There are *Infinite* Government Funds For Anything we Need. So what’s stopping us?

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Austerity is a political choice, and with political will we can have a fair and just society for the many.

This is why the right wing parties, and the UK media owned by ultra-rich, reviles Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s superb manifesto. They know it is the truth, that there are infinite funds, and that tax is not required for funds, but as a tool for redistribution and to control inflation. Money can never just ‘run out’.

We can invest and build anything we want, as long we have resources and people to do the work. We have plenty of both, so what are we waiting for? Let’s build a society which prioritises people before privilege.

Most voters accept that the Tories are the party of privilege, and when presented with a manifesto, often refer to it as a ‘wish’ list promised just to achieve power, and feel it is  unaffordable and therefore the Labour Party has unrealistic aspirations. What is true, is that there does need to be a government with the political choice to oppose austerity, and to invest in people’s lives. What is untrue, however, is that we are limited by affordability.

Few people would disagree that we need homes, health, education, a good standard of living, and to protect our planet in a Green New Deal. The Labour Party has the political will to deliver this, but needs to have an overall majority in parliament to oppose those who act in self interest and to challenge those whose politics are designed to benefit for a few ultra wealthy individuals and not the vast majority of ordinary people.

ACCEPTING THE TRUTH:

The first thing in achieving a fair and just society is to realise two shocking facts:

    Firstly, we have been sold the greatest and most effective political lie ever told. It was been repeated relentlessly for as long as most of us can remember and in reality for even longer.
    1. And secondly, the fact that the

UK Government’s supply of  money is **LIMITLESS!**

** NB ** INFINITE  as long as there is a sovereign currency, as we do in the UK. Countries like poor Greece, in the €uroZone do not.

Yes, we have an unlimited supply of funds to achieve our aim, but unbridled spending does depend on adequate resources and inflation control.

1) Resources: Trained personnel, natural resources and energy

There needs to be adequate planning of training and natural resources in order to invest. This is not limited by funds, but still limits what can be achieved. Boris Johnson’s ill fated claim that he would build 40 hospitals may have been affordable, but it would be pointless without sufficiently skilled medical personnel to staff them. In simplistic terms, there is no point in building a diamond mine without any diamonds. Or to promise every citizen a diamond when limited by availability of diamonds.

2) Inflation is caused by too much cash in the system, and allowing those with the cash to bid higher and higher for resources, hence prices rise.  The solution to avoidance of inflation this is either:

a) Austerity- put less cash into the system or

b) To tax more cash out of the system hence it’s called a “tax return”.

Austerity is a political choice. It makes a horrible mess of society. It destroys lives, decimates public services, and the estimated unnecessary deaths from the Tory/Lib austerity programme is 130,000 lives, and most likely is many more.

Austerity is not and never was necessary. It was never designed to ‘fix the economy in the national interest’. After WW2, so many homes were destroyed, yet even when there was a shortage of resources, the Labour government set about building the 750,000 homes needed.

The Tories’ concern is not about the economy, but a cynical diversion of cash in the system to the billionaires in their tax-free-islands who already have more wealth than they can ever use.

Tax

The alternative way of limiting inflation is to reduce the cash in the system by taxation, by retrieving some of it, but not by taxing the poor. So many of the rich and wealthy are avoiding paying any or little tax.

Taxes have three functions:

✅ control inflation

✅ redistribute wealth (progressive/ regressive)

✅ Influence public behaviour (i.e. reduce smoking, fines for speeding etc.)

❌ Taxes ARE NOT required to fund public expenditure. We can print infinite cash.

 

Dispelling the Myth

So we need to break free of this crazy “household budget” analogy; it’s a falsehood. Margaret Thatcher justified her economics by putting government expenditure on the same footing as household budgets. This idea is accessible because it’s something we all need to do if we are to survive. But the idea that governments depend on some kind of biscuit tin full of cash, hidden at the back of some gigantic larder is ludicrous. In the past there was a limiting factor when currency was tied to Gold Reserves. Since the link was broken, ( MMT), cash is infinite and created by fingers on keyboards instantly. So the idea that the government is spending the taxpayers’ money and needs them to pay for it is absurd, and framing language in this way is a deceptive politically device.

