An Open Invitation to Beltway Progressives

By Stephanie Kelton

Today’s post by Randy Wray was the second in a two-part series criticizing Washington progressives for failing to take an aggressive position against the deficit hysteria that is gridlocking our nation. While Washington fusses and fights over debt limits, supposedly unsustainable debts and deficit, and fears of fiscal crisis, the prospects of a double-dip are ever more dangerous. More than 14 million Americans have lost their jobs. It is time for progressives to recognize that our sovereign government has the fiscal capacity to deal with the crisis and that deficit hyperventilators like Pete Peterson can be defeated with MMT. We are offering to publish here at NEP responses by beltway progressives to the “Pinch-Hitting for Peterson” series. We look forward to their responses and to what we hope will be a lively debate.

9 responses to “An Open Invitation to Beltway Progressives

  1. This is very timely Stephanie, and I hope the "beltway progressives" respond. However, I've been trying to get them to debate for a long time at places like FDL, and DailyKos. I've written direct critiques of work by Robert Borosage, Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, Jan Schakowsky, Jeff Madrick, Bernie Sanders, Arianna Huffington, and others. They just ignore criticisms they believe come from their left.

  2. Where to start? How KC folks get their ass handed to them because all alternative voices are buried in econspeak. How KC folks fail to reframe their arguments within positive operational frames? How KC folks fail to bridge the gap between progressives and Tea Partiers? How Kansas City folks have failed to respond to any of my comments and challenge my ideas. How KC folks need to shell out some money to hire folks me like me who bring fresh ideas to the table? We are losing the PR war because our ideas don't challenge, bring clarity, or resonate with the public. Here is analogy for you. The ship is sputtering and a line of mechanics are all standing around offering a host of answers. The KC folks are standing in line and are failing to call these other frauds out. These other mechanics are frauds. Tell the policymakers 1) why 2) what the problem is 3) what the solution is? We need to think and act like engineers. We are problem solvers. We are not interested in ideology. We offer operational solutions. The point is you can offer the best service in the world but if you don't market it nobody knows your there. We must differentiate ourselves, call these frauds out, and sell our service. So you tell me. Where would be a good place to start?

  3. BTW – Pete Peterson needs to be thrown off the boat. He has no business being anywhere close to that engine room. The dude means well but he has no early earthly idea how the economic engine actually works. Why would he – he's a finance guy. He made his money buying, selling, and trading other people's "work".

  4. No, Craig, Peterson probably has a very good idea of how the economic engine works. He just wants the 13th Amendment repealed, and knows every word he says is a lie aimed towards that end. As Nixon's Commerce Secretary, he was one of a handful that advised Nixon at Camp David to end Bretton Woods and make the dollar a pure floating fiat currency.

  5. Essentially we are talking about motives. I'm assigning ignorance and you assigning malice. I think ignorance and groupthink seem more reasonable. Very few people know this stuff. Why would they? Who issuers currency. I have never heard anyone remotely suggest anything like KC school until introduced to it last summer. I've read alot of non-academic books on this stuff too. In fact, even after reading Hudson's FIRE stuff a couple years ago I never drew any on these conclusions. Mosler is the only one who breadcrumbed it for me. First in his book and then on his blog. Even if it was Peterson was trying to screw folks over it would be counterproductive to call him out on it. I really think this is just an operational failure. We've simply mismanaged the economy be targeting the wrong goal. We shouldn't be striving for balance budgets plain and simple. It's groupthink. We all live in our little bubble and rarely do new ideas pass the gates…at least until now 🙂 Let's do this! KC Tribe. Back to the bunker to sharpen my battle axe.

  6. This will be great. This is a debate progressives need to have.

  7. Craig, in 1971, knowledge of how money worked was far more widespread, though usually incomplete and inconsistent. The dark age of macroeconomics was almost but not quite there. Peterson has been around for a very, very long time. In your terms, he was one of the engineers who built the engine. That he does not understand it to the extent of believing what he now says strains belief.

  8. Is not "Beltway Progressives" an oxymoron?

  9. 1. Craig: A year ago, this series, and a readership for it, wouldn't even have existed. Now it does. 2. There's a very, very simple explanation for "losing the PR war": It's called funding. (The idea that Pete Peterson "means well" is an excellent example of the sort of good PR that a whole lot of money can buy.)