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What can I use if I don't have a utility bill as proof of where I live when I apply for my California ID? Can I use letters from Social Security or Medicare? What about hospital bills?

Applying for a Real ID is a pain in the butt! If you are prone to tears, this would likely be the button pusher. If anger is your usual emotional expression, do what you need to do in advance before you go to go in as calm as possible with your best version of patience. My experience was awful. I had been warned in advance. It was far worse than I expected.So find your best version of you. Brace to be treated like a criminal. And in case anyone or you didn’t notice, I’m a white female American born, no accent. I just well enough. I’m a young senior. Nothing, I don’t think, about me would have someone think I’m an illegal.I had been warned in advance where the harder offices are so I avoided those. I went to a Los Angeles area DMV. I also dealt directly with a very nice helpful manager. However, getting to the nice manager meant getting past the “screening witch” who seemed to be overly enjoying her power trip. She had to first see all my documents.I had watched the two people ahead of me who also had a lot of documents have emotional melt downs with her.I had a thick folded of options. I felt confident until I had my turn.SHE SEEMS TO HATE RENTERS!Here’s what I had:US passport ( take your birth certificate if you have it in the same name)CA existing current licenseCurrent vehicle registrationProof of valid vehicle insuranceSocial Security IDMail from Social SecurityPrint out of my awards letter with my address on it.rental agreement ( the witch wasn’t happy because it wasn’t in a CA state legal form but instead was a legal template my landlord got from probably online. There was nothing wrong with it. Nothing. I’m in the legal field. )My utilities are included in rent. (She wasn’t happy about that. She wasn’t happy my cell bill is paid by a third party. )Medical Insurance(!!!) Medical insurance BILLING. (I don’t get any other mail at my residence. It all goes to my private mail address. However, insurance company’s mailing error is what saved my tush at DMV witch station. It had the address matching my rental agreement.)Business license with my name and address. ( seems she didn’t understand I can’t get that without being LEGALLY IN THE US)Private mailbox rental agreement showing my real residential address ( this wasn’t good enough for the screening witch)Storage contract with my name and mailing address on it ( since it wasn’t showing my residential address, she didn’t like it)I had other bills and mail all showing my private mailbox address.Anyway, twice in line for screening which as she sent me back to my vehicle for my OLD vehicle registration for years prior showing I had been here awhile. Go figure! In the end about two hours later I was advanced to the managers window for “special screening” since I didn’t have utilities in my name ( primarily this reason) and second, I didn’t want my residential address showing on my license.—At the managers window I waited about 45 minutes in a line with one ahead of me. At this point I’m pushing three hours here. ( and I had the initial advantage of being in the line for people with disabilities.)[Note to anyone with a standing or walking disability - BRING YOUR ROLLATOR. Otherwise you may be doing a lot of standing on hard floors. ]Once with the kind manager, who had already had a day of people complaining about the “screening witch”, she had to look up stuff and make several calls to learn how to keep my address off my license. Finally got that handled. After the nice manager, I was sent to Camera and then left.Total time there a little over 4–1/2 hours.About six weeks later my Real ID arrived. I got it early so I could fly.—Flash forward seven months to renewing it when my birthday rolled around.Easy and done and out in 15 minutes! Went to Ventura County. I walked in about 4:40. I was out before they closed at 5pm.No witch.Filled out the application on the computer, got a call number. Was walked over to the guy to process. He was a nice guy who I showed my real ID to and paid. I did a simple eye chart reading screening. We sent around to camera and then done.Very positive experience! What a difference.—So what I don’t know is - was it LA vs Ventura County and why it went so much faster and better - or - are renewals just way easier now?The Real IDs are needed to enter all Govt buildings and libraries and to fly as of October 2020. Your “movement“ is officially being tracked once you have it. Any place you show a drivers license - banks, medical, insurance, AAA, etc., you are tracked. Welcome to the new national ID card system. (Similar to communist countries.)

If I found a cash pallet ($24 million) hidden by drug dealers, how can I use it without getting caught? Assuming the individuals involved in the illegal dealings are dead, how can I turn this money into legitimate funds without raising a red flag?

As a preface to readers: this is HYPOTHETICAL.Hypothetical-1. of, based on, or serving as a hypothesis. 2. a hypothetical proposition or statement.The fact that you have to tell adults…with computers, who can ostensibly read higher than an 8th grade level that something is hypothetical online now says far more about people than the internet.Money FoundThis will take time to work out, you have to know that as soon as you’re standing there looking at the pallet. If possible, sit down with some paper and a pen next to the pallet and write out your first 10 steps. You’ll need a basic map before you launch into action. 1 hour to plan.I agree with: tell no one. Ever.Your cover story is a dying relative in California. Go, within 3 days. You need a 3 day head start. All of us have about a week or so before jobs, family, friends would inquire about us. Buy a burner phone—you lost yours at the airport and call a short list of people every week, destroy burner, burn the burner to a smokey, plastic cinder. Always call from a new burner from a new location. If possible leave them on vehicles heading THAT way. North, west, south, east, any direction you’re not going. Trains, buses, planes.If you do it right you can even reappear in your old life in 5 years after you have secreted, moved and secured the cash…..elsewhere.My HYPOTHETICAL logic to this scenario and the action is that you can’t be absolutely sure that the money is untraceable or won’t be missed. Assume, in this HYPOTHETICAL scenario, that someone, somewhere, even if all of the drug dealers are dead, knows about the money.Year 1Logistics and MovementFirst issue: how much does $1 million weigh?$1M in $100 bills = 22.05 pounds.$1M in $20 bills = 110.5 pounds.So it’s 24x the above. Let’s say it’s probably $20s. So half a ton. 24 trips to move it. You’ll need a van or a U Haul truck.I’d get boxes, duffel bags and rent a car/SUV. Rent a storage room. You have about a day to move it. I would make a stop at a motel room and drop off a few duffel bags, just in case I returned and something was going on—-I still got 10%-20%. $2–$4 million in the hotel room, this might be my expenses cash anyway.Let’s say I get it all. All $24 million safely into the truck.Go back to the hotel room and rest, make a reservation at another hotel. Find a car/truck to buy for cash—-under $2000 online/newspaper. Get this truck—-better yet an RV, buy it, transfer money from storage room to RV/truck. Most storage places aren’t paying attention if you’re going back and forth, in and out. You need to move the money from your first stop and scatter your trail.Your first trail is to the storage place and the hotel.Then to a New hotel.Then to a New storage place.In the interim, you get your van/RV (preferable) and you decide where to go. I would go South, first.Once South I would buy another truck/van/RV for cash. I’d want a POS. Nothing fancy. Leave the first old van/RV in front of a motel that you’ve rented a room for several days. Long enough for you to get back on the road. The beauty of the cash is that you can pay for gas, food, supplies in cash along the way and your trail is reasonably scattered with similar vans/trucks/RVs.You have to keep moving to scatter your trail.(The logic of scattering your trail is that if someone were to follow you, it’s harder to follow someone who stops places, ostensibly to set up—-you have the #1 Storage Room—-so they have to watch that room or break into it. Are you coming back? It’s going to be difficult to break into a storage room so they have to wait. While they are waiting, you’ve boogied on to another storage place and down the same thing. What this does, for a minimal amount of time and money is it forces anyone trying to track you to stop and watch a cold trail. Are you near the storage room? Is the money in it? Are you coming back to it?My HYPOTHETICAL acts as if someone will come after you. The key to evading a tracker, legal or otherwise, isn’t speed or distance, that can always be surpassed but time. You want to wear out your trackers. You want them criss crossing their own tracks trying to discern yours and your intentions. If I find $24 million, I’m balls to the wall going to play this out once I touch the money and move it. And I play to win, on my terms.)Then I’d back track to NJ if I started in NY. You need to be somewhere that you’re familiar with but new to where you’re going.You need a ghetto/lower middle class neighborhood to rent a house in.