I wish someone would hook you up with some good eats while I explain that this folk theory of MMT is incorrect. It is a common mistake to presume MMT only applies to the U.S. due to its military-backed dollar hegemony. 1/x
MMT's argument is that money is not & has never emerged from private barter-like exchanges. Money is, rather, a creature of governance & law, understood in a very broad sense that includes e.g. Incan "knot" accounting as well as the medieval Church's taxation & banking. 2/x
Money on MMT's analysis, then, is a credit/debt instrument that is widely receivable & can be used to settle public debts first, private second. In the nomenclature, we say "taxes drive money" or "money is a tax credit." 3/x
Upon this basis, MMT further insists that, because money is created as a social relation within said governmental & legal matrices, the authorities responsible for issuing & redeeming a money unit can never run out. 4/x
This works across registers & scales. Thus, for instance, the Japanese government cannot run out of yen any more than American Airlines can run out of frequent flyer miles. Any authority that defines & issues credits maintains a nominally infinite supply of said credits. 5/x
Nothing in any of this, meanwhile, presumes a governance project like Japan or even American Airlines requires a massive military or to become a global empire in order to spend as needed. 6/x
There are limits to spending, on MMT's view. But this has nothing to do with game of "lacking" or "finding" the money. Instead, spending is limited primarily by the material & social capacities in a collective at a particular moment. 7/x
So, say the U.S. govt wants to create a #m4all system. The question is not HoW aRe We GoInG tO pAy FoR iT but rather how are we going to *resource* it? Do we have enough hospital beds, trained nurses & doctors, etc.? If not, can we educate & employ the presently unemployed? 8/x
Can we transfer people from the carbon economy into the #m4all economy? If we are putting thousands in the medical insurance industry out of work, how, where & when are we going to re-employ them in, e.g., a broader Green New Deal economy such that we avoid a recession? 9/x
Back to the non-hegemonic spending question, a currency issuing government can similarly afford to spend on public investments so long as it is attending to the same complex quandaries. 10/x
So, say Senegal wishes to issue money after years of colonial exploitation, extraction & "export-led growth" under the colonial CFA franc monetary system. 11/x
As @nssylla explains, Senegal will have to not only contest the austerity of the CFA Franc's legacy, but also carefully target spending toward building up a sustainable food & energy production system, reversing its import-based debt economy. 12/x mronline.org/2019/03/15/con…
My colleague @FadhelKaboub is also quite good on this. 13/x mronline.org/2018/07/07/the…
As Thomas Degregori has argued, moreover, "resources are not, they become." 14/x jstor.org/stable/4225924…
That is to say, sure, if Senegal wants to pursue modern industrial & technological "growth," then it's likely going to be a long & difficult haul, not to mention the revolutionary politics it will require. 15/x
However, Senegal can also constitute endogenous materials, labor, & knowhow as alternative resources that contribute to a very different project of social production, participation, & above all valuation. 16/x
I see that @MaxSeijo has linked to another thread I wrote this topic, so I think I've stop here & let you catch up. Let me know you have any questions. 17/x
just dropping off this thread from @naty on the way to lunch

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More from @videotroph

18 Jul
I had a great time yesterday participating in the Manchester Summer Academy on Law, Money & Technology: Transforming Political Economy. I typed out my own short remarks summarizing my research & 2018 book.

Here they are in 25 tweets: 1/25
Over the last several years, I've sought to rethink the critical theory and aesthetics inaugurated by the Frankfurt School and carried on in diverse ways by many others by re-grounding this project in the public money approach developed by Modern Monetary Theory (or MMT). 2/x
Historically, critical theory has upheld various versions of the Marxist ontology of money. 3/x
Read 26 tweets
1 Jan

One of the amazing things about this moment is witnessing several self-avowed leftists such as Doug Henwood explicitly defend and lean further into the reactionary logics of sound finance against Modern Monetary Theory. 1/9

As @NMarxism has been pointing out, this gesture is taken to a new self-flagellating extreme in the above piece by @meadwaj, former economic advisor to @UKLabour's Shadow Chancellor @johnmcdonnellMP. 2/9
In opposition to "plenty of 'Keynesians' out there" (read "MMT"), Meadway claims that Labour must frame their message to voters in zero-sum and tightly-costed terms in order to win future elections. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
20 Oct 19
THREAD on #decolonialMMT:

Vital for any decolonial MMT/Green New Deal project will be to problematize entrenched binary oppositions between modern Western and indigenous peoples, particularly concerning money and various contrasting modes of governance. 1/x
Of course, we must both critique & resist the modern West's instrumental rationality & systemic exploitation of social & ecological relations. 2/x
When it comes to the social & ecological ontologies that ground such contestation, however, we cannot take the modern West's word for it, as if what it says about its own modern monetary societies actually coincides with how modern money is structured, what it does & can do. 3/x
Read 16 tweets
9 Oct 19
A thread on what #MMT has to say re: small, non-hegemonic or so-called "developing" countries, a vital topic for any truly global & decolonial political economy. @FadhelKaboub has been working on this for decades. But recently many MMTers & fellow-travelers r now taking it on 1/x
Let's review MMT basics: fiscally speaking, any currency-issuing gov't with a floating exchange rate & productive infrastructures can afford to mobilize available persons & materials in order to serve communities & the planet. MMT terms this "monetary sovereignty." 2/x
According to MMT, monetary sovereignty is neither absolute, nor an all-or-nothing condition. Instead, monetary sovereignty comes in many qualities & degrees. Here is a good introductory talk on the topic by my colleague @NathanTankus at @law_uom. 3/x
Read 18 tweets
14 Sep 19
It's bonkers we moderns always ask what "backs" money, or where it "gets its value." Wishing away money's embedded macro foundations, we fret that money arises without broader sociopolitical supports & material connections & then try to anchor it yet another place or thing. 1/4
The absurdity of this becomes clear if we ask the same ridiculous question about other media. What "backs" books & radio, I wonder? Whence arises the "value" of films and websites? The premises of such questions are as nonsensical as any answers one might offer in response. 2/4
The point is not that we should stop considering and critiquing the production of social value. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep 19
This is a good piece. In addition to nicely sketching out the situation in Europe, it shows that the MMT framework is irreducible to any belligerent or naturalizing defense of the 'Westphalian' nation-state. 1/5 bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
The point, for MMT, is that any monetary system requires a strong fiscal center empowered with the capacity to spend as needed. Anything less is really collective suicide. 2/5
The Euro currency zone not only lacks such a center; it's been politically and legally engineered to exclude anything of the sort. For this reason, the Euro currency project needs to be either totally restructured or dismantled. 3/5
Read 5 tweets

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