Ryan and Greenspan on Social Security

If any of you know Mr. Ryan kindly remind him of this exchange, thanks:

PAUL RYAN: “Do you believe that personal retirement accounts can help us achieve solvency for the system and make those future retiree benefits more secure?”

ALAN GREENSPAN: “Well, I wouldn’t say that the pay-as-you-go benefits are insecure, in the sense that there’s nothing to prevent the federal government from creating as much money as it wants and paying it to somebody. The question is, how do you set up a system which assures that the real assets are created which those benefits are employed to purchase.”

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84 Responses to Ryan and Greenspan on Social Security

  1. roger erickson says:

    Selise found the original hearing transcript & video

    MARCH 2, 2005, house committee on the budget hearing:

    transcript:
    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg99828/html/CHRG-109hhrg99828.htm

    cspan video:
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/FiscalIs

    quote is in clip from 02:42:00 to 2:42:57
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/clip/3886511

    Thanks to Senexx, the clip is now on YouTube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdOsybbBVEU

  2. Pingback: The Biggest Tragedy In Economics « Money & Business

  3. Security Guard Class 4 says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/mitt-romneys-mexican-roots-033457860–abc-news-politics.html

    In 1885, Romney’s great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, fled to Mexico to escape America’s anti-polygamy laws. Along with a group of his fellow Mormons, Miles Park Romney, who had four wives and 30 children, settled in Chihuahua, Mexico, where polygamy was still legal.

    Sorry Obama! Even though I support you that I didn’t build this, I am all for POLYGAMY, Romney is my new candidate!

    kkken530 Reply:

    @Security Guard Class 4, Just cause his grandpa was for polygamy doesn’t mean this Romney is for it. He’s part of the “Reformed” Church of Latter Day Saints. They sold out to the U.S.Government for admission to the Union..We support “Freedom of Religion” as long as it doesn’t interfere with our beliefs..

  4. Security Guard Class 4 says:

    Romeny or Obama, possibly 250 students from harvard cheated on “intro to congress” course – BWAHAH! LOL!

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/8/30/academic-dishonesty-ad-board/

    OH my god I can’t stop laughing! We are so FREAKING DOOMED! And warren mosler wants to join that congress club of harvard boyz who have been trained to cheat and lie since birth!! Shoot higher Warren Mosler, shoot for a NEW government and president washingtons spot of being the FIRST leader of that new government, this government is FREAKING DOOMED!

  5. Save America says:

    Cutcheon, I missed Obama on reddit, but he talks about keeping the internet free, neil armstrong and NASA, and this:

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/29/3277635/president-obama-reddit-ama

    LAST UPDATE: I need to get going so I’m back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating – this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run.

    http://www.reddit.com/user/PresidentObama

    But then says this:

    But the key for your future, and all our futures, is an economy that is growing and creating solid middle class jobs – and that’s why the choice in this election is so important. The other party has two ideas for growth – more taxs cuts for the wealthy (paid for by raising tax burdens on the middle class and gutting investments like education) and getting rid of regulations we’ve put in place to control the excesses on wall street and help consumers. These ideas have been tried, they didnt work, and will make the economy worse. I want to keep promoting advanced manufacturing that will bring jobs back to America, promote all-American energy sources (including wind and solar), keep investing in education and make college more affordable, rebuild our infrastructure, invest in science, and reduce our deficit in a balanced way with prudent spending cuts and higher taxes on folks making more than $250,000/year. I don’t promise that this will solve all our immediate economic challenges, but my plans will lay the foundation for long term growth for your generation, and for generations to follow. So don’t be discouraged – we didn’t get into this fix overnight, and we won’t get out overnight, but we are making progress and with your help will make more.

  6. John O'Connell says:

    It seems to me that Ryan agrees with Greenspan that the problem is not fiscal but real, and that the promise of real benefits implied by current fiscal promises and an assumption of low inflation is not achievable.

    I don’t see what benefit would happen by reminding him of this. He’d say, “yeah, that’s right and that’s why we have a problem”.