(The logic of this—but I didn’t consider this, because Black and Latino people don’t think about this as Black and Latino people is that we can hide easier among our own people than not. $24 million is cartel level cash—-that’s White and Latino, Mexican, Colombian, etc.. They won’t be able to ease into a Black/Latino ghetto unnoticed by the residents. As an individual Black man I can rent a room or a house and drop in and be invisible and quickly build rapport. Poverty is all about relationships. I passively can get half a dozen watchers keeping their eyes open faster than I could in secure community whee I stand out.)Another storage room. Cash.(The logic is now I’ve created 3–4 storage rooms in 3–4 parts of the Eastern seaboard. if I paid upfront for 6 months to a year and left boxes, and even some money in them — one if trackers break in, they find the money or they find nothing. But they now have to break into a place, commit a crime, evade storage security. News, the storage place, someone will alert me that my unit was broken into. This immediately answers whether I’m being tracked or not. Anyone tracking the money will have an idea of it’s size and weight so they’ll think a storage place is logical as I figure out what to do with the money. Not the RV/truck itself. Especially if I’m on my second or third truck/RV. It generally takes the DMV in multiple states anywhere from one month to six to update ownership records.)I might not even transfer title of the vehicle I’m in until I get a another one. I dump one truck in Charlotte. Buy another in Raleigh, don’t change the registration. Drive it for a day to Virginia and buy the next truck there. A tracker again has to wait for North Carolina to update. That’s potentially a month before they start expanding to neighboring states. If I’m really hot, I’d not buy the 3rd vehicle in a neighboring state but in the state on the other side — instead of Virginia, buy in Maryland. A tracker now has to systematically go from state to state using NC as a start point — but should they track west, south or north? That questioning — gives me time.In California you can buy a brand new car, and not have plates for 6 months (they’re changing the law — but Steve Jobs regularly replaced his car with the exact same car before the plates deadline occurred…so technically he was driving a car with no traceable plates.)Your next goal is to get something in another state that you control. Another storage room.I would separate the money. Maybe three or four drops over two or three states. At some point you might need to walk away from everything and you’ll need to walk away, period, never look back, don’t go back to your place, no clothes, no mementos, nothing. Just walk.(The logic is I’ve bought some time. Maybe a month, maybe 3–4 months. I’ve also created a human network (storage attendants, police, newspapers, etc.) as unknowing watchers to keep an eye out for trackers after me. But I’ve gained time. Now I have to long-haul ass because the east coast is too hot. Yet on the other hand that’s what a tracker might think I’m doing so I have to double blind myself. I go old school. Old Native school.Native American war parties would attack a camp, fort, etc.. Draw out the enemy. Sometimes the force was too great and the war party would have to run, retreat. The enemy might know that it was Sioux or Apache or Narragansett so they would know we’re heading upland 200 miles to where the tribe camp is with their reinforcements and more importantly women and children. The war party on the run would intentionally do this criss-crossing game, leaving behind war party members to distract, delay and confuse the enemy. This might mean if there were 10 of you that along the 200 mile trek, you left behind 5 people to sometimes start a fight, the enemy would stop. 3 to run tracks to the east rather than the north east, creating the tracks of ten, the enemy would follow. 2 more would circle behind the enemy and attack them from behind. This gave the fastest 5 men time to get to the village and move the village.But with $24 million I have to always assume trackers are coming. I’m playing for time. I also have to assume that the trackers will get close to me, no matter what, so I must have a bug out plan. Because no one can be left alive over this $24 million, once you take the money, any of it, it’s now your life. Or your death. Your only chance is to decide, on your own terms, how you’ll live and die. Like a Sioux war party.)The Art of Disappearing in Plain SightNow the real work begins. You have to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life and where. The challenge of America is that you’ll always be looking over your shoulder from wherever this money came from. Maybe you can get scot-free away, maybe not. $24 million is different than a few million. $24 million suggests the originator can travel abroad, so you have to consider where you can and can’t go. The places are limited.Monaco.Fiji Islands.Australia.Africa (South Africa — maybe).Rio.France.I would go to the airport and buy tickets to several North American cities leaving on varying dates. Go to the loading gate, check in and then walk away if possible. You need to create a trail, a lot of false positives. This is easier to do with trains and buses, at least a dozen tickets going to multiple points. You have to become a ghost. When someone comes looking for you, you need them checking a dozen trails by train, car, bus, plane — it might mean your life.I’d then use a year in seclusion, bouncing from cash hotels to cash hotels, using a fake ID to plot and plan my next moves.(A point about ID came up, needing it for hotels. Credit cards. You can use gift cards and even Hotel gift cards or online site gift cards. You can make a reservation with a card and pay in cash when you arrive.)The next big question is how much money are you willing to spend to keep $20 million? It will cost you several million to keep the $20 million.I’d use the year to find people in financial distress. Real estate developers. Financiers. Attorneys. Auctioneers. But they have to be knowledgeable and right on the edge of desperate. Not a criminal. Someone who is motivated to help you, hopefully several someones who don’t know each other. You need someone INSIDE of a high money system to move your money.Test cash — say 10% as a brokers fee to someone to move $1-$5 million. You need a credible lie as to why you have this cash. That’s the biggest challenge. Now here’s the kicker: the government will eventually notice cash deposits but how long is that eventually? A tax period? A year? What if I deposit on say January 1st of 2020? Then logically I might not have to answer for it until 2021–2022. They’ll wait a year to see if you file/answer. Then pursue. That’s 2 years right there. Time. You’re always playing for and with time.But you have to make sure that you’re willing to lose your test cash. Say at first a million to move into an account. Set up a business account. Then write one check from one account to another. Set up another business. Invest in several, small businesses. A Chinese restaurant, a laundromat, a grocery store, a bodega, a cell phone store, a discount store, a thrift store. A shifty lawyer (How do you find a shifty lawyer? A criminal attorney that specializes in drug cases. I would hang out at a court house, watch who has the most clients and what their charges are.) would help you set up seed money that you could then move into legit businesses fast. Perhaps a dozen or more businesses, partnerships. I buy 25% of Bob’s laundromat and pay Bob $1000 a month in money orders for 5 years. I just have to buy a money order every few days and I could do this for a dozen businesses in varying states.