing assessment from Naomi Wolf. Naomi has some major homework to do before she starts attacking the new Green Deal from these angles.

The New Green Deal does not "siphon money from the Treasury," nor is it a "gigantic transfer of wealth" as Wolf suggests. It is wealth created by the intelligent application of government-created money to fund jobs, education, health and a clean environment. Wolf doesn't yet understand this key aspect of the US money system (almost no one does; AOC does).

Wolf frets over NGD proposed "specialized banks" that would serve parts of the program, asking 'aren't our existing banks good enough?' (hell no, they're not); the specialized banks would ideally be cooperative models, keeping the big criminal banks OUT of the operations.

Wolf worries that much of NGD's work will be in cooperation with industry—well, DUH: if you're building a house, you get a carpenter, you get a glazier, you get roofer. At the same time, the NGD will spur a lot of new industry geared toward green technologies.

Just two commenters on the comment section seem to know what they're talking about economically:

Elizabeth
2 weeks ago
Learn MMT and you will understand how this works. Taxes decoupled from spending is the #OperationalReality of our economy. Nothing new, other than spending for the public purpose instead of the corporate interests.


Dave Ehrlichman
1 week ago
A fascinating discussion from a federal reserve economist, on how money is created and modulated and how it can be used to support massive social programs like the #GreenNewDeal and Universal Healthcare and other value creating programs.

Every progressive candidate should read and understand how feasible such things can be, with the correct understanding of these principles and how to address the fear mongers who say its impossible to do great things without raising everyone's taxes.


https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_ ... =769969443


Here's the Forbes article linked by 'Dave Ehrlichman' above (and kudos to Forbes for publishing it):

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rhockett/2 ... f33d374d7f
51,825 viewsJan 16, 2019, 07:15pm
The Green New Deal: How We Will Pay For It Isn't 'A Thing' - And Inflation Isn't Either
Robert Hockett

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s announcement of an ambitious new Green New Deal Initiative in Congress has brought predictable – and predictably silly – callouts from conservative pundits and scared politicians. ‘How will we pay for it?,’ they ask with pretend-incredulity, and ‘what about debt?’ ‘Won’t we have to raise taxes, and will that not crowd-out the job creators?’

Representative Ocasio-Cortez already has given the best answer possible to such queries, most of which seem to be raised in bad faith. Why is it, she retorts, that these questions arise only in connection with useful ideas, not wasteful ideas? Where were the ‘pay-fors’ for Bush’s $5 trillion wars and tax cuts, or for last year’s $2 trillion tax giveaway to billionaires? Why wasn’t financing those massive throwaways as scary as financing the rescue of our planet and middle class now seems to be to these naysayers?

The short answer to ‘how we will pay for’ the Green New Deal is easy. We’ll pay for it just as we pay for all else: Congress will authorize necessary spending, and Treasury will spend. This is how we do it – always has been, always will be.*

The money that’s spent, for its part, is never ‘raised’ first. To the contrary, federal spending is what brings that money into existence.

If years of bad or no economic education make that ring counterintuitive to you, you’re not alone: politicians and pundits who ought to know better are with you. But the problem is readily remedied: just take a look at a dollar (or five dollar, or ten dollar, or … dollar) bill. The face you see is George Washington’s – a public official’s – not yours or some other private sector person’s. The signatures you’ll find, for their part, are those of the Treasurer and the Treasury Secretary, not yours or some other private sector person’s. And the inscription you’ll read across the top is ‘Federal Reserve Note,’ not ‘Private Sector Sally’s Note.’

‘Note’ here, note carefully, means ‘promissory note.’ Money betokens a promise. Hence money’s relation to credit. We’ll come back to this later. The money that Treasury spends is, in any event, jointly Fed- and Treasury-issued, not privately issued. That is to say it’s the citizenry’s issuance, not some single citizen’s issuance. It’s like a promise we make to each other. Hence the term ‘full faith and credit’ you’ll hear about when asking what ‘backs’ our currency and our Treasury securities.

