Tag Archives: full employment

The “Debt Crisis” According to Bruce Bartlett: Generational Accounting

This is the last post in my analysis and commentary on Bruce Bartlett’s testimony to the Senate Budget Committee. There’s one very significant issue left to discuss, and that is the issue of fiscal gap and generational accounting and whether it should be institutionalized in legislation. I’ll begin this post with that discussion and then end the series with my overall evaluation of his effort.

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Will We Ever Get Change if We Keep Electing People Who Represent Special Interests?

We can see the positioning and the messaging on the Democratic side beginning to take shape for the 2016 elections. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren with nods to Thomas Piketty and various economists have stepped forward to offer the themes of salvation for the middle class, moderating the extremes of inequality in American society, and doing something real about jobs and wages.

Clinton World seems to be responding, not yet with forthright statements from Hillary Clinton, but recently with articles by stalwarts of neoliberal Clintonism (and veterans of the Obama Administration) such as Larry Summers and Peter Orszag, expressing concerns about inequality and proposing measures to alleviate it, even including increased taxation on the wealthy.

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Inside Modern Money Theory: Our Route to Full Employment and No Debt

By Rollo Martins
Cross Posted from PolicyMic.com

America has a tool that millennials can — and should — use to trump all the negatives that are piling up at their doorsteps (the high unemployment, international competition, and all that college debt). This tool is called the U. S. dollar, which aligned with a fiscal policy designed for growth and prosperity, would eliminate their debt and give them full employment for the remainder of their lives.

A sea-change is occurring in economics and the University of Missouri-Kansas City is leading the way. Combining a fiscal policy geared toward prosperity and growth with a new understanding of what fiat currency means for the country, the economists there are touting what is being called Modern Money Theory. MMT turns traditional neoclassical economics on its head: Instead of tax then spend, it’s spend then tax. In other words, we can spend whatever we want. (But I oversimplify: There is still inflation to worry about.) This is all great news for the country, and for the millennial generation in particular.

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The Layman’s Case Against Austerity

By Stephanie Kelton

Steve Kraske of The Kansas City Star recently interviewed me for a piece about austerity.  The story ran in today’s paper. It doesn’t provide much depth (unlike bloggers, journalists have strict space constraints!), so I followed up with a few comments on the Star’s website.  I thought I’d share them here, since I’m always trying to improve the way I communicate these ideas with non-economists.  So here’s my best effort to make the anti-austerity case in simple terms. Continue reading

Full Employment as the New Progressive Paradigm

By Dan Kervick

Part Two of a four-part essay

In Part One of this essay, I evoked the dismal state of the progressive movement in the developed world, and proposed that as part of the effort to turn this situation around progressives should embrace the political ideal of a full employment economy, with an activist government permanently standing ready to provide a productive job for every person who is both willing and able to work, but who is unable to find work in the private sector.

I would hope people of every political stripe would see value in a full employment economy.  But my argument here is aimed at progressives specifically.  I want to explain why, given the kinds of defining values they have traditionally embraced – democracy, equality, solidarity and progress – progressives should be drawn to the full employment ideal.  I will first explain why, in my view, progressives should view the pursuit of a full employment economy as a political, economic and moral imperative, and embrace the full employment cause as a foundation for progressive political revival.  I will then set out a few basic proposals about how a full employment economy might be structured.

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CONFERENCE: The Return of Full Employment Policy

Date: December 3, 2012
Venue: Paasitorni, Sirkussali, Helsinki

It is often argued that the era of full employment and Keynesian economic policy is over. Most orthodox economists claim that, in the long run, real full employment cannot be achieved with demand management policies. Active demand management is, thus, deemed to be too costly and inflationary. Continue reading

The Emancipation of the Unemployed

By Dan Kervick

An important anniversary is approaching.  On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed and issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  The proclamation that sounded the final end of the depraved institution of American slavery was presented to the nation and the world as an emergency war act, a “fit and necessary” measure for suppressing an armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States.  The language of the Emancipation Proclamation is restrained by the customary legalisms of government writ; and yet, vibrating through and beyond the tight cords of executive propriety, the drama and permanence of Lincoln’s statement sound clearly, along with the solemn national commitment to sustain the liberation of the newly freed men and women by force of arms:

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

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By John Henry

John Locke is the “father” of property rights theory, and continues to be referenced in defense of private property. In the second volume of his Two Treatises of Government, Locke specified the conditions that must be satisfied in order for property to be deemed legitimate. Initially, any property taken from “the commons” (public or collective property) had to be based on one’s labor that was expended to improve that property. (While Locke focused on landed property, his argument applies more generally.)

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Why Don’t People Want Full Employment? Michal Kalecki’s 1943 Essay on Politics and Ideology

By Michal Kalecki*


1. A solid majority of economists is now of the opinion that, even in a capitalist system, full employment may be secured by a government spending programme, provided there is in existence adequate plan to employ all existing labour power, and provided adequate supplies of necessary foreign raw-materials may be obtained in exchange for exports.

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Responses to Blog #42: Intro to the Job Guarantee

By L. Randall Wray

Thanks for all the comments and the interesting discussions. Sorry this will be late as I’m in Brazil at a couple of conferences. A number of the comments were on topics we will discuss later—especially Vincenzo’s design of his own preferred JG. I am purposely keeping it general in the beginning, and gradually we will introduce the specifics. But note that the discussion made it fairly clear that no “one size fits all” will work everywhere. The real world program will need to be carefully designed to fit “conditions on the ground” (as our Pentagon warriors love to phrase it). We need to look at the general, universal program first so I will stick to that. Later I will argue that in some circumstances it might not be practical (due to political, institutional, sovereignty, managerial capability, or productive capacity constraints) to implement the universal program from the get-go.

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