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Peter Cooper: Heteconomist

‘Unproductive’ Labor and Marxist Resistance to MMT

Rather than engage in histrionics over what is obviously a supply-side or cost-push (rather than demand-side or demand-pull) inflationary period, I have been pondering Marxist resistance to MMT. When viewed from the standpoint of Marx’s theory of value, the resistance makes little sense, since there is nothing in MMT necessarily incompatible with a conception of value based in labor time. When viewed from the standpoint of politics, it also makes little sense, because there is nothing in...

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‘Unproductive’ Labor and Marxist Resistance to MMT

I have been pondering Marxist resistance to MMT. From the standpoint of Marx’s theory of value, the resistance makes little sense, since there is nothing in MMT necessarily incompatible with a conception of value based in labor time. From the standpoint of politics, it also makes little sense, because there is nothing in MMT necessarily incompatible with the Marxist view that capitalism is irredeemable and a transition to socialism/communism the only worthwhile alternative. MMT in itself...

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A Currency-Issuing Government Must Spend Before Non-Government Can Meet Its Net Financial Liabilities

In reaction to MMT statements that government spending must occur before taxes can be paid, it is sometimes noted that a household could pay taxes by borrowing from a bank that subsequently obtains reserves from the central bank. Whether this is true from inception of a modern money system will depend on the terms set down by the central bank in advancing reserves to banks. But supposing the terms are permissive, would it change anything of macroeconomic significance? Let’s take a brief...

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A Currency-Issuing Government Must Spend Before Non-Government Can Meet Its Net Financial Liabilities

In reaction to MMT statements that government spending must occur before taxes can be paid, it is sometimes noted that a household could pay taxes by borrowing from a bank that subsequently obtains reserves from the central bank. Whether this is true from inception of a modern money system will depend on the terms set down by the central bank in advancing reserves to banks. But supposing the terms are permissive, would it change anything of macroeconomic significance? Let’s take a brief...

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Comments on Recent Marxist Claims about MMT and Incidentally Kalecki

This post concerns ten recent Marxist claims about MMT and one about Kalecki (a forerunner, in certain respects, of MMT). Some Marxists claim that: MMT fixates on the monetary, ignoring the real. MMT ignores social structure in favor of tweaks of the monetary system. MMT is incompatible with Marx on money. MMT falsely claims that fiat money changes the role and nature of money. MMT ignores the value of money. MMT-informed policy would destroy the value of money. MMT-informed policy would...

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Comments on Recent Marxist Claims about MMT and Incidentally Kalecki

This post concerns ten recent Marxist claims about MMT and one about Kalecki (a forerunner, in certain respects, of MMT). Some Marxists claim that: MMT fixates on the monetary, ignoring the real. MMT ignores social structure in favor of tweaks of the monetary system. MMT is incompatible with Marx on money. MMT falsely claims that fiat money changes the role and nature of money. MMT ignores the value of money. MMT-informed policy would destroy the value of money. MMT-informed policy would...

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Marx and MMT – Remarks on Long-Term Policy and Social Implications

In recent exchanges on Marx and MMT, one question has concerned the capacity of government spending to encourage private investment and promote employment. Some Marxists appear to regard MMT as incompatible with Marx on this question. My own view is that Marx and MMT are compatible, both in general and on this particular question, and that the contributions of both, when viewed together, hold an important long-term social implication. What follows is a set of remarks outlining my position....

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Marx and MMT – Remarks on Long-Term Policy and Social Implications

In recent exchanges on Marx and MMT, one question has concerned the capacity of government spending to encourage private investment and promote employment. Some Marxists appear to regard MMT as incompatible with Marx on this question. My own view is that Marx and MMT are compatible, both in general and on this particular question, and that the contributions of both, when viewed together, hold an important long-term social implication. What follows is a set of remarks outlining my position....

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‘Money’ in Marx and MMT and Social Implications

For both Marx and MMTers, money is a social relationship. For Marx, the social relationship is fetishized in a commodity for reasons that stem from the nature of commodity production. Money only becomes necessary, for Marx, when it is impossible for a currency to represent social labor time directly, which is the case under commodity production in which concrete labors are converted into abstract labor (i.e. marxian value) only indirectly through the workings of the ‘law’ of value. For...

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‘Money’ in Marx and MMT and Social Implications

For both Marx and MMTers, money is a social relationship. For Marx, the social relationship is fetishized in a commodity for reasons that stem from the nature of commodity production. Money only becomes necessary, for Marx, when it is impossible for a currency to represent social labor time directly, which is the case under commodity production in which concrete labors are converted into abstract labor (i.e. marxian value) only indirectly through the workings of the ‘law’ of value. For...

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