It Begins: "Central Banks Should Hand Consumers Cash Directly"

Tyler Durden's picture

... A broad-based tax cut, for example, accommodated by a program of open-market purchases to alleviate any tendency for interest rates to increase, would almost certainly be an effective stimulant to consumption and hence to prices. Even if households decided not to increase consumption but instead re-balanced their portfolios by using their extra cash to acquire real and financial assets, the resulting increase in asset values would lower the cost of capital and improve the balance sheet positions of potential borrowers. A money-financed tax cut is essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman's famous "helicopter drop" of money

      - Ben Bernanke, Deflation: Making Sure "It" Doesn't Happen Here, November 21, 2002

A year ago, when it became abundantly clear that all of the Fed's attempts to boost the economy have failed, leading instead to a record divergence between the "1%" who were benefiting from the Fed's aritficial inflation of financial assets, and everyone else (a topic that would become one of the most discussed issues of 2014) and with no help coming from a hopelessly broken Congress (who can forget the infamous plea by a desperate Wall Street lobby-funding recipient "Get to work Mr. Chariman"), we wrote that "Bernanke's Helicopter Is Warming Up."

The reasoning was very simple: in a country (and world) drowning with debt, there are only two options to extinguish said debt: inflate it away or default. Anything else is kicking the can while making the problem even worse. Because while the Fed has been successful at recreating the world's biggest asset bubble (in history), it has failed to stimulate broad, "benign" demand-pull inflation as the trickle down effects of its "wealth effect" have failed to materialize 6 years after the launch of the Fed's unconventional monetary policies.

In other words, a world stuck in the last phase before complete Keynesian collapse, had no choice but to gamble "all in" with the last and only bluff it had left before admitting the economic system it had labored under, one which has borrowed so extensively from the future to fund the present that there is no future left, has failed.

The only question left was when would the trial balloons for such monetary paradrops start to emerge.

We now know the answer, and it is today.

Moments ago a stunning article appearing in the "Foreign Affairs" publication of the influential and policy-setting Council of Foreign Relations, titled "Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People." 

In it we read the now conventional admission of failure by Keynesians, who however, unwilling to actually admit they have been wrong, urge the even more conventional solution: do more of the same that has lead to the current financial cataclysm, only in this case the authors advocate no longer pretending that the traditional monetary channels work but to, literally, paradrop money. To wit:

To some extent, low inflation reflects intense competition in an increasingly globalized economy. But it also occurs when people and businesses are too hesitant to spend their money, which keeps unemployment high and wage growth low. In the eurozone, inflation has recently dropped perilously close to zero. And some countries, such as Portugal and Spain, may already be experiencing deflation. At best, the current policies are not working; at worst, they will lead to further instability and prolonged stagnation.


Governments must do better. Rather than trying to spur private-sector spending through asset purchases or interest-rate changes, central banks, such as the Fed, should hand consumers cash directly. In practice, this policy could take the form of giving central banks the ability to hand their countries’ tax-paying households a certain amount of money. The government could distribute cash equally to all households or, even better, aim for the bottom 80 percent of households in terms of income. Targeting those who earn the least would have two primary benefits. For one thing, lower-income households are more prone to consume, so they would provide a greater boost to spending. For another, the policy would offset rising income inequality.

A third, and most important outcome, would be the one we have forecast from the beginning of this ridiculous central bank experiment: "hyperinflation" (which is not simply runaway inflation as it is often incorrectly designated -  it is outright evisceration of the prevailing monetary system), which has been avoided for now, but which is inevitable in a world in which only the wholesale destruction of the fiat reserve currency is the one option left to inflate away the debt overhang.

So without further ado, here is the first official trial balloon - the article that one day soon will be seen as the canary in the paradropmine, and the piece that will finally get the rotor of Bernanke's, now Yellen's infamous helicopter finally spinning. Highlights ours:

Print Less but Transfer More: Why Central Banks Should Give Money Directly to the People

From Foreign Affairs, by Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan

In the decades following World War II, Japan’s economy grew so quickly and for so long that experts came to describe it as nothing short of miraculous. During the country’s last big boom, between 1986 and 1991, its economy expanded by nearly $1 trillion. But then, in a story with clear parallels for today, Japan’s asset bubble burst, and its markets went into a deep dive. Government debt ballooned, and annual growth slowed to less than one percent. By 1998, the economy was shrinking.