(The logic is — I don’t need a dozen businesses or partnerships to succeed, I need one or two. The rest are McGuffins. Distractions. I’m dropping seeds, planting them, creating a legal mix and scattering across multiple states in very small ways to obtain legal, financial access. Once I get that I can start parsing cash into accounts I control or have access to or can mix my money into other businesses.Note: Someone brought up tracing the cash itself. Drug dealers don’t possess the technology of the Secret Service/Treasury Department to do this. But let’s give these mofos the benefit of this just to make the exercise fun. In order to track money, generally by serial number it has to get into a banking system, a reserve. There are several large ones through the country.I spend $100 at Joe’s Gas Station in Southern Jersey.I buy a truck for $2500 in Southern Jersey.I buy food and supplies at several stop and go shops along the highway from NJ to PA, $1000.I spend $200 at a motel in eastern Pennsylvania.I buy a truck for $2200 in Pennsylvania.I spend $500 at a storage place in Charlotte.I buy food and supplies at Wal-Mart in North Carolina, $1000.I spend $1000 in Raleigh on storage.I buy a truck for $2000 in North Carolina back woods.I buy another truck in Virginia for $3000.Here’s the problem with even a government entity tracking money:Circulation.There’s estimated to be a trillion dollars floating electronically around the world in bank accounts, unclaimed.There’s estimated to be billions in cash in the USA that has not been retrieved back into the Reserves. (Under mattresses, hidden, forgotten, lost, DB Cooper.)It takes time for the cash from all of my purchases to move into circulation in a specific way.My above list isn’t as simple to track as it looks, in cash money. Instead look at it as it’s depository/hand.StorePrivate citizenMultiple stores and private citizensCash/credit businessPrivate citizenBusiness-cash and creditLarge retailerBusiness-cash and creditPrivate citizenPrivate citizenWalMart. I used to work at WalMart, they collect and store and then reuse cash throughout their regional store systems. That money is not getting to a governmental or a bank scanning system soon.Private citizens—where are they going to spend that money? Bills, food, leisure—WalMart, bank, movie theater. A third party removed from me will deposit the money, if they deposit it at all. Is it unusual to have a few hundred, a few thousand on hand at home, to split it up with the wife and kids. That’s the reason why I’m buying under a certain number. Large amounts get deposited, smaller amounts get held and spent.Business and Cash business, will hold it’s cash. Or deposit weekly. Probably not nightly because as a storage place how much cash do they get that they run out the bank with? They need that cash on hand for more possible cash customers. Now those cash customers come to storage place, change a $100, get 3 of my $20s and take those and go to…..Walmart.Total: $15,000 spent. Times 5 $20s that’s 750 $20 bills.Dispersed, imagine 750 $20 dollar bills scattered across the above 5 states, cities, towns, small towns, highway stops. Let’s say you got serial number pings, it would take awhile to get the pings because the bill has to make it’s way back to a bank/reserve. $20s for a reason. $100s are less common and you’d stand out. Remember that fat guy who paid with a $20 bill in front of you two months ago at the Piggly Wiggly? Yeah, I didn’t think so.The below map is now a HYPOTHETICAL illustration. It has no bearing to the words printed on it. Imagine each one of those dots is our tracked $20 bills. What does this tell you?The dude with the $24 million dollars is on the East Coast maybe.Now imagine it’s me, you think I’m not going to burn trails across the country, leave cash on buses and trains and in cars? Not a lot. A few hundred, here and there. Nothing of consequence that someone won’t pick up, count their lucky stars and go spend on casual, normal purchases. Ten or twenty of these drops, I bet less than 3 of the drops actually gets deposited to a bank. And if it does—-let’s say I put $300 in $20s in a wallet on a seat on an Amtrak going to Washington, DC. I hop off before the train leaves. The wallet is found in Washington D.C. or someone finds it at a point beforehand, gets off and a whole new cluster is created in Baltimore. I’d have the entirety of the USA covered in less than a month with false-positive trails.Every one of the major reserves and banks would flag money.I would plant money on trains, buses, cars going in a variety of directions, in abandoned purses and backpacks on college campuses, get the money into circulation. Everywhere.Scary Fact: Cocaine traces found on 4 out of 5 of every US currency bill,. Not because it was used to snort coke but because it’s such a fine powder it transfer easily.)Here’s the loophole of taxes—-you have time to declare what it is and where it came from. Time is what will allow you to implement your next plan. Which is why you need time to figure out what you want to do with your life and to lay reasonably low for awhile. It’s easier to hide among poor people than rich. Plenty of hotels take cash and you can live there week to week or change every few months.(Most poor people, even middle class don’t plan their lives. Rich people do. The planning creates the success, not the success. With time and adroit planning, you can manage all of this. Hell, you’re not working full time anymore and you’re just ostensibly taking care of that dying relative, right? As an aside to this, I would add that there are constant questions about what do “rich” people do that poor people don’t. Rich people start from the premise that there is a solution, complex perhaps, to their challenge. Poor people throw up their hands when their FIRST thought proves unworkable. Rich people people say shit, and get a pad and say there are at least 100 ways to do this, I’ll chart them all, investigate them and come up with 10 and then find 10 people to answer what’s workable and not. From those 10 and those 10 people, I’ll narrow it down to 5 ways that will work.)Accept The New Reality: Your old life is over. Accept it.Your new goals are to find the people who will help you set up your new life.You need a new identity. Several, in fact.I would avoid criminals and instead find somewhere populated by immigrants, maybe even do some Home Depot day labor work. Talk to them. They know ways to get ID. That’s what you need. A new identity. Several in fact. Get several identities, stash them with the money drops. Act as if one day you will only have time to get to a stash and run. I’d slowly set up cars, used, with the money nearby—-long term parking.(Logic. You need to learn from people who are surviving, living, taking care of their families, living on the margins, perhaps even hiding in plain sight how they do it. Juan and his buddies in the pic? Your new mentors. They know how to live off of the grid but access it as different identities for what you will need. You spot Juan a couple of hundred for his contact for a SS card, birth certificate and you can get a new license, grow a bank account and credit cards.)I’d also go to a gun range and take private lessons. Buy guns at gun shows t avoid paperwork and have a gun within six feet of you and the money at all times. I’d also go out into the wild and practice killing animals and gutting them, get past squeamishness at killing.At some point you will probably have to hurt someone who is after the money or who tries to take the money from you. Or the trackers will find you and you’ll have to fight/escape. You must be your first but not your only weapon. I’d take aikido lessons if I were a woman, boxing lessons too. Aikido and boxing and wrestling as a man. You’ll need to know how to fight, even if it’s at a gas station late at night on one of your sojourns. But your first defensive tactic is to always get away.I would also take security guard lessons and keep taking more and more of the classes to understand fire alarms, buildings, transport, weapons, observational skills. Your biggest weakness will be the police and law enforcement. If they get to close to you or have reason to search your premises, you can’t have anything that looks like more than what you are. Which is why the money has to be secreted and broken up. If your hotel gets drug raided, they can’t find your laptop and books or gun (I’d keep it small, maybe in a bag in my pocket, a Starbucks cup, something innocuous.) You have to walk out every day ready to never come back to that room and ready to dump anything on you that connects you to you.That means your clothing will have to be more basic, monotone, boring. Slacks, khakis, a suit, shirts, shoes, sneakers, hiking boots, a travel bag. Anything you can replace, you do replace. Anything that can be replaced, you don’t carry. That immediately lightens your load. I would leave bags with clothing at hotels, happens all the time. You put $200 in cash in it, no one will ever report the bag.(Logic-DNA: I would also at this point start getting weird about DNA traces. By that I mean I would frequent sex clubs, adult book stores, gyms and start gathering hair, semen samples, blood samples and liberally leaving around places you’ve been. Again a higher level trail scattering.)I would also buy, with cash, financial planning books and then dump them on buses, trains, etc. so that the hotel staff never sees what you’re “thinking” about.