[Marxism] Paying for Medicare for All

MM marxmail00 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 2 21:40:58 MDT 2019


> On Nov 2, 2019, at 10:02 PM, Dayne Goodwin via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
> 
> Paying for Medicare for All
> by Elizabeth Warren, Medium, November 1
> https://medium.com/@teamwarren/ending-the-stranglehold-of-health-care-costs-on-american-families-bf8286b13086 <https://medium.com/@teamwarren/ending-the-stranglehold-of-health-care-costs-on-american-families-bf8286b13086>


Warren has fallen into the fatal trap that “scarcity-of-money” propagandists have been constantly setting and baiting for decades. State-funded public services don’t “cost” a country anything; they are injections of liquidity that improve the lives of those who are served, and unleash the spending power of the people who are employed to provide them; they also lend themselves to growth in union membership and power. This is why public services have been gutted under neoliberalism, and why blank-check deficit spending has been anathemized for anything but the military.

As Sanders advisory Stephanie Kelton succinctly puts it, money doesn’t grow on rich people. Government spending isn’t dependant on taxes (although taxation plays a role in keeping inflation in check, and in shaping the broad outcomes of an economy, even in class terms — i.e., which class has how much spending power). This is the main lie of neoliberalism (and its post-WWII precursors) that folks writing under the flag of “modern monetary theory” have been at pains to expose and debunk. Here’s a good piece on it:

"Modern monetary theorists believe that confusion around money has distracted economists from the real things that affect the economic health of society ― natural resources, technology, available labor. Money is a tool governments use to manage these variables and solve social problems. It is not a scarce resource that governments have to track down in order to pay for projects.

…

“‘The basic idea is that the government can’t run out of money,' Kelton said. 'It creates money just by spending.’ 

“When people talk about government profligacy bankrupting their grandchildren or triggering a cataclysmic debt crisis, Kelton argues, they’re conflating the experience of a typical family, which has to get money from somewhere outside the household to meet expenses, with that of a sovereign government, which creates money as part of its basic operation.”

Link: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/stephanie-kelton-economy-washington_us_5afee5eae4b0463cdba15121

Warren’s perpetuation-by-silence of the lie that we “can’t have nice things” unless we squeeze money out of the rich is just further proof of her radical establishmentarianism. 




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