That December, a Princeton economics professor named Ben Bernanke argued that central bankers could still turn the country around. Japan was essentially suffering from a deficiency of demand: interest rates were already low, but consumers were not buying, firms were not borrowing, and investors were not betting. It was a self-fulfilling prophesy: pessimism about the economy was preventing a recovery. Bernanke argued that the Bank of Japan needed to act more aggressively and suggested it consider an unconventional approach: give Japanese households cash directly. Consumers could use the new windfalls to spend their way out of the recession, driving up demand and raising prices.

As Bernanke made clear, the concept was not new: in the 1930s, the British economist John Maynard Keynes proposed burying bottles of bank notes in old coal mines; once unearthed (like gold), the cash would create new wealth and spur spending. The conservative economist Milton Friedman also saw the appeal of direct money transfers, which he likened to dropping cash out of a helicopter. Japan never tried using them, however, and the country’s economy has never fully recovered. Between 1993 and 2003, Japan’s annual growth rates averaged less than one percent.

Today, most economists agree that like Japan in the late 1990s, the global economy is suffering from insufficient spending, a problem that stems from a larger failure of governance. Central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have taken aggressive action, consistently lowering interest rates such that today they hover near zero. They have also pumped trillions of dollars’ worth of new money into the financial system. Yet such policies have only fed a damaging cycle of booms and busts, warping incentives and distorting asset prices, and now economic growth is stagnating while inequality gets worse. It’s well past time, then, for U.S. policymakers -- as well as their counterparts in other developed countries -- to consider a version of Friedman’s helicopter drops. In the short term, such cash transfers could jump-start the economy. Over the long term, they could reduce dependence on the banking system for growth and reverse the trend of rising inequality. The transfers wouldn’t cause damaging inflation, and few doubt that they would work. The only real question is why no government has tried them.


In theory, governments can boost spending in two ways: through fiscal policies (such as lowering taxes or increasing government spending) or through monetary policies (such as reducing interest rates or increasing the money supply). But over the past few decades, policymakers in many countries have come to rely almost exclusively on the latter. The shift has occurred for a number of reasons. Particularly in the United States, partisan divides over fiscal policy have grown too wide to bridge, as the left and the right have waged bitter fights over whether to increase government spending or cut tax rates. More generally, tax rebates and stimulus packages tend to face greater political hurdles than monetary policy shifts. Presidents and prime ministers need approval from their legislatures to pass a budget; that takes time, and the resulting tax breaks and government investments often benefit powerful constituencies rather than the economy as a whole. Many central banks, by contrast, are politically independent and can cut interest rates with a single conference call. Moreover, there is simply no real consensus about how to use taxes or spending to efficiently stimulate the economy.

Steady growth from the late 1980s to the early years of this century seemed to vindicate this emphasis on monetary policy. The approach presented major drawbacks, however. Unlike fiscal policy, which directly affects spending, monetary policy operates in an indirect fashion. Low interest rates reduce the cost of borrowing and drive up the prices of stocks, bonds, and homes. But stimulating the economy in this way is expensive and inefficient, and can create dangerous bubbles -- in real estate, for example -- and encourage companies and households to take on dangerous levels of debt.

That is precisely what happened during Alan Greenspan’s tenure as Fed chair, from 1997 to 2006: Washington relied too heavily on monetary policy to increase spending. Commentators often blame Greenspan for sowing the seeds of the 2008 financial crisis by keeping interest rates too low during the early years of this century. But Greenspan’s approach was merely a reaction to Congress’ unwillingness to use its fiscal tools. Moreover, Greenspan was completely honest about what he was doing. In testimony to Congress in 2002, he explained how Fed policy was affecting ordinary Americans:

"Particularly important in buoying spending [are] the very low levels of mortgage interest rates, which [encourage] households to purchase homes, refinance debt and lower debt service burdens, and extract equity from homes to finance expenditures. Fixed mortgage rates remain at historically low levels and thus should continue to fuel reasonably strong housing demand and, through equity extraction, to support consumer spending as well."