(You have $24 million in cash. Money will make you a target and you will have to burn the night oil to keep it. You have to constantly think about that now as your full time job so you need a crash course on financial planning and international finances. With enough of this scattering you have maybe 1 year to pull this off, it’s literally a heist. I’d cut that to the bare-wire to 6 months.)Someone will be a problem one day. You have to get yourself in your secluded year to a level where you’re ready to handle problems at a level most people are specially trained at. I would spend time at the gym, a personal trainer, and tell the hotel I do something stupid like data entry and go to my classes several times a week. I wouldn’t isolate myself though, you might need teh protection of a crowd to alert you to danger and facilitate your getting away. I go to movies and concerts quite often, several times a week. This gives you the protection of the crowd but more importantly, if anyone is following you they will stand out because it’s more difficult to blend in to a crowd, two, three, four times in a row AND keep track of following you.The secondary effect of all of this physical working out this has is you’ll probably look different than you did when you got a hold of the money. This gives you time to physically grow into new identities and to grow your new identities that you’ve obtained. You can now play with hair color, eye color, beards, clean shaven. I would have IDs with a variety of looks—-shaven, bald, bearded, something I could change in a short period of time or explain away but different from the other.Again buy travel tickets scattering across the country from several different outlets, make it weekend gigs to go places and just buy tickets. This is your new hobby, false positive trails.When someone tracks you, and eventually someone will, you need to have gone back and forth over your own trail half a dozen times. So that no one can see where you started or stopped. You’ll probably have to keep track of this in some basic way—-don’t keep this list/map on your person, on your computer nor with any of the money. I’d say a USB drive with just a list that you only access from public-library pcs or Fed Ex/Staples. You’ll need to avoid your own clustering. Or create so many clusters that it’s impossible to discern what’s a clustering.You will also have to no longer use any of the social media you have used, the search history, websites. You have to change everything. I would spend the year slowly deleting what I could and recreating false positives again. Family in different states, pictures from places you’ve never been, etc.. People don’t realize that we create “internet fingerprints” as individual as our physical ones when we go online based upon how you think and therefore how you search. You’re going to have to work diligently at scrubbing this, changing this, being a new person. I would start creating social media for new identities, attaching emails, uploading pics of places, people you’re “related” to. You have to grow the identities Juan helped you create/buy.HYPOTHETICALLY, This excessive diligence might seem insane but you have multiple short and long term problems:You don’t know what you don’t know. (Where did this money come from, is anyone looking for it or knows about it? You might never know the answer to this question but you have to act like there’s a 12 man bounty squad after you. Because....there might be.)You don’t know what you need to know, yet. (You’re learning how to move, safe guard and launder $24 million…on a Thursday. Give yourself a break. But create rules about how much cash you carry, spend, what you buy and don’t buy. You can’t flash money. Yet.)You don’t know what others know. You have to become the kind of person who controls the narrative about yourself. That’s not just simply lying, that’s filling in the blanks that people nose in about. Money draws attention and you’ll have to deflect it even as you use a little bit of money to keep the majority of it.You are playing a game about how much of the money you can keep and can’t. I would say the best case scenario is $20 million. Worse case $12 million. Between bribes, walking away from, costs, etc., you have to accept it’s not all yours, keeping it might cost half of it. But you’re $12 million up, not $12 million down, right?You will have to defend the money/yourself without the help of the entire police, legal or justice system. You’re on your own. Which means you have to be ready to cross the line when your crack addict hotel neighbor breaks into your room, when someone attacks you at a gas station, when someone tries to carjack you. Something will happen, mainly because you’re alone and what often insulates us from danger is that we travel in small or large packs of people at work, school, family. You’re out of that club, you’re a lone wolf on the prairie. You can no longer call the police. Ever again. You have to run from danger or seriously harm your attacker and then get away. You in essence have become a criminal, the irony is that no one will know you’re one until they catch you, interrogate you, imprison you…as a criminal for something unrelated. Therefore you can never get detained by the police, even if you’re the victim.It will be years of this obscuring and obfuscation before you can rest. But it will be worth it when you calculate the payment you get for each of these years. Best case scenario: $20 million with 20–50 years of life left. Worst case scenario: $12 million with 20–50 years of life left. But that’s before you invest it for a profit….You must control your image in a world that records all of us. This means that you have to assume that unless you’re in a room in the dark, you are being recorded—-video. You must control what that all seeing eye sees. A boring data analyst staying at a Jersey cheap hotel leaving with a laptop and gym bag every day by noon. The goal isn’t to become invisible, the goal is to become one of the herd. The herd will make you individually invisible. But you have to be ready to slip out of the pack at any time. (I’ve been thinking a lot about this one—-there’s make up, prosthetics, wigs, fat suits. I would also start looking into glasses, altering them to cause reflections and refractions from your face with light as well as micro-filaments to apply to eye brows, cheekbones. Hell, I’ve got free time, I’d watch a lot of facial special effects videos on YouTube and experiment for a few months. Nothing will be a perfect disguise—-it’s easier for a woman to change her appearance than a man. If I were a smaller framed man or could lose weight, I’d go drag the whole year, live as the opposite sex than the one being looked for.)You have to play your life as a long game now. In increments of years. I would take up meditation to learn how to calm myself quickly and deeply. Maybe even go to retreats. You need to relate to Time differently. You need to have greater control over your emotions and impulses because you need to hone your sense of intuition vs your sense of fear.I would use escorts/prostitutes in various cities for sex. Again your data analyst cover. You may have to avoid deep relationships for years because the money is your primary project and you can’t have someone too close, snooping around your apartment. If you date someone then rent a hotel room in a second hotel-—never bring anyone back to your A Spot. if you play it right, you’ll get the money into places, accounts, and businesses that you wholly control in a few years and then you can discreetly marry them (marriage will help you double hide in their identity. The problem is they are married to a false identity and this is why you might forsake deep relationships for a few years.) Another problem would be spending money in front of them, you’ve just created a witness to the fact that you paid for dinner with a wad of $20s. If the Trackers are good they’re going through each person, proofing money to event, to purchase. Eventually they might find an ex. Or an ex will look for you. Or an ex will become a stalker. Intimate relationships are dangerous until you’ve established a whole new identity, moved all the money and have control of it. Then you can date in your new identity.You’re not sure yet where you’ll end up. You have to accept that you’re moving to move at first. Then you’re moving to obscure. Then you’re moving to obscure your obscuring. Then you’re moving to drop seeds. Then you’re moving to check your buds. Then you’re moving to reap your harvest and ship it away. A lot of your life will be this movement so you’ll need to become a more encapsulated person who is flexible enough to move and disappear at will or intuition. This would also disrupt any long term relationships or even answering what your “life plan” is. Your inability to answer or sudden disappearance might raise a red flag. All of the scattering work has one crucial element: you’re not attached to it. Running around, creating false trails, all of this has been done by an invisible hand-—the last thing you need is someone who can identify you on such and such date in such and such place. That identification, say 6 months in, would obliterate any scatterings you’ve created up until then and immediately put you on the run. And a running rabbit is easier to catch than one that’s had time to hide in a forest. Running itself is the worse thing that can happen now, so you have to make sure you’re in control.Years 2 to 5You’re in better physical and mental shape, you’ve had