This post contains an excellent first-thing to watch, read, and listen to, in order for the layperson (who’s never heard of it) to learn Modern Money Theory, or MMT. It ends with some recommendations for going deeper when you’re ready for more.
What is MMT? MMT is an accurate description of how our economy actually and already functions at the federal level. It replaces false financial constraints (debt!, deficit!!, China!!, inflation!!!* and HoWrEyOuGoNnAPaYFoRiT???), with real constraints: our ability to utilize human labor in order to obtain, produce, and do what we need to survive and thrive.
(*Inflation the Boogeyman, not inflation in reality.)
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This post was last updated September 15, 2020.
Disclaimer: I am a layperson who has studied MMT since February of 2018. I’m not an economist or academic and I don’t speak for the MMT project. The information in this post is my best understanding but I don’t assert it to be perfectly accurate. In order to ensure accuracy, you should rely on the expert sources linked throughout. If you have feedback to improve this post, please get in touch.
To read: A book and an article
Here’s the 2017 post Christian Reilly of MMT Podcast calls “the quickest read describing MMT”: Explainer: what is modern monetary theory?. It’s written by Steven Hail who is a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Adelaide, Research Scholar with the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, and author of the 2018 book, Economics for Sustainable Prosperity.
Until Stephanie’s book arrives, listen to the first three episodes of MMT Podcast with Patricia Pino and Christian Reilly (broadcast in April and May 2018):
- A hypothecated tax for the NHS?: Patricia and Christian explain why we don’t need a hypothecated tax for the NHS (the healthcare system in the U.K.: the National Health System), and why it’s so damaging to believe that we do.
- Monetary Sovereignty: What does it mean to be monetarily sovereign and why does it matter? Patricia and Christian discuss how some erroneous mainstream economic concepts are confusing us and undermining our understanding of world economic problems.
- Why we can always afford a war: Patricia and Christian discuss government ‘debt’ and explain why politicians never ask “how are you going to pay for it?” when it comes to war.
(Later on, you can listen to my podcast 🙂.)
Here’s an excellent hour-long lecture-introduction by Stephanie called Angry Birds and Deficits, from 2015:
When you’re ready for more
When you’re ready for more, here’s a list of first academic papers I strongly recommend to those interested in learning more about MMT. Each is short, written in accessible language, and covers a fundamental aspect of MMT or the concepts it’s based on. A good place to continue is here: a large set of resources I created with links to hundreds of academic works by the economists and academics who’ve developed MMT for the past quarter century (and who know it inside and out).
If you have questions, there are many reliable people on Twitter, both professional and smart laypeople, to help you out. If you’re on Facebook, a great place to ask questions is in the group Modern Monetary Theory for Real Progressives.
Best of luck.
✌️, ❤️, and #MMT 🦉