Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Money and Life"

Last night I attended the screening of a new documentary, "Money and Life" .

The film is chock full of characters, including MMTers such as Ellen Brown. It is also full of factual and theoretical errors.

Through out the documentary, it is stated by many of the participants that money was "invented" and that it is a "social contract." Clearly, there is no understanding of Ludwig von Mises' Regression Theorem and the way money evolved, unplanned by anyone.

(BTW, Friedrich Hayek's use of the phrase, "unintended consequences" comes originally from Carl Menger and he meant it in the sense that some things evolve without a central planner (or any planner) that still become important for a society. Menger did not mean it in the more common and simple sense of laws or regulations implemented that cause unintended consequences, he meant it, in a more sophisticated sense, in terms of men acting in their own self interest that ultimately results in unintended societal instruments evolving, e.g. language and money, that is, grandeur things.)

The author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, was also interviewed for the film and he blurted out that Milton Friedman was in favor of corporations sole guidance being "profit without concern for pollution..." There are plenty of problems with regard to Friedman's thinking, such as his positivist methodology, his mechanical monetary theory and is penchant for being in favor of government tinkering with parts of the economy, but Friedman would have never said that pollution should be ignored. He ignored libertarian principle and property rights as a method for solving pollution problems and called for government micro-management of pollution via taxes, but he didn't ignore the problem as Perkin's suggested.

Another theme that runs through out the film is the argument by several commenters  that there is too much focus on money. The other half of the film seems to, curiously,  focus on those who have money. After the screening of the film, I asked those around me, if money wasn't important why was there so much focus in the film around those who had money? I don't generally like country music, so I don't pay any attention to country singers, country radio stations, etc. If money supposedly isn't important, why would someone, believing such, focus so much attention on those who have money?

The film also had some other huge howler contradictions, at some points in the film those interviewed seemed to be concerned about scarce resources being used up, while at other points in the film participants claimed that there was no longer scarcity.

Bottom line: Start to finish, the film operates with no basic understanding of economic fundamentals. Don't try the drinking game where you grab a shot every time you hear  an economic error in the film, you will be drunk and passed out on the floor within 15 minutes.


  1. MMTers are some of the dumbest people on the planet. I was trying to explain to them that assaultive behavior and not a "lack of aggregate demand" was the main problem of mankind. I showed this painting of Spaniard killing Indians in the early 1500s.

    Their silly response was that this behavior was caused by the Spaniards looking for GOLD (which I think was supposed to make me feel guilty).

    I suppose the only reason they wanted gold was because Queen Isabella arbitrarily decided that her subjects had to pay their taxes in gold (as opposed to 85 pound bags of belly button lint).

    Really. Why else do women want gold jewelry?

  2. This movie isn't about MMT. This movie is a disguise of socialism using economics. And labeling this as MMT only because Ellen Brown is in it masks the truly horrid problem of socialism.

    1. Who said the movie was just about MMT?

      MMT is fully described in the documentary and much more.