Noted for Your Lunchtime Procrastination for August 26, 2015
Hoisted from the Archives from Four Years Ago: Arguments for Expansionary Fiscal Policy/Economist Decline Watch


Live from Jackson Hole 2015 Weblogging: Our text this afternoon is from the fourth chapter of To Kata Loukan Evangelion, the Gospel According to St. Luke.

Chapter 13 of the Gospel According to St. Mark makes a false prophecy: that the destruction of the Jerusalem temple will be a very strong sign of the approaching Apocalypse. The Jerusalem temple was destroyed by the army of Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus in the year 70. The Apocalypse has not yet come. Thus chapter 13 of Mark tells us that the writer was highly likely to have been putting his gospel together in the aftermath of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, expecting the Apocalypse to begin any day, and writing soon enough after the destruction for the continuation of the world not to prompt a rethink--the year 75 or so. Luke uses Mark as a major source, so give Mark a few years to be copied and recopied and get into circulation--and we have Luke written in the 80s, or possibly later, by a man who had talked to people who had talked to people who had seen Yeshua bar Yosef.

The fourth chapter of Luke reports Jesus's very first public sermon thus:

When [Jesus] had opened the book [of Esaias], he found the place where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the LORD.

And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them:

This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears...

Jesus thus says that it is time to and he is here to bring:

  • good news to the poor,
  • healing to the brokenhearted,
  • freedom to the prisoners,
  • sight to the blind,
  • liberty to the oppressed,

and then also to bring:

  • the acceptable year of the LORD.

What does Isaiah mean by "the acceptable year of the LORD"? He means: foreclosure relief. The year of jubilee. That it is time to cancel the debts and redistribute ownership of the land fairly, for the economic system has gotten out of whack, with the rich becoming too rich and the poor becoming too poor.

The people of the American Principles Project whose Monetary Policy group is running the grifter-goldbug conference down-valley are bible-thumpers. They are committed not to the Founders' deist conception of America under the protection of a "Creator" or "Divine Providence" or "Nature and Nature's God", but rather of America serving a God whose words are written in fire the New Testament as strongly as a committed Taliban adherent believes they are written in the Quran.

And what, according to Luke, is among the very first things their God-come-down-to-earth commands us to do? Foreclosure relief.

The American Principles Project has a Director of Monetary Policy, Steve Lonegan. He says:

The... day on which the American Dream died [was] August 15, 1971... [when] President Richard Nixon addressed the nation announcing that he was closing the gold window--the mechanism that made the dollar as good as gold.... Those four minutes contained the death knell of the American Dream.... If America had stayed with the gold standard, the Bank of England calculates, your real income would be 50% higher. That would solve a lot of problems.... By restoring the classical gold standard, and if possible changing a few laws so as to permit competing currencies, America can create a climate of equitable prosperity that will generate tens of millions of good new jobs, end wage stagnation, restore a climate of opportunity wherein everyone--blue or white collar, of every age, race, and creed--can climb the ladder to affluence, balance the federal budget via economic growth, provide the resources to improve the natural environment and fix our decaying national infrastructure.... Please join with us now. On to Victory, Steve Lonegan

If you want to chase the link, you will find that Steve Lonegan simply lies when he says that the Bank of England calculates that "if America had stayed with the gold standard... your real income [today] would be 50% higher." The paper is not an official position by the Bank of England or even a considered opinion by Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King or his predecessor Eddie George. It is a working paper by three economists. And at the bottom of the title page it says: "The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors, and are not necessarily those of the Bank of England."

Moreover, the authors don't even like the gold standard, which, they write:

appeared to perform reasonably well against its financial stability and allocative efficiency objectives, while the internal balance objective was of secondary importance.... The effective sacrifice of this latter objective was the undoing of the Gold Standard... eventually undermined the credibility of the restored Gold Standard in the interwar period...

And they certainly make no claim that: "if America had stayed with the gold standard... your real income [today] would be 50% higher."

Why does Steven Lonegan lie about what the documents he links to say? Well, why not? What's the downside for him? The APP Jackson Hole Monetary Policy conference is a conference for goldbugs. And grifters.

But what about the APP's identity as bible-thumpers? Their God tells them, in his first public sermon, that he does not like monetary systems that, as is true of the gold standard, have no give for debt forgiveness in them. Do they view their God as a mere sock-puppet, to be trotted out whenever He can be made to say something convenient, and hidden behind their backs otherwise?