time to think, plot, plan, pull together some pieces, be quiet, check some people out.Someone has helped you get a small chunk, say $750,000, into a bank account you control. Now you can do something.Buy a cheap house (s) with the company, rent a couple of them out. New storage places for cash, again dividing it up. Conceivably you could end up with a dozen or twice as many hiding places. This is perfect. Trackers are looking for $24 million, a thief might consider it a boon to find $500,000, you can walk away from $500,000 easier than $23,500,000. You’ll be willing to cut bait if you spot something out of whack on $500k, your instinct would be to fight for $5 to 24 million, you need to work against your own instincts.You can start easing cash into the accounts of each LLC, not much but some. Done properly and quietly, as if you have tenants, you could probably get a million or so in. I would furnish the homes, AirBnB them (get a student to manage it for you or a neighbor or property manager. Pay well but not too well. You need them to help maintain your mundane existence as you “travel doing IT projects as a consultant”—-just saying that alone and eyes will glaze over and take they’ll paycheck), stage them as if people live there, light timers.I would encourage AirBnB folk into them, you want again a steady flow of traffic in and out, lots of faces and people. Always assume that wherever you are you’re being watched. I would arrive at these places with a suitcase like a traveler. Any chance, no matter how remote you get to lie about yourself, about what you are and are not, take it. Your favorite food, color, type of music, I would fill the trucks and RVs with different music than I liked, buy clothing two sizes too big or too small, pepper my stuff with women’s clothing and make up to look like a couple traveling together. Whatever it took to make someone, a Tracker, doubt. Scattered trail, multiple trails, doubt, false trails.You have to treat the money like you’ll only have 1 hour to retrieve it one day so you can’t lump it together. If a million is 50–100lbs you have to consider how fast can you move 500lbs? What kind of car can do that and not look suspicious? A packed car in a garage of a house or two, maybe even one rented down the block from where you live. If you arrive and it looks hinky you want to be able to keep driving by and go to another house. I would get my house at the end of a cul de sac so that I can watch who comes in or out—-I would slowly buy the surrounding houses in the cul de sac under varying LLCs and own the whole neighborhood in a year or two—-and be able to cut through the backwoods. Or on a corner of an intersection, it will give you good visibility of who is watching the house.Assume you will get caught in one of your hideouts. Someone will break in. There will be a natural disaster. A fire. Your whole bundle can’t be in one spot.But with cash in the bank and time, you can now branch out. You can invest in things, create partners, limited partners who put in cash every month. Stores, restaurants, bodegas, laundromats can do 10%, maybe even 50% better in business every month to get cash into their working accounts. And that cash can be used to set up something else until you have a network where you can slowly infuse cash into it. But you’ll need time and a drawn out plan. Think of it like a chain of Christmas lights of businesses and accounts that you control.Now you can run business deals, get paid in cash slowly to get passports, to get out of the country. Which might have always been your long term goal. You’ve been taking flights to places, checking places out, checking out the strength of your ID. I would do tourism junkets to one country, leave the group to check out another. Again improvising your scattering your trail internationally.Insanely it’s easier to get INTO Mexico than out of. I’d start experimental trips down the coast. The coast is safer because there are American military boats and bases on the Pacific side and the Gulf inner side. Inner country, consider it bedlam, too risky and you would stand out. You want to go from seaport to seaport, military town to military town, you’re scoping out with $750k in the bank, how to get out of America. You might want to get out as one identity, secrete the money legally internationally where you have access and control and then come back into the country as another identity, who works for/owns the company that now has the money. That would be perfection, this would be to my mind, my end goal.Scatter.Leave America with money under one identity.Have the ability to return to America as another identity with full control of money. I would look like just an employee/business person with international business. I might even do something insane like get government contracts or do catering or something for law enforcement so that I was always surrounded by police. Another layer of protection.This might take you several years with that much money but you want to travel around Mexico and the Caribbean. Get to St. Kitts. Bimini. Deposit and transfer small amounts of cash. Start taking short flights to there and back. Private flights. Watch security. Could you get through with a duffel bag? $500k? $1 million?Your goal might be to over the course of 5 years get cash to a friendly foreign bank (Your nest egg of $12 million). But it will be a full time job just scoping out spots and moving money. Never trust anyone with the full story, the whole nut. Always be piddling, a fool with half a million in cash, maybe $1 million max in an account from multiple legitimate sources.But your security training and self protection training will make you someone who can spot a problem, get away from one and fight out of one if there’s no other choice.Steps.Move and separate money.Obscure your identity.Train yourselfCreate new identities.Bribe others to move small amounts.Repeat steps 3–5.Not that, you know, I’ve thought about this……..Note: TrackersI got several messages about them. HYPOTHETICALLY. It wouldn't be the criminals in any way tied to the money, it would be one person removed. Say the secretary (or a family member) who tied up wads and wads of $20s learns her bosses were killed by each other and the money is gone. (If possible, I would torch the place where the money and bodies were, burn some cash.) She’s not going to run around the country with a gun looking for you. She’s smart so she’s going to hire Skip Tracers around the country to keep tabs on your identity if she can figure it out. She’s also going to hire a handful of private investigators and/or bounty hunters with your pic and a substantial cash reward for your capture. If I were her, I would build up a BS charge of divorce, child support, alimony, and running off with a million in cash.Smart Trackers would also be looking at a certain economic level, high and low, medium is broad. High, because suddenly you’ve got lots of cash so someone would go wild, high on the hog. Easiest to find. Low would be someone who doesn’t fit. Medium though, Best Western, Comfort Inn, Motel 8—-there are thousands of them and a dozen ways to register and get a room, it would be a nightmare to search through these.Highways and byways. If they assumed you drove then I would put investigators and watchers at major highway intersections/interstates. The best bet is to pull out a road map and only travel blue roads and thin red ones. Nothing built by the state, only roads built by the county and back roads. Interstate have tolls, and tolls are cameras.I would shop at WalMarts. WalMarts are crowds and the disparate kinds of things you can buy at WalMarts make it difficult for even the sales associates to remember if you bought a wagon of food, women’s clothing and a power saw all at once. Also it’s a high cash place, you can get everything from gum to glasses to weapons, to food to computers there with less tracking. Their video system is extensive yes, but Trackers won’t have time or legal right to subpoena video records. This leaves you a gap of time to keep moving.Trackers on commission/bounty are never going to stop, (DB Cooper!) which is why you have to give them something to do with all of your false positive trails. All of the scatterings give you a tangled ball of yawn for Trackers to undo while you isolate/create your new identity and slip into it. Once you accept they’re after you, forever, it becomes easier to work your program of vanishing.Smart Trackers will also be watching newly incorporated companies with large cash deposits which is why you might want to sidle into an existing business.Trackers won’t be expecting you to have trained to turn and fight them. But Trackers will be able to stop, harm and detain you so you have to be ready to go to war with them, the closer they get.Trackers will never give up if there is a 10% bounty on your head. Ever.Your best and final hope is to vanish in America, get out of America, return to America, if you so choose, as someone else.#KylePhoenix

What are some mainstream criticisms of Modern Monetary Theory?

