Author Archives: Stephanie Kelton

Turn That Frown Upside Down

(Updated – slides added)

Stephanie Kelton’s keynote address to the students, faculty, and visitors at Augustana College’s (Sioux Falls, SD) Undergraduate Research Symposium on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 10am. Stephanie begins at 2:40. The topic of the keynote is Debt and Deficits in the Modern Economy. The slides are available below the video.

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PBS goes MMT, Cites JKG

What gives money its value?  PBS explores. You can check it out here.

Why Minsky Matters

minskyAmerican economist Hyman Minsky died in 1996, but his theories offer one of the most compelling explanations of the 2008 financial crisis. His key idea is simple enough to be a t-shirt slogan: “Stability is destabilising”.

BBC Radio 4′s Analysis program has an episode on Minsky and looks at topics such as:

  • In the aftermath of the financial crisis, why did Minsky die an outsider?
  • What do his ideas say about the response to the 2008 crisis and current policies like Help to Buy?
  • And has mainstream economics done enough to respond to its own failure to predict the crisis and the challenge posed by Minsky’s ideas?

The Triumphant Return of NEP’s Podcast

By Stephanie Kelton

It’s been a long time, but I finally carved out enough time to record a new podcast. Although they’re my colleagues, Bill Black, Randy Wray and I see surprisingly little of one another these days. I did manage to catch up with Bill in Minneapolis last week, where I happened to be giving a talk (more on that in the coming days), but for the most part we’re all just trying to keep up with requests, which is a good problem to have when you think about it.

It was nice to slow down and talk with Randy this afternoon. We promised one another we’d do it more often. Anyway, here is today’s podcast.  We hope you enjoy it.

How Fiat Money Works

By Chris Mayer*

Warren Mosler tells a good story that shows how our economy works at its most basic level.

Imagine parents create coupons they use to pay their kids for doing chores around the house. They “tax” the kids 10 coupons per week. If the kids don’t have 10 coupons, the parents punish them. “This closely replicates taxation in the real economy, where we have to pay our taxes or face penalties,” Mosler writes.

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Five Ways to Improve Your Odds of Succeeding in the Labor Market

By Stephanie Kelton

It’s been five-and-a-half years since the US economy officially went into  recession and three-and-a-half years since we entered the “recovery” phase of the business cycle. While technically in “recovery,” it’s no secret that when it comes to the labor market, workers are suffering the weakest turnaround in the post-WWII era.

And despite what you may have read, the truth is we’re still nowhere near full employment — at least not if you’re honest and you’re counting everyone who wants full-time work and can’t get it.

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They’re Back: The Poltergeists in the Kansas Senate Renew their Attack on Education

By William K. Black

Two Kansas legislative leaders who have been attacking Kansas education for over a decade through their wars on teaching about sex and evolution are back.  Their threats drove the Regents’ policy destroying academic freedom and tenure.

Poltergeist:  A ghost that manifests itself by noises, rappings, and the creation of disorder – from the German Poltern (to make noise) and Geist (ghost).

I have written two prior columns (here and here) explaining how the Kansas Regents casually ended academic freedom and tenure in their universities with no notice to or participation by the faculty.

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Slapping Trillions of Obligations Into the Diapers of the Next Generation

By Stephanie Kelton

I get a huge volume of e-mail, but I don’t get the kind of hostile stuff that guys like Joe Weisenthal and Paul Krugman sometimes joke about.  I got one today, though, and boy is this guy steaming over my MMT coloring book!  Here’s the message:


It’s hard not to sympathize with a guy like this.  He apparently has kids, and he’s scared to death that his children and grandchildren will suffer real harm because Washington won’t get its fiscal house in order.  And why wouldn‘t he think that?  I mean, really.  Politicians on both sides of the aisle have spent decades labeling the government’s finances a “fiscal train wreck” that will leave future generations with a “crushing burden of debt.”  The mainstream media hypes these fears on a daily basis, and even NPR appears to be shilling for the debt scolds.

So it’s no wonder a guy like this is blasting me. He had probably never before encountered anything that rejects, so forcefully, the entire compilation of debt and deficit tropes.

He doesn’t strike me as a particularly open-minded guy, but I think I’ll send him this list of suggested readings anyhow.  Maybe he hasn’t finished his holiday shopping.

Recommended Inoculation

Freedom From Debt by Frank Newman

7 Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy by Warren Mosler

Understanding Modern Money by L. Randall Wray

Also these short articles:

Does Debt Matter? by Robert Skidelsky

Balanced Budgets and Depressions by Frederick Thayer

* I did bother to reproduce, by the way.  These are my little burdens of joy.  Both will find copies of the coloring book in their stockings on Christmas morning.

 

Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/stephaniekelton

How to Exit Austerity, Without Exiting the Euro

By Rob Parenteau

First of all, if a government stops having its own currency, it doesn’t just give up ‘control over monetary policy’…If a government does not have its own central bank on which it can draw cheques freely, its expenditures can be financed only by borrowing in the open market, in competition with businesses, and this may prove excessively expensive or even impossible, particularly under ‘conditions of extreme urgency’…The danger then is that the budgetary restraint to which governments are individually committed will impart a disinflationary bias that locks Europe as a whole into a depression it is powerless to lift.

So wrote the late Wynne Godley in his August 1997 Observer article, “Curried Emu”. The design flaws in the euro were, in fact, that evident even before the launch – at least to those economists willing to take the career risk of employing heterodox economic analysis. Wynne’s early and prescient diagnosis may have come closest to identifying the ultimate flaw in the design of the eurozone – a near theological conviction that relative price adjustments in unfettered markets are a sufficiently strong force to drive economies back onto full employment growth paths.

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MMT for Toddlers

By Stephanie Kelton

This year’s must-have stocking stuffer. My new MMT Coloring book.