By L. Randall Wray
I’ve seen some pretty bizarre claims about MMTers. They are “tea partiers”, “barely left of center”, who “are not interested in policy”, who “ignore inequality”, who “are only interested in reducing taxes”. “MMTers ignore the fraud of the banksters.” They are at best “one issue” advocates for a particular view on money, taxes, and employment. I have no idea where critics get this stuff. I’m convinced they make it up. Ignorance or dishonesty; probably both.
For anyone who wants to disabuse herself of such nonsense, please go to www.levy.org, click on scholars, click on my name, and find right in front of your face a few hundred pieces on policy that I wrote. Yes, inequality. Yes, the explosion of incarceration. Yes, the War on Poverty’s failure. And so on. Stephanie Kelton just reminded me of an interview I gave in December to Travis Strawn–who happens to be a former student. He was writing for the Seven Pillars Institute (full disclosure: I’m not sure what it is). Judge for yourself if this is garden-variety “liberal”, let alone “tea party”.
By Michael Hoexter
The recent re-entry of the Obama Administration into public discussions and advocacy for climate change action has been a mixed blessing for the climate action movement. On the one hand, President Obama possesses the (U.S.) bully pulpit as President and thus can broadcast messages, which can be heard around the country and the world. Furthermore he leads the executive branch of the US federal government, where his Administration can enforce existing regulations, negotiate international business and political relationships, and set climate and energy targets for the functioning of the federal government’s internal operations. Indications that the US President personally is concerned about climate and assigns it a medium or high priority would, one would assume, make more likely real policy and executive actions, not just speeches. Against the background of relative US government inaction on climate change over the past two and a half decades, the decision to bring the climate issue out of the shadows in the beginning of his last term in office and his June 25th speech would under most circumstances be viewed as a net “win” for climate action and the climate movement, no matter what the exact content of his policy prescriptions.
Modern Money and Public Purpose is an eight-part, interdisciplinary seminar series held at Columbia Law School over the 2012-2013 academic year. The series aims to present new perspectives and progressive policy proposals on a range of contemporary issues facing the U.S. and global macroeconomy.