Cain’s Opportunity Zones suspend the minimum wage

Seems to be working for him…
:(

However, Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, is expected to propose an addition to his signature tax reform plan in a speech today in Detroit. The new plan is expected to create “opportunity zones” in cities to foster small businesses and create jobs.

Major feature of opportunity zones is they suspend the minimum wage.

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83 Responses to Cain’s Opportunity Zones suspend the minimum wage

  1. Colin says:

    It’s dishonest to modify my comment and have no indication that it was modified. Better to just delete it. Anyway, the point that I was trying to make is that American voters are retarded, and using euphemisms like “low-information” is ridiculous. In fact, you probably transmit more information by calling them retarded voters. Don’t get all “low-information” please.

    Reply

    Trixie Reply:

    @Colin,
    Yes, I see your point. It’s like when you use the word ‘the’ in a sentence, it means you are a ham sandwich. Everyone knows that.

    Reply

  2. Matt Franko says:

    @Colin, You may easily understand this, but that is not the rule for everybody. Especially when many that are held in high academic esteem are just as mistaken about reality.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyscalculia

    “Symptoms: Inability to comprehend financial planning or budgeting, sometimes even at a basic level; for example, estimating the cost of the items in a shopping basket or balancing a checkbook”
    Resp,

    Reply

  3. Colin says:

    The 9-9-9 plan is proof that Americans would rather pay higher taxes than do math. It’s hard to have sympathy for such a stupid, intellectually lazy 99%.

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Colin,

    “Low-information voters” are the target of such proposals, as well as “one-issue” voters that can be distracted from their own larger interest with “red meat” relating to their one issue. These are groups that are specifically targeted in campaigns.

    Reply

    Colin Reply:

    What does “low-information” mean?

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Colin,

    What exactly don’t you understand about this. It is not original with me. It’s pretty standard criticism of most political proposals that are aimed at persuading people to vote against their economic interests.

    Colin Reply:

    lol Tom. less is more.

    Djp Reply:

    @Art,

    And it makes life less taxing ;)

    Reply

  4. Coupon Clipper says:

    For those of you who have never even considered the possibility that minimum wage laws might be bad, I direct you to Steven Landsburg’s Slate column about this. He basically argues that minimum wage laws probably do NOT reduce employment by a lot but…

    If you want to transfer income to the working poor, there are fairer and more honest ways to do it. The Earned Income Tax Credit, for example, accomplishes pretty much the same goals as the minimum wage but without concentrating the burden on a tiny minority. For that matter, the EITC also does a better job of helping the people you’d really want to help, as opposed to, say, middle-class teenagers working summer jobs. It’s pretty hard to argue that a minimum-wage increase beats an EITC increase by any criterion.

    It’s a great column (SL is an awesome writer), and you can find the whole thing here:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/everyday_economics/2004/07/the_sin_of_wages.single.html

    More generally, I would encourage people on this board to reason more and rant less. The moment some people hear an idea they haven’t considered before, they blame it on the “coke-head brothers” and start calling people names. This is not the path to enlightenment.

    Reply

    Neil Wilson Reply:

    @Coupon Clipper,

    Tax Credits don’t work. You end up with market distortions and work that doesn’t pay. We have them in the UK and they are a disaster. Complex and unnecessary subsidy of slave labour. No thank you.

    The whole point of a minimum wage, and a job guarantee, is that it defines what ‘zero’ is in the market. Nothing below that can exist – because it shouldn’t exist in a civilised society.

    Reply

    Coupon Clipper Reply:

    @Neil Wilson, Tax credits don’t work? We have them here in the U.S. too; I’m not sure I see the problem. Labor gets priced closer to market value, and the laborer gets an extra chunk of change from the gov’t. I can’t see how that can be any worse than forcing the employer to make up that difference (assuming he still wants to hire the same number of people).

    Anyway, I’m not sure how the ELR crept into this discussion. I’m actually not opposed to the ELR.

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    the elr wage becomes the defacto minimum wage, including benefits, which can be introduced from the bottom up.

    ESM Reply:

    @Neil Wilson,

    “… because it shouldn’t exist in a civilised society.”

    So unpaid internships shouldn’t exist in a civilized society? How about college? That pays a negative hourly wage.

    If your job is increasing the market value of your skills by $20/hr, but pays you only $1/hr, I think that’s a pretty darn good job, and I don’t want the government to banish it from existence.

