Episode 120 – Chain Reactions with Mike Figueredo

Mike Figueredo and Steve Grumbine have a lot in common. Both are on a journey toward radicalization. Both recognize the importance of MMT in this process. Steve was recently Mike’s guest on The Humanist Report in an episode that was part MMT primer and part discussion of their mutual anti-capitalist awakening. This week, Mike comes to us.

When we activists and non-economists first learn MMT, we experience a chain reaction as one shibboleth after another is toppled. The insights strike us as both profound and profoundly obvious. Of course it can also be both exciting and depressing at the same time. Mike tries to ward off despair as he acknowledges the stark implications:

We’re staring down the barrel of a gun right now. Climate change. What is it the IPCC says? By now we have 10 years to act to avoid catastrophic climate change? Tweaking around the edges, it’s not just insufficient, it’s literally deadly at this point. And nobody is willing to say that in DC. Nobody is willing to frame it with the urgency that’s needed.

It’s no longer about mitigating climate change. It’s about adapting to its reality. By the time we decide to build a seawall it will be too late. Besides, as Mike says, “when we talk about a seawall in 15 years, then it’s ‘well, you know, the deficit is really getting high.’”

Steve points to recent comments by Janet Yellen about the need for fiscal responsibility. It would make sense for Biden to actively encourage this deficit fear porn; with these bogeymen as well-planted distractions the administration has plausible deniability. We need not bother to expect success.

Returning to the gun metaphor, they speak of austerity. Steve says:

People associate the gun with murder. They don’t associate the policy with murder. And so when I see this play out, I’m not seeing it like some benign thing. I see this as a legitimate gun to the head of anyone that is not flush with cash. So many died unnecessarily in this pandemic. And I don’t see any path forward. You said the people have to be angry. They can’t just vote. They’ve got to organize. The problem is they don’t know that there is a legitimate war going on right now against them with this austerity narrative. That’s like a sanction against the American people.

Steve and Mike delve into the #MedicareForAll conversation, specifically, the currently trending, but fatally flawed idea of state-based single payer. As MMT shows us, US states are currency users and need to generate the revenue through taxation or borrowing, unlike the currency-issuing federal government. The state-funded health care system is not only doomed to fail because of an impossible revenue deficit, but as Mike notes, the failure could be used by the political elite as a false representation of the failure of #M4A.

Like many on the left nowadays, these two independent media hosts are finding the more they study capitalism, the harder it is to imagine a future for it.

Mike Figueredo is the founder and host of the Humanist Report. Support and follow them:

Website humanistreport.com
Patreon patreon.com/humanistreport
Twitter @HumanistReport
YouTube goo.gl/E5D8gG

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Mike Figueredo and Steve Grumbine have a lot in common. Both are on a journey toward radicalization. Both recognize the importance of MMT in this process. Steve was recently Mike’s guest on The Humanist Report in an episode that was part MMT primer and part discussion of their mutual anti-capitalist awakening. This week, Mike comes to us.

When we activists and non-economists first learn MMT, we experience a chain reaction as one shibboleth after another is toppled. The insights strike us as both profound and profoundly obvious. Of course it can also be both exciting and depressing at the same time. Mike tries to ward off despair as he acknowledges the stark implications:

We’re staring down the barrel of a gun right now. Climate change. What is it the IPCC says? By now we have 10 years to act to avoid catastrophic climate change? Tweaking around the edges, it’s not just insufficient, it’s literally deadly at this point. And nobody is willing to say that in DC. Nobody is willing to frame it with the urgency that’s needed.

It’s no longer about mitigating climate change. It’s about adapting to its reality. By the time we decide to build a seawall it will be too late. Besides, as Mike says, “when we talk about a seawall in 15 years, then it’s ‘well, you know, the deficit is really getting high.’”

Steve points to recent comments by Janet Yellen about the need for fiscal responsibility. It would make sense for Biden to actively encourage this deficit fear porn; with these bogeymen as well-planted distractions the administration has plausible deniability. We need not bother to expect success.

Returning to the gun metaphor, they speak of austerity. Steve says:

People associate the gun with murder. They don’t associate the policy with murder. And so when I see this play out, I’m not seeing it like some benign thing. I see this as a legitimate gun to the head of anyone that is not flush with cash. So many died unnecessarily in this pandemic. And I don’t see any path forward. You said the people have to be angry. They can’t just vote. They’ve got to organize. The problem is they don’t know that there is a legitimate war going on right now against them with this austerity narrative. That’s like a sanction against the American people.

Steve and Mike delve into the #MedicareForAll conversation, specifically, the currently trending, but fatally flawed idea of state-based single payer. As MMT shows us, US states are currency users and need to generate the revenue through taxation or borrowing, unlike the currency-issuing federal government. The state-funded health care system is not only doomed to fail because of an impossible revenue deficit, but as Mike notes, the failure could be used by the political elite as a false representation of the failure of #M4A.

Like many on the left nowadays, these two independent media hosts are finding the more they study capitalism, the harder it is to imagine a future for it.

Mike Figueredo is the founder and host of the Humanist Report. Support and follow them:

Website humanistreport.com
Patreon patreon.com/humanistreport
Twitter @HumanistReport
YouTube goo.gl/E5D8gG

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