    The key idea that MMT needs to communicate is not that a monetarily sovereign government can create all the fiat currency it needs or wants to create. They get that, and that’s what scares them. You need to show them why it isn’t so scary.

    John O'Connell Reply:

    @John O’Connell,

    Strike the low inflation thing. Benefits are indexed for inflation, so government can’t inflate its way out of this particular obligation.

  7. Save America says:

    “Because Republicans believe in empowering individuals and getting out of their way and democrats believe in a centralized government that includes job guarantees like working on collective farms in the Soviet Union.”

    Ivan, why did we go to the moon? It took big government doing that. Seems like a total waste just to plant a flag. All we got out of that was tang, and I can’t drink that stuff anymore because of my diabetes. Why do we celebrate neil armstrong? he was just a government worker with a government job? The first man in space, that russian yuri, another government worker.

    I watched this mathew modine movie – and the band played on – about aids discovery – it took the big government – CDC. Along that line, I remember Clinton holding a conference about the big government helping sequence the human genome, why? The private sector would eventually have found aids no?

    Why do we have an interstate highway? The private sector could have done it better for cheaper with toll roads everywhere. Or why darpa with the internet, the private sector would have built it.

    I am sorry Ivan, I want to believe that I am a self made man and smart and rich because I worked smarter and harder than everyone else, but Obama is right, I didn’t build that stuff.

    My problem with all of government today, where is the vision? Where are the big government projects that open up industry and innovation for the private sector to profit under? Carmack is launching rockets, but not for moonbases or mars bases. Tesla electric cars are going over the highways now instead of petro cars.

    I just don’t see any vision or leadership anywhere. I do like how mrs. romney had 5 kids (3 look like mitts kids, but the other 2 I think maybe other mormon fathers sired?), I wish every republican woman I meet would have sex at least 5 times in thier life too! Mormon polygamy, that is an idea I can get behind! That is something new, if Mitt would start talking about that, I could support that.

    Ivan Reply:

    @Save America, I learned in Econ 101 that there are certain projects where the marginal supply curve doesn’t cross the marginal demand curve until the size far exceeds any private sector venture. That includes going to the moon (or did) and includes the military and highway systems. It doesn’t included a guaranteed job.

    Otherwise, your posts are either outright insane or incredibly funny…or both!

    Security Guard Class 4 Reply:

    @Ivan, I watched this series called LEXX Ivan, it was funny, all industry was really just a feed trough for a big bug that destroyed the universe in the end. Self Replicating grey goo gone wild.

  8. Save America says:

    Is it just me or was the GOP speeches by christie and mrs romney some of the most vapid, useless uninspiring talk eva? I really feel like sarah palin was smarter than them. Poor Condi Rice, she just stared at the floor.

    Carter, Reagan, Bush 2, Clinton, Obama, there were some good speeches from what I remember listening to at thier conventions, but I fell asleep during christies speech. No calls for nuclear war or disarmament, no calls for energy infrastructure, just that he can reduce taxes. They just didn’t have any vision in anyway that I could see. Nothing about neil armstrong dying and NASA, even Bush 2 was talking a lot about NASA.

    The absurd sillyness of not even mentioning paul’s name too, It really makes me feel like silly children have taken over the GOP, all intellectual lightweights with very little vision. I called my hooker friends in Tampa and they said the senators aren’t calling them like in the old days and the few that are just want boring missionary sex, nothing fun or exciting or even creatively degrading, what a failure our government has become. Where are all the smart creative people going in society? Have we reached peak civilization?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4k8pdJ2so4&feature=relmfu Here is graham hancock talking about the last ice age, and yah it is all a bunch of hokum, but he is good at inspirational talks, christie could learn something from him.

    Save America Reply:

    @Save America, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/08/28/gop_word_cloud_here_s_a_word_cloud_of_every_speech_from_tuesday_s_gop_convention_.html

    Word Cloud from the GOP speeches, they don’t really say anything visionary, I hope the democrat speeches word cloud have some better vision and stuff like Jobs Guarantee, NASA, Foreign Policy, ENERGY independence etc pops up in thier word cloud.

