Somehow I forgot to respond to this reply, so let’s take it piece by piece.

I’m not totally sure if you fully read or comprehended the article, but we’ll go through it anyway.

No matter what games government plays with the money, Social Security, Medicare for All, and every other act of Washington’s supposed largesse is ultimately about physical resources being diverted from what their owners wanted to what politicians want. The difference between taxation, deficit spending, and inflating the currency is merely from whom and how overtly the diversion happens.

This is extremely misleading and substantially false. For example, when the government creates money by making Social Security payments, it is not ‘diverting’ any physical resources. It is simply creating money. It is true that the establishment of money in the first place via tax liability which can only be canceled by the government’s own tokens is a coercive act. It is also true that the government’s purpose in imposing a tax liability to to generate demand for its tokens is to provision itself with resources in labor. The faulty premises implicit in your reasoning are 1) that all available labor and resources are sufficiently employed by the market and 2) that the USD could exist without coercive tax liabilities. Your third and more explicit premise, that government use of resources for the public purpose is not socially useful(or even primarily harmful), is a bit ridiculous. If you’re an AnCap then we can have that discussion. That’s a different question than the objective veracity of MMT, though.

Taxation is the most transparent. Government clearly identifies a group of citizens and takes a definable amount of money from each, and with it those people’s claim on whatever they would have bought with it.

Here you are leaving out the fact that government spending is the only mechanism that allows citizens to have money in their pockets in the first place. Without government spending (money creation), there is no money.

Deficit spending is a bit more subtle. Government gets some people (generally the rich, institutional investors, or foreign governments) to forego their claims on physical resources and surrender them to the Treasury in exchange for bonds. In return it promises to force future taxpayers to forego even more physical resources and repay the bondholders with interest. Government debt is a wealth transfer from taxpayers to the kinds of people who buy Treasury bonds.

No. Investors voluntarily buy Treasury bonds because they offer a risk-free return. Taxpayers do not ‘pay for’ the interest on Treasury bonds- bond interest is paid the same way all government spending occurs. I.e, money creation. I go through the operations in the article if you would like to review.

Further, the use of the term ‘borrowing’ to describe Treasury bond sales is a bit misleading. Investors (banks) are purchasing these bonds on the primary market with funds that were already created by the federal government. That is the only possible way they would have reserves to clear the purchase in the first place. To use the word ‘borrowing’ in this context would really mean ‘borrowing back’, which is a strange concept.

Inflation is the sneakiest of all. Government prints money, bids away physical resources from the private sector, and thereby erodes the purchasing power of everyone with a savings account, a wage, or a wallet. It forces us to forego consumption of physical resources so the government can consume.

This is not how inflation works, though admittedly I did simplify the MMT position a bit in the piece. I may expand in a future article.

Medicare for All demands a lot more physical resources than are currently being allocated to health care. No matter what legerdemain the government uses for the accounting, those resources must displace other uses the private sector would have devoted them to.

Sure M4A demands more resources and labor than are currently allocated by the market. In fact, much of this labor and resources may currently be idle. Your position seems to be that if the market does not allocate enough resources to healthcare to make sure people are not dying of preventable diseases because they can’t afford to get treated, then the sanctity of the market still supersedes the sanctity of human life. That is a point of ethical disagreement for us.

Corporate accountant and former auditor with degrees in philosophy and accounting.

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