Quotes

“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.”
– John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, Feb. 1936


We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. Out of the collapse of a prosperity whose builders boasted their practicality has come the conviction that in the long run economic morality pays. We are beginning to wipe out the line that divides the practical from the ideal; and in so doing we are fashioning an instrument of unimagined power for the establishment of a morally better world.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Second Inaugural Address,” January 11, 1944


“We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

● The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

● The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

● The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

● The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

● The right of every family to a decent home;

● The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

● The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

● The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.”
– Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Second Bill of Rights,” January 11, 1944


“… the United States is a currency issuer. Currency issuers are completely different than currency users. This is a really big deal. Cities, businesses and households like yours and mine are all currency users. Our federal government is not. Currency issuers are unique; they should not behave like currency users. If you can grasp that, you’re already further along than most of our politicians.
– Geoff Coventry, Modern Money Basics Video It’s the People’s Money, June 1, 2017


Government debt is better thought of as money. Government debt never has to be paid back. Government debt is not a burden on future generations, even when held by foreign investors.
– Steven Hail, Government debt versus household debt: ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ debt explained, Independent Australia, May 2017


Let’s be clear.

Austerity is inappropriate fiscal policy.
Austerity is irresponsible.
Austerity is ideologically-driven horseshit.

The purpose of austerity has nothing to do with getting a sovereign currency-issuing government’s finances ‘back on track’ so that it can ‘live within its means’. A sovereign currency-issuing government such as the US, UK and Australian governments face absolutely no hard financial constraint upon their ability to spend. They spend their currencies into existence at will. They alone are the only source of their respective currencies. Taxation is not revenue for these governments. None of these governments can ever go ‘broke’ involuntarily.

The purpose of austerity is to deliberately shift government spending away from the public purpose with the intent to deliver up that which belongs to the people as a whole into the hands of the few.

Austerity is grand larceny.
Austerity is a deliberate act of violence committed by politicians on the citizens which they supposedly represent.

Austerity is murder.
— Ellis Winningham, Facebook,July 3, 2017


Having a lot of government debt can be good or bad, but the problem is never that the government runs out of dollars. We print dollars.


— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) January 2, 2018


“Whoa, cowboy! Are you telling me that the government can just make money appear out of nowhere, like magic?”
– Stephanie Kelton, Congress can give every American a pony (if it breeds enough ponies), LA Times op-ed, Sept. 29, 2017


“Anything that is technologically feasible is financially affordable for the sovereign issuer of the currency. It comes down to technology, resources, and political will. We’ve got the technology to take care of our own. We’ve got the resources to take care of our own. All that is missing is the political will.”
– L. Randall Wray, An Alternative Meme for Money, Part 5: A Spending Meme, New Economic Perspectives, Dec. 10, 2012


“What is true of government as a whole is also true of particular programs. Social Security and Medicare are government programs; they cannot go bankrupt, and they cannot fail to meet their obligations unless Congress decides–say on the recommendation of the Simpson-Bowles Commission–to cut the benefits they provide. The exercise of linking future benefits and projected payroll tax revenues is an accounting farce, done for political reasons. That farce was started by FDR as a way of protecting Social Security from cuts. But it has become a way of creating needless anxiety about these programs and of precluding sensible reforms, like expanding Medicare to those 55 and older, or even to the whole population.”
— James K. Galbraith In Defense of Deficits March 4, 2010