    Reply

    Neil Wilson Reply:

    @ESM,

    Internships are slavery and should be outlawed for the same reason that slavery and indentured labour were outlawed in the first place.

    We’re starting to see that unholy colonial practice here in the UK. Thankfully the regulators are jumping on it and enforcing minimum wage legislation.

    Earning and learning is something to be encouraged. Putting in a zero that people can live on ensures that no business can gain an advantage by promoting slavery like conditions. Those that try to should be put out of business so that those who prefer to treat people with respect can flourish.

    ESM Reply:

    @ESM,

    “Internships are slavery and should be outlawed for the same reason that slavery and indentured labour were outlawed…”

    So slavery was outlawed because slaves weren’t being paid enough? Or do you think maybe it is the element of coercion which distinguishes slavery from regular employment?

    MamMoTh Reply:

    @ESM, without a JG/ELR program, seeking work is not a fair game.

    Unpaid internships could be mutually beneficial but the system could be easily abused and turned into a system that creates a large pool of unpaid interns competing for a few well paid positions. Which is fine if you believe distribution of income is not an issue.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    the job guarantee/elr wage pretty much does the trick without further govt interference needed.

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Coupon Clipper,

    A fundamental economic problem in society is the free rider problem. Politically, this is often associated with the bottom, people “on the dole,” scamming SS Disability, etc.

    But there is a lot of free riding at the top too, and a lot of it at the bottom is a consequence of this. One instance is companies that pay less than a living wage and benefits, so that society has to pick up the tab by negative income tax, providing food stamps, Medicare, etc. There was recently a big stink about Wal-Mart intentionally doing this and advising its under-paid, hence under poverty line employees how to apply for public assistance. Public outcry forced them to reverse this practice by paying adequate benefits. What Wal-Mart was doing was distorting market price (“keeping our prices low”) through the free ride.

    There are any number other free rides, from the interest subsidy on operationally unnecessary T-securities, to negative externalities that distort true cost on the principle of capitalize the gains and socialize the liabilities, extraction of economic rent, privileged treatment due to political influence, etc.

    Eliminating the minimum wage is basically allowing companies to pay labor less than true cost. Society maybe gets lower priced goods, but that it a big maybe. But society gets the bill in terms of increased welfare payments, many of which hit at the state and local level, which have to funded from revenue.

    But even though the federal government can afford to subsidize free rides, we should be asking what criteria govern how this is to be controlled. Or should everyone just get a free ride?

    Reply

    Coupon Clipper Reply:

    @Tom Hickey, Good points, but I think most of this is due to the “progressive” nature of the EITC. In the extreme case, imagine that everyone (rich/poor/working/unemployed) got a $5000/yr check. In other words, the EITC didn’t phase in or out.

    Then low-value employees might still find work at low wages, and they could use the subsidy to help make ends meet. And that way the min. wage wouldn’t be a tax just on those employers who have the nerve to hire low-skill people.

    I’ve heard ppl argue that low pay employers are effectively monopsony buyers of low-skill labor, and that’s why we need min. wage laws. But I’ve never understood how that could be true. Too many fast food restaurants within 3 blocks of me to believe that. :)

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Coupon Clipper,

    There may be many ways of dealing with this. What I am saying is that a viable economic and political solution has to take into consideration the free rider issue. I say this based on evolutionary theory. The free rider problem affects even very primitive groups early in the stages of the evolution of life. Nature apparently views free riders as inefficient and has evolved mechanisms for eliminating them. At more primitive levels this remains unconscious, but at higher levels the mechanism is fairness. Fairness is now being shown to be a pre-human trait. No solution that does not come across to a large percentage of a population as fair is going to work very well for long because it is unnatural.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    jg/elr does the trick

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    how about high levels of agg demand, elr, my health care plan, and my financial sector proposals.

    we’d have prosperity beyond what anyone currently imagines in a context consider fair and equitable.

    Reply

  5. Dan Kervick says:

    The new plan is expected to create “opportunity zones” in cities to foster small businesses and create jobs.

    Other wise known as foot-in-the-door zones.

    Reply

  6. Alex says:

    Cain just changed his 9-9-9 tax plan to 9-0-9 and said that he will not tax the millions of Americans that live in poverty and 3rd world conditions.

    Glad to hear that he will not tax people that do not make any money.