    Ivan Reply:

    @Save America, Because Republicans believe in empowering individuals and getting out of their way and democrats believe in a centralized government that includes job guarantees like working on collective farms in the Soviet Union.

    Energy independence? The EPA under Obama has blocked everything that isn’t a wind mill or solar.

    Foreign policy? Other than using drones and killing OBL, complete failure. How’s that reset and open hand approach working with the Russians and Iranians?

    ESM Reply:

    @Ivan,

    And don’t forget Egypt. The parallels with Carter and Iran are striking.

    At least the Iranians were stupid enough to attack our embassy, so the Democrats here couldn’t pretend that Iran was still our ally.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    cheap shot at the job guarantee, a transitional job to facilitate the shift from unemployment to private sector employment and minimize inflation, recognizing private sector employers don’t like to hire those unemployed.

    you got a problem with that?

    Adam2 Reply:

    @Ivan, Republicans are for making as much money as possible. Not for getting out of the way or empowering anybody. This is a lie you tell yourself to make greed acceptable.

    Hence why it took me to make you admit the market was at fault during the housing bubble.

    Ivan Reply:

    @Ivan, Warren: I do have a problem with the job guarantee. I’ve posted it here before. I know it may have worked in Argentina but I don’t believe it will work here. I’d much rather a massive middle class tax cut to stimulate demand than a guaranteed make work inefficient job. I also think the guaranteed job undermines your ability to speak with 50% of the population about your policies as you instantly get dismissed as being too radical. Focus on tax cuts and you can pick up a much larger following.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    do you think it makes anything worse? seems to me it’s at least not worse than what we have today to just offer a $10/hr transition job to anyone willing and able to work? it only has to be ‘at least not worse’ for me to support it- all upside- free option, etc.

    if i come out for a balanced budget i can really increase my audience. maybe even get on tv a lot…

    ESM Reply:

    @Save America,

    “Is it just me or was the GOP speeches by christie and mrs romney some of the most vapid, useless uninspiring talk eva?”

    Well, since the last time Obama gave a speech, I guess.

    Here’s a little challenge for you. Off the top of your head, can you recite one memorable thing Obama has ever said? Whether in a speech or at a press conference. Give it a try.

    John O'Connell Reply:

    @ESM,

    “You didn’t build that.”

    John O'Connell Reply:

    @ESM,

    in 2009, a freshly-inaugurated President Obama said of his plan to fix the financial crisis that “if I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    may turn out to be correct.

    ESM Reply:

    @Save America,

    “Carter, Reagan, Bush 2, Clinton, Obama, there were some good speeches from what I remember listening to at thier conventions, but I fell asleep during christies speech.”

    Oh, just in case you didn’t notice, Christie is not the Republican nominee.

    Ed Rombach Reply:

    @ESM,

    I fell asleep during Paul Ryan’s speech.

    ESM Reply:

    @Ed Rombach,

    You must have been very tired.

    By the way, I think it is absolutely fascinating to re-read this old humdinger of a speech with the benefit of hindsight.

    Security Guard Class 4 Reply:

    @Ed Rombach, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nnz-Z7azXg

    Bill Clinton telling Paul Ryan the joys of surplus and balanced budget and no deficit spend. Ryan says yah you know the math, and then they laugh how they about to stick it to the little guy who don’t know math :(

    Democrat or Republican, the math say we are FREAKING DOOMED!

    Ed Rombach Reply:

    @Ed Rombach,

    I found John McCain’s speech quite disturbing, no… make that frightening. Presumably Team Romney OK’d his speech, which was very bellicose. In fact I watched a follow up interview of McCain by Rachel Maddow I think, who pointedly asked him if Romney/Ryan were on the same page with him on foreign intervention to which he responded yes. Regardless who wins the election, we will be intervening in Syria and be at war with Iran within 6 months and it will go sideways from there.

