“Finding the Money” Questions Modern Monetary Theory – IOTW Report

“Finding the Money” Questions Modern Monetary Theory

From the Press Kit for Finding the Money

FINDING THE MONEY follows American economist Stephanie Kelton on a journey through
Modern Money Theory or “MMT”. Kelton provocatively asserts the National Debt Clock that
ticks ominously upwards in New York City is not actually a debt for us taxpayers at all, nor a
burden for our grandchildren to pay back. Instead, Kelton describes the national debt as simply a historical record of the number of dollars created by the US federal government currently being held in pockets, as assets, by the rest of us.

MMT bursts into the mainstream media, with journalists asking, “Have we been thinking about how the government spends money, all wrong?” But top economists and politicians from across the political spectrum condemn the theory as “voodoo economics”, “crazy” and “a crackpot theory”. More

Official Trailer

If your local library has the “Kanopy” subscription service you can watch the full documentary at home for free starting May 6th. You just need to use your library card to create an account.

You can also find local screens listed on the official website. Here

14 Comments on “Finding the Money” Questions Modern Monetary Theory

  1. I read the attached document about the people involved in this production and their MMT academic assertions. Let me put it this way. With one or two exceptions I would love to see them all get on an airplane and die in a fiery crash on takeoff. Preferably a takeoff from LaGuardia and a crash into the UN HQ.

  2. joe6pak

    I watched that earlier today and my thoughts were this guy isn’t smart enough to be a Barrista at Starbucks. What a fool.
    I’m a simple guy that has a real problem with “Economists”. They’re worthless. Especially Austin Goldsbey. That dumb Fxck. My problem with the Micro/Macro boys lays at the very definition of what money is. It’s a voucher for work performed. I’ve been in some fairly heated arguments, face to face, with the educated, and when you throw that at them, game over. Maybe I’m missing something.

  3. joe6pak

    Absolutely. He just wasn’t prepared for such a basic logical question. He fits right in with the rest of the coup. You know, the adults. Whens the shooten start?

  4. Think about the history of money…
    People started out exchanging their goods and labor real-time. Then someone said “Lets figure out a way to make this easier, so that you don’t have to guess the value of something and write IOUs for everything.”
    The first “exchange” items were food – The first “fungible” assets.
    Then someone realized certain rare items could be exchanged once people recognized they had “intrinsic” value, such as gems, pearls and precious metals. Then the metals were “coined” into specific sizes, shapes and weights and their value was marked on them. Since large amounts of these coins were difficult to transport and were also prone to theft governments started to print “notes” that represented an amount of precious metal stored at some distant secure vault.
    Dollars, up until around 1971(?) used to have a statement like “payable in gold”.
    Then we went off the gold standard and dollars became “fiat” money and inflation took off as the government keeps printing more and more “dollars” with nothing backing them but our faith in the bastards. Actually, they aren’t even printing that many nowadays. It’s all “digital”.

  5. Since we went off gold there has been little but promises to back up the dollar. A point is rapidly approaching where that promise will be broken and either we default and seek an IMF bailout or the promises made to the American people by their government will have to be broken. I imagine China, Russia and Iran are all anxiously awaiting that day and will do what they can to bring it forth faster. They certainly will have a field day internationally when it does get here.

  6. ^^^^^
    You’re absolutely correct gentlemen. But here’s the deal, it’s still a voucher for work performed. Equitable work performed. If we didn’t have that dollar bill where would we be? The barter system. And I’m thinking we may see that again real soon.

  7. @Brad — You’re right about the dollar being a voucher for work performed, but only insofar as the dollar is now irrevocably a unit of fiat currency. A hard currency, e.g. gold-backed currency, is a voucher for a commodity with intrinsic market value. In the case of gold, it is a scarce resource in demand for art products (jewelry, etc.), but more importantly for industrial uses that take advantage of its material properties, e.g. thermal and electrical conductivity, lack of reactivity.

    The value of a fiat dollar depends upon the belief (some would say the hallucination) that the dollar has something behind it aside from near universal quasi-religious belief.

  8. “@Brad — You’re right about the dollar being a voucher for work performed, but only insofar as the dollar is now irrevocably a unit of fiat currency.”

    Totally disagree and here’s why. Shit’s melted down and you as a farmers power take off unit is busted. You call someone you think can fix it. Me. And I tell you yes I can fix it. It’ll cost you half a butchered pig. On the local level this will have nothing to do with the conductivity of gold.
    Please tell me where I’ve gone wrong here.

  9. @Brad, a fiat dollar has only the superficial appearance of a labor voucher. If you took your dollar and offered it to a man to fix your widget, he could turn you down (because he valued his time and effort used differently more than he valued your dollar). You’d have your voucher, and no way to be sure you’d have the ability to turn it into labor…or anything else of value belonging to somebody else.

    What are the metrics of labor? If your dollar/labor-voucher has for example the number 10 on it, just exactly how much labor does that represent? How do you set a specific price of anything if the units of exchange are some indefinable quantity of labor?

    The idea that wealth as measured by money represents the labor that went into whatever it was you sold for cash is the heart of Karl Marx’s theory of capital.

    It is the nature of a hard currency, though, that you are always guaranteed the ability of turning your dollar into a specific amount of the commodity (e.g. gold).


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