    Perhaps he can strategically place these opportunity zones around the crime infested, 3rd world, impoversihed areas in America so us rich white true Christian Americans do not have to look at these people any more.

    We could have these people pick cotton or tabacco or something and once they have earned enough working for .40 cents per hour they can buy a special visa out of the opportunity zone.

    Reply

    Trixie Reply:

    @Alex,
    I just read something about 3-3-3. Frankly, I’ve stopped paying attention. But it’s fun to see his simple 9-9-9 plan morph into complexity as he tries to defend it.

    Reply

  7. Adam2 says:

    Here is my math exercise proving increasing minimum wages do not cut into profits. Thanks Warren for deleting the previous unfinished one.

    Profits = Revenue – Costs

    Worker W is paid a minimum
    wage of $5/hour. W makes 10
    hamburgers an hour.

    A hamburger costs $1.

    Revenue = 10x$1 = $10

    So Profits for that One hour is $5.

    P = $10 – $5

    It is now 10 years later. Minimum wage is still $5/hour. Worker W makes $5. During those 10 years
    there is a phenomenon called inflation. Lets say inflation has doubled
    to make the math easy.

    W makes 10 hamburgers an
    hour. (no productivity increase)

    So now a hamburger costs $2.

    Revenue = 10x$2 = $20

    So Profits are now $15.

    P = $20 – $5

    Lets raise the minimum wage to match inflation. $10/hour.

    P = $20 – $10 = $10.

    If minimum wage match inflation there is no loss in Real Profits.

    $5 in Year 1 = $10 in Year 10 with 100% inflation between the 10 years.

    Reply

    Peter D Reply:

    @Adam2,

    I guess the only question would be what is the chicken and what is the egg, because some of the inflation is caused by raising of the wages, i.e., there is a feedback from rising wages to inflation. Wasn’t that the argument that part of the 70s inflation was caused by indexing?
    Otherwise, nice!

    Reply

    Adam2 Reply:

    @Peter D, If there is no increase in minimum wages, none of the inflation is due to that. :-)

    Reply

    Peter D Reply:

    @Adam2,

    but there is – you increase the min wage with inflation and this increase itself contributes to inflation.

    Peter D Reply:

    @Adam2,

    that said, the feedback is not one to one and decays with time. I had a similar idea of issuing only debt that pys nothing but inflation rate with the idea that the savers are assured of the purchasing power of their savings. it is also a form of indexation but again, the feedback to inflation decays with time

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    they are called inflation indexed tsy bonds, aka ‘tips’

    Peter D Reply:

    Warren:
    >>they are called inflation indexed tsy bonds, aka ‘tips’

    I meant that these are the only bonds issued and there is also no fixed rate component. So, it is not exactly like TIPS. But the savers who just want to defer consumption may safely do so by buying those bonds – they know that they never lose purchasing power by doing this.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    the tips fixed rate component is set by ‘market forces’

    Peter D Reply:

    Warren:
    >>the tips fixed rate component is set by ‘market forces’

    Yes, but in my scheme there will be no auctions and the only bonds issued would be paying only the inflation rate. This will allow those that simply want to defer consumption not to lose any purchasing power due to inflation (up to one period adjustment.) Those bonds would be issued only to satisfy the demand to defer consumption, hence no need for auctions – whoever wants to buy them can do so.

    beowulf Reply:

    @Peter D,
    Peak minimum wage was in 1968, when it was at $1.60/hr (about $10.43/hr in 2011 dollars), the minimum wage today is $7.25/hr.
    I don’t think inflation would have been any greater or less if the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation instead of been cut by 30% in real terms.

    Reply

    John O'Connell Reply:

    @Adam2,

    If you want to try to keep that worker for $5 an hour, you’d better have a monopoly on the hamburger business, else your competitors would hire him away from you for $10, minimum wage or no.

    It is not the profitable businesses that suffer from minimum wage laws, it is the only marginally profitable ones. If hamburgers are going for $1 and you raise the minimum wage from $5 to $10, you put worker W out of business. Minimum wages rise in relatively large step increments, not gradually over time, like inflation. If you raised the minimum wage, say, quarterly along with inflation, then maybe nothing changes. But when you raise it from $6 to $8 in one day, you could put a lot of marginal businesses underwater.

    Reply

    Adam2 Reply:

    @John O’Connell,

    Minimum wage jobs not indexed to inflation are subsidized by the rest of us. Most likely 2 worker families.

