Monday, August 29, 2005

Can state and private monies fire up and flesh out gender theory?

Here are some (162) gooooooglies for "Georg Friedrich Knapp" state money
unfortunately, when adding gender there ain't much goin on but if you read german go for evi Genetti (at the U of Vienna); her little essay connecting state theory to gender is found at 3 lefty sites.


Brought back to a manageable 19 results by simply adding 'risk'; the first page carries two authors from my private pantheon of world classy clarity consciousness card carrying cash currentseeing clarion callers; can you tell which ones my favorites are? You may consult 2 of the links on the right, if that is enough for you a prize is waiting (a return visit to your fingertippy tapsell).


Some sampling:

Max Weber and the State Theory of Money
by Fiona Maclachlan
I hope for the approval of those who take the monetary system as a branch of political science.--G.F. Knapp (1924, p. viii)



PKT list:

On Fri, 18 Aug 2000 11:22:53 -0400, Per Gunnar Berglund BergP867@newschool.edu wrote, under the title "Re: Expanding the definition of chartalist money",
---- Great posts! This discussion is finally getting somewhere. May I suggest the following points to summarise - and slightly amend - what has beensaid hitherto?
1. Currencies are names that are state monopolies, functioning muchlike a 'registered trademark' of a government - or Keynes's'dictionary' for that matter.
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Now this is getting closer. Money is an institution (a system ofestablished behaviour), and this definition is getting away fromtreating money like "stuff" and closer to treating it as asystem of interactions between people.
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2. Tokens (like notes and coins) denominated in a currency becomeliquid by means of general acceptability. This is a generallyaccepted definition of 'money' (liquid financial assets), embracedby 'everybody' ranging from Metallists like Menger to Chartalistslike Lerner.
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As does anything else denominated in a currency, includedstrings of 1's and 0's in a banks computer system somewhere.
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3. General acceptability is driven by state acceptance in payment oftaxes and other liabilities. (This is the Chartalist standpoint, cf.Knapp's 'State Theory of Money', Lerner's 'Money as a Creatrue of theState', Randy Wray's 'Understanding Modern Money', and others.) Suchacceptance also involves fixing the nominal value of tokens in termsof the currency unit (e.g. a piece of paper with a certain printedportrait of Hamilton is worth 'ten U.S. dollars', etc.
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We ought not expect something as critical to the economic systemin general as acceptability of the nation's currency to be drivenby a single factor. Also driving the acceptability of currencyis the fact that entrepeneurs on the whole are net borrowers, andmust offer something acceptable to their creditors in payment.The support of the legal system for contracts denominated in the nation's currency helps drive that acceptability, as does theneed for commercial banks to satisfy the demands of the nation's central bank. The two are even made explicit on US notes, whichare both labelled as legal for all debts public and private, and as Reserve Notes -- that is, as permitted to be used as an addition to Reserves at a bank as soon as they get into the register. On Australian notes, this is less explicit, as the notes aresimply labelled as legal tender. However, these notes weredesigned more recently in a society where there was lesscontroversy over paper (now plastic) notes. Virtually, Bruce McFarling, Shortland, NSWecbm@cc.newcastle.edu.au

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From: UMKC Center for Full Employment To: 'Bruce McFarling ' Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2000 2:40 PMSubject:
RE: Expanding the definition of chartalist money
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Bruce wrote: This is fine as long as it is not read "is *exclusively* driven by state acceptance ..."
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A key point of the Chartalist 'Revival,' if one will, is that whilethere now seems to be little controversy concerning this point, one ishard-pressed to find statements to this effect in the large PK literature prior to therevival (outside of the now familiar statements by people such as Lerner,Minsky, etc.) or discussions of Keynes's explicit acceptance of Knapp's prime point.This holds even for the many explorations of various components of the demandfor money, etc. So part of the source of the heavy emphasis by the 'newChartalists' has been as something of a corrective, and an explorationof its implications.One may also approach 'taxes-drive-money' not as descriptive, but as*prescriptive*--the power to declare twintopt, along with a variety ofother state powers, is a powerful policy tool for managing a currency andpursuing certain policy goals. Mat

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From: Ronald Calitri To: UMKC Center for Full Employment Sent: Monday, August 21, 2000 9:10 PM

Subject: Re: Expanding the definition of chartalist money-----
Three issues 1) "law abiding", 2) Knapp, 3) "aggregates"

1) That citizens who disobey the chartalist principal are not "lawabiding" is somewhat questionable. Even though Hart, Kaldor and Tinbergen (1964)put it this way, their choice of language may have been for diplomaticpurposes.
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Paul Davidson wrote:
The moral of this historical episode is that if a population is nolonger law abiding -- the goveRnment can raise taxes in anything it wants and aslong as the population produces more than the government buys ... [etc]
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ronc asks (rhetorically):
whether a "law abiding" population is half as important as a "law abiding" State? This question used to be discussed around the issue of "legitimacy" of government. In this case of business activity, legitimacy boils down to the issue of whether thegovernment is willing to enforce contracts, and has been extended by most modern democratic folks to the idea that government's burdens on the population should be economic rather than personal.
The legitimacy of a government precedes the willingness of its population to be law-abiding. The population who are not "law abiding" in such instances are obeying a deeper economic "law" governing economic relations, one that has been fought for through history through a succession of apparently"solid" states. The more solid a state money is, the more intertwined with healthy economic relations, the more of a shadow creature it actually gives the appearance of being. The more adaptive a state is to the deeper economic needs of its population, the more legitimacy it wins.
An "illegitimate" government that tramples on people's historical observation of "economic laws" based on currency used for transactions isdue for overthrow. A theory of "State money" is probably just as bogus as a theory of "Sovereignty" based on the idea that the king is closest to god.
In any case it seems rather strange for the proponents of a commodity-backed currency to be held out as exemplars of a whimisical state value theory.

