An understanding of MMT can energise the progressive fight back
Another great post by Bill Mitchell. The whole thing is worth a read.
An understanding of MMT can energise the progressive fight back.
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2011 by bill
I did an interview in August with the Harvard International Review (published by Harvard University). It was finally published yesterday (October 16, 2011) – Debt, Deficits, and Modern Monetary Theory. I consider the principles that are outlined in that interview to provide a sound organising framework for progressive movements aiming to make changes to the current failed systems. I think Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) does provide insights to the general population that are not only obscured by the mainstream media but which if they are broadly understand will empower the 99% to demand governments redefine their roles with respect to the non-government sector. Part of that re-negotiation has to be to reduce unemployment and redistribute national income more equally. We will also be better placed to have a sensible discussion about the human footprint on the planet. The three goals – full employment, reduced inequality and environmental harmony – should be central to the current civic protests (such as OWS). But we also have understand that government has to be involved in the pursuit and maintenance of those goals. The problem is not government but the politicians we elect and the coalition between them and the corporate elites. An understanding of MMT can energise the progressive fight back.
I hope that the OWS movements does start to articulate some coherent messages rather than just talk about jailing the banksters. I hope they see that government is not the problem per se but it is rather the coalition between government and the elites that is the problem.
I hope they articulate the point that we need radical change – not some local change – some amelioration of inequality or some more regulation. We need a fundamental rethink about the size and role of the financial sector and that can be driven, in part, by a fundamental change in the distribution of national income – back to wages.
That, in turn, will allow growth to be wages-driven rather than credit-driven which will help sustain full employment.
Once we understand how to achieve full employment and put in place a growth strategy that can sustain that we need to define how that growth strategy is consistent with our use of finite real resources.
These steps are not sequential but interactive but I hope the emerging OWS narrative doesn’t throw out the need for economic well-being while striving for its “green” and anti-materialist credentials.