    I agree that indexing the minimum wage like Social Security benefits to inflation is the best policy.

    Reply

  8. Alex says:

    Who wants to bet that the very first work zones would be anywhere that the Koch brothers have a labor intensive business?

    I’m glad he wants big government in our lives to create special work zones and decide were these zones will be, glad most Republicans will not vote for him in that case they do not believe in government take over of business.

    He is pure fascism cadidate.

    Reply

    Djp Reply:

    @Alex,

    May not know what he is, but I know what he’s not…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

    Reply

    Vincent Reply:

    @Djp,

    Thanks DJP. You beat me to it. I don’t think it’s a good idea to throw these terms around without knowing what they actually mean.
    Regarding the federal minimum wage, there are seemingly reasonable people out there who claim the it’s counter-productive. Is it right to dismiss them without argument? Is it truly that simple? I’ve always found the issue interesting and somewhat of a moot point in eastern pennsylvania, because i would never be able to hire anyone if i offered minimum wage. Even at twice the rate, it’s hard to find people.

    Reply

    Djp Reply:

    @Vincent,

    In a simple toy model where government’s only interaction with the economy is through the ELR (employer of last resort), effectively setting a minimum wage, and through taxes (let’s assume for simplicity a flat rate) then I think it’s fair to say that a minimum wage is effectively just defining the value of the currency. Or at least that’s a fundamental idea behind many of the conversations around here.

    Now, even in that toy model moving the minimum wage around can create havoc. Any reasonable person would almost certainly conclude that if the way the wage were set was that every year the gov would generate a random number from 1 to 10^10, and that would be the ELR wage, then things would be pretty wacky.

    But, the toy model is flawed in other ways too. The gov is deeply involved in other ways economically, and whenever they are involved they are setting the value of the numeraire (the dollar). Once it is something else that is setting the value of the dollar, then any imposition of a minimum wage is actually simply a barrier to trade and free exchange. To me, it is obvious that restricting or outlawing mutually agreed upon mutually beneficial transactions can only result in the loss of real output. If I want to mow my neighbors lawn for $3/hr because I know I need to get exercise, I’m relatively indifferent as to how I get it, and I think the $3 is fair compensation for having me mow the lawn rather than jog around the block it would seem like a good trade for me and my neighbor. The gov disagrees and wants me to jog around the block, and have my neighbor pay more to get his lawn mowed – or to mow it himself.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    with elr at, say, $8 hr for anyone willing and able to work you are free to work for less for your neighbor if you want to.

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Vincent,

    “In a simple toy model where government’s only interaction with the economy is through the ELR (employer of last resort), effectively setting a minimum wage, and through taxes (let’s assume for simplicity a flat rate) then I think it’s fair to say that a minimum wage is effectively just defining the value of the currency. Or at least that’s a fundamental idea behind many of the conversations around here.”

    A unit of labor corresponding to the unit of account is the real numeraire in a credit-based monetary economy against which to measure nominal value. MMT takes the floor wage to be the price anchor.

    The point is that the real wage can be set endogenously by markets or exogenuously by government control. This is one of the control levers available to government to regulate the economy.

    Those that believe markets are the best means of determining economic norms think that government should butt out of control as much as possible. Some would go to greater lengths than others in this regard.

    The opposing view is that governments have a role to play in determining economic policy. Among these, there is also disagreement over what that role should be.

    These are political choices. As a theory, MMT sets forth the policy options. Different proponents of MMT may subscribe to various of these options.

    But as I understand it, MMT economists in general subscribe to full employment along with price stability as a key social, economic and political norm.

    Many Libertarians disagree with this position and would let the market dictate under all circumstances, letting the chips fall where they may.

    Djp Reply:

    @Vincent,

    @Tom

    I honestly can’t really tell if you’re agreeing or disagreeing.
    I think you’re agreeing…

    The only reason for the toy model simplification was to try to clarify the issue of gov using multiple mechanisms to set the value of the dollar. In some extreme example, imagine your ELR program pays $15/hr and $15/hr is the min wage, but that the gov also has an unlimited number of jobs at $20/hr (same qualifications as the ELR) and a large number at $50/hr and $100/hr with differing qualifications. Then essentially there is some frustration in the system for setting the value of the dollar. Imagine a world where 100,000,000 workers are all equally competent, but 10 are not — they are suited only to the most menial task. Then it is quite possible that the $15/hr and $20/hr jobs have little or no relevance.