It is difficult to accept that truth because of that great effective lie which has kept the obscene wealth owned off-shore by the ultra rich untouchable for generations.

That cynical Tory lie is unravelling as they come unstuck by their own sudden alarming availability of funds for dubious reasons, while denying the affordability for projects which most people would find admirable.

The Tory lie is coming unstuck when they:

  • Bribe DUP £1bn
  • Can’t explain where cash is coming from for spending promises (because it will undermine the lie)
  • Can pay £600m to repatriate Thomas Cook customers but …
  • Won’t pay £450m to save Thomas Cook and save people’s jobs (saving £600m)

We should not think of money being “spent” or “wasted”.  All are  transactions, so money (much like energy in physics) cannot be destroyed, just transferred. It then becomes a simple matter of analysing the transfer:

* from rich to poor people

* or from poor to rich people?

Households have to earn cash and if they spend more than they earn they go bankrupt but governments (with sovereign currency) can never go bankrupt; that is an impossibility.

The unhelpfully named ‘National Debt’ is not a debt owed by Government or by the nation but it is cash lent by Central Bank, to society, to facilitate exchange of resources.

INSTANT MONEY

Ever since August 15th 1971, states have created money out of thin air by typing on keyboards at the Central Banks. Those keystrokes make the balance of accounts in private banks go up when a person or company receives a payment, and they make those balances go down when a person or company pays taxes to the state. Therefore, the state can’t run out of its own money and the idea of it saving its own currency becomes nonsensical. Companies and families do need to save because they are users, not issuers, of money, but the state doesn’t save in its own currency because it can always issue as much as it wants and it can never run out of it. In this way, money stops being a commodity and becomes a mere accounting entry (Wray 2012). Furthermore, the capacity of the state to spend stops being dependent on the collection of taxes or on the issuing of debt (Mosler 2010). However, taxes keep on being necessary, but not to finance the current spending of the state, but to accomplish a double function: they give value to money and they control aggregate demand (consumption capacity). Through the first function, they assure that state money will be accepted as a payment means , and through the second, they control inflation.

IMMIGRATION

In terms of resources, there is a link between economics and current politics  which concerns immigration. It is not an issue about whether immigration is good or bad. There has always been a movement of people since time began; in fact it is necessary in evolutionary terms.

But the issue is how people are being utilised. If wages are undercut and held back, if there is not an investment in training and in education in local populations, then the labour resources are unsustainable, and so is the standard of living.

The government has kept wages low. There is inadequate work for people to enable them to afford homes and food for their families. Short term employment – often of an hour  a week – falsifies employment levels, and people on short-term or zero-hours contracts have little or no employment rights and protection. In reality there is unemployment and underemployment which is intentional, artificial and political,  and so wages become more and more depressed.

In contrast, while there is insufficient well-paid work, skilled staff are in short supply because of a failure of the government to invest in education and training. For example, there has been a cut to bursaries for nursing staff to train, and to provide adequate childcare for workers.

There will be a shortage of staff beneficial to society such as trained nurses and doctors because of under-investment in training and education, and therefore without  further immigration those skills are unavailable.

It is no way anti-immigrant to argue that human resources and skills are underdeveloped and underused in the local population, people who are unable to afford tuition fees for training, and who cannot live and support themselves or a family without maintenance grants. However, it is understandable when people are living in poverty and are paid less than it costs for housing and food become resentful and that  they feel the cause is immigration, when in fact the cause is economics and utilisation of people. It is arguable that there should be greater  investment for training more local people who are otherwise unemployed or underemployed rather than draining skills and labour from other countries.

Objections are not anti-immigrant but anti-exploitation and it is questionable (if all things were equal) whether there would be mass immigration of people from their homelands and whether freedom of movement is a true liberty, or that it is simply driven by economic and sociological conflict factors.

Movement as a choice, rather than movement resulting from having no alternative, is a different issue and separating families as we have seen as result of recent anti immigration policies is appalling and must be rejected.

