Monday, October 6, 2014

The Market gods are angry

When did The Market become a god? And when did free people decide to bow to this golden calf of their own design? 

The high priests declare from above:

"The markets are saying..." 
"The market won't support..." 
"The market requires..."

And we timidly accept their decrees, gratefully taking what economic morsels they grant while watching as millions are turned aside with little or nothing.

When did we give The Market control of our children's education? Our nation's infrastructure? Our health services? Our political process? Our employment? Our sovereign currency?

Have we not become like a primitive culture, sacrificing our children at the whim of a medicine man in the hopes that the gods will no longer be angry and will give us some more jobs and incomes? Are we so helpless? Is there really no alternative, as the priests keep assuring us? Have we forgotten that we are a sovereign nation and a free people? 

We have forgotten what a sovereign currency is, why it matters, and what it should be used for.

We are a rich and abundant nation yet we have come to believe that we must be paupers to appease The Market gods. 

  • We have an incredible educated workforce
  • We have an army of professional educators and professors
  • We have abundant land, food and natural resources
  • We have boundless sources of renewable energy
  • We have the world's finest doctors and health care professionals, and the means to train many more
  • We have engineers and architects and construction workers and all manner of human capital, with an eager new generation hoping to learn and contribute more than ourselves
  • We have a political process designed by and for the people
  • We have a nation of entrepreneurs, innovators, pioneers, and just plain hard working, tough people who are willing to do what's needed

So who told us that we can't afford to educate our children and train the next generation of doctors and engineers? 
Who told us that we must leave millions of our people unemployed as a buffer against inflation? 
Who told us that is it too costly to have affordably-sustainable energy and clean air and water? 
Who told us that our cities can't afford to have world-class sewer systems, water treatment facilities, roads, bridges, libraries, museums, parks, hospitals, and other common infrastructure? 
Who told us that corporations are people and can outspend the people to control the political process? 
Who told us that millions must have no access to good medical care otherwise we'll all have to suffer shortages of doctors? 
Who told us that welfare is the only option to help the unemployed?
Who told us that caring for our elderly is unattainable and that our funding mechanism is going broke?

The Market gods are angry. 

They have not allowed us to recover this time around. Millions have stopped trying to find work after years of searching. The priests are telling us we need to sacrifice more: to give up our care for the needy; to stop helping the unemployed and unemployable; to sell off our public assets; to reduce spending on government services everywhere; to cut and slash and bleed until the sick patient recovers.

Oh the folly of serving the gods! 
How disastrous is the idolatry of bowing to golden calves!

A free people and sovereign nation is never constrained by any market gods for determining what they wish if it is readily available in their currency. Affordability is NEVER a constraint for a currency-issuing nation. Yes, there are questions as to where to spend and what to tax that should all be debated on their merits. These are political questions, not financial limits. The starting point for these discussions is that we have a sovereign currency that affords us the policy space to do what is right.

We can afford to lower taxes on businesses and incomes. We can afford employment for all who seek work. We can afford education for our children. We can afford to provide access to health care for all. We can afford state-of-the-art infrastructure and transportation. We can afford freedom of opportunity. 

There is no freedom in serving The Market gods. Yes, markets and capitalism play an important role but they do not rule us. A truly free people can choose life and prosperity and equal opportunity for its citizens, without yielding to the tyranny of overbearing governments or deistic markets.

Some gods shouldn't be appeased. They should be demoted and learn to serve the people.