The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy

Stephanie Kelton. PublicAffairs, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5417-3618-4
Kelton, a professor of economics at SUNY Stony Brook, debuts with an accessible introduction to modern monetary theory (MMT) and its implications for public policy. According to MMT, the American government, as monopoly issuer of the U.S. dollar, can print and spend money as it sees fit, without undue concern for runaway inflation or ballooning national debt. Lawmakers and economists who maintain that the government should operate like a household (by balancing tax revenue and spending), Kelton writes, mistake the real usage of taxes (not to fund public services, but rather to create demand for currency), and employ the “deficit myth” mainly to avoid funding projects to which they’re politically opposed. She also undercuts common notions about unemployment and inflation, and argues that a new, MMT-based economy could help to mitigate climate change and eliminate trade wars. By placing a greater emphasis on “full employment,” Kelton writes, the government could spend money to create meaningful jobs while also providing health care and better public education. Kelton writes clearly and directly, and does well to keep the lay reader in mind throughout. This comprehensive, lucid explanation of a much-buzzed about economic theory will resonate with progressives. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/07/2020
Release date: 06/09/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-6037-0
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-5417-3619-1
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