EUROZONE

** In the UK, we have the ability to turn our economy around to benefit the people, and not the billionaires, because we still have our own currency. Because of the Euro, the Greek government could absolutely go bankrupt, as per the household budget analogy as they had no sovereign currency, i.e.) they couldn’t print the cash to meet obligations to the EU.

It was a false comparison to scaremonger the UK electorate with Greece, and it is false scaremongering in the news that the expectation of the EU is for UK to join the Euro. Those states who signed up to the Eurozone are trapped within it.

Fiat socialism is a name for an open and prosperous society ruled by the principles of the modern monetary theory and functional finance. It is a society without unemployment or poverty, in which everybody has a decent job (either in the private sector, or in the public sector) which allows him or her to fulfil all basic needs and coordinate working and private life because of reasonable time schedules. A society in which public services, education and health access are of the highest quality, and in which the level of prices remains stable.

Further Reading

From Think Left:

Published Books:

  • NHS plc The Privatisation of Our Health Care: Allyson M Pollock
  • The Courageous State: Richard Murphy
  • Treasure Islands Tax Havens and the Men who stole the World:  Nicholas Shaxson
  • Tax Havens How Globalization Really Works:  Palan, Murphy and Chavgneux
  • School Wars The Battle for Britain’s Education : Melissa Benn
  • The Plot Against the NHS:  Colin Leys and Stewart Player
  • Bad Pharma: Ben Goldacre

References

 

@Dave Gillian Twitter https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1178436669789356033.html 

https://braveneweurope.com/carlos-garcia-fiat-socialism

The fragility of our democracy is paramount

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Whether Labour members are backing Remain or want a worker’s deal to leave the EU, I think it is the whole structure of British Constitution and Law which is under threat with Johnson’s premiership.

I think it is specifically a No Deal by set date which is his aim, and according to his sister , pressure may be coming from his backers explaining his behaviour as they look to make a financial windfall from speculations.

Boris Johnson’s pro-Brexit backer Crispin Odey has made a £300m bet against British businesses and stands to make huge profits from the woes of the UK economy.

The firm owned by the multimillionaire hedge fund tycoon, who made millions betting against the pound after the 2016 referendum, has taken out £299m in “short” positions on some of Britain’s biggest firms.

His apparent lack of confidence in flagship British groups, including Royal Mail and the shopping centre owner Intu, implies that he expects their share prices to fall as the pound continues to tumble.

According to fresh data obtained by IHS Markit and Short Tracker, Odey Asset Management has “short” positions on 16 UK listed firms — and has increased its “short” position on six of them.

But people think he is fighting the establishment for the people.

Meanwhile propaganda is appearing in our primary schools.

And people are cheering this? They did much the same to Hitler in the 1930s.

So what is the point of a monarchy if it cannot be used as an emergency jettison of an extreme dictator?

Can the Queen intervene? If not, then there is no point in a monarchy.

The solution is to remove Johnson from office, and replace with an interim Prime Minister, Jeremy Corbyn, and then immediately have a General Election, because the fragility of our Constitution is very real.

There is a very narrow window of opportunity which should be taken.

The SNP and Caroline Lucas, Green Party will back Jeremy Corbyn as an interim Prime Minister in order to block No Deal Brexit. I hope the Liberal Democrats demonstrate their integrity, and will follow the sensible course of action.

https://www.itv.com/news/2019-09-27/exclusive-snp-set-to-back-corbyn-as-caretaker-prime-minister-writes-robert-peston/

https://schoolsweek.co.uk/noticeboard-firm-boss-slides-were-taken-out-of-context-and-arent-pro-boris-propaganda/

https://bylinetimes.com/2019/09/11/brexit-disaster-capitalism-8-billion-bet-on-no-deal-crash-out-by-boris-johnsons-leave-backers/

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/boris-johnsons-donor-crispin-odey-eyes-brexit-jackpot-with-300m-bet-against-british-firms-0lwjbnqsn

The Secret People have not Spoken yet.

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Dear Boris, PLEASE READ

The Secret People

by G.K. Chesterton,

1908

Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget,

For we are the people of England, that never has spoken yet.

There is many a fat farmer that drinks less cheerfully,

There is many a free French peasant who is richer and sadder than we.