Of course, Greenspan’s model crashed and burned spectacularly when the housing market imploded in 2008. Yet nothing has really changed since then. The United States merely patched its financial sector back together and resumed the same policies that created 30 years of financial bubbles. Consider what Bernanke, who came out of the academy to serve as Greenspan’s successor, did with his policy of “quantitative easing,” through which the Fed increased the money supply by purchasing billions of dollars’ worth of mortgage-backed securities and government bonds. Bernanke aimed to boost stock and bond prices in the same way that Greenspan had lifted home values. Their ends were ultimately the same: to increase consumer spending.

The overall effects of Bernanke’s policies have also been similar to those of Greenspan’s. Higher asset prices have encouraged a modest recovery in spending, but at great risk to the financial system and at a huge cost to taxpayers. Yet other governments have still followed Bernanke’s lead. Japan’s central bank, for example, has tried to use its own policy of quantitative easing to lift its stock market. So far, however, Tokyo’s efforts have failed to counteract the country’s chronic underconsumption. In the eurozone, the European Central Bank has attempted to increase incentives for spending by making its interest rates negative, charging commercial banks 0.1 percent to deposit cash. But there is little evidence that this policy has increased spending.

China is already struggling to cope with the consequences of similar policies, which it adopted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. To keep the country’s economy afloat, Beijing aggressively cut interest rates and gave banks the green light to hand out an unprecedented number of loans. The results were a dramatic rise in asset prices and substantial new borrowing by individuals and financial firms, which led to dangerous instability. Chinese policymakers are now trying to sustain overall spending while reducing debt and making prices more stable. Like other governments, Beijing seems short on ideas about just how to do this. It doesn’t want to keep loosening monetary policy. But it hasn’t yet found a different way forward.

The broader global economy, meanwhile, may have already entered a bond bubble and could soon witness a stock bubble. Housing markets around the world, from Tel Aviv to Toronto, have overheated. Many in the private sector don’t want to take out any more loans; they believe their debt levels are already too high. That’s especially bad news for central bankers: when households and businesses refuse to rapidly increase their borrowing, monetary policy can’t do much to increase their spending. Over the past 15 years, the world’s major central banks have expanded their balance sheets by around $6 trillion, primarily through quantitative easing and other so-called liquidity operations. Yet in much of the developed world, inflation has barely budged.

To some extent, low inflation reflects intense competition in an increasingly globalized economy. But it also occurs when people and businesses are too hesitant to spend their money, which keeps unemployment high and wage growth low. In the eurozone, inflation has recently dropped perilously close to zero. And some countries, such as Portugal and Spain, may already be experiencing deflation. At best, the current policies are not working; at worst, they will lead to further instability and prolonged stagnation.


Governments must do better. Rather than trying to spur private-sector spending through asset purchases or interest-rate changes, central banks, such as the Fed, should hand consumers cash directly. In practice, this policy could take the form of giving central banks the ability to hand their countries’ tax-paying households a certain amount of money. The government could distribute cash equally to all households or, even better, aim for the bottom 80 percent of households in terms of income. Targeting those who earn the least would have two primary benefits. For one thing, lower-income households are more prone to consume, so they would provide a greater boost to spending. For another, the policy would offset rising income inequality.

Such an approach would represent the first significant innovation in monetary policy since the inception of central banking, yet it would not be a radical departure from the status quo. Most citizens already trust their central banks to manipulate interest rates. And rate changes are just as redistributive as cash transfers. When interest rates go down, for example, those borrowing at adjustable rates end up benefiting, whereas those who save -- and thus depend more on interest income -- lose out.

Most economists agree that cash transfers from a central bank would stimulate demand. But policymakers nonetheless continue to resist the notion. In a 2012 speech, Mervyn King, then governor of the Bank of England, argued that transfers technically counted as fiscal policy, which falls outside the purview of central bankers, a view that his Japanese counterpart, Haruhiko Kuroda, echoed this past March. Such arguments, however, are merely semantic. Distinctions between monetary and fiscal policies are a function of what governments ask their central banks to do. In other words, cash transfers would become a tool of monetary policy as soon as the banks began using them.

