September 5, 2018

MMT: How the Oligarchy communicates with WeThePeople

Comment on Bill Mitchell on ‘Exploring the effectiveness of social media’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference on Sep 6

Economics claims to be a science. The fact is that economists never did proper science because they were too much occupied with agenda pushing. This holds for Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism, and MMT. None of these approaches has sound scientific foundations. This does not matter for economic policy, though, because it is known from history that politics runs on narratives and not on materially/formally consistent theories.

Since the founding fathers, there are TWO economixes: political economics and theoretical economics. The main differences are: (i) The objective of political economics is to successfully push an agenda, the objective of theoretical economics is to successfully explain how the actual economy works. (ii) In political economics anything goes; in theoretical economics, the scientific standards of material and formal consistency are observed.

Economics started as Political Economy. Despite outer appearances, it NEVER rose above the proto-scientific level. Economics fits Feynman’s description of cargo cult science to a T: “They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. ... But it doesn’t work. ... So I call these things cargo cult science because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential.”

What is missing for 200+ years is scientific competence. MMT is NO exception. MMT has NO scientific knowledge to communicate, MMT is plain political propaganda, just like the rest of economics.

Scientific communication is focused, terse, precise, impersonal, about material/formal proof, and it presupposes an educated/well-informed audience. Strictly speaking, there is NO popular science. Political communication is just the opposite “it has to resonate with the feelings of people.”

Every propagandist knows “Messaging is about how we use words” and this means for the MMT sales trolls:

• “… a strategy must begin with a narrative rather than facts.”

• “… the mission statement ― ‘Jobs for all that want to work’ ― is almost universally desirable. But the framing exercise has to go beyond that to attack an action.”

• “… drill down to lower level statements such as the government chooses the unemployment rate.”

• “Since political ideologies are, of course, characterized by systems of frames, ideological language will activate that ideological system. repetition of ideological language will strengthen the circuits for that ideology in a hearer’s brain.”

• “… ‘telling the people the facts’ and ‘they will reason to the right conclusion’ is a flawed approach to political persuasion.”

• “In order to persuade and change perceptions, issue framers first have to gain the trust of their audiences and subsequently gain believability.”

• “So the challenge is to talk about values, not just facts and figures; to use simple language, not technical terms; and to appeal to emotions.”

All this, of course, is trivial stuff to all propagandists from the Holy Books onward to Social Media.

In the case of MMT, communication boils down to: “If there is a jobs shortage, then we know spending is deficient overall. So given the executed spending plans of the non-government sector leave total spending short of what is required, the only solution, at that point in time, is to immediately increase government net spending.”

The message of MMT to WeThePeople is that the Neoliberals are the bad guys, we Progressives are the good guys, and we have the magic formula to solve almost all economic problems viz. public deficit-spending/money-creation.

Now, the scientific fact of the matter is that from the macroeconomic Profit Law follows Public Deficit = Private Profit. So, what is made to appear as a social policy in the interest of WeThePeople is in effect a policy of perpetual self-alimentation of the Oligarchy. #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

Since Adam Smith/Karl Marx, economics has never been anything else than political agenda-pushing in the mantle of science. MMT is just another political fraud.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke


#1 Down with idiocy!
#2 Keynes, Lerner, MMT, Trump and exploding profit
#3 MMT is ALWAYS a bad deal for the 99-percenters
#4 The Kelton-Fraud
#5 How Bill Mitchell stalks Jeremy Corbyn

For the full-spectrum refutation of MMT see cross-references MMT

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