2) Keynes' acclaim for Knapp may not be fully related to an "acceptance"of the chartalist "prime point". He may also have been referring to thelatter two-thirds of Knapp's book where the more "advanced" portion of his thesis discusses the manners of money transmission through a variety of commercial circuits. I was left with the impression from the GT that the value of currency is much dependent on these and that Knapp's studentesque chartalism may not havebeen his major selling point.
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Mat provided an explanation of Keynes' position (privately): "Knappaccepts as "Money"--rightly, I think--anything which the Stateundertakes to accept at its pay-offices, whether or not it is declared legal tenderbetween citizens." (_Treatise on Money_, Volume 1)
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I really cannot buy this argument, one that apparently made its way intoHicks' Market Theory of Money. There ignorance ofhis own country's history really shows, and is embarassing for 1968 historiography. In Keyne's 1920s "beknighted" era, it is more excusable.
If that were indeed the case, then since peasants did not have money and hadto give labor-days as taxes, I suppose then labor was money.
The main "philosophical basis" for my disagreement with the chartalistperspective may be put this way: The principals of a "caring" government often say -"we should have a police force because our people are killing each other".
They may also say, "We should have a money because our people aretransacting with each other.
"Taxes may be collected in any currency. It may be more convenient fora small, cruel state to collect taxes in dollars and circulate asubordinate "own" currency to among the peasantry who are thereby keptsubordinate and out of touch. Similarly "corporate cash" to fox thecustomers.
In a similar spirit it would probably be desirable to determine whetherthe Soviet ruble ran on the basis of your theory. I do not suppose thiscurrency can be dismissed as a "rare anomaly"?

3) Aggregates: Most battlers against monetarism have taken the positionthat M4 is better than M3, than M2, than M1, than reserves, etc.
Indeed some of the more thoughtful analysts have argued for allowinghousework and other non-compensated transactions into the GNP. This arguesthe most useful "expansion" of money will be to all transactions, and toall sources of liquidity in a country, and to all countries.Ronald Calitri

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Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2000 18:53:51 -0400 ----
Reply to Colin's Challenge - Mat's Answer

Who is the sanest one of all (on a good day)? Mat offers a compromisesolution that chartalism is needed to balance transaction-drivenneoclassicism followed by a very real question:""'What are the possibilities for managing 'money'/'currency' in certainways to effectively pursue certain policy goals, such as full employment, price stability, rising living standards, etc.?"""
-----Obviously, the reciprocal question would be whether the chartalist theoryof money offers any difference of policy methods? Not being a proponent I donot wish to see any; but given the torrents of sand being kicked onchartalism's hearth by its hastily retreating supplicants, it does seemdesirable to make an end-run for the last ember.
------Sorry for the above sentence - I just read Colin's paper, concluding that itis not really targeted at the present PK debate but offers a key to Mat'sproblem in what it does not discuss and in misconclusion. [Well, Colin, whatdo you expect when deprecating, "that few consumers are solving Lagrangiansin their heads as they shop in the supermarket." Of course they are, and awide variety of other dynamic methodologies. The gender problem is partlythat females in our culture are more trained in multidimensional thinking than males.]
-------What Colin just misses in his analysis is a possible answer to what, beyondgoods, is being transacted in the "gift exchange". That I would argue - is"time", the "long view". My question for your anthropologists has to do with whether it was a "good" time or a "bad" time. The MACRO dimension your argument is lacking. There, "position" - the political purpose of potlatchbeing to give the recipient a feeling of "safety", "satiety" and "good ofall" that is predisposing to good policy reasoning in council or discourse. But this is a "trick" practiced in every culture; and for all that it beats"pork" nomenclatura-lly, just reminds us that the spirit of heterodox economics lies in a "potlatch in every pot" kind of goal-setting.-------
That aside, is what I am afraid of is what may be the unconscious reason thechartalists are kicking in their fire. This, I fear, may be a need tobelieve that "State" power is something different from the "private" kind. To avoid seeing that it is not, they would rather withdraw.-------
So here is the "ember" I would rather save from extinction: the "state",after all, is no more than an "executive committee" of interests. ALL thatchartalism offers ["inductively"] is that relatively preponderant interestsmay be rallied to defend a state's currency. That is an historical truth ofit, though the demographical economic BENEFIT of it may have been eitherpositive or negative, the "legitimate" state always argued the balance ofconsequences was positive.--------
So there IS something useful in chartalism, but nothing MORE useful than thePK analytical preference for imperfect competition. So Mat, the state, b-byd-damn, especially if democratic c-can g-give better potlatch! B-but t-thatis because it can rearrange the stream of transactions by f-fiat, or in thelanguage of our debate, byv-volkswagen.------
In-carriage-ingly,
-----Ronald Calitri--------

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