Stanley Dundee

Back: Banks Lend Deposits? Naah Top: Getting Money Right

We Can't Afford This, That, or the Other? Utterly Untrue

Some things are truly scarce. Material things are limited in quantity. Labor is limited by the size and skills of the workforce. But where the labor and the material inputs are available, only policy choices are preventing us from having something desirable. Many of the things we would like are services and hence not very demanding of material resources but requiring labor: people serving people. Care services. These could be universally supplied at no cost to all members of the society, given the political will. The sovereign can choose pay for these things. Artificial scarcity is a policy choice.

What kind of society do we want to live in? That's the question we should be asking. The answer could include things like universal provisioning of free or low cost healthcare, higher education, and care for pre-schoolers and the elderly. We could have full employment, living wages, generous pensions, secure childhood and old age. Ample, well-maintained public spaces. Clean, efficient, inexpensive public transportation. We can have all those services, by choosing to have the sovereign pay for them, if we can organize ourselves to provide them. We may lack the political will, the moral integrity, or possibly the material means to provide these services. But we will never lack the ability to pay as long as we have fiat money.