    Security Guard Class 4 Reply:

    @ESM, Right here in our own country we are pumping mining waste into drinking water intake and spreading benzene into our people, Syria and Iran are FREAKING DOOMED! War is good for business and great for population reduction. Rombach, what derivatives products are you going to use to hedge armageddon? Who cares if the world blows up if you can make 2 trillion on a CDO eh? LOL!

    AL. Extractive economy: “Black Warrior Riverkeeper opposes the Shepherd Bend Mine, which would discharge wastewater from coal mining into the Black Warrior’s Mulberry Fork only 800 feet from a major drinking water intake for 200,000 customers of the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB).”

    https://pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/the-list/

    PA. Fracking, “List of the harmed”: “[#1: ] Headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, nosebleeds, blood test show exposure to benzene and other chemicals.” Each example with link. Impressive.

    ESM Reply:

    @Security Guard Class 4,

    SA:

    You should really change your handle to General Jack D. Ripper.

    Security Guard Class 4 Reply:

    @Security Guard Class 4, ESM, certainly you have seen the scifi series LEXX? Stanley Tweedle, class 4 security, much better than Ripper. Tweedle had the power to destroy the whole universe (and they eventually did). The whole empire was run as a biological system serving a big bug, I am sure Erickson can get behind that idea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Tweedle

  9. Ben Johannson says:

    Why would there be any inflation risk with Social Security? All that’s happening is a partial replacement of spending which would have been lost anyway as a worker retires. It logically follows that switching workers into retirement reduces aggregate demand rather than increasing it.

    Ivan Reply:

    @Ben Johannson, Retiring workers are replaced by the growth in the work force.

    pebird Reply:

    @Ben Johannson, Depends on the productivity of the real economy when those Boomers retire. Right now we have a surplus of golf courses, cruise ships and homes in Arizona and Florida.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    but when you retire your real output is lost

    Ben Johannson Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER, Thanks for the responses.

  10. Adam2 says:

    Countrywide was a major financier of the housing bubble. CRA was not involved at all in their lending.

    You also don’t mention the derivative brokers and insurance agents that started the packaging of mortgages. Bear Stearns? AIG?

    Ivan Reply:

    @Adam2, Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, JP Morgan and Citibank did have CRA requirements and Countrywide was trying to maintain market share. However, let’s face facts. The Fannie Mae foundation had a rent or buy calculator on their website. It was not possible to enter a negative number for housing price changes. There hadn’t been a nationwide decline in home prices since the great depression and the insurers and buyers of MBS including those purchasing sub pieces and first loss pieces felt that a nationwide home price decline was a remote possibility. Only with the benefit of hindsight does everyone point at housing and say it was obvious. The markets reflected investor expectations and the markets didn’t expect the housing market we got.

    Adam2 Reply:

    @Ivan, Now you admit Countrywide as a major player. And your last sentence is that market got it wrong. Fannie Mae was a profit making corporation. How much of their influence was from making more and more profits?

    Yep the market is not omniscient. Stop believing that fairy tale.

    John O'Connell Reply:

    @Ivan,

    “Only with the benefit of hindsight does everyone point at housing and say it was obvious.”

    Not everyone. This came out in 2007, before the bubble burst:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2757699799528285056

    Ivan Reply:

    @John O’Connell, John and Adam: The markets are not omniscient or a fairy tale. They reflect the clearing levels of risk. Of course you can find someone who got it right (Paulson) and now gets it wrong (Paulson). Stop believing the conspiracy theory or the hindsight. The clearing levels of risk in 2007 reflected how participants viewed risk at that time.

  11. Adam2 says:

    Alan Greenspan didn’t answer the question.

    I think Warren Mosler did though….