In the book Modern Money Theory by L. Randall Wray, the author declares of MMT (that is, Modern Monetary Theory) that it will go through three phases of public opinion.First, it will be ridiculed. Second, it will be violently opposed. Third, and finally, it will be accepted as self-evident. I’m not sure if it will play out that way, but I’m here for offer an essay which is probably straddling the first and second phases.Interestingly, this prediction was word for word what a certain Elizabeth Holmes declared in this videowhen she was making her final, desperate bid to save Theranos from its inevitable failure.Anecdotally, I’d point out that Ms. Holmes bears a passing resemblance to the somewhat older but similarly crazy-eyed poster child of MMT, Professor Stephanie Kelton. More on her in a bit.The ImpetusAs with so many ideas in modern history, the seed for doing this post was planted in my head, unwittingly, by Dennis Gartman.You see, back when Bitcoin was roaring toward its peak of $20,000, Mr. Gartman stated that although he didn’t believe in bitcoin as an investment, he did understand the excitement about the underlying technology.That bugged me more than you might guess. I’ve been mixed up with technology since 1979, and I have lived my entire adult life in my beloved Palo Alto, California. I am deeply involved in the startup culture, and I have spent a fair amount of time studying cryptocurrencies.And yet, with all that, I barely know what the hell I’m talking about. So, as presumptuous as it might be on my part, I daresay Dennis knows only a fraction of what I do about crypto, yet he had the temerity to declare his support of digital currencies (specifically, the “technology”) on national television, when in fact, I strongly suspect he didn’t have the first clue about it, except perhaps for mumbling a few words about how it has something to do with a “ledger.”Thus, I didn’t want to be like Dennis when it came to MMT. And as much as people these days are talking about it, particularly on the political scene, I decided to spend an ungodly amount of time reading articles, watching videos, and reading cover-to-cover the not-terribly-exciting book I mentioned above.In fact, it was a total slog. But I made it through, and now I feel that I’m at least qualified at cocktail parties to proffer a well-informed opinion without looking like a total choad.I will mention, with respect to the book, that a drinking game came to mind during its reading. Specifically:each instance of “it takes two to tango” appears: one shot;each instance of the word “keystrokes“: one sip of beer;each instance of the word “wonky“: two shots;every time the author mentions how Keynes declared that the money of account has been chosen by the state for at least the past 4,000 years: two shots and toss some salt over your shoulderFor any of you intent on reading the book, please do not engage in this game, as I fear cirrhosis of the liver will be the inevitable result. Let’s just say the repetition started to get under my skin after a while.Their BiasesI should make clear what I perceive as the biases, or shall we say assumptions, of the MMT crowd. In no particular order:A breathless adulation of John Maynard Keynes;A seething hatred of cryptocurrencies;Patronizing pity for the vast majority of people who don’t “get” MMT;Adoration of the government as the largest and most important part of our economy;Above all else, belief in the riskless nature of creating as many trillions and trillions of dollars as we need in order to create full employment.Professor Wray writes over and over and over again about these points, with the overarching tone being that, God damn it, if people would just realize how money and the economy work today in the real world, we could solve all our important problems just by creating trillions and trillions of dollars and hurling them at infrastructure, jobs, and whatever else was needed to cure our woes. I get the sense his heart is in the right place, as is Ms. Kelton’s, but I’m far from convinced. In fact, I think the entire exercise is an intellectual experiment which sounds enticing in the classroom but, like Communism, would be a complete disaster with actual human beings.My BiasesIn fairness, i should probably lay out some of my own dispositions. To be clear, I have absolutely no ax to grind. It’s not important to me whether people despise MMT or love it. My entire mission was to learn about it for myself, and I’m writing this post with some off-the-cuff impressions just because I write for a living and might as well share my thoughts.In any case, just so you know where I am coming from:I have always had an intuitive rejection of the idea that we should create trillions of dollars to optimize the welfare of our nation. Indeed, I would have vastly preferred, during the financial crisis, three to four years of agonizing financial mayhem, complete with massive bankruptcies, dislocations, and unemployment, instead of the nearly $60 trillion in bailouts that took place, because I think had we done so, we’d be in a vastly better place now. But we didn’t. So our friends at Goldman Sachs are still very much with us, ruling the roost.I’m a libertarian at heart, and thus bristle at government interference. In fact, the size of our government is loathsome to me, whereas the MMT crowd not only loves how big government is, but would have no problem with it being much, much larger (France is offered as an example, since 50% of their economy is evidently the government itself, which doubtless explains all the fabulous French innovations we keep seeing day after day.)Let Them Make This ClearThe sense I got from the book as well as the pro-MMT articles I read was consistent: if we poor bastards in the general public who weren’t on the MMT train would just get a few basics through our thick skulls, we’d be part of their religion faster than you can say Benjamin Shalom Bernanke.A few of these principles are:Sovereign governments are not like households when it comes to money (for instance, when it comes to balancing budgets) because they are currency issuers. Lord, do they hit on this again and again. So the quaint notions about revenue (taxes, tariffs, etc.), borrowing (bonds), expenses, and, God forbid, a balanced budget, are considered laughable and childish by the MMT crowd.The entire universe of money is contained in a closed system of three sectors which balance: (i) domestic government, (ii) domestic private, and (iii) foreign. Absolutely everything happens within this system, and one sector’s loss is another sector’s gain, every single time.Currency or money exists for one reason: because the state created a mechanism for citizens to pay their obligations to the state. “Taxes drive currency” was repeated more times than I can count, but the overarching point was that money exists to pay taxes, and the fact that everyone else uses it to buy stuff is incidental.The government can never run out of its own currency, and anyone who believes that a government has to sell bonds or raise taxes in order to generate revenue to spend is a deluded fool.I also noticed a habit with the MMT crowd is to relabel and rename things (I think the euphemism they would use is “re-framing”). They speak of looking at things “from a new perspective”, and to nudge this in their direction, they refer to “The National Debt Clock” as “The National Savings Clock”, for example. It’s just like how Bill Clinton got people to say “invest” instead of “spend” when it came to government projects, but far more insidious.The Munificent StateI have a theory about the excitement about MMT: the past ten years have trained people to rely on the government bailouts and goodies to an unprecedented degree. Just as the 9/11 attacks opened the door for the government to invade our privacy in ways unimaginable before, so too did