What is Modern Monetary Theory, or “MMT”? by Dale Pierce NEP/UMKC, March 11, 2013

Modern Monetary Theory is a way of doing economics that incorporates a clear understanding of the way our present-day monetary system actually works – it emphasizes the frequently misunderstood dynamics of our so-called “fiat-money” economy. Most people are unnerved by the thought that money isn’t “backed” by anything anymore – backed by gold, for example. They’re afraid that this makes money a less reliable store of value. And, of course, it is perfectly true that a poorly managed monetary system, or one which is experiencing something like an oil-price shock, can also experience inflation.

Peter Linebaugh on the Magna Carta

Within the framework of a course in "Ethics and the Economy" which focuses on issues of equality and freedom within current economic institutions, by referring to the main theories of justice (esp. Rawls). Professor Linebaugh will connect the contents of his book "The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All" with how current capitalist institutions limit liberty. The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation wishes to thank Professor Yannick Vanderborght for the support to this initiative.

Slate Agrees that Obama’s Vanity Drives the Grand Betrayal – and Praises the Betrayal By William K. Black, 03/14/2013 NEP

Slate’s John Dickerson leads its (and CBS’) political reportage so his specialty is in examining what is actually driving politicians’ policies and their efforts to “spin” those policies. Dickerson authored an article entitled “Why Obama’s Outreach to Republicans is All About Obama” (March 12, 2013).

The nature of the commons via a 13th century folk poem

Typically this poem is dated from the 17th century and the time of the levellers and of the New Model army/navy. I would suggest instead that its dating is a product of its documentation in the 17th century, and as such is not a dating based upon its original context. As part of folklore it is a product of the folk of the commons culture which dates back to at least the 13th century. This is not to say that it wasn't popular during the 17th century which is the time period when commons customs were intensely criminalized in England.

The law locks up the man or woman

Government Debt and Deficits Are Not the Problem. Private Debt Is. By Michael Hudson, March 13, 2013 NEP/UMKC


(Remarks by Prof. Michael Hudson at The Atlantic’s Economy Summit, Washington DC, Wednesday, March 13, 2013)

The I.O.U. in the U.S. Dollar Posted on March 13, 2013 by J.D. Alt from NewEconomic Perspectives, UMKC

One of the strangest things to understand about Modern Money Theory is why, if government doesn’t need your tax dollars in order to spend, does government tax at all? Here is an attempt at a new and “better” explanation. It is based on the insight that the government DOES, in fact, need to collect taxes, but the “taxes” it collects are not your “tax dollars.” This may sound like gibberish, but stick with me a moment and see if the following doesn’t make sense—and cast a new light on OTHER things as well (like, for example, the “national debt”).

Top Banking Analyst: Subsidies to Giant Banks Exceed $780 Billion Dollars Per YEAR

See my comment to this article. To a strong degree this supposed analyst doesn't understand rentier economics at all. My contention is that the situation is much worse relative to the net effects of the privatization of the economics, not just of the economy, not better, the strategic advantage alone to determine who gets debt based capital and who doesn't is extreme.

Which Aspect of the FDIC’s Litigation Failures is the Most Embarrassing and Damaging? By William K. Black NEP/UMKC,, 03/12/2013

On March 11, 2013 the Los Angeles Times published a revealing article by E. Scott Reckard entitled: “In major policy shift, scores of FDIC settlements go unannounced.”

The article’s summary statement captures the theme nicely. “Since the mortgage meltdown, the FDIC has opted to settle cases while helping banks avoid bad press, rather than trumpeting punitive actions as a deterrent to others.”

LA Candidate Defeats the Billionaire Boys Club In School Board Election By Peter Dreier March 8, 2013

Zimmer urged his supporters to resist the "takeover of the board and this assault on our democracy" by big money interests.

The Communal System and the Principle of Self-Critique István Mészáros , Monthly Review

A mention of Istavan Meszaros in an honorific, deserves a bit more.

Itsván Mészáros is author of Socialism or Barbarism: From the ‘American Century’ to the Crossroads (Monthly Review Press, 2001), Beyond Capital: Toward a Theory of Transition (Monthly Review Press, 1995), and The Challenge and Burden of Historical Time: Socialism in the Twenty-First Century (forthcoming, Monthly Review Press, 2008).

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