This fact of public finance bears real consequences. Chief among them for present purposes is that ‘raising the money’ is never the relevant question for federal spending, any more than ‘finding the promises’ is a question for people who make and keep promises to one another. The relevant question, rather, is what limits, if any, there are on the promises we can make and fulfill. How many promissory notes, in other words, can Fed and Treasury issue without ‘over-promising’?

This is, effectively, the question of inflation – the question of promises’ outstripping capacity to redeem promises and hence losing credibility as promises. (The ‘cred’ of ‘credibility’ is the ‘cred’ of ‘credit,’ not to mention of ‘credo’ – or ‘faith.’) This is precisely why lawyers, accountants, and economists schooled in the simple mechanics of public finance always tell you the relevant constraint upon spending is not some non-existent ‘fundraising constraint,’ but ‘the inflation constraint,’ also known as ‘the resource constraint.’

The truth of the resource constraint is that money usually can be publicly issued and spent only at a rate commensurate with new goods and services supply. If the money supply grows too rapidly for goods and services to keep up, you get the old problem of ‘too many dollars chasing too few goods’ – inflation. If the money supply grows too slowly to keep up with productive capacity, you get the opposite problem – deflation, a far more serious threat, as we’ve seen since the crash of ‘08.

Over the past four decades or so, inflation in consumer goods markets – so-called ‘Consumer Price Inflation,’ or ‘CPI’ – has been by and large nonexistent in the ‘developed’ world. Our problem has been just the opposite – deflation. That is what slow, ‘anemic,’ and even ‘negative’ growth rates across the ‘mature’ economies in recent decades have been about. What inflation we’ve had has been concentrated in financial markets, where the ever-more rich in our ever-more unequal societies gamble their winnings. Meanwhile those below the top have had to spend less and borrow more, bringing deflation and, worse still, debt-deflations after the financial crashes inevitably brought on by asset price hyperinflations in our financial markets.

Which takes us to the Green New Deal. Representative Ocasio-Cortez, whose educational background is in economics, understands as few leaders seem to do that our problems of late have been problems of deflation, not inflation. She also knows well that both inequality and the loss of our middle class have both caused and been worsened by these deflationary trends, along with their mirror images in the financial markets: our asset price hyperinflations – ‘bubbles’ – and busts. Her Green New Deal aims to do nothing short of reversing this slow-motion national suicide – and end our ongoing ‘planet-cide’ in the process.

Because the Green New Deal aims at reversing undeniable long-term deflationary trends in our national economy, there is reason already to deem inflation fears, sure to be stoked by conservative pundits and scared politicians, a silly canard. But we can go further than this. We can catalogue theoretical, empirical, and policy instrument reasons to laugh such fears off.

The theoretical case against inflation worries is straightforward and comes in two parts. Recall the popular ‘too much money chasing too few goods’ adage above. What this slogan captures is that inflation is always a relational matter. It’s about money supply in relation to goods and services supply.

The Green New Deal aims to stoke massive production of a vast array of new products, from solar panels to windmills to new battery and charging station technologies to green power grids and hydroelectric power generation facilities. The new production and new productivity that renewed infrastructure will bring will be virtually unprecedented in our nation’s history. This will be more than enough to absorb all new money spent into our economy. It will also distinguish the Green New Deal starkly from pseudo-stimulus plans of the recent past, none of which flowed to production or infrastructure and nearly all of which simply inflated financial markets.

The second theoretical reason not to fret about Green New Deal inflation is related to but distinct from the first. It is that our economy now is operating at far below capacity even as is, before the Green New Deal adds to capacity. Labor force participation rates still languish at historic lows, and wages and salaries have yet to catch up even to such little growth as we’ve had since our crash of ten years ago. Indeed they have stagnated for decades. These are classic indicators of slack – slack which by definition is opportunity-squandering, and which the Green New Deal now aims to ‘take up.’