    Djp Reply:

    @Vincent,

    @Warren

    Yes, ELR doesn’t mean there needs to be a minimum wage.

    And having ELR might mean it would be more acceptable to not have a minimum wage — though one can imagine that reality might mean excesses about the real minimum wage might get stolen through coercion (I’ve got a nice ELR job here for you… I rub your back, you rub mine), but we can always hope that wouldn’t be the case.

  9. Gary says:

    We all know that the state is central to monetary system.
    We know that state creates demand for money by imposing taxes.
    We know that state can spend money on what is needed.

    So if some interest group controls the state, then what is the best way to use the state?

    1. Make the state tax us (the controlling group) less
    2. Make the state tax them (the ones outside the controlling group) more
    3. Make the state pay us risk free income (by state selling bonds to us)
    4. Make the state spend more money on our interests (bail out us and our enterprises, protect us and our enterprises)
    5. Make the state spend less on their interests – social security, healthcare (just tell them that state has no money)

    What is the end result?
    They are poorer, we are richer, the state’s force is on our side, we have much more power over them the poorer they get and the less support from state they get.
    Do we care that many of them are unemployed, homeless, desperate? Until we control the enforcement – we do not care. The more desperate they are – the more powerful we are – because we have the money, and money are required to live in the country that our state controls.
    Do we care that we could have more money if we let the state spend a bit more on them? Well – why would we want that? They would not be so desperate to earn money from us and so would not serve us that well.

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    Except the 1% do a lot better in a good economy.

    Reply

    Gary Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,

    I don’t believe in conspiracy. I don’t think there is any planning for this. Just a self serving gravitation towards it.
    In a selfish culture and greed oriented economic system it just happens so. I don’t mean to say that everybody is the same, and everybody can be defined by self interest. No, they cannot. But when the time comes for personal economic decisions, the economic system forces self serving decisions. In the case where people are in the position to affect many – the gravitation (of majority, not all) happens towards protecting own interests and interests of the same class.

    Reply

    Gary Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,

    if there was a conspiracy, then there could be a calculation what is better: good economy or bad economy.
    But since there is no conspiracy, and decisions are made based on own personal gain – not thinking in aggregate – this is what we get.

    Reply

    PG Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,
    Such observation assumes the 1% have a collective IQ enabling them i) to understand it ii) to decide accordingly.

    As it seems the assumption is false.

    Reply

    Gary Reply:

    @PG,

    No, there is no need for collective IQ. In fact – if there was a collective IQ – then it would see that it is better for them in a good economy, and that good economy is achieved by sharing (letting state spend on those that have less).

    But it works by every interests pushing selfish agenda. “Give to me, but not them”, and since the most powerful interests are wealthy – it so happens that wealthy agenda wins – even though in aggregate their agenda is self defeating. But they do not think in aggregate

    pebird Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER, The problem is, they want to become the 0.5%, a good economy wouldl make them the 2%.

    Reply

    John O'Connell Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,

    But it’s a prisoner’s dilemma. It is easier to grab a bigger piece of the pie when you can, rather than work to expand the pie.

    One should not attribute to malice that which can be explained by mere incompetence, but in this case the incompetence of the Banksters, either at investment or at government, depending which side of the revolving door they are on at the time, is not sufficient to explain their corruption.

    Reply

  10. beowulf says:

    Right, and Australia’s unemployment rate of 5.2% would be even lower if they’d just cut their A%15.51/hr minimum wage (A$ is trading roughly at par with US$).
    To be fair, we can’t discount the possibility the Coriolis effect makes macroeconomics rotate backwards in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Reply

    Mario Reply:

    @beowulf,

    exactly B. But they’re a socialist nation…surely they don’t know jack shit about anything…except Sydney is ranked as one of the best places in the world to live. Yeah…just forget that little tid-bit!!!

    Reply

    AK Reply:

    @Mario,
    I wouldn’t say we’re socialist; a lot of our politics are conservative, and our politicians dont display any more understanding of monetary economics than the usa’s. For example, the last election was based on “balancing the budget” – our 4% deficit is apparently problematic!

    The thing that saves us, I think, is our historically strong belief in labour laws and good minimum wages. Most Australians have some vague notion, at least, that a strong minimum wage is a good thing for sustainable aggregate demand.

