Author Archives: Devin Smith

Framing MMT – Modern Money Network

A Modern Money Network contributor – Jason Kessler put together this beautiful graphic based on Randy Wray’s Meme for Money series that appeared here on NEP.

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NEP’s Randy Wray on Thom Hartmann’s Show

Randy will be on Thom Hartmann’s show July 18th, 2014 at 1:00 pm Eastern time. You can catch Randy and Thom live on radio stations coast to coast…live on XM/Sirius satellite radio…simulcast LIVE on Free Speech TV on Dish Network, Direct TV, Comcast Cable, RCN, Cox Cable, Time Warner, Verizon Fios and over 200 independent community cable providers nationwide including Manhattan Neighborhood Network.

The audio and video are streamed LIVE on Thom’s website. Free Speech TV also streams the program LIVE on their website.

The program is also streamed LIVE (audio and video) on The Thom Hartmann Program app available for iPhone and iPad (free of charge on iTunes)

Keeping It Real: Law, Coercion, & The Frontiers of Public Finance

By Raúl Carrillo

“Where does money come from?” That’s our question. That’s the trump card Deficit Owls play to explain why the case for austerity is shallow and sadomasochistic, now and forever. When one spreads the true answer—that the Federal Reserve creates dollars with keystrokes, that the U.S. government, unlike like a state or a household, can’t possibly “go broke”, that Uncle Sam has to worry about inflation but doesn’t need to tax or borrow to spend—policy creativity explodes. The false choices of public finance are illuminated. We can decrease taxes AND increase expenditures. We can achieve full employment AND price stability at the same time. Once we align conversation with operational reality, and recognize that we can’t collectively run out of money, we can have an honest—if always antagonistic—conversation about what institutions should do to create, administer, and regulate stocks and flows of resources.

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Gary Becker Treatment of Women who Work for Pay as “Deviants”

By William K. Black

This is the second article in my five-part series on Gary Becker as an exemplar of the book we are writing about why economics is the only field in which one can receive the top award for proving wrong, anti-social, and intellectually dishonest.  In keeping with that triple failure the Swedish Central Bank prize in economics is frequently awarded in the year in which the recipients’ failures and intellectual dishonesty has become so obvious that only the most dogmatic of theoclassical central bankers could pretend not to recognize reality.  Becker’s award exemplifies this unintentional exercise in self-parody.

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The Reactionary University Critiqued by a Reactionary who Ignores Reactionary Economists

By William K. Black

Victor Davis Hanson begins an article with an interesting title: “America’s Medieval Universities.”  His fundamental critique of the universities is:

“Employment rates for college graduates are dismal. Aggregate student debt is staggering. But university administrative salaries are soaring. The campus climate of tolerance has utterly disappeared. Only the hard sciences and graduate schools have salvaged American universities’ international reputations.

For over two centuries, our superb system of American public and private higher education kept pace with radically changing times and so ensured our prosperity and reinforced democratic pluralism.

But a funny thing has happened on the way to the 21st century. Colleges that were once our most enlightened and tolerant institutions became America’s dinosaurs.

Start with ossified institutions. Tenure may have been a good idea in the last century to ensure faculty members free expression. But such a spoils system now encourages the opposite result of protecting monotonies of thought.”

Some of these statements are accurate, though Hanson (a recovering classicist at Hoover) provides no logical basis for blaming the universities and tenure for the faults.

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The Tories’ Colonial Mindset and Independence for Scotland

By William K. Black

Family tradition says my relatives came from Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Denmark – so I’m probably a typical American mutt.  As an Irish-American I learned early about London’s disgraceful treatment of its first colony, Ireland.  Indeed, but for London’s malign neglect my Irish relatives would likely never have emigrated and I would not exist.  I cannot, therefore, claim objectivity when it comes to the subject of independence for Scotland.  While I have no right to tell Scots how they should vote I would personally vote for independence.

My focus is on how the Tories are seeking to intimidate Scots to vote against independence.  The point is made in the title of a recent New York Times article:  “Scots Are Divided Over Independence, and Its Economic Costs.”

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Fundamentals of Shadow Banking: Dealer Model

Dr. Perry Merhling presented this seminar at UMKC on 4/30/14. He presented on the Shadow Banking System, in particular, the Dealer Model. The slides are immediately below the video.

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Let’s Fight Poverty, Not the Poor

By Fadhel Kaboub
(cross posted from freepress.org)

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the so-called “War on Poverty” that President Lyndon B. Johnson declared when the official poverty rate was at 19%. Five decades later, the poverty rate stands at 15% with 46.5 million people living below the official poverty line, which is about $23,000 for a family of four (2012 Census Data). More than 20 million people earn less than half the poverty line, in other words, they live in extreme poverty in the richest country in the history of the world. The statistics are even more depressing when we consider that the child poverty rate (under age 18) is an alarming 21.8%. Even worse, for children under the age of 5, some states register poverty rates of up to 36%.

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Role of Microeconomics and Heterodox Economics: A View of a Micro Theorist

This is the last graduate heterodox microeconomics lecture presented by Dr. Fred Lee for Academic Year 2013/2014.

Piketty’s Regressive Views on Public Debt and the Potential Impact of His Book

By Philip Pilkington
(Cross posted from Fixing The Economists)

uncle_sam_brokePiketty’s Wikipedia page says that he’s a Keynesian. Well, I don’t see it at all. His book contains a section on the public debt in historical perspective and it is desperately misinformed.

A caveat first though: I actually like Piketty’s book in a lot of ways. While not extremely well written, it is highly readable (if you are an historical data sort of person). And it is very nice to see what is effectively a work of economic history get so much play. Because economists should be far more interested in reality than in modelling and this book could spur that interest.

But the history presented in Piketty’s book is selective and, I think, ultimately untrustworthy. Even the way he chooses to present data — both in terms of the averaging of the time periods and aggregates used — is often quite misleading. I don’t want to get too far into this here but I’m pretty concerned that people who are broadly ignorant about economic history are reading this book and coming away, in many ways, misinformed.

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