The empirical case against inflation worries corroborates the theoretical case, and can also be made from a number of angles. Note first that billions of dollars in tax cuts flowed into the economy during the Reagan years, while multiple trillions more in both tax cuts and war spending flowed during the George W. Bush years. The tax cuts of December 2017 pumped yet more trillions – two of them – into the economy just a bit over a year ago. And still we have seen nothing – nothing – in the way of undesired price inflation in consumer goods and services markets. Indeed no ‘developed’ economy has seen significant CPI inflation for some forty years. Why do inflation ‘Chicken Littles’ think ‘this time [or place] is different?’

My referring to ‘undesired’ price inflation just now hints at another empirical reason to scoff at inflation scolds. Since 2012, the Fed has formally aimed at a 2% inflation target that it has informally targeted even longer. Yet in only a few quarters during all of these years has it managed, just barely, to reach it. If the Fed with its massive balance sheet cannot get our inflation rate up to its very low 2% target even while trying to do so, why does Chicken Little think things will grow scary even should the Fed seek one day to tamp prices down?

The final empirical reason to dismiss the inflation Scaredy Cats comes from investors themselves. For years now the Treasury Department has issued ‘inflation-protected’ securities along with traditional ones. The ‘spread’ between prices of the former and prices of the latter is effectively a measure of investors’ inflationary expectations: if they are willing to pay substantially more for inflation-protected than for ordinary Treasurys, they have substantial inflation fears; otherwise not. So what is that spread? It is virtually nil, and has been for years.

But what if the Green New Deal works so well that inflation comes anyway, Chicken Little now asks, notwithstanding all the theoretical and empirical reasons to discount such worries? Here we find even more reasons for comfort. For the ‘toolbox’ of counter-inflationary policy instruments is filled to near overflowing. Let’s consider a few of them.

We can begin with the familiar. [very important--->] Targeted taxes and bond sales, long familiar to most of us, have long been employed to absorb ‘excess money’ during times of high growth. This is precisely what they are for. Because money is issued by citizenrys rather than citizens as noted above, sovereign taxes and bond sales are never about ‘raising money,’ but about ‘lowering money aggregates.’ If inflation should one day emerge, we shall use them accordingly. Once again: always have, always will.

We should note also that such tools can be targeted at specific sources of inflation. A financial transaction tax such as that favored by Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, would operate on financial market inflation – asset price ‘bubbles’ – of the sort that have plagued us in recent years. A ‘value added tax’ – a ‘VAT’ – on particular items that become objects of speculation would work similarly. Such are the real aims of taxation – to act on incentives and press down on price pressures – not to ‘raise money’ we already issue. We know how to use them, and can use them again should it ever prove necessary.

Similar truths hold of the other familiar anti-inflationary policy instrument just mentioned – sovereign bond sales. Treasury already offers a variety of these instruments, classified by time-to-maturity and yield. Such classification offers the option of soaking up money from different sectors of society, from those seeking short-term yield to those seeking longer-term yield. These sales are swaps of unspendable instruments for spendable instruments – dollars, a.k.a. 'legal tender.' The New York Fed trading desk does this daily to fine-tune the money supply – we call its activities ‘open market operations.’ It would do likewise, save in the opposite direction, were inflation ever again to become ‘a thing.’

Turning now to less familiar policy instruments, note next that much of financial regulation both can be and should be deployed in the cause of what I call money modulation – that is, inflation- and deflation-prevention. Banks ‘create’ – they generate – money by lending; any banker will tell you that. So do most other financial institutions – especially those of the so-called ‘shadow banking’ sector. This is the sense in which credit is money, or what smart economists call ‘credit-money.’

Regulations that we impose upon credit-extension are accordingly regulations on money-creation. Require banks to raise more equity capital per dollar’s worth of credit that they extend, and you effectively lessen the amount of dollar-denominated credit, hence money, that they can generate. Place greater limits on what kinds of lending or investing they can do, and you do likewise.

We call these things ‘capital’ (or ‘leverage’) and ‘portfolio’ regulation, respectively. And though we initially developed them to protect individual institutions and their depositors or investors, we now use them also to modulate credit aggregates economy-wide. It’s called ‘macroprudential regulation,’ and its rediscovery post-crash in the last decade is one of the signal achievements of the post-crisis era. But its importance for Green New Deal purposes is that it’s a powerful anti-inflationary as well as anti-deflationary tool, all thanks to money’s relation to credit.