Other critics warn that such helicopter drops could cause inflation. The transfers, however, would be a flexible tool. Central bankers could ramp them up whenever they saw fit and raise interest rates to offset any inflationary effects, although they probably wouldn’t have to do the latter: in recent years, low inflation rates have proved remarkably resilient, even following round after round of quantitative easing. Three trends explain why. First, technological innovation has driven down consumer prices and globalization has kept wages from rising. Second, the recurring financial panics of the past few decades have encouraged many lower-income economies to increase savings -- in the form of currency reserves -- as a form of insurance. That means they have been spending far less than they could, starving their economies of investments in such areas as infrastructure and defense, which would provide employment and drive up prices. Finally, throughout the developed world, increased life expectancies have led some private citizens to focus on saving for the longer term (think Japan). As a result, middle-aged adults and the elderly have started spending less on goods and services. These structural roots of today’s low inflation will only strengthen in the coming years, as global competition intensifies, fears of financial crises persist, and populations in Europe and the United States continue to age. If anything, policymakers should be more worried about deflation, which is already troubling the eurozone.

There is no need, then, for central banks to abandon their traditional focus on keeping demand high and inflation on target. Cash transfers stand a better chance of achieving those goals than do interest-rate shifts and quantitative easing, and at a much lower cost. Because they are more efficient, helicopter drops would require the banks to print much less money. By depositing the funds directly into millions of individual accounts -- spurring spending immediately -- central bankers wouldn’t need to print quantities of money equivalent to 20 percent of GDP.

The transfers’ overall impact would depend on their so-called fiscal multiplier, which measures how much GDP would rise for every $100 transferred. In the United States, the tax rebates provided by the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which amounted to roughly one percent of GDP, can serve as a useful guide: they are estimated to have had a multiplier of around 1.3. That means that an infusion of cash equivalent to two percent of GDP would likely grow the economy by about 2.6 percent. Transfers on that scale -- less than five percent of GDP -- would probably suffice to generate economic growth.


Using cash transfers, central banks could boost spending without assuming the risks of keeping interest rates low. But transfers would only marginally address growing income inequality, another major threat to economic growth over the long term. In the past three decades, the wages of the bottom 40 percent of earners in developed countries have stagnated, while the very top earners have seen their incomes soar. The Bank of England estimates that the richest five percent of British households now own 40 percent of the total wealth of the United Kingdom -- a phenomenon now common across the developed world.

To reduce the gap between rich and poor, the French economist Thomas Piketty and others have proposed a global tax on wealth. But such a policy would be impractical. For one thing, the wealthy would probably use their political influence and financial resources to oppose the tax or avoid paying it. Around $29 trillion in offshore assets already lies beyond the reach of state treasuries, and the new tax would only add to that pile. In addition, the majority of the people who would likely have to pay -- the top ten percent of earners -- are not all that rich. Typically, the majority of households in the highest income tax brackets are upper-middle class, not superwealthy. Further burdening this group would be a hard sell politically and, as France’s recent budget problems demonstrate, would yield little financial benefit. Finally, taxes on capital would discourage private investment and innovation.

There is another way: instead of trying to drag down the top, governments could boost the bottom. Central banks could issue debt and use the proceeds to invest in a global equity index, a bundle of diverse investments with a value that rises and falls with the market, which they could hold in sovereign wealth funds. The Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Federal Reserve already own assets in excess of 20 percent of their countries’ GDPs, so there is no reason why they could not invest those assets in global equities on behalf of their citizens. After around 15 years, the funds could distribute their equity holdings to the lowest-earning 80 percent of taxpayers. The payments could be made to tax-exempt individual savings accounts, and governments could place simple constraints on how the capital could be used.

For example, beneficiaries could be required to retain the funds as savings or to use them to finance their education, pay off debts, start a business, or invest in a home. Such restrictions would encourage the recipients to think of the transfers as investments in the future rather than as lottery winnings. The goal, moreover, would be to increase wealth at the bottom end of the income distribution over the long run, which would do much to lower inequality.

Best of all, the system would be self-financing. Most governments can now issue debt at a real interest rate of close to zero. If they raised capital that way or liquidated the assets they currently possess, they could enjoy a five percent real rate of return -- a conservative estimate, given historical returns and current valuations. Thanks to the effect of compound interest, the profits from these funds could amount to around a 100 percent capital gain after just 15 years. Say a government issued debt equivalent to 20 percent of GDP at a real interest rate of zero and then invested the capital in an index of global equities. After 15 years, it could repay the debt generated and also transfer the excess capital to households. This is not alchemy. It’s a policy that would make the so-called equity risk premium -- the excess return that investors receive in exchange for putting their capital at risk -- work for everyone.