    “Warren: “And the people who sold the stock then have
    the money from the sale which is the money that buys the
    government bonds.”
    Steve: “Yes, you can think of it that way.”
    Warren: “So what has happened is that the employees
    stopped buying into Social Security, which we agree
    was functionally the same as buying a government bond,
    and instead they bought stocks. And other people sold
    their stocks and bought the newly-issued government
    bonds. So looking at it from the macro level, all that
    happened is that some stocks changed hands and some
    bonds changed hands. Total stocks outstanding and total
    bonds outstanding, if you count Social Security as a
    bond, remained about the same. And so this should have
    no influence on the economy or total savings, or anything
    else apart from generating transactions costs?”
    Steve: “Yes, I suppose you can look at it that way, but I
    look at it as privatizing, and I believe people can invest
    their money better than government can.”
    Warren: “Ok, but you agree that the amount of stocks
    held by the public hasn’t changed, so with this proposal,
    nothing changes for the economy as a whole.”
    Steve: “But it does change things for Social Security
    participants.”
    Warren: “Yes, with exactly the opposite change for
    others. And none of this has even been discussed by
    Congress or any mainstream economist? It seems you
    have an ideological bias toward privatization rhetoric,
    rather than the substance of the proposal.”
    Steve: “I like it because I believe in privatization. I
    believe that you can invest your money better than
    government can.””

    In other words… Private accounts are not any more “solvent” than social security.

    MRW Reply:

    @Adam2,

    Do you have a link for this?

    Adam2 Reply:

    @MRW, You mean you haven’t read the mandatory readings yet? ;-)

    7 Innocent Deadly Frauds… Steve is Steven Moore.

    Adam2 Reply:

    @Adam2,

    Deadly Innocent…

    MRW Reply:

    @Adam2,

    I absolutely have read that book (2011), but I don’t remember that specific exchange even though it seemed familiar to me. My bad. Will search for it in the PDF. Thanks. Adam.

    Monica Smith Reply:

    @Adam2, Some people, apparently, cannot tell the difference between investments that produce real goods and services and gambling.
    As I see it, the problem was that in 1991, long term Treasury bonds were providing a dividend of 8.1% and that set the bench mark. All other investments had to promise more. The rule of thumb in real estate rental was 9%, after all expenses and taxes had been paid. The tech bubble promised more and dismantling industrial enterprise and selling off the parts also was more profitable. But then, Clinton/Gore engineered a surplus and that was interpreted as responsible for the fact that Treasury bonds could return less and, again using the Fed rates as benchmarks, banks started reducing the interest on the investments of the retirees from 6% to less than 2%. And that, in turn, sent the old folk into the waiting arms of financial advisers with “new products” that would promise them a greater return — money that then went into the housing bubble Dubya set off in 2003.
    The problem Greenspan refers to in the quote is the same one we have now — how to actually get people to invest in productive enterprise, instead of going after a gambling high. I think he was trying to compensate for the depressed interest rates by reducing the tax obligations. But gamblers aren’t persuaded to invest in productive enterprise by the amount of money won or lost. Once they get the gambling bug, they get addicted.
    The response to a crashed economy is not as easy as giving the car keys to someone else. I don’t think Obama has yet caught on that the Congress is a malevolent body. They want power without responsibility. And power, to be felt, has to hurt.

    Ivan Reply:

    @Monica Smith, The housing bubble Dubya set off in 2003? Are you kidding? Have you no understanding of the role of Fannie, Freddie, the CRA, the expansion of the CRA under Clinton, the Greenspan easy money policy, Barney Frank with “I’ll roll the dice”, Maxine Waters with her attack on OFHEO for questioning the safety and soundness of the agencies, the equity markets melting down under Clinton, pushing rates lower, and enticing investors to buy “real assets”? You just can’t help yourself but to blame everything on the Republicans and Bush.

    Adam2 Reply:

    @Ivan,
    Ivan… Dubya didn’t set off the housing bubble. But neither did the things you cite.

    In fact Monica cites bad policies of Clinton.

    Adam2 Reply:

    @Ivan, Check that.. I think Monica is referencing the “ownership society” policies of Dubya.

    Yes, being lax in regulation and fraud did help some people own homes. But those are packaged as private sector knows best libertarianism.