As if these tools were not enough, there are yet others we could use but don’t use as yet, presumably because we’ve not needed to yet. I’ve proposed these in other work. One is for the New York Fed trading desk to buy or sell not only Treasury securities of varying maturities and yields, but also other financial instruments – in order to target specific prices of broad economic significance when they grow too low or too high (what I call ‘systemically important prices’).

During the Fed’s experiments with ‘quantitative easing’ (‘QE’), for example, commodity prices ended up rising in ways that harmed lower income Americans. I therefore proposed the Fed ‘short’ commodities in its open market operations to put downward pressure on their prices. Though I worked at the Fed at the time, the central bank didn’t take me up on my suggestion. But it could have done so. And it can in the future, in as narrowly targeted a manner as necessary, if ever inflation emerges. And with a balance sheet of its size, it can influence prices quite massively.

A final way we might combat inflation, should it ever emerge, is by use of a new infrastructure that I’ve proposed elsewhere. Suppose, for a moment, that the Fed offered what I call interest-bearing ‘Citizen Accounts’ for all citizens, instead of just offering ‘reserve accounts’ to privileged banks as it does now. Were it to do so, we’d not only eliminate our nation’s ‘financial inclusion’ problem in one swoop, we’d also gain a most powerful money modulation tool.

During deflations like that after 2008, for example, the Fed could drop debt-free ‘helicopter money’ directly into Citizen Accounts rather than giving it to banks in the hope that they’ll lend (which they didn’t – hence the notorious ‘pushing on a string’ problem of the post-2008 period). And were inflation ever to emerge, the Fed could likewise simply raise interest rates on Citizen Accounts, thereby inducing more saving and less spending.

I believe that the ‘fintech’ revolution renders something like what I’m proposing here all but inevitable. The point for present purposes, though, is simply that once this thing happens we’ll have yet another quite powerful anti-inflationary and anti-deflationary policy tool – and therefore yet more reason not to be timid about moving ahead energetically with the Green New Deal.

Have I succeeded, then? Have I convinced you both that there isn’t a ‘pay for’ challenge and that there isn’t, thanks to a multitude of theoretical, empirical, and policy lever reasons, an ‘inflation’ challenge either? If you are bold, know finance, and care about our future, you probably didn’t need much convincing. If instead you are frightened, financially untutored, or cavalier about our economy or our planet, please buck up, wise up, and suit up. It is time to say game on for the Green New Deal.


Robert Hockett writes on legal, financial and economic subjects and serves as a regular advisor to regulators and legislators. His book, A Republic of Owners, will be published later this year.



* (It could be said this has only been true since 1933 when FDR wisely took the US off the gold standard; prior to 1933 the US did need to raise revenues for spending.)

So. The first widespread notion that needs to be shed is that US federal spending incurs a "debt"; it is not borrowed money that must be paid back to someone. (There are sham ledgers and transactions that make it appear that the US relies on revenues for spending, but they're no more than bookkeeping bogeymen mainly designed to keep the rich rich and everyone else struggling.
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Elvis » Fri Feb 22, 2019 5:14 pm

^^^^ In short, the NGD is the exact opposite of "neo-liberal spending habits."

(Neoliberal is one word; the hyphen sort of confuses neoliberalism with political "liberals" which it ain't.)
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Sounder » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:48 am

So. The first widespread notion that needs to be shed is that US federal spending incurs a "debt"; it is not borrowed money that must be paid back to someone.


Excellent, maybe you can help me out. I googled; does the govt. pay interest on new money? I found some good material but still need more answers. If they do it seems like they are 'buying' the money rather than appropriating it.



(Neoliberal is one word; the hyphen sort of confuses neoliberalism with political "liberals" which it ain't.)


Thanks for this, my bad.