the financial crisis give the government a free pass to go batshit-crazy with the debt.And, as far as the public is concerned, since the nearly $23 trillion we’ve borrowed hasn’t seemed to have done any harm, they are all ears when people come along proposing that there are plenty more trillions where that came from, and we might as well indulge ourselves some more.Professor Wray offers this:“Government spending for the public purpose is beneficial, at least up to the point of full employment of the nation’s resources.”So not only is the government the largest and most important part of the economy, it is also the most important employer. It’s the job of the Federal Government to hire every single person that wants the job,especially when the private sector doesn’t need them. All the government has to do is dream up something to keep these layabouts busy.Take a moment and, in your mind’s eye: go to the DMV. Go to the Post Office. Go to the Internal Revenue Service. Think for a few moments about the people there. Consider their backgrounds, their lives, and how much they probably despise……….or at least barely tolerate……….their jobs. Imagine what a stampede there must be at precisely 5:00 when they are permitted to leave.That’s the life of a government wage-slave. Millions and millions of them, grey-on-beige, the least motivated, least creative people of the land. That’s what the MMT crowd thinks is our most important employer. Mop up everyone who can’t find a job at McDonald’s, or the local gas station, or the Starbucks on the corner, and create cash and give them something to pass the day away. Every. Single. One.Spending Good. Saving Bad.When I was young, one of the most persistent political dreams in the air was a balanced budget. Indeed, the dream was to actually have a Constitutional Amendment to balance the budget. This was back when the entire debt was less than a trillion dollars, and even that amount, people considered shameful.That ship sailed a long time ago, though, and I’m sure the MMT crowd is delighted. According to them, just about the worst thing in the universe is a balanced government budget, because in their “closed system” mindset of theirs, government deficits are fantastic because it simply means the private sector is enjoying surpluses. Professor Wray writes:“The most unsound budgetary policy is the mindless pursuit of something called a balanced budget – meaning one in which tax “revenues” exactly match government spending over a stated period. If that outcome is achieved, it means that all the government’s currency supplied through its spending will have been returned in tax payments so that the non-government sector has nothing left.”The pearl-clutching gets even worse:“If the government runs a balanced budget, it will have made no net contribution to the financial wealth of the nation.”To which my response is: why should it? I’ll manage my own household and small business, thank you very much. I don’t need the government to create debt in order to give me prosperity.Wanted: BureaucratsIt seems the paradise that MMT folks want is one in which gargantuan undertakings – – – free college for everyone, free healthcare for everyone, trillions of dollars of new infrastructure – – are all made possible by frantically banging the keys on the keyboard to create trillions of new dollars. Conjuring up such a vision, Wray writes:“Imagine how the policy discourse will be changed when our President could no longer claim that Uncle Sam has run out of money. When our government can no longer refuse to create jobs, or to build better infrastructure, or to put astronauts on Mars because of lack of funds…There may be reasons we want to leave millions of workers unemployed, or to live with unsafe bridges and highways, or to remain earth-bound, but lack of funding cannot be one of them.”If any of you think the government has somehow been ‘holding back” on handouts, giveaways, and “assistance”, I offer you this simple chart, which I find breathtaking. Admittedly, it doesn’t include a trip to Mars, but still:MMT pundits refuse to believe that private enterprise can exist and provide on its own. Instead, its partner has to have a monstrously large big brother in the form of a government:“The domestic private sector – by itself – cannot create net financial assets since every financial asset created and held within that sector is offset by a liability within that sector. In order for one sector to accumulate net financial wealth, at least one other sector must increase its indebtedness by the same amount.”Ummm……….what? How about the trillion dollars in value created by the existence of Amazon? Or Microsoft? Or Apple? Within a 5-mile radius of where I am sitting, the value of companies that didn’t even exist twenty years ago represent trillions of dollars of new assets, all created by private enterprise.None of that value was conjured up by a benevolent government “increasing its indebtedness”. It was because good ideas were turned into good companies that created jobs, products, services, and shareholder value. If I want someone to utterly fuck something up, I’ll be sure to get the federal government involved. Otherwise, I’d prefer they just leave me alone.Kelter SkelterEarlier I mentioned the “poster child” for MMT, which is Stephanie Kelton, a professor at Stony Book and the former economic adviser to 2016 candidate Bernie Sanders. Professor Kelton has absolutely grabbed the media spotlight, and my belief is that people would probably prefer to watch her talk……….As opposed to, say, Professor Wray, who knows just as much as Kelton but, nice a guy as I’m sure as he is, isn’t getting the call-backs from TV producers that she has been getting:In fact, I was wondering if I was being wrong-headed imagining the supposed reasoning behind her persistent appearances, but a brief glance at the comments section of any of her published videos will show that I’m not completely imagining this………..In any case, Professor Kelton decries what she calls the “debt hysteria” and suggests people celebrate the trillions of debt we are creating. Her forthcoming book – – – which apparently is such a weighty project, it showed up on Amazon a full year before its release in June 2020- – is called “The Deficit Myth”. Just in time for the big election.she’s excited, everyoneThe bottom line for the MMT crowd is simple: in an economy, as long as the growth rate is higher than the interest rate, you can create as many trillions of dollars as you like without guilt, worry, or peril. The sky is the limit!In fact, presidential candidate Andrew Yang has as his most memorable pledge that $12,000 will be given each year to every single person in the country, no questions asked. Free money! If that’s not buying votes, I don’t know what is.“But what about inflation?!?” some may ask. “Those trillions are going to cause prices to skyrocket!““No, no, dear citizen“, MMT dude would say. “Look at all the trillions over the past decade in the form of TARP, QE1, QE2, Operation Twist. There’s no inflation! It’s harmless!