Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Randy Wray — An Alternative Meme For Money, Part 7: Framing Deficits

Deficits and Debt are probably the most terrifying topic that MMT addresses. We need to be careful. We are treading on moral (or religious) grounds. We know that one should not be a debtor (or, a creditor)—most religions tell us so. One who proclaims that deficits and debts are OK is automatically engaged in blasphemy of various sorts, not least of which is a crime against morality. Let’s try to frame the discussion.
When government spends more than it taxes, we not only get the services and infrastructure that we need but we also get to accumulate net financial wealth. We are richer in both real terms and financial terms. Government also offers to pay us interest on that financial wealth if we prefer to hold treasuries rather than HPM.
Government spending greater than taxing should not be called a “deficit”, rather, it is government’s contribution to our saving; government bonds are not “debt”, they are our net financial wealth.
Deficits and debts are bad framing; saving and wealth are good framing.
New Economic Perspectives
An Alternative Meme For Money, Part 7: Framing Deficits
L. Randall Wray | Professor of Economics, UMKC

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