Bookmarked Into the muck (

Time? For? Socialism? What happened when Thomas Piketty descended from the elegant mathematical Olympus of economic theory into the muck of political and economic crises, public debates, social confrontations, and competing visions of progress?

On the release of Time for Socialism, a collection of Thomas Piketty’s Le Monde columns from 2016 to 2021, Noam Maggor explores Piketty’s work in general and reflects upon his legacy.
Replied to Fifty Years of Tax Cuts for Rich Didn’t Trickle Down, Study Says (

The paper, by David Hope of the London School of Economics and Julian Limberg of King’s College London, found that such measures over the last 50 years only really benefited the individuals who were directly affected, and did little to promote jobs or growth.

Who would have thought tickle down economics did not actually trickle down?

Replied to 50 Years of Trickle-Down Economics Didn’t Work (

Trickle-down economics is the economic theory that lowering taxes on the wealthy and on businesses will stimulate business investment to the long-term benefit of society. The idea is that by sprinkling a huge amount of money into the bank accounts and stock portfolios of the wealthy, a portion of that money will “trickle down” to everyone else. Despite ample evidence that it hasn’t worked, trickle-down has been an economic driver for discussions about taxes in the US since at least the Reagan administration. The newest research that argues that tax cuts for the rich don’t work for anyone other than the rich comes in the form of working paper by David Hope of the London School of Economics and Julian Limberg of King’s College London called The Economic Consequences of Major Tax Cuts for the Rich.

Who would have thought that trickle-down economics did not actually work?

Almost seems as mysterious as the missing water from the Murray-Darling basin.

Bookmarked How come Australia suddenly has billions of dollars to pay for welfare? (triple j)

“We’ve been told there’s no magic money tree,” one expert says. “Well there is and they’ve just used it.”

James Purtill discusses Modern Monetary Theory and how it provides the means to fund the current crisis:

Here’s that idea in more detail: MMT says inflation will only happen when aggregate demand (all the purchasing being done in the economy) outstrips the goods and services available for purchase (the supply). If there are a lot of dollars trying to purchase stuff, and not enough stuff to purchase, that stuff becomes more expensive.

So long as the economy keeps producing enough goods and services, the theory goes, it won’t have too much inflation.

For this reason, MMT advocates say, governments shouldn’t spend freely during periods of high employment, as the economy can’t increase production to meet the extra demand and would therefore be at risk of inflation.

This may spell the end of the neo-liberal ideal.

Liked For the first time in a long time, we’re setting up a generation to be worse off than the one before it (The Conversation)

Most Australians want to leave the world a better place for those that come after them.

It’s time to make sure we do it.

Lots of older Australians are doing their best, individually, supporting their children via the “Bank of Mum and Dad”, caring for grandchildren, and scrimping through retirement to leave their kids a good inheritance.

These private transfers help a lucky few, but they don’t solve the broader problem. In fact, inheritances exacerbate inequality because they largely go to the already wealthy.

We need policy changes.

Reducing or eliminating tax breaks for “comfortably off” older Australians would be a start.

Bookmarked The Invention of Money (The New Yorker)

Marco Polo was right to be amazed. The instruments of trade and finance are inventions, in the same way that creations of art and discoveries of science are inventions—products of the human imagination. Paper money, backed by the authority of the state, was an astonishing innovation, one that reshaped the world. That’s hard to remember: we grow used to the ways we pay our bills and are paid for our work, to the dance of numbers in our bank balances and credit-card statements. It’s only at moments when the system buckles that we start to wonder why these things are worth what they seem to be worth.

John Lancaster looks at the invention of money and its influence on today’s economy through two historical figures: John Law and Walter Bagehot. Through Law’s work in France, he laid the foundation for the use of money to facilitate trade and commerce.

This idea of Law’s led him to the idea of a new national French bank that took in gold and silver from the public and lent it back out in the form of paper money. The bank also took deposits in the form of government debt, cleverly allowing people to claim the full value of debts that were trading at heavy discounts: if you had a piece of paper saying the king owed you a thousand livres, you could get only, say, four hundred livres in the open market for it, but Law’s bank would credit you with the full thousand livres in paper money.

Law’s notion of centralised banking is what continues today:

Today, we live in a version of John Law’s system. Every state in the developed world has a central bank that issues paper money, manipulates the supply of credit in the interest of commerce, uses fractional-reserve banking, and features joint-stock companies that pay dividends. All of these were brought to France, pretty much simultaneously, by John Law.

What Bagehot brought to the table was a focus on gold:

He thought that money, real money, was gold, and gold alone. All the other forms of currency in the system were merely different kinds of credit.

This was then held by the central bank.

What Lancaster highlights is how the successes and failures of both men continue to be played out again today. The central role of nationalism is therefore interesting to consider when thinking about the world of Amazon and Facebook.