There are no folk in the whole world so helpless or so wise.

There is hunger in our bellies, there is laughter in our eyes;

You laugh at us and love us, both mugs and eyes are wet:

Only you do not know us. For we have not spoken yet.

The fine French kings came over in a flutter of flags and dames.

We liked their smiles and battles, but we never could say their names.

The blood ran red to Bosworth and the high French lords went down;

There was naught but a naked people under a naked crown.

And the eyes of the King’s Servants turned terribly every way,

And the gold of the King’s Servants rose higher every day.

They burnt the homes of the shaven men, that had been quaint and kind,

Till there was no bed in a monk’s house, nor food that man could find.

The inns of God where no man paid, that were the wall of the weak,

The King’s Servants ate them all. And still we did not speak.

And the face of the King’s Servants grew greater than the King:

He tricked them, and they trapped him, and stood round him in a ring.

The new grave lords closed round him, that had eaten the abbey’s fruits,

And the men of the new religion, with their Bibles in their boots,

We saw their shoulders moving, to menace or discuss,

And some were pure and some were vile; but none took heed of us.

We saw the King as they killed him, and his face was proud and pale;

And a few men talked of freedom, while England talked of ale.

A war that we understood not came over the world and woke

Americans, Frenchmen, Irish; but we knew not the things they spoke.

They talked about rights and nature and peace and the people’s reign:

And the squires, our masters, bade us fight; and never scorned us again.

Weak if we be for ever, could none condemn us then;

Men called us serfs and drudges; men knew that we were men.

In foam and flame at Trafalgar, on Albuera plains,

We did and died like lions, to keep ourselves in chains,

We lay in living ruins; firing and fearing not

The strange fierce face of the Frenchman who knew for what he fought,

And the man who seemed to be more than man we strained against and broke;

And we broke our own rights with him. And still we never spoke.

Our path of glory ended; we never heard guns again.

But the squire seemed struck in the saddle; he was foolish, as if in pain.

He leaned on a staggering lawyer, he clutched a cringing Jew,

He was stricken; it may be, after all, he was stricken at Waterloo.

Or perhaps the shades of the shaven men, whose spoil is in his house,

Come back in shining shapes at last to spoil his last carouse:

We only know the last sad squires ride slowly towards the sea,

And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.

They have given us into the hands of the new unhappy lords,

Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.

They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;

They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.

And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,

Their doors are shut in the evenings; and they know no songs.

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,

Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.

It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,

Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.

It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest

God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.

But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.

Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.

After the Brexit war, Labour and socialism to win the Peace

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Is anyone else feeling stunned after the outcome yesterday? I certainly am.

In Labour heartlands there is a predominately leave vote, and if Labour were to come out all for Remain, or a second referendum we’d be looking at an increased majority and increasingly right wing government – if that’s possible!
May is herself, increasingly stubborn, and perhaps very ill. She is incapable of compromise and full of hate.

The people are looking on appalled at the irresponsibility of it all. There is no honesty, just hostility.
It is a critical time for our constitution, for our democracy, and for our society.

If a compromise can be established, and then confirmed with a confirmatory vote, we may find conclusion.

My hope is, that after this is all over, after the fight, whatever is the outcome, that as in 1945, after the war, the Labour Party can win the peace and put paid to the poverty and the austerity and the injustice which caused all this mess in the first place, and that my grandchildren can have the same opportunities from socialism which I have had.
We have to hope.

Builders union rejects NI border as unworkable

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Builders slam hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, says FMB
 

A hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic would be damaging to the NI construction sector, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). 

Key findings from the research include:

• Over half of construction SMEs in NI said a hard border between NI and the Republic would have a negative impact on purchasing products and materials from the Republic;

• Almost half of NI construction SMEs purchase building materials or products from the Republic and almost one third employ people who are based across the border;

• Just under 40% of construction SMEs in NI said a hard border between NI and the Republic would have a negative impact on their ability to employ people from across the border; 

• One in three NI builders have had their margins squeezed on projects since the depreciation of sterling following the EU referendum due to its impact on material prices;

• Almost a quarter of NI construction SMEs have said the depreciation of sterling has threatened the financial well-being of their business following the EU referendum. 