Yes sure, I am a skeptic and may be wrong, but it is still good as it may spur others to make a case that convinces. I remember the first Green Revolution, where we were going to 'feed the world' but really just made for displacement of native folk, mono-cropping and increasing use of inputs (chemicals). I think a lot more about food insecurity that I do about the benefits of smart meters.

My problem is not with the govt. issuing money, my problem is with developing a bunch of teckie bullshit that does not create value for the common person but does provide the infrastructure for a surveillance state.
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Grizzly » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:26 am

Excellent, maybe you can help me out. I googled; does the govt. pay interest on new money? I found some good material but still need more answers. If they do it seems like they are 'buying' the money rather than appropriating it.


^^Excellent insight, question, etc... Sounder.
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Elvis » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:03 am

Sounder wrote:does the govt. pay interest on new money?


No. It shouldn't, anyway.
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Elvis » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:07 am

Sounder wrote: I found some good material but still need more answers. If they do it seems like they are 'buying' the money rather than appropriating it.


You'll find many different answers. Please tell us about what you found.

There is a widespread but false notion that to spend more than is collected in taxes—"deficit" spending—the federal government must borrow that money somewhere. That's true for households and businesses, but not for the federal government. The federal government is the exclusive issuer of the U.S. dollar (and 'licensor' to commercial lending banks). Some sites will tell you the Treasury gets some of the spending money from selling bonds; that's wrong too.

So the government issues all this money every year, and most of it must be taxed back out of the system, or it'll pile up every year and the result would be serious inflation. Tax payments are ultimately destroyed, not re-spent. That might seem shocking but it's basically what happens to the money taxpayers send in. Selling Treasury bonds is another way of draining excess money from the economy (Treasury bonds are not considered part of the money supply).


So if the federal government can just issue all the money it needs to pay for critical programs—without causing inflation—why isn't that happening?

It's not hard to see who's blocking that view of how federal spending truly works—by confusing federal budgets with household budgets, by confusing macroeconomic principles with microeconomics principles, by falsely claiming a future debt burden for the federal expenditures and so on.

Looking at NGD-type aims:

Take free education. We could—and should—do that tomorrow. The benefits would be incalculable. But in one stroke it would wipe out the $1.5 trillion student loan industry. Naturally we can predict major pushback from the lending banks. Their predatory uselessness must be made obvious so they'll have no leg to stand on. A further obstacle is that industry doesn't want well-educated masses, for all the usual reasons.

Take free or cheap universal health care. (Not health insurance). We can and should do that tomorrow. But it would wipe out major profit centers of the for-profit medical sector, starting with the useless, bloodsucking medical insurance companies. Expect push-back. I say fuck 'em, they can be re-employed manufacturing clean solar panels.

Take full empolyment. Full employment—a meaningful job for everyone who wants one—should be the benchmark, the basis for federal budgets. The federal government can take up all of the slack. But industry doesn't want full employment! Industry wants a large pool of unemployed labor to drive down wages and further erode worker rights and conditions.

Take clean, energy-efficient refits, investment in new green technologies, including manufacturing; this is from the article I last posted upthread:

The Green New Deal aims to stoke massive production of a vast array of new products, from solar panels to windmills to new battery and charging station technologies to green power grids and hydroelectric power generation facilities. The new production and new productivity that renewed infrastructure will bring will be virtually unprecedented in our nation’s history. This will be more than enough to absorb all new money spent into our economy. It will also distinguish the Green New Deal starkly from pseudo-stimulus plans of the recent past, none of which flowed to production or infrastructure and nearly all of which simply inflated financial markets.


This is critical stuff that private capital is not going undertake on its own. At least this aspect may be welcomed by certain industries since they'll surely get work from it.

So this nonsense, that the US must tax and borrow before it can spend, serves only a capitalist elite who profit from the artificial stranglehold on the public utility of money.

For U.S. citizens, it's their money, it's there for the common good if they'll seize it. The U.S. Congress is where the spending decisions are made. Ocasia-Cortez is in the right place, and hopefully this is the right time. It may be now or never.
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Grizzly » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:52 pm

https://twitter.com/anyaparampil/status/1100047823037435905
Image

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Addendum: Salvador Allende's grandson thanks Roger Waters for supporting Venezuela
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Belligerent Savant » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:46 pm

.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/roger-wat ... la/255530/


Roger Waters, Socialists Say No to Bernie and AOC’s Positions on Venezuela

[...]