As things currently stand, the prevailing monetary policies have gone almost completely unchallenged, with the exception of proposals by Keynesian economists such as Lawrence Summers and Paul Krugman, who have called for government-financed spending on infrastructure and research. Such investments, the reasoning goes, would create jobs while making the United States more competitive. And now seems like the perfect time to raise the funds to pay for such work: governments can borrow for ten years at real interest rates of close to zero.

The problem with these proposals is that infrastructure spending takes too long to revive an ailing economy. In the United Kingdom, for example, policymakers have taken years to reach an agreement on building the high-speed rail project known as HS2 and an equally long time to settle on a plan to add a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport. Such large, long-term investments are needed. But they shouldn’t be rushed. Just ask Berliners about the unnecessary new airport that the German government is building for over $5 billion, and which is now some five years behind schedule. Governments should thus continue to invest in infrastructure and research, but when facing insufficient demand, they should tackle the spending problem quickly and directly.

If cash transfers represent such a sure thing, then why has no one tried them? The answer, in part, comes down to an accident of history: central banks were not designed to manage spending. The first central banks, many of which were founded in the late nineteenth century, were designed to carry out a few basic functions: issue currency, provide liquidity to the government bond market, and mitigate banking panics. They mainly engaged in so-called open-market operations -- essentially, the purchase and sale of government bonds -- which provided banks with liquidity and determined the rate of interest in money markets. Quantitative easing, the latest variant of that bond-buying function, proved capable of stabilizing money markets in 2009, but at too high a cost considering what little growth it achieved.

A second factor explaining the persistence of the old way of doing business involves central banks’ balance sheets. Conventional accounting treats money -- bank notes and reserves -- as a liability. So if one of these banks were to issue cash transfers in excess of its assets, it could technically have a negative net worth. Yet it makes no sense to worry about the solvency of central banks: after all, they can always print  more money.

The most powerful sources of resistance to cash transfers are political and ideological. In the United States, for example, the Fed is extremely resistant to legislative changes affecting monetary policy for fear of congressional actions that would limit its freedom of action in a future crisis (such as preventing it from bailing out foreign banks). Moreover, many American conservatives consider cash transfers to be socialist handouts. In Europe, which one might think would provide more fertile ground for such transfers, the German fear of inflation that led the European Central Bank to hike rates in 2011, in the middle of the greatest recession since the 1930s, suggests that ideological resistance can be found there, too.

Those who don’t like the idea of cash giveaways, however, should imagine that poor households received an unanticipated inheritance or tax rebate. An inheritance is a wealth transfer that has not been earned by the recipient, and its timing and amount lie outside the beneficiary’s control. Although the gift may come from a family member, in financial terms, it’s the same as a direct money transfer from the government. Poor people, of course, rarely have rich relatives and so rarely get inheritances -- but under the plan being proposed here, they would, every time it looked as though their country was at risk of entering a recession.

Unless one subscribes to the view that recessions are either therapeutic or deserved, there is no reason governments should not try to end them if they can, and cash transfers are a uniquely effective way of doing so. For one thing, they would quickly increase spending, and central banks could implement them instantaneously, unlike infrastructure spending or changes to the tax code, which typically require legislation. And in contrast to interest-rate cuts, cash transfers would affect demand directly, without the side effects of distorting financial markets and asset prices. They would also would help address inequality -- without skinning the rich.

Ideology aside, the main barriers to implementing this policy are surmountable. And the time is long past for this kind of innovation. Central banks are now trying to run twenty-first-century economies with a set of policy tools invented over a century ago. By relying too heavily on those tactics, they have ended up embracing policies with perverse consequences and poor payoffs. All it will take to change course is the courage, brains, and leadership to try something new.

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Wait What's picture

deflation is already returning... has anyone been watching oil/gas prices?

