Where is the tree? Has it been felled?
There are two versions of reality – the view that we don’t and can never have enough (the no MMT one), and the version of plenty, where there might be no MMT, but, there are all the amazing things around us.
My daughter was surprised this week when listening to the leaders debate with Mishal Husain, that the UK has the fifth largest economy. Yes, we, as a society have more wealth than almost all the other countries on the planet (the remaining 97 per cent).
But, there is no MMT.
Yet, when it is wintry outside, the snow is falling and A&E departments are overflowing, a hospital corridor becomes a reasonable source of accommodation for a 93 years old, yet, those leaving university with a better or worse degree are indebted to hedge fund managers for the next twenty years;
No MMT is seeing that we have little, when in reality we are overwhelmed by surplus – too much choice, too many daytime TV shows, cheap sugary lipid-laden drinks and treats. Too many car journeys and foreign flights or heating in the winter.
Perception is everything.
You look slim or fat or OK – it is perception; and perception is relative, it is also created by society. Listen to someone telling you how stupid you are and you’ll eventually believe it, listen to the narrative of weakness, laziness or failure and soon enough you will adopt that mantle.
It is not just the condescending use of the MMT concept – not just that the arrogance is not something I would direct towards my children when they ask me for more, it is the position of someone who is so detached from reality that they cannot perceive the viewpoint of the other, where their perspective is skewed to the point of perversion.
And back to the nurse who enquired about her year on year reduction in earnings at a time when moments later she is told the economy is booming. Booming sound-bites that I dearly hope people can see through.
I think back to Laurel and Hardy… That’s another fine mess you’ve got me into… The current government, which is still inveigled by the post-Cameron, Johnson and Hunt nastiness has handed our society a whopper; the post-Brexit mess that threatens to emasculate and diminish the society that they tell us is poor, but which we all see as being rich, rich from the contribution of migration and rich enough to accommodate any number of people in need, rich to the extent that the xenophobes should pack their bags and go back to their ancestral homes.
Balancing plenty with the communiques of austerity will be a lifetime’s work; I guess my prayer is that the MMT continues to flourish, has deep and strong enough roots to allow us to maintain the standards of living which we take for granted.
Look! Car, clean water, shelter, supermarket, education, health, social security – the MMT is vulnerable; let’s take back ownership.