How’d You Like To Win A Million Dollars?

Warren Mosler, an international financial consultant, and Independent Party Candidate for the Senate in Connecticut has issued a challenge to his opponents. Here’s the nub of it.

A 37 year ‘insider’ in monetary operations, Mosler knows as a fact of actual monetary operations that, operationally, there is no such thing as the US government running out of dollars, being dependent on foreign borrowing, or potentially facing a solvency crisis like Greece. Nor is there any financial reason to cut Social Security or Medicare benefits. To make the point, he’s offered to pay $1 million of his own money to any of his Senatorial opponents on the ballot who can prove him wrong. ‘Those fears come from pure fear mongering from supposed experts, with no factual basis, and those unwarranted fears are the true obstacles to the return of full employment and prosperity’ said Mosler.

So far, Warren seems to have no takers. That’s a shame because a public event answering the challenge would do a lot to educate people in Connecticut about the Government’s unmet responsibility “to provide for the General Welfare,” by using its power to create, destroy, and regulate the currency. How can Warren encourage people to meet his challenge and help him to create the conditions needed to educate people on the issue.

First, he can broaden the challenge by making it clear that the candidates competing with him for the Senate can bring along economic experts as their champions in the debate over Warren’s claim that there is no such thing as the US running out of dollars, as the President and many others have claimed. And he can, if they win, make the million dollars available to one of these champions, with the consent of their candidates. Since many academic economists can use a million dollars, this may generate more interest among them than it so far has among candidates.

Second, he can also broaden the challenge beyond the field of candidates altogether. One possibility might be to open it to all professional economists, and since a surfeit of applicants to meet his challenge would then probably result, this kind of extension also suggests that Warren would need a panel of judges to distinguish “qualified” applicants, from those whose lack of credentials suggest that they might not have serious counter-claims to a very serious claim?

What if the major Party candidates continue to ignore Warren’s challenge even if he broadens it. Well, that is what they will do unless they are in some way forced to confront it, and the educational goal of the challenge will never be accomplished. That’s why it’s important to broaden the challenge out. Since Warren can’t expect the other candidates to accept the challenge. He should hold events where the professional economists meet his challenge. Once a few professionals from name institutions fail to shake the view that there is no solvency risk for the US, then pressure can be built on the candidates to “pick up the gauntlet” Warren has cast at their feet.

But this last will take blogosphere promotion of these first events. The blogosphere must cover the challenge and the attempts to answer it by professional economists. We should build the challenge process, so it is seen as a continuous dare to the legacy party candidates to prove that their views that austerity is appropriate and that there is a solvency risk are something more than a pack of lies and misunderstandings.

And we should do this because the success of efforts to re-make the United States and take back our democracy depends on the success of Government in helping us to solve problems where the solutions cost money. If we’re going to have any hope of solving these problems we need to remove the excuse “we’re running out of dollars,” from the field of legitimate debate. That’s going to take educational efforts on our part. Warren Mosler’s challenge is a good focus for these efforts. Let’s use it to make headway at least in Connecticut and let’s see if we can’t get the issue talked about as an issue rather than a platitude far beyond its borders in the coming months.

(Cross-posted at All Life Is Problem Solving and Fiscal Sustainability)

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