The Anti-Maduro Millennial

During an Instagram Live, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked the Maduro government. “What people don’t understand is that this is really kind of an issue of authoritarianism versus democracy in many different ways,” she said. “This is really an issue of a failure of democracy.”

Because Instagram Live videos are automatically deleted after 24 hours, the clip in which Cortez spoke on Venezuela was brought to light by a right wing account which attacked her for live streaming herself cooking while giving “cooking lessons, dating tips and even interior design advice.”

Cortez said she wanted to “empower and center the people of Venezuela and the will of the public.”

“What I believe in above all else is a true democracy; is democracy as a form of government; democracy in the workplace; democracy in our economy,” Cortez said. But Norton has seen just that as he has “traveled through barrios interviewing average working-class Venezuelans.” He says he has been “blown away by the democratic and revolutionary spirit that still pervades the community, despite the economic difficulties that do indeed exist — in no small part because of years of crippling US sanctions, economic warfare, and a de facto embargo, along with well-documented speculation and hoarding by capitalists inside the country.”

“The Chavista movement has encouraged democracy at many levels, from thriving communes and local councils to feminist organizations and the community-organized CLAP [Local Food Production and Provision Committees] food program,” Norton added.

“Instead of accepting all the propaganda against Venezuela,” Becker argues, “people who consider themselves democratic socialists should really study it for themselves.” He continued:

Venezuela’s socialists have held and won many elections and used the electoral process to carry out major wealth redistributions in favor of the poor and working class, with missions for housing, health care and education. But it provoked a massive backlash of course from the oligarchy, and the world’s major financial and corporate powers. The ‘billionaire class’ doesn’t just give up their power without a fight and has a lot of tools at their disposal — that’s true in Venezuela and the United States.”

The initial tweets from her colleague Ilhan Omar were far clearer, based in a principled anti-war position and even provided context about the roots of Venezuela’s economic crisis. By contrast, Ocasio-Cortes is following the same strategy as Sen. Sanders, which falsely believes you can advance a progressive agenda (and your own career) at home by saying as little as possible about foreign policy and conceding to the rhetoric of anti-communism.”

There are certain things that the U.S. ruling class can tolerate debate over in terms of domestic policy, but on the bottom line issue of the U.S. Empire, they all unite when it’s time to attack. The corporate-owned media makes sure no one gets out of line and you are cast out as a pariah. “

Importantly, Cortez also slammed Elliott Abrams from the left, saying that he “pled guilty to crimes” in relation to the Iran-Contra scandal. She added that Abrams is a “legit criminal. Plead guilty.”

While the is no question that Abrams and the other gangsters running U.S. regime change projects throughout the Cold War to today are not innocent, Cortez repeated a tired trope of criminal justice hawks: that people are “legit criminals” so long as they “plead guilty.” Studies show that 97 percent of federal defendants resolve their cases through plea bargaining.

“If anything, reporting here at the grassroots in Venezuela has further clarified to me how authoritarian my own country is: The United States, the world’s biggest incarceration nation, could stand to learn a lesson about democracy from Venezuelans,” Norton told MintPress News.
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Grizzly » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:51 pm

Random Commenter: "As soon as Trump starts his first war he will have shown once and for all that he's no different than the 5 criminals who were president before him."

Testify!
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Re: The RI thread about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Postby Elvis » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:37 pm

Don't just "say no"—

https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/contact

Contact

There are several ways to contact my office.


Washington, DC Office
229 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Phone: (202) 225-3965


Her House website makes it difficult/impossible to email from outside her district. You could always lie in the Zip Code field, I suppose. Better, write a letter. Or call. (Letters get more attention.)

If you can email her, send her this video from upthread:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii5MlQgGXyk

If enough people send her that video, she just might watch it and learn some things.


Communicating with elected representatives, what a concept!
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