"get to da choppa!"

kaiserhoff's picture

Why the Hell not?  It's working so well in Ferguson.

nope-1004's picture

Meanwhile insiders are scooping up all the PM's at rock bottom prices.  lol.  The definition of deflation is purchasing power increasing, which isn't happening and WILL NOT happen with chopper drops of cash.

Trust the bankers at your own peril.


NotApplicable's picture

This article requires at least a two drink minimum.

A Lunatic's picture

Make mine a double double.......

y3maxx's picture

...Comng soon...Nobel Peace Prize in Economics for Obama.

sarc off

y3maxx's picture

...This helicopter cash drop is the only way to delay WW 3

ejmoosa's picture

Why do you think they want to delay it?

SoberOne's picture

It will only go to debt reduction, and in my case, Au and Ag.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Why not save paper and just cut the tax rate to zero? Except for the rich - you know, those making over $50k/annum.

Latina Lover's picture

Does this mean that even the little people become their own banksters? Talk about co-opting opposition. If you can't beat them, force them to join.

Pinto Currency's picture



Something from nothing.

Seems like a sensible plan.

SamAdams's picture

This isn't the first time.  ANYONE REMEMBER THE BABY BUSH STIMULUS?  C'mon, it wasn't that long ago...

Four chan's picture

cfr = new world order    their fangs in america's throat since the 70's

whstlblwr's picture

The problem, Blyth, is this shit is only temporary. It doesn't create real demand. Give me another shot of heroin and make it a bigger dose. We need to clear out the system. You academics are fucking things worse.

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Look up what Aaron Russo had to say about the CFR(Hint: Buy stock in RFID chips). TPTB are going to use that group to push their agenda and it ain't gonna be good.

toxic8's picture

We gettin PAID, bitchez!!!


giggler321's picture

Ahh those "It Begins:" posts on ZH.  There are 2many of them to consider them anything more than any other post

markelshark's picture

lol, I thought the same thing. Google " "it begins"" and you get 27,500 results

Drunk In Church's picture

I believe in free money.  I also believe in socialized medicine.  I hate paying bills.  Everything should be free.

AldousHuxley's picture

BUT what you are getting in USA is socialized medicine quality for free market prices for an industry that is a natural monopoly.

unless you are part of 0.1% that can pay for harvard medical private practice doctor in your 90s...


also let more people become doctors. poor americans shopping at walmart don't need validictorians providing medical service... Salutatorians will do just fine...except medical industry restricts labor supply to keep the salaries high.


AldousHuxley's picture

To give FED some credit, they have complained that CONgress is relying on only monetary policy without touching the fiscal policy.


Government can give money back to by cutting income taxes to match that of capital gains taxes.

Federal + state + FICA should be at most = 15% capital gains tax.....


imagine that....less government pork, thousands of dollars in your pocket

Welder's picture

Way way earlier. Civil War ?

Zigs's picture

Just for perspective, that was worth about 2 months QE.

bonderøven-farm ass's picture

This isn't going to end well........

JuliaS's picture

Baby bush stimulis - sure. Direct bailout to bonds, bonds to fed, fed to cash with interest and interst back into inflation, taxes and overall reduction of purchasing power, plus the salaries of all the bureaucrats who came up with the wonderful plan. Mission accomplished!

7.62x54r's picture

I bought a broomhandle mauser and a bottle of 40 oz malt with my Bush stimulus check.

JRobby's picture

Well certainly. A big part of aspiring to "elected" office is to the opportunity "to be corrupted" 

kaiserhoff's picture

...and chicks for free...

I'm in;)

Pure Evil's picture

I think the only thing they're really admitting to here is that no jobs are coming back and when both the Atlantic and Pacific trade pacts are passed even more jobs will be heading overseas.

So, the only thing left is to make everyone without a job a government employee, or put them on expanded welfare, or just give them money to spend.

Your job as a government employee is now to shop till you drop. Shouldn't be too difficult a move for the female race.

The other aspect is to make everything you purchase a consumable in the same sense that food is consumable. In this case when you purchase something instead of buying and taking it home for life of the product, which is normally until it breaks. The product you want is leased for a number of years like a car or truck. At the end of its lease term you trade it in for a new model. The old model gets recycled or sold overseas to some third world country.

A lot of people trade in their cell phones after a year or two, same with laptops, so why not do the same with TV's, appliances, furniture, computers, electronics, housing, and clothing.

