What makes people look at facts and ignore or deny them? How come people don’t listen to solutions to problems? We could analyze why people do or don’t do something, but that could go on ad infinitum and there’s work to do.
Since I’ve been a kid, I’ve thought about and acted in ways to benefit neighborhood and community, and maybe farther than that. Helping people was something that needed to be done. Nobody told me I should act or think this way or that this was important. I know everyone doesn’t think or act like I do.
We’re all different and our individuality makes this life journey exciting.
Yet, I’m always befuddled and confounded when presenting facts and solutions to people that the information is dismissed or ignored. And, if that isn’t enough, people look at the presenter like they’re the crazy one, talking out of their ear. This is really sad and frustrating.
Yet, I continue sharing facts and solutions. It’s the small percentage of people taking me seriously that keeps me going. I also add to that those who will be influenced by the people carrying my message to others, folks I’ll never know.
Fifty-one years ago, I took a job at the First National Bank of Chicago, where I saw how the banking system works. Over the past two days, I’ve been editing some transcripts where Steve Grumbine and Nathan Tankus are discussing, through the lens or framework of modern monetary theory, the banking system, reserves, balances and a variety of topics. You can listen to these podcasts at https://www.macroncheese.com for all the details.
I mention these transcripts and people ignoring or dismissing facts and solutions because, just as my job at the bank showed me the mechanics of that system, modern monetary theory lays out the framework of how our economic system works. It was developed, along with collaboration from academics, by a man named Warren Mosler, who was not an academic, but a financial professional who worked on Wall Street and established various companies. Mosler dealt with the daily operations of finance, not academic theory.
He didn’t share mere opinions. He worked with academics like Bill Mitchell, professor of economics at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, and L. Randall Wray, professor of economics at Bard College and senior scholar at the Levy Economics Institute.
These men have spent decades learning, developing and sharing how an economic system of a country such as the United States, Australia or Japan operates. These countries issue the currency. Taxes are paid to the government in this currency. Goods and services in these countries are paid for with this currency. Companies that import goods from foreign countries pay for those goods with that currency or are electronically credited to the sellers’ bank account.
A currency issuer such as the United States can never run out of currency like we as individuals can. A currency issuer can never go broke unless the country itself and its government is dissolved. Think of yourself as a currency issuer having the ability to create money when you wished. The government can create money or spending when Congress gives the approval to do so. That’s all it needs.
We’ve seen the government spend for the COVID-19 pandemic but complicate the spending for political reasons, which are created by the 535 members of Congress. This is Congress ignoring and dismissing facts and doing what they want to benefit not the people of this country but themselves and their contributors and those they want to satisfy.
The government must spend into the economy so that individuals can survive. That is not too much to ask, but Congress is now on vacation, giving what appears to be no thought to the health of the individuals of this nation. This spending has not created new taxes for individuals. The government must spend first into the economy before it taxes out of the economy.
If and when people understand that the government cannot go broke and its deficit is the economy’s surplus, or its red ink, on a balance sheet, is our black ink, we will move forward in accepting a framework of facts.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She is the national outreach director for Real Progressives. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-339-9082.