EconoMonitor

Great Leap Forward

  • Taxes and the Public Purpose

    In previous instalments we have established that “taxes drive money”. What we mean by that is that sovereign government chooses a money of account (Dollar in the USA), imposes obligations in that unit (taxes, fees, fines, tithes, tolls, or tribute), and issues the currency that can be used to “redeem” oneself in payments to the […]

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  • Pre-distribution or redistribution? The Piketty moment, the Democrats, and the oncoming elections (Guest Post)

    I’ve been blogging a series on the role of taxes. In the first piece, I argued that “taxes drive money”, in response to a silly claim that MMT argues we do not need taxes. In the second instalment I examined other uses for taxes—including to reduce excessive aggregate demand and to discourage “sin”. Most importantly, […]

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  • Wray Live on Thom Hartmann’s Show May 27, 3-4pm ET

    I’ll be on Thom Hartmann’s show next Tuesday, May 27, 3-4pm Eastern Time. Info on how to listen: Live on radio stations coast to coast…live on XM/Sirius satellite radio…simulcast LIVE on Free Speech TV on Dish Network, Direct TV, Comcast Cable, RCN, Cox Cable, Time Warner, Verizon Fios and over 200 independent community cable providers […]

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  • Taxes and the Federal Budgeting Process

    Here’s an excellent editorial written by two followers of MMT*, Duane Catlett and Dan Metzger: http://helenair.com/news/opinion/federal-budget-process-what-did-leon-panetta-mean/article_8a5d9510-df0d-11e3-9322-001a4bcf887a.html. I’ll quote an excerpt but you should go read the whole piece. They correctly argue that if you’ve got a government that issues its own sovereign currency, affordability is never the issue. What matters is the real resource constraint. […]

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  • Forget Taxes for Redistribution

    We all love Robin Hood. Wouldn’t it be great if Kevin Costner rode his trusty stead through Wall Street, relieving the rapacious thieves of a few trillion of their ill-gotten gains, to be redistributed throughout the lands to all the deserving poor? You remember Robin Hood from your children’s storybooks. Of course, those were well-laundered […]

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  • WHAT ARE TAXES FOR? THE MMT APPROACH

    This is part of a series, following on from the last instalment that asked “Do We Need Taxes?”. Previously we have argued that “taxes drive money” in the sense that imposition of a tax that is payable in the national government’s own currency will create demand for that currency. Sovereign government does not really need […]

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  • DO WE NEED TAXES? THE MMT PERSPECTIVE

    What do you get when you drop taxes? Well, Bitcoins. Sometimes the only appropriate response to critics is embarrassment. For them. Witness the following exchange on twitter:               Full disclosure: I don’t twit, but someone sent this to me. I have no idea what transpired after that doozy of […]

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  • The Myth of the Great Moderation: Keynes vs Greenspan

    About as good as it gets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zsXUDQXKuQ Haiku Charlatan has done it again with another excellent video that contrasts Greenspan’s era of the “great moderation” against the “Keynesian” golden age of capitalism. Yes, you can quibble about exactly how “Keynesian” that period from WWII until 1970 really was. I was there, and there was a lot […]

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  • Chris Mayer on QE: Much Ado About Nothing, Or, Does The Fed Know What it is Doing?

    Here is a great piece by Chris Mayer on the Fed’s Quantitative Easing. To put it as simply as possible, QE is evidence that the Fed doesn’t understand what it is doing. I like the way he argues about inflation. For the original, go to: http://dailyresourcehunter.com/what-the-fed-is-really-doing-to-your-money/. Here’s Chris: QE is a tax. That’s an odd […]

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  • Why is Paul Krugman Frustrated with Heterodoxy?

    The blog-O-sphere has been lit up in recent days with Krugman’s announcement that he’s frustrated by the gloating of Heterodox Economists. He claims that with good hindsight, all the mainstream economists who “never saw the crisis coming” can use their flawed textbook approach to explain what happened. Gee, that makes me feel a lot better! […]

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