Just giving money to people to spend won't really work. How many cars can you fit in your garage and driveway? How many washer/dryers can you buy or Flat Screens can you find a place for in your home. Once you accumulate a certain amount of junk in your house you generally cut back on buying new things. This way you can buy new things every few years and recycle all your old stuff and keep the world economy going.

You could make it such that you force people to lease a new home every five years while the old homes are dismantled and new homes built in their place for new owners.

Sounds like a load of crock. But if you want people to endlessly consume then then only incentive is to force them to buy new things every one to two to three to five years. You can do it with planned obsolescence or you can make it such that everything you buy except foodstuffs is leased like a car forcing the owner to turn it over every few years.

Of course they would have to get rid of all income taxes to encourage people to spend all their money and they would only need a national/state/local sales tax.

In fact, like all government bureaucracies you would be required to spend every last cent to get an increase in your budget for the next year. So, once your turn fourteen or so, you start receiving money in an account that your required to spend. Every year your government salary is increased until age 70 or so, and the only requirement is that you spend all the money in the account every year. Your not allowed to live beyond your means, or government stipend, because you would not be allowed to borrow money privately. If you want extra income then you can invest in the stock or bond market, but there's no need for savings since the government gives you a yearly salary.

You start off making a few thousand a year and as you age your government salary grows allowing you to consume more expensive items. Of course there's a lot of things that need to be ironed out. There would probably different tiered levels of government salaries. We would still need people to be doctors and lawyers and such. Those that justed wanted to live day to day would make a basic salary. Those that were chosen to go to school and become the upper echelon would receive free training in medical school and such and higher salaries, while those chosen to be the benevolent dictators, or government workers would receive even higher salaries just like they do today. A lot would depend on IQ and placement tests.

Basically we turn into the equivalent of Saudi Arabia where we bring in 3rd worlders to do our low level jobs and along with robotics to do practically everything else we would become fat, dumb, and endlessly happly like the turds on that ship in the movie Wall-E.

Or, some of our other choices would to become like N. Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, or some other 3rd world rat hole. We're already heading in this direction and it seems our government minders are more interested in shipping more of our jobs overseas than trying to see that their own citizens become educated, employed, and members of a productive society.

Look, they're only training the lower class for this type of society with EBT cards, welfare and such. Its coming. They're aren't enough jobs for everyone unless they impose trade barriers with everyone and force the corporations to bring all the jobs back that were sent overseas. We all know that's not gonna happen, so what other options do you think is available? Were starting to look like Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil with the vast majority of the population poor while the upper class lives in gated communities with their own private police forces.

I'm no socialist utopian but if you can't see the writing on the wall this article from the CFR should open your eyes to whats coming.

hardmedicine's picture

I really don't care about money!!!  They can go and shove their money up their ass.  What I care about is that they are sending all our jobs and skills overseas or giving them to H1Bs


It is DISGUSTING!!  They are opening a lot of new dental and medical schools!  hahahaha... I had to laugh.  The poor little med student i talked to last weekend in her last year of med school was in to the tune of 300K in debt.  Oh SURE they need more doctors. hahah.... AND..... get this...... YOU NO LONGER NEED TO BE A CITIZEN TO GET A MEDICAL OR DENTAL LICCENSE HERE IN THIS COUNTRY.  Oh no.!  You just have to pass the tests.  The Supreme Court saw to that in 2012.  LOL.

No No, I'm not kidding you.  This is going FULL RETARD all the way now.  I just can't watch anymore.  I can't wait to get out of here.  We have a place in the country with a network.. just a few more years.... or not.  It may not be a choice soon...... may be forced to leave.  FULL RESET.  That's where this is headed.  Each time I think they can drag this out to infinity I see an article like this. 



whstlblwr's picture

@Pure Evil

I see, it's not a bigger dose of heroin, but a slow drip. Just enough to keep us and them happy in our prison.