    This may be more cultural than anything; most Australians do believe in a “fair go” for all. Hence strong minimum wage laws, good public healthcare and public education (although university was once free for all, it now operates under a student loan scheme – cant win all the battles unfortunately!)

    Reply

    Art Reply:

    @beowulf,

    “we can’t discount the possibility the Coriolis effect makes macroeconomics rotate backwards in the Southern Hemisphere”

    :)

    Reply

  11. Tyler says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to determine which party produces the worst candidates. For instance, Romney wants to lower taxes (good), but cut spending (bad). The rest of the GOP candidates share this view.

    President Obama wants to raise taxes AND cut spending! Apparently, he doesn’t have one economist who thinks this is a bad idea.

    I used to dismiss the notion that we could use a third general election candidate next year, but now I agree. Ralph Nader, how ’bout one more go at it?

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    Quote Details: Jay Leno: If God had wanted… – The Quotations Page
    If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. Jay Leno US comedian & television host (1950 – ) More quotations on: [Politicians]
    http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/37752.html · Cached page

    Reply

    Robert Kelly Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,
    It used to be that you could hold your nose and vote. Now we may as well have Leno be President.

    Reply

    Art Reply:

    @Robert Kelly,

    During my commute home yesterday, I actually found myself contemplating staying at home in Nov 2012. Just don’t see the point to any of the prospective choices.

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Art,

    What “they” want is for people to stay home. Then “they” remain in control.

    The reason there are no desirable candidates is a selection process that both parties have institutionalized. Now there is only one party, the party of money and influence, and it has two factions. The people get to vote for one of two candidates, both of whom have been chosen for them by the biased selection process. At least we get to vote in primaries now instead of having the candidates chosen in the back room by party bosses. But the result isn’t all that different, just a bit more transparent, and now everything possible is being done to bring down the veil on the money exchanging hands.

    There is only one thing that gets politicians attention more than money and that is angry voters threatening to throw them out of office. This is what the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are all about.

    Get mad.

    John O'Connell Reply:

    @Robert Kelly,

    Didn’t some guy named Mosler run once?

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    and didn’t get heard…

    Clonal Antibody Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,

    Warren,

    What about primarying Obama? You have entered the fray once before, but why not do a serious try at New Hampshire ( I remember somebody here being from NH), or Iowa (Tom, can we get Warren’s name on the caucuses?) Iowa caucuses are good, for a small showing one can have great returns. Just need grassroot mobilization.

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Clonal Antibody,

    Obama is still very popular among Democrats in spite of all the complaints, and the GOP caucuses are dominated by Evangelicals since this is the Bible Belt. Moreover, Iowa is a very heavily contested state because of its first position, and without a superlative ground game, a candidate has no chance here.

    ESM Reply:

    @Clonal Antibody,

    I’m a big fan of Warren’s, but politics just ain’t his bag. With his voice, he’s better suited to manning a suicide prevention hotline.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    bordering on politically incorrect.

    hi, suicide hotline. Can you drive a car? Good, let me connect you to our mid east office..

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    wouldn’t know how to even start any kind of effort that would be taken seriously

    Clonal Antibody Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,
    You said

    wouldn’t know how to even start any kind of effort that would be taken seriously

    I would camp out at Occupy New Hampshire and Occupy Iowa and educate the #OWS about MMT and the progressive end of MMT and the need for political action!

    That should lay the groundwork for the challenge.

    The filing deadline for New Hampshire is November 21st — missing it means a write in campaign.

    Iowa being a caucus there is no deadline, and people are given a blank paper.

    The alternative to the primaries is the Green Party.

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Clonal Antibody,

    OWS doesn’t work like that. This is an organic movement that it is still growing and feeling its way. It has not begun to coalesce yet, and it’s purposefully diffuse so no one can hijack it.

    Clonal Antibody Reply:

    @Clonal Antibody,

    Tom,

    Hijacking it was not at all what I was suggesting.

    I think the very act of educating the movement will bring about the needed actions – not from Warren, but from within the movement. If I were Warren, I would not file or make any movement towards that, but just spend the time teaching. The videos would go viral.

    It is very clear, that the 2012 election cycle is going to be critical if #OWS is going to have any staying power. The candidates for primary challenges (State and Federal races) will emerge from within the movement. The advantage that Warren has is that he has challenged the PTB before – and on his own dime, and with a progressive agenda. That will work to his advantage.

