On December 30, 2010, George Jarkesy’s New Captains of Industry Program broadcast an Economist Round Table called: “Economics 101 for Politicians and Policy Makers”. The round table featured Warren Mosler, Randy Wray, and Mike Norman. Warren and Randy are two of the three “fathers” of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) school, and Mike is one of its most active supporters in the blog and radio worlds. The moderator of the program was George Jarkesy. The round table, almost an hour long, is a great opportunity to learn about MMT’s relevance for policy by listening to a very frank conversation in which the MMT practitioners talk very directly about the foibles approaches being taken by the economic establishment and today’s policy makers, on the point of impoverishing our country through Governmental austerity.
The talk is commonsensical, often a bit sarcastic, whimsical, full of frustration at people practicing “flat-earth” economic policy-making and preferring political compromises to real solutions to our economic problems. The discussion is also extremely wide-ranging covering such topics as: Quantitative easing and its effect on inflation; Ben Bernanke, his attempts to control expectations and his playing into the public perception that the Government is botching everything up for all except a few; payroll tax cuts and other measures for getting out of the economic mess; the economic doomsday scenario; the relationship between Government savings and deficits, and non-Government savings and deficits; how the Government spends; the duplicity some well-known people favoring austerity; China’s so-called financing of American debt; the relationship between Treasury Bonds and savings accounts; Bank of America savings accounts and debt; the gold standard system and our current system; what the Fed should do; Warren’s proposals to get to full employment and really end the recession for Main Street, not just Wall Street; Mike’s proposals for fixing the economy; Randy’s synthesis of proposals; imports as benefits; constraints on some of the world’s economies; and the independence of the US policy for regaining prosperity from other nation’s desires to exports.
In short, take the time to listen to this round table. You may or may not agree with the economics. But I think you’ll find it hard to deny that the approach offered by the three economists deserves your careful consideration and comparison with your own approach. That comparison might just persuade you that the MMT economists have some good answers to our present situation which don’t include austerity.