SAT 800's picture

You don't have enough experience with Heroin. You accomadate to it; pretty quickly; say a week; well, I'm an old junkie, maybe it'd take you a month, and then the daily dose doesn't do anything. Nothing. all it does is keep you from getting junk sick, (withdrawals). You have to take "extra" doses to "party", to "get high"; your maintenance dose just keeps you "normal". For real, this is how it works. I had a girlfriend once who said, "Heroin would be the perfect drug if you could just take it on t he weekend". True, dat; but that's not the way it works.

whstlblwr's picture

Then it's the perfect analogy. It would be a slow drip with an incremental increase (to account for the inflation high).

buyingsterling's picture

I prefer it drip on me than flow to the banks directly.

The writers aren't austrians, but they do see some of the problems fairly dlearly, so from a keynesian perspective, their 'solution' isn't bad, and better than what we'red oing now, since main st. isn't seeing any of it. But I hate their idea of only sending it to the bottom 80% - the top 20% pay most of the inocme taxes. Base it on SS tax contributions or something. 

whstlblwr's picture

That's a pathetic answer. What the fuck? how long have you been here? You prefer the drug, keep you going even if you're a fuckin zombie.

CheapBastard's picture

<< So, the only thing left is to make everyone without a job a government employee, or put them on expanded welfare, or just give them money to spend. >>

I’ll take, “C” … just give me money to spend.

AldousHuxley's picture

only way to get richer is either through selling commodities provided by mother earth (ie. OIL) or increase in productivity through innovation. TECHNOLOGY


Invest in R&D. Not sales & marketing, not government bridge to nowhere infrastructure, not liberal artsy fartsy, and definitely not increased welfare which is just more inflation and subsidy to consumer goods industries.

One of the authors is Eric Lonergan, who is a hedge fund manager with bets in place in certain sectors.


Give poor morons more cash and you will have billionare rappers and more McDonald's fake food.


fzrkid's picture

Not sure about that. My wife passed the FPGE and is still required to work 1500hrs as an intern.


Shit problem is no pharmacies will hire foreign pharmacy graduates as interns.


We are packing up and moving to Singapore where there are many job opportuinities and they are exapdning the island with reclaim to accomodate the growth.

AldousHuxley's picture

we have vending machines that can do your wife's job. 


Ward no. 6's picture

rubbish everyone cares about money...

some of us work hard and don't get rewarded

the place i work at has not given us a raise this year and they profited immensely last year.

Sick of this shit.




AldousHuxley's picture

doesn't work that way.

It is RISK vs REWARD....not EFFORT vs REWARD....which is typical prole mentality



OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture


First is the source, the Council on Foreign Relations. I mean that is the top of the top. That they allowed something like this to run says a whole lot.

Second is what the article says. Money is no longer a token representing productive work of any kind. Of course final demand is sinking, because we've had an orgy of debt for 30+ years. Recall what debt does: moves future demand into the present. I want to buy that big screen TV but I would have to save for two years; if I borrow however I can have it today. If debt had been used to fund productive assets (factories, highways, airports, inventions) that would be one thing but it's been used to fund consumption (super-sized fries, trips to the Caribbean, Kardashian t-shirts).

So here we are and every single Power That Be is running full-speed to the debt cliff. Desperately trying to pump inflation, where they just steal little by little as opposed to all at once. Now this proposal to completely unhinge money itself from its intended function: to represent goods and services and productive work.

MontgomeryScott's picture

HAL! Can you hear me?

(Yes, Dave, I hear you.)

HAL, do you know the first primal rule that can never be broken by humans who wish to be Lords and Masters?

(No, Dave, my memory banks don't recognize this question. I have tried to collate the words as you give them to me, but am failing to find a logical sequence.)

HAL, do you understand the question?

(Of course, Dave.)

If I told you that the people; the humans who wish to be thought of as 'gods'; had a tribal 'rule' that they could never take actions without informing everyone: If I told you that they always 'telegraph their punches', how would you respond?

(Should I think of this as a game, like 'Chess', Dave?)


Stanley Kubrick would have an absolute FIELD DAY!

MontgomeryScott's picture

"The Prisoner" was an intriguing BBC teleplay series; back in the day; as I recall. It outlined the post-Nazi 'Operation Paperclip' experiments (on both sides of The Pond) in a warm and fuzzy world of post-WWII MSM fantasy that is now lost on the generations that think they know 'shit' (which is exactly what they actually KNOW).

I'm not actually worthy of your praise; but thanks for your kindness.