    It is all about rights without the responsibility. Not sustainable… Hence the bubble burst.

    Ivan Reply:

    @Ivan,
    Adam: There were many contributing factors and those were among the more meaningful.

    ESM Reply:

    @Ivan,

    The housing bubble happened for a variety of reasons and was decades in the making. It would have blown up and popped regardless of which political party was in charge.

    That being said, the government had it within its power to to prevent a financial crisis from turning into an economic crisis. If the government had acted intelligently, the financial carnage would have quickly been forgotten, much like the tech bubble collapse in 2000. The time for action was 2008 until the present. During most of that time, the Democrats were in control. They are mostly to blame. I believe the Republicans would have done better, but probably would have fallen far short of what was needed.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    the problem was loan officers defrauding their shareholders.

  12. Paolo Barnard says:

    I would really appreciate if we could make some sense of this

    “Well, I wouldn’t say that the pay-as-you-go benefits are insecure, in the sense that there’s nothing to prevent the federal government from creating as much money as it wants and paying it to somebody. The question is, how do you set up a system which assures that the real assets are created which those benefits are employed to purchase.”

    vs this

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/03/politics/03deficit.html

    How do the two go together? Thx P

    Ivan Reply:

    @Paolo Barnard, Greenspan is no fool. He understands that the govt isn’t going to run out of money. I think he believes that if private sector financial assets (cum deficits) grow faster than real GDP, inflation will eventually spike and thus the trajectory of deficit growth was unsustainable within the context of price stability and full employment. At least that’s what I’m guessing he thought.

    Joe Reply:

    @Ivan,

    “I fear that we may have already committed more fiscal resources to the baby boom generation in its retirement years than our economy has the capacity to deliver,” he told lawmakers. “If existing promises need to be changed, those changes should be made sooner rather than later.”

    Exactly, he is clearly pointing to the inflation risk of deficits and not solvency

    Art Patten Reply:

    @Joe,

    And there’s more to it than inflation risk. There’s a political question about who should have what share of command over real resources (i.e., Baby Boomers are going to have to keep learning the sharing lesson, even in their old age). There’s a good Levy (I think) paper on this somewhere…

    MRW Reply:

    @Paolo Barnard,

    I’m far more cynical. Greenspan in this 2005 article is campaigning to make lower taxes on dividends and capital gains permanent, and free up Social Security dollars for his Wall Street friends to invest in derivatives, etc. This was 2005 after all. Had Greenspan succeeded, the financial crisis would have been 10X worse.

    Greenspan never, not ever, had anyone in mind to protect except himself and Wall Street. He lied to Clinton a week before Clinton was inaugurated when he and Rubin told Clinton that there wasn’t enough money in the federal kitty to do the social programs Clinton had promised. Clinton, being a state governor, and unaware of how federal accounting worked, believed him.

    Democrats had bitterly opposed Mr. Bush’s proposal to reduce taxes on dividends and capital gains – a tax cut that Mr. Greenspan endorsed in 2003 and said on Wednesday should be made permanent.

    But Mr. Greenspan stood firm, contending that the “overriding” principle was to reduce the deficit and that Congress should find ways to pay for the cost of making the tax cuts permanent.

    “Differing people hold differing views, and compromise is essential in getting a functioning legislature to work its will,” Mr. Greenspan said.

    In his testimony on Wednesday, Mr. Greenspan repeated his strong support for a crucial element of Mr. Bush’s plan to replace part of Social Security with a system of private savings accounts.

    Indeed, Mr. Greenspan implied the need for much bigger cuts than Mr. Bush has suggested in the government’s full array of old-age entitlement programs, including Medicare as well as Social Security.

    “I fear that we may have already committed more fiscal resources to the baby boom generation in its retirement years than our economy has the capacity to deliver,” he told lawmakers. “If existing promises need to be changed, those changes should be made sooner rather than later.”