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Our research clearly shows that a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic would dampen growth among construction SMEs. What we’re calling for today is a return to the pre-1973 arrangement that saw the free movement of people between the UK and Ireland. There are more than 200 roads that criss-cross between NI and the Republic and up to 35,000 people commute from one side to the other every day. Your typical NI construction firm transports materials, products and labour from the Republic into Northern Ireland on a regular basis and anything that interferes with their ability to do that quickly and easily must be dealt with sensitively. Indeed, almost one third of NI construction firms employ people who are based across the border and over half think a hard border would have a negative impact on purchasing products and materials from the Republic.”

Berry concluded: “Brexit is already making its presence felt in Northern Ireland with builders feeling the pinch since material prices have risen following the depreciation of sterling after the EU referendum. Indeed, more than a third of NI builders have reported that their margins have been squeezed since the EU vote last summer. Let’s remember that the construction industry is central to the health of the NI economy. The construction sector employs around 65,000 people and has an output of £2.4bn per annum in NI alone. Furthermore, it’s an enabling industry as without it, we won’t be able to deliver the new homes, roads, schools and hospitals that Northern Ireland so desperately needs.”

 Rory Reagan, Director of Regan Building Contractors, said: “A hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic would make the day-to-day running of my business much more difficult. My firm employs individuals from the Republic and my fear is that they will find themselves in long queues at border check points every morning. I also worry about the impact a border will have on my firm’s ability to purchase materials from the Republic. My hope is that the EU, UK and the Republic of Ireland will manage to negotiate a post-Brexit border agreement that provides for the status quo.”

The movement grows – join us.

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Lee R Nixon: Jeremy Corbyn has done an incredible thing.

From the moment he was thrust unwillingly into the limelight as party leader, he began building a movement. Initially, he was dismissed by the right wing as a joke. After all, few people living had ever witnessed a genuinely compassionate, socialist leader of the Labour Party and they assumed it was an unsustainable aberration. It wouldn’t last. He has no experience, they thought. Toppling him will be easy, they thought. One puff of wind will blow this scruffy upstart away, they thought. But they were wrong.

It quickly became apparent that this gently spoken old man was not as vulnerable as he appeared. His roots were deep and unmovable. No mere draft of hot air from the right was going to topple him. So it was that the entire right wing establishment began to recognise him for the threat he was.

Not a threat to national security, or the economy, though they would spin it thus, but a threat to their gravy train; to their extortion of workers; to their laundering of tax money into their own pockets and, for some at least, to their erstwhile immunity to investigations of corruption and war crimes.

And so the storm began. It started with attempts to misrepresent his past actions, accusations of sympathy for terrorism, which were easily debunked by the winner of two major peace prizes.

The right wing in his own party attempted to portray him as unelectable, even though their attempt was an indication that they believed anything but. Many bought into that deceit, but the movement was growing and the movement had their say in the ensuing leadership election. Just like his Islington constituents, the Labour Party membership confirmed their faith in their democratically elected leader.

They tried to brand Corbyn’s supporters as a personality cult, perhaps misreading the enthusiasm of the left for at last finding representation, but more likely not even caring for facts. But the movement grew.

More and more, the demographic of his supporters belied the idea they were all hard-left trotskyists, as grannies and mothers, nurses and teachers and others turned up at rallies, waving placards and adding their voice to the rest.

Early on, the right-wing establishment-led media got on board with the constant smear campaigns. Were it not for social media, their stranglehold on news reporting might have stopped the movement in its tracks. But people could lift the propaganda curtain and peer behind.

People saw videos of tens of thousands marching in London, bringing the city to a standstill, supporting the NHS, challenging the Tories, chanting “Justice for Grenfell!” They saw it and were astounded when it was suppressed by the media – even by our publicly-owned broadcaster, the BBC. The movement grew.

Then came the accusations of antisemitism – a smear proven to have been dreamt up by a right wing cabal who cared far more about toppling Corbyn than about addressing antisemitism.

Indeed, the despicable weaponisation of this sensitive issue demonstrated a total lack of concern for the victims of genuine racism, given how their cheap political stunt would inevitably undermine genuine attempts to address it.

