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MOSLER'S LAW: There is no financial crisis so deep that a sufficiently large tax cut or spending increase cannot deal with it.

Archive for April 21st, 2011

Dollar index remains in decline

Posted by WARREN MOSLER on 21st April 2011

With crude oil back up, the dollar has resumed it’s slide vs the other currencies. And odds are West Texas crude converges to Brent, which remains over $10 per barrel higher at about $124/barrel when/as the Cushing supply issues clear up.

However, with food and energy, at least for now, remaining a relative value story, this could largely be the other currencies deflating rather than the dollar inflating.

The US is a large importer of finished products and with relatively weak aggregate demand here this means downward price pressures on those who export to the US to sustain their export volumes and market share.

And with US unit labor costs not rising, US companies can price aggressively overseas and keep foreign margins under pressure as well.

So looks to me like the world shortage of aggregate demand/dangerously high unemployment will continue for a considerable period of time, now exacerbated by rising food and energy costs which takes purchasing power from high propensity to consume individuals and transfers it to low propensity to consume states, corporations, investment funds, etc.

While at the same time this (at least for the near future) relative value story gets treated like an inflation story by most of the world’s governments, who are consequently prone to take measures to further reduce aggregate demand.

No nation wins in this process, just some losing less than others.

Posted in Comodities, Currencies | 26 Comments »

Robert Reich’s no so innocent fraud

Posted by WARREN MOSLER on 21st April 2011

Obama’s Real Budget Plan (and Why It’s a Huge Gamble)

By Robert Reich

Here’s the part of interest to me:

Yet what are the chances of a booming recovery? The economy is now growing at an annualized rate of only 1.5 percent. That’s pitiful. It’s not nearly enough to bring down the rate of unemployment, or remove the danger of a double dip. Real wages continue to drop. Housing prices continue to drop. Food and gas prices are rising. Consumer confidence is still in the basement.

Fair enough, now on to the problem and the remedy:

By focusing the public’s attention on the budget deficit, the President is still playing on the Republican’s field. By advancing his own “twelve year plan” for reducing it – without talking about the economy’s underlying problem – he appears to validate their big lie that reducing the deficit is the key to future prosperity.

Promising rhetoric there- deficit reduction isn’t the answer!

The underlying problem isn’t the budget deficit.

Really getting my hopes up now!

It’s that so much income and wealth are going to the top that most Americans don’t have the purchasing power to sustain a strong recovery.

****sound of a balloon deflating****

Until steps are taken to alter this fundamental imbalance – for example, exempting the first $20K of income from payroll taxes while lifting the cap on income subject to payroll taxes, raising income and capital gains taxes on millionaires and using the revenues to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit up to incomes of $50,000, strengthening labor unions, and so on – a strong recovery may not be possible.

Message to Bob:

I suspect you understand taxes function to regulate aggregate demand, not to fund expenditures per se?

So please don’t blow smoke and instead just state that the tax cut part of your proposal is meant to add to aggregate demand,

And that the tax increase part is to achieve your vision of social equity without subtracting very much from aggregate demand.

Instead, by doing it the way you are doing it, you are implying that the deficit per se is of economic consequence.

This makes you part of the problem, rather than part of the answer, as you are supporting the deficit myths which are preventing any actual solution from being implemented.

Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He also served on President Obama’s transition advisory board. His latest book is Supercapitalism.

Posted in Deficit, GDP, Government Spending | 279 Comments »