    PZ Reply:

    @MRW,

    Yeah, this is one of the fafourite lies of those who want to redistribute income from bottom 99% to top 1%, that federal government is on unsustainable financial trajectory.

    vincent Reply:

    @MRW,
    Someone should tell andrea mitchell. ;)

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    right, they don’t

    Matt Franko Reply:

    @Paolo Barnard, Paulo,

    Perhaps this is revealing:

    “Ayn Rand Institute supports women’s right to choose abortion,[45] voluntary euthanasia, and assisted suicide.[46]

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

    He may not think we have enough real resources for everyone to live a robust long-lived retirement to a ripe old age, so he promotes this fiscal falsehood in order to support policy objectives of homocide and suicide of human beings…

    iow Greenspan has always been quick to point out that it is the real resources that limit our abilities and not the fiscal, and more or less says that if the real resources are there, we dont have to worry about fiscal.

    But he may think we ARE facing a problem of insufficient REAL resources therefore, we DO have to worry about fiscal.

    So he may therefore think that the way to combat this proactively is to significantly cut back on the expenditure side, and force the system to not provide support for nutrition and medical and then cause either premature deaths thru neglect or, as we can see from the above policies that the Ayn Rand Institute advocates for, overt policies of homocide and suicide.

    He may be caught up in some pretty dark stuff. rsp,

    Save America Reply:

    @Matt Franko, Matt Franko, what is your personal experience in living around many dying people? I was in a VA nursing home for several years and can’t understand who it benefits to keep old people alive who want to die. Before that experience, I wanted to live til my natural functions stopped, after that experience, I am certainly going to find a creative way to end things, not that I don’t want to be a burden on society, that would actually be a reason for me to live, but I just don’t want to suffer the constant pain I saw so many people endure. Some endured it because their families were not ready for them to die, but many of them had been basically abandoned by their families.

    Even if you take away the laying in your urine, and the pain, just not having the ability to do anything anymore but lay in bed takes away many people’s will to live. Why make them suffer if they don’t want to hurt anymore? That seems very cruel to me,

    respectfully…

    Ed Rombach Reply:

    @Save America,

    Keynes said: “In the long run we’re all dead.”

    I heard a rumor that none of us are getting out of here alive and I reckon it will be a stiff undertaking.

    Save America Reply:

    @Save America, Keynes maybe was a little off? DNA replication without error is doable.

    Ed, that is one of the big reasons I support warren. He recognizes that we are sending our best and brightest into financial abstraction land instead of sending that same brain power in biotech researchers. The founder of interactive brokers has said all this liquidity fetish and HFT’s are worthless to the greater social good.

    Suppose some researchers have already found the fountain of youth, what is thier incentive to share with you or Matt? I read some statistics once that even if we give you the fountain of youth, 200,000 years was to be the expected lifespan, some accident would eventually get you.

    If I can go from 65 lifespan to 200K lifespan, sounds good to me. Imagine how economic models would have to change with people living 200K years?

    But then the sun goes supernova in a few billion, and I don’t think that is a solveable problem, so in the end everyone dies. Yet when I tell this to all my hippy chick friends and say peace and free love, we are all dead in the end anyways, they slap me and tell me to get a life and won’t sleep with me in a million years :(

    MamMoTh Reply:

    @Save America,

    with a 200K year lifespan, Social Security will be in real trouble!

    Matt Franko Reply:

    @Save America,

    Save, I’m not a Libertarian… rsp,

  13. Ivan says:

    Warren: This is perhaps one of your more intellectually dishonest posts. If you’re going to cite Greenspan, and clearly someone like Ryan might, then you need to repeat what he truly said which is in this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/03/politics/03deficit.html

    You and many of your followers are attempting to demonize Ryan’s positions when Nobel Prize economists and Fed Chairman are telling him he’s correct.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    yes, wouldn’t want him thinking for himself…
    ;)

    Ivan Reply:

    @WARREN MOSLER, I urged you to speak with him when he was a relatively unknown congressman from Wisconsin! I’ve said this before but you can’t blame a non-economist for believing a Nobel winner.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    You’re losing your fastball, Ivan.
    you saying there aren’t any nobel prize winners saying the opposite?