It was a crass move but the right wing believed it was a powerful one – so powerful that they thought they could blatantly discuss the mechanism of their smear, boasting that they would use the weaponisation of antisemitism to topple Corbyn, making no pretence at any other objective.

But once again, they were wrong. People started to see the smears for what they were. People are now seeing them for what they are. The more ridiculous the smears get, the more support Corbyn receives. The right-wing’s much vaunted coup de grace has missed its mark.

The movement grows.

Mad Friday reveals last year 900,000 ambulance calls answered without paramedics

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GMB investigation on ‘Mad Friday’ reveals 900,000 ambulance emergency calls were answered without paramedics last year.

Information from GMB has exposed the critical shortage of ambulance staff as a result of government policy has resulted in almost one million ambiance calls responded to without trained  paramedics. As a result of austerity, lack of investment in public services, stress to public sector employees, pay-caps, and moves to privatise the NHS, evidence shows service levels are unsafe and wholly inadequate.

Police forced to take patients to hospital due to shortages in more than 1,000 incidents of 999 ambulance calls

On the day dubbed ‘Mad Friday’, an investigation by GMB, the union for ambulance staff, reveals at least 900,000 emergency calls for ambulances were not attended by a paramedic in England last year.

And in more than 1,000 confirmed cases trusts were forced to ask the police to take injured patients to hospital due to ambulance shortages. The real figure is likely to be as high as 5,000.

‘Mad Friday’ – the last Friday before Christmas – is one of the busiest days of the year for amulance staff as many people celebrate finishing work for the festive period.

GMB submitted a freedom of information (FoI) request to all 10 ambulance trusts in England asking: ‘How many 999 calls to your trust were attended only by emergency care assistants, or other non-fully qualified paramedics rather than with a fully-qualified paramedic in the financial year 2016/17?’

The nine responding trusts disclosed that there were a total of 882,465 incidents last year.

However, the true figure is likely to be significantly higher as East of England Ambulance Services refused to respond, claiming it would take them too long to find the information.

South East Coast Ambulance Service had the highest number of non-paramedic responses with 190,813 incidents.

North East ambulance service’s response revealed 155,902 incidents, of which 650 were in response to the most life-threatening ‘Red One’ calls.

The trust also revealed 887 incidents where the police took patients to hospital due to a shortage of ambulance staff.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“It will send shockwaves through the country that hundreds of thousands of patients, some of them involved in life-threatening incidents, are not being attended by a trained paramedic.

“Proper support for our overstretched ambulance services is literally a matter of life and death.

“GMB members are performing miracles every day but the system is failing because funding just hasn’t kept pace with demand.

“Paramedics and other ambulance staff regularly work 12-hour shifts or longer. They have no more to give.

“This must be a wake-up call for Jeremy Hunt.

“It is vital that our ambulance services are given the additional resources they desperately need.”

Kevin Brandstatter, GMB National Officer for Ambulance Staff, said:

“How many people will die this Christmas because the Chancellor refuses to properly fund our ambulance services?

“Is anyone in this Government prepared to apologise to the patients given inadequate care by over stretched and under-trained staff?

“Is anyone in this Government prepared to apologise to the families of those who die because of staff shortages? I bet not.”

[1] Results of GMB Freedom of Information Request to NHS Ambulance Trusts in England:

[2] The National Audit Office found in January 2017 that in the 2010 – 2015 Parliament funding for ambulance services rose by 16 per cent but demand rose by 30 per cent:“Increased funding for urgent and emergency activity has not matched rising demand, and future settlements are likely to be tougher. Between 2011-12 and 2015-16, income for ambulance trusts’ urgent and emergency care activity increased by 16% from £1.53 billion to £1.78 billion. Over this period, activity (ambulance calls and NHS 111 transfers) rose by 30%. Commissioners have warned that, given current financial challenges in the wider health service, future funding settlements are likely to be tighter (paragraph 1.12).”National Audit Office, NHS Ambulance Services, 26 January 2017, page 7: https://www.nao.org.uk/report/nhs-ambulance-services/