12 Comments

Excellent! If only more citizens could read pieces like this instead of being confused and mislead by pundits and politicians.

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Thanks for interviewing Stephanie Kelton. The knowledge that you and she revealed in your discussion is absolutely crucial for developing the best practice-based solutions we need for our government to meet its purpose, which, as described by Alexander Hamilton, is “…to abolish factions, and to unite all parties for the general welfare.” It is yet another form of “protectionism,” but in this case we should be protecting our citizens from the factions. (James Madison defined “factions” as “…a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”) Kelton’s ability to teach us the “so what” of MMF fills in one of the essential elements necessary to get out democracy on track. It has been proven that great quality education is the single best investment our government can make in pursuit of its purpose (i.e., “unite for the general welfare”), and we must frame it as such. Our messaging should repeatedly depict education as an investment intended to make our fellow citizens better at learning, teaching and making decisions. Considering the pandemic of stupidity that is burning through our country, we need sufficient funding to build and maintain a role model public education, and we needed it 50 years ago. In general, any investments that our citizens and government choose to make in support of our democracy’s purpose are good as long as we do it with the best ways we know how. Unfortunately, the oligarchs and billionaires (the really big factions) will continue to manipulate a lot of our elected and appointed officials to promote their own welfare at the expense of the rest of us. They are getting better at the tactics and strategies of “smart repression,” and they will not willingly relinquish their status quo.

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I'm pretty simple-minded and not into economics at ALL, but... this seems good! But this seems like nothing new... just something interpreted in a different way by our current politicians. It seems like common sense! (Of course, we haven't seen a lot of THAT in a while.) Not crazy about Biden but I hope he takes advantage of this as much as possible. And - it's true: your average citizen simply doesn't understand this stuff. I never have. Nor am I particularly interested in it. So I have to trust my politicians to dig into it. Who knows if they do? Seems to me this whole concept should be amplified whenever possible.

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So we should tax the rich to create income equality. But won't their taxes also curb inflation or will it not make much of a difference?

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When I was growing up my poor southern Grandfather (who showed me what I needed to see to make me the woman I am) always taught me it was “us” against the Fat Cats and there are many more of us. That thinking was empowering how/why/who broke us up?

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Like Ms. Kelton, Novelist Paul Krugman has argued for more robust defecit spending since 2008. He's not sold on MMT, though. I'd guess he's under- whelmed by the vagaries of MMT explanations of economic processes. "INFLATION," for example, is no painless elixir!!! It can qûickly escalate into currency devaluation, Trade Stoppage and a wholesale collapse Business Confidence. The financialization of finance has already untethered USA's increasingly non-economic economy, the "unpegging" of traditional economic constrains with MMT theory threatens to blind us to castastrophe which will necessitate a return to an unseemly rigid new standard of value....

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That was an excellent overall interview Anand explaining monetary policy in a relatable way, but this is the sentence of Stephanie Kelton's I find the most prophetic,

"I hope I’m wrong, but climate change is going to confront us with some very bad circumstances. If we can’t rebuild basic levels of empathy and communitarian commitment, those bad circumstances are going to make us meaner, more scared, more selfish, and ultimately more violent than we already are. " Again, the issue for me, as an educator, is not just the knowledge that unties the "knots" many economists purposely confuse, but the emotional and social learning that lets us see the reasons they are trying to "knot" us up. The strategy that throws people back onto their legitimate fear of loss, uncertainty, and no sense of social nets holding, so making us all struggling in some kind of capitalist-media-created emotional Hunger Games. Sanity, and calm deconstructionist explanations like this - we can all understand Sesame Street references (!) - makes us realize again it is in our capacity and our hands. It's time to wake up and take hold of that understanding

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Sharing the premise of this interview.

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Great interview, and helpful for sharing with people who are stuck on old school economic understanding.

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Excellent choice of subject. Exhibit 1 of radical ideas moving towards the center.

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Amazing interview! When I briefly met you at Veracruz tacos in Austin, this is all I wanted to pick your brain about :) lol

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