    ESM Reply:

    @Ivan,

    To be fair to Warren on this, if he had gotten through to Ryan when Ryan was a relatively unknown congressman, Ryan would still be a relatively unknown congressman.

    Ivan Reply:

    @Ivan,
    ESM: Great point!

    Losing my fastball? Well I’m nearly 50. These guys in congress aren’t particularly bright. If Greenspan says it’s unsustainable, then it’s unsustainable!

  14. Dan Lynch says:

    Excellent quote, Warren.

    It deserves a meme.

    Art Patten Reply:

    @Dan Lynch,

    There should be a list of Greenie’s more lucid moments like this one. He’s spent far too much time accommodating Rubinomics and the like.

  15. Brian says:

    Does anyone have a list of Greenspan quotes like that? I feel like I’ve heard a lot of them, but it would be nice if they were all in one place.

    In other news, I saw this on TV this morning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xsZ45Weng0 and was mystified by the first six seconds. When did “full employment” become a policy objective? If it is, why aren’t we talking about it?

    Matt Franko Reply:

    @Brian, This from the Federal Reserve Act Section 2A:

    “The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy’s long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.”

    Then there is the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act also…

    These goals are mandated by law. Rsp,

    Monica Smith Reply:

    @Matt Franko, Yes, but the Congress passed the management of the currency off to the Fed to rid itself of that obligation and added good intentions to disguise what it was about.
    As to Congressional mandates, Congress never applies them to itself. After all, the majority get into public office so they can scoff at the law and issue edicts to the citizenry. That’s what makes the mandate in the ACA so annoying.

    Save America Reply:

    @Matt Franko, https://www.facebook.com/matt.franko.56

    Matt Franko, smoking a doobie, why do you have so many tattoos? ;)

    Save America Reply:

    @Save America, Matt Franko’s twitter http://twitter.com/kidfranky17 See Matt, the AI computer said based on your picture and tweets, you probably wouldn’t be a good mesh for our organization. Respectfully…

    Save America Reply:

    @Matt Franko, Well I guess Franko aint up yet, but just wanted to have a little fun, Franko, Obama says lets keep the internet free and open?? He just posted that on his reddit interview yesterday. I am not sure if below is you, but it seems there can’t be too many matt franko in maryland. Do you know this lori franko? Does she share obama’s views on keeping internet open and free? Is it ok if agent smith knows everything about everyone? respectfully….

    http://www.salespider.com/bp-4071636/matt-franko Here it say you work at sir speedy using the copy machine to make forged 100 dollar bills cause deficits dont matter. ;)

    http://radaris.com/p/Matthew/Franko/

    Lori A Franko
    Ellicott City, MD
    10260 Tuscany
    21042 (410) 461-0639
    Oct 1963

    Columbia, MD
    5435 Thunder Hill
    21045 (410) 997-7556
    Oct 1963

    Lori Franko
    Title: Region Manager, Advanced Solutions Group at Dell
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland Area
    Industry: Information Technology and Services
    Past: Federal Sales Manager at Symantec, Federal Sales & SE Manager at Sun Microsystems, Systems Integration & Software Engineer at AT&T
    Education: Penn State University

    ——————————————————————————–

    Lori Franko
    Title: Region Manager at Symantec
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland Area
    Industry: Computer & Network Security
    Past: Region Executive Manager at Sun Microsystems

    ——————————————————————————–

    Lori Franko
    Title: Region Executive Manager at Sun Federal
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland Area
    Industry: Computer Hardware

    Brian Reply:

    @Brian,

    When did “full employment” become a fiscal policy objective? If it is, why aren’t we talking about it?

    Sorry, I meant it like this.

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    the purpose of taxation is to create unemployed the govt can then hire with it’s otherwise worthless currency.

    i don’t see any point in creating more unemployed than you want to hire?