Listen now | What to do — and not do — in an emergency
If you want to get a very good MMT interview to correct Meadway's misrepresentation and poor understanding of "borrowing" and QE, you should please invite Bill Mitchell or Warren Mosler on.
Great interview. I agree with everything Meadway says, and he makes some interesting observations and points — up to 41 minutes. Then he goes off the rails when MMT is mentioned.
His explanation of MMT isn't wrong, but the criticisms as he explains them are not valid because MMT recognises the constraints of currency sovereignty. MMT does not simply advocate that we "print our way to prosperity". But he doesn't like MMT, so he uses the (very good by the way) "butchering" description which you fed him to further the false criticisms of MMT in a more reasonable sounding tone. That was just irritating, but expected since he has publicly attacked MMT in the past: https://tribunemag.co.uk/2019/06/against-modern-monetary-theory. To which Bill Mitchell responded: https://tribunemag.co.uk/2019/06/for-mmt.
I had to stop listening when he explained government borrowing and QE. His explanation is not just wrong, it is complete bull****. Governments don't "borrow", and QE doesn't fund government spending. I can explain, but I'll not go into it here.
Warren is very approachable and I can pass you contacts for both if you are interested.
Then there’s saving the planet. It simply cannot be done by private finance (for profit) and can only be done by the public sector, which is the only way of creating money for free. It’s why governments fight wars on the public payroll and don’t outsource them to the corporate sector. And ‘fighting’ the Polycrisis will be the biggest ‘war’ humankind has ever fought. Except it has to be a war of love and caring not of aggression and aggrandizement.
If you want a bit of a firebrand with a deep knowledge of macroeconomics, try Steve Keen. A wry voice and deep knowledge of money, try Randy (L. Randall) Wray or another of the founders, Bill Mitchell, who I suspect you’d like a lot. Stephanie Kelton would, of course, be great but she’s probably too busy. Or look closer to home to the Gower Institute - one of the women founders or academics - Paul Armstrong or Neil Wilson would be great too. But you can’t let Meadway’s nonsense rest unchallenged.
Just saying, this was an appalling description of MMT and you really do need to set the record straight by talking to someone who understands it.
I have also found Warren very approachable and relatively easy to understand.
You should also speak to Fred Harrison co-author of The Corruption of Economics, which documents the way in which Neo-classical economics has deliberately written Land out of the classical model in order to privatise enable the wealthy land holders to steal economic rent created by the whole community and ultimately leads to the degradation of society and the environment.
I think Meadway succeeds in missing every insight provided by MMT and they’re insights that are relevant to so much of what you talk about. For every project to improve or save the world, the first challenge is how to pay for it, which immediately takes us to money. But what if this question is the wrong question and it’s just a place for us to get stuck and then hopelessly lost?
Money is nothing more than the ability to martial resources - either by the state or private sector. In either case it’s created ‘out of thin air’. It derives its value from it being the only thing you can use to pay taxes or debts. Taxation is NOT needed for spending - its only role is to drive the denomination and release resources.
Take affordable housing as an example. We’ve let ourselves be led (actually encouraged it because it made us feel wealthy), by bank mortgage lending, into a Ponzi scheme of ever inflating house prices to the point that housing is now beyond the reach of our working people. The answer, counter intuitively, is to tax housing - not to fund anything but to release construction resources from building high-end housing so it’s freed up to build affordable. Then to pump government (fiat) money into building houses that people can afford to buy and live in.