“That would shut most people up, but I actually have an answer for this: all those trillions went to asset inflation for the rich. Mansions. Stock values. Fine art.Those trillions didn’t go to the guys going down to WalMart or stopping by McDonald’s for dinner. If they had, then prices at all those places would be much higher. So as the MMT crowd pounds on the desk, declaring that the relatively mild inflation we have today is proof that new money is harmless, I would say hardly any of that money found itself to the lower 95% whose purchasing power would have actually moved the needle. Andrew Yang’s proposal, however, would absolutely push prices higher.The Fifth DimensionOne of my favorite protestations about MMT came from this article hailing from Business Insider:Imagine if I told you that, of all the animals in the animal kingdom, elephants are unique because they live in five dimensions. All other animals get four dimensions (three physical dimensions plus time). But for some wacky reason, elephants get five. Then further suppose that, when you pressed me on why this is true, I assured you that my theory was sound and you just had to accept it. The analogy here is to the weird place of self-funding governments in MMT. All other entities – households, individuals, businesses – are subject to more “normal” economic rules. Yet somehow governments are the magical alchemist elephants… they supposedly have some bizarre fifth dimension factor (born of self-funding elixir) that makes them normality-exempt.Absolutely! So the MMT people who scoff at regular old citizens like me, who still think that any entity, no matter how large, should still act with prudence when it comes to assets, borrowing, and expenditures. The MMTers seem to roll their eyes and declare that it’s foolish to think of the government as anything akin to one’s household. The rules just don’t apply.News to MeIt seems the longer one lives inside the MMT rabbit hole, the more sane otherwise crazy statements must seem. I offer this from the same book:“The Fed is not a private institution, but rather a creature of Congress and no more independent of government than the Treasury, the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, or the Internal Revenue Service…………the Fed serves at the pleasure of Congress.”Yeah, at the pleasure of Congress. That’s why we get to read an annual audit of the Fed, right?There’s more………..“In the United States during the Clinton boom there was a projection that all outstanding US Treasury debt would be retired….if we ever did get to that point….you’d have to turn over your car, house, bank account, and children to the government to pay taxes! That is the logical result of a government surplus carried to infinity.”Financial Circle-JerkAs gluttonous, intrusive, and nettlesome the government already is, MMT says it isn’t doing enough, and that the government should really be a lot more ambitious about how much money it creates and spends, since whatever self-control it is already exercising is misguided:“The sovereign government always gets ‘free lunches’ by keystrokes. The US government potentially gets bigger lunches. However, the truth is that almost all governments – including the US government – have put themselves on near-starvation diets as they refuse the free lunches that are on offer!“Thus, whereas in the Reagan years the mantra was to “starve the beast”, the MMT crowd wants to feed it. Because God knows free enterprise needs the help. Wray allows that private enterprise shouldn’t be absolutely extinguished altogether:“We also need to analyze effects on the private sector. The more resources we remove from private use to allocate to public use, the greater the likelihood that we could have a bloated government sector and a private sector that is too small. We need to leave an adequate supply of resources for the private sector to achieve the private purpose.”And yet, the monstrosity in Washington D.C. really should get larger, since it’s evidently both wise and munificent:“According to Minsky, government was far too small in the 1930s to stabilize the economy (in 1929 the federal government was about 3% of GDP)……..based on current realities, it looks like the national government should range from the US low of about 20% of GDP to a high of 50% in France.”Human NatureAs with Communism, there seems to be with MMT an underlying assumption of innate human goodness, cooperation, and morality. I’m not that cynical about human nature, but to my mind, replacing the dog-eat-dog reality of vying for good jobs with a universal assurance of make-work jobs working for the government doesn’t exactly make my heart sing.Yet Professor Wray seems to think that the pledge of Job Guarantee (JG) and government serving as the Employer of Last Resort (ELR) would be transformative for all society. He states::“Benefits include poverty reduction, amelioration of many social ills associated with chronic unemployment (health problems, spousal abuse and family break-up, drug abuse, crime) and enhanced skills due to training on the job.”Uh-huh.Along with this theme, none other than Keynes is brought back from the grave:“As soon as we have a new atmosphere of doing things, instead of one of smothering negation,everyone’s brains will get busy, and there will be masses of claimants for attention, the precise character of which it would be impossible to specify beforehand.”I’m not sure if you’ve taken a good look at the people that are still unemployed in this jobs-are-begging economy, but the MMT fans are plausibly positing people, once gainfully employed, will attend plays, listen to music, and volunteer, instead of, say, sitting on their giant asses watching the tee-vee.Hey, Wray, what else can you say?“Shorter work days and more paid vacations is a progressive goal to humanize the work place. More time to enjoy one’s family, recreation, and the arts. More time for self-improvement and community involvement.”Yeah. Self-improvement. As I walk down University Avenue and see the crazed homeless wandering around, I know the only thing standing between them and a community center course on self-actualizationis a government job.Utopia, Inc.You can probably gather I’m not exactly a fan of the concept. For me, one of the largest flaws in the thinking is the doe-eyed optimism. Keep in mind, although Wray isn’t as comely as Ms. Kelton (and thus doesn’t get the media exposure), he is one of MMT’s respected authorities, and he states clearly:“Government spends currency in the public interest. It promises to accept its currency in payment. The tax system stands behind our currency, and we pay taxes to keep the currency strong. Good budgeting with transparency and accountability of elected officials ensures government doesn’t spend too much.”Ah, yes. Good budgeting with transparency and accountability. That’s just what we’ve all come to expect from our elected officials. Jesus Christ.And, in a touching coda, here are the closing words of the tome:“We deserve this access not because we pay taxes, but because we’re all in this together. We take care of our own. Government helps us take care of our own through its social spending – for retirement, for medical care, for food stamps, and for support of poor families. We take care of our own. Together we can use money to take care of each other. Together we can make this a better world.“I wonder if someone could print up some fresh dollar bills so I can run out and buy a bucket. I think I’ll be needing it very soon.Honestly, people. I’m a simple soul. And I believe all that dumb stuff our parents told us – – there’s no such thing as a free lunch………you can’t print your way to prosperity………..…it’s actually all true. The silly homespun wisdom that made us all roll our eyes as kids is actually worth heeding.The risk – – and, having learned about MMT, I use the word risk deliberately – – of these ideas propagating into massive reality is, I believe, very small. Hell, the United States couldn’t muster enough wherewithal to change to the metric system, so I seriously don’t think it’s about to turn its economy on its head with this lunacy.Still, with a big election coming up in 2020, and with endless trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, we need to be on the lookout for these kind of ideas so they don’t become a virus of the collective mind. It took me a very, very long time to get even a passing knowledge of these concepts, and I suspect, oh, somewhere close to 98% of the public just wouldn’t bother.But I suggest you bother. It’s worth it to know what that $12,000 check in your mailbox is all about.

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