    It is critical for Obama to be primaried – I do not think that we have time to wait till 2016. The current state of the Republican party and its current ideological orientation is not #OWS. That just leaves the Democratic Party or the Green Party. None of the other parties can mount a credible challenge. I do not think that there is enough time for a new party to emerge from the #OWS.

    I do not think that something like the 1992 independent run by Perot, or the Reform Party effort of 1996 is currently doable.

    Also, I do not think that you can shift enough of the current set occupying Congress and the White House sufficiently in their actions to make any real difference.

    So, the question for you is — “How would you go about changing the electoral stage?”

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Clonal Antibody,

    Clonal, I agree that going to Zucotti Park to make videos is a great idea. As they say in the real estate, “location, location, location.” But as far as influencing the protests directly, probably not. Better to target in a more focused way, I think, unless one has a lot of time on one’s hands, which Warren clearly doesn’t. It would have to be in and out for him. But making appearances can be significant and some of this absolutely necessary. It was definitely worth the long drive for the UMKC people to put in an appearance.

    My view is that the primary contribution of OCS is to exert a destabilizing influence on the status quo. The status quo is characterized by the focus of the protest — government capture through money. The only thing that talks to politicians louder than money is angry voters ready to throw them out of office. That is the 2×4 to hit them over the head with to wake them up. Then they will start looking for different solutions and not be paying so much attention to the money.

    It’s going to be somewhat difficult for MMT to get traction with OWS, which is a national phenomenon in the the US. The way it works is through consensus-building, which means having teams constantly on the ground to advance a position. There is already a strong push for the Ron Paul and AMI/Kucinich plans. I don’t think that MMT has the numbers it takes to influence the debate on the ground.

    That’s OK, because that’s not where the real action is anyway, as Katrina vanden Heuvel observed. The protest is a catalyst that brings change from the only place that change can come, the actual decision makers. That means that we should be focusing on them, now that the game is opening up.

    I think that we should also be working on getting into the media, especially, the obviously easy places where people like Bill Black and Michael Hudson have opened a path.

    Speaking of Bill, he already has opened a path into OWS, and MMT should follow that path.

    It’s a very good sign that Bernie Sanders has given MMT a big boost by appointing MMT and MMT-friendly people to his advisory board.

    I don’t think that MMT has much of a chance on the populist right, since that is already dominated by the Ron Paul-Austrian school. Looks like the avenue is through the left, where the door is already opening, and through the center.

    But this takes relentless work to be effective, and I think that it’s probably already too late to influence the ’12 election, and nothing substantial is going to happen politically in the run up. We need to be aiming longer term and preparing for the long haul by building numbers, spreading knowledge, and stoking enthusiasm every way possible and YouTube video and social networking media are essential in this endeavor. Everyone needs to be sharing as widely as possible starting now if they are not already.

    Also go down to your local OWS gathering at learn what is going on. Go to a general assembly and see how things work. It’s very messy. Don’t be bothered by that. This is not about results right now. It is about process. This is a process of mass radicalization, and it is going to influence these generations profoundly going forward. Sociologically it’s a very big deal and history in the making.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    what about my job?
    :(

    beowulf Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER,
    You mean this Jay Leno? :o)
    http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/mosler-mt900s/1228016/

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    :)

  12. pebird says:

    If we add eliminating child labor laws and the 8 hour work day, we might see some real opportunity.

    Reply

  13. Mario says:

    this message has been brought to you with special thanks by the coke-head brothers

    Reply

  14. Robert Kelly says:

    A lot of people insist that minimum wage laws have increased unemployment, especially among young black males. Thomas Sowell has written on this numerous times. I’m sure Herm Cain has read Tom Sowell’s books and articles. I can understand why he advocates this policy in ‘opportunity zones”. Worth debating and consistent with a conservative stance. He has already heard from AFL-CIO.

    Reply

    Ed Rombach Reply:

    @Robert Kelly,

    Instead of suspending the minimum wage in the enterprize zones, they should suspend corporate and individual income taxes for 10 years. I’d move to one of those zones for that kind of advantage.

    Reply

  15. Tom says:

    Wow, its a race to the bottom and people are loving it.

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    @Tom,

    US workers are no longer competing just with China and India, but also Indonesia and Africa. No telling where the bottom is, and the global labor supply is huge. “Free trade” with global labor fungible basically means open immigration.

    Reply

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