MMT Applied: Nice Things We Can Have

Conversations about the nation’s budget should be about spending priorities and the resources necessary to accomplish them: the people, materials and time. This page contains discussions of proposals that align with progressive values.

Stephanie Kelton introduced us to the concept with Instead of Worrying About Budgets and Deficits, Ask About Impact.

The Research & The Proposals

In 2015, Binzagr published Completing the Roosevelt Revolution: Why the Time for a Federal Job Guarantee Has Come.
– Pavlina R. Tcherneva (@PTcherneva), Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, Nov 2015

Between Feb & April 2018, the Levy Economic Institute of Bard College published The Macroeconomic Effects of Student Debt Cancellation
— Scott Fullwiler, Stephanie A. Kelton, Catherine Ruetschlin and Marshall Steinbaum.

On the idea of a federal job guarantee, Levy published
1.“The Job Guarantee • Design, Jobs and Implementation”
— Pavlina Tcherneva
2. “Guaranteed Jobs through a Public Service Employment Program”
— L. Randall Wray, Stephanie A. Kelton, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Scott Fullwiler and Flavia Dantas.
3. “Public Service Employment: A Path to Full Employment”
— L. Randall Wray, Stephanie A. Kelton, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Scott Fullwiler and Flavia Dantas.

Tcherneva published and maintains Frequently asked questions about the Job Guarantee

CBPP published The Federal Job Guarantee – A Policy to Achieve Permanent Full Employment
— Mark Paul (@MarkVinPaul), William Darity Jr. (@SandyDarity) & Darrick Hamilton (@DarrickHamilton), Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March 9, 2018

Data for Progress published A GREEN NEW DEAL•
A progressive vision for environmental sustainability and economic stability

— Greg Carlock (@gregorytcarlock), Emily Mangan, Sean McElwee (@SeanMcElwee) Data for Progress(@dataprogress), Sept 2018

The Response


The MMT government job guarantee • The modern monetary theory can also offer a solution to the nation’s unemployment problems
— Stephen Williams Independent Australia, (@IndependentAus) Oct 11, 2018

Why Politicians Want the U.S. to Guarantee You a Job
— Katia Dmitrieva (@katiadmi), Bloomberg, Sept 21, 2018

A Job for Everyone? This 21st-Century Keynes Says It’s Possible William Darity, Jr., a Duke University professor, has pushed the idea of a federal job guarantee into the Mainstream
— Mattea Kramer (@MatteaKramer) Ozy, (@ozy) Sept 17, 2018

How a Federal Job Guarantee Can Help the Formerly Incarcerated
— Vanessa A. Bee @dolladollabille, New York Magazine, Aug 31, 2018

On the Security of Social Security
— Max Mastellone (@MaxMastellone), Medium, Aug 24, 2018

Popular econ professor advances universal job guarantee plan with Democrats #Deficit
— Rita Francesca Loffredo (@loffredo_rita) The College Fix, (@CollegeFix) Aug 22, 2018

How much would universal health care really cost?
— Cory Doctorow (@doctorow), BoingBoing, Aug 21, 2018

There Is Work To Be Done: AI And The Future Of Work
— Mark Paul (@MarkVinPaul), Forbes, Aug 18, 2018

What Money Can Buy • The promise of a universal basic income—and its limitations.
— Bryce Covert (@BryceCovert), The Nation, Aug 15, 2018

Fareed Zakaria talks with Stephanie Kelton on “Making Martin Luther King and FDR’s dream a reality.” #JobGuarantee CNN – GPS Aug 5, 2018 (23:00-28:41)

What if you could sue the government for a job?
— Jeff Spross (@jeffspross), The Week, (@TheWeek) July 30, 2018

Should Democrats play it safe with a job guarantee?
— Jeff Spross (@jeffspross), The Week, (@TheWeek) July 27, 2018

Making a Federal Job Guarantee Work
— Joe Weisenthal(@TheStalwart) with William Darity Jr. (@SandyDarity) Bloomberg, July 24, 2018

People Are Finally Starting to Take Mass Student Debt Forgiveness Seriously • Is it time to forgive the debt?
— James Dennin (@JamesFDennin) Inverse, July 16, 2018

What Is A Federal Jobs Guarantee? Growing numbers of Democrats support the idea of guaranteeing decent jobs to all Americans. Here’s how they say it would work.
— Laura Paddison (@laurapaddison) HuffPost, July 6, 2018

One answer for our student-loan debt crisis
— Katrina vanden Heuvel (@KatrinaNation) Daily Journal, June 20, 2018

Do We Need a Federal Jobs Guarantee? A Debate. • Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders have all proposed a job guarantee. But would it be drudgery?
— Raúl Carrillo (@RaulACarrillo), Rohan Grey (@RohanGrey) In These Times, June 18, 2018

David Dayen (@DDayen) talks about job guarantee proposals with conservative host Jimmy Sengenberger.
Business for Breakfast on KDMT-AM 1690 in Denver, May 24, 2018 (53:23)

Thinking Beyond Trump, Why We Need A Federal Jobs Guarantee
— Robert Reich, (@RBReich) Eurasia Review, May 22, 2018 (Cross-posted in Truthdig)

Three Ways to Design a Democratic Job Guarantee.
— Alexander Kolokotronis, (@AVK48) Truthout, May 20, 2018

Segregation is alive and well in America’s so-called land of opportunity — just ask black and Latino children • 50 years after the landmark Kerner Commission report, the United States still has a long way to go. #JobGuarantee
— Alan Curtis, Fred Harris NBC News, May 13, 2018

Why the Latinx Community Should Fight for a Job Guarantee
— Alan A. Aja (@AlanAAja1), Raúl Carrillo (@RaulACarrillo), Rita Sandoval (@RitaMSandoval) @LatinoRebels, May 9, 2018

Likely 2020 Democratic Candidates Want To Guarantee A Job To Every American
— Danielle Kurtzleben, (@titonka) @NPR, May 8, 2018

Bernie Gets Socialistic • A national job guarantee has opened radical horizons for the Left. We should fight for it — but the devil is in the details.
— Max B. Sawicky, (@maxbsawicky) Jacobin, May 7, 2018

Political Aspects of Full Employment • Why do capitalists hate full employment? Because it weakens their power over workers.
— Michal Kalecki Jacobin Archives, May 7, 2018

The Guardian view on a job guarantee: a policy whose time has come • Ministers need to adopt measures that secure a basic human right to engage in productive employment
— Editorial, The Guardian, May 3, 2018

A biblical answer to the $1 trillion problem of student debt
— F. Romall Smalls, (@Romall06), Religion News Service, May 2, 2018 #DebtJubilee

We Work • Give job guarantee a chance
— James K. Galbraith, The Baffler May 2, 2018

Yes, a Jobs Guarantee Could Create “Boondoggles.” It Also Might Save the Planet.
— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff), In These Times, May 1, 2018

Human capital and the jobs guarantee
— Alexandra Scaggs (@alexandrascaggs), Financial Times — Alphaville, April 30, 2018

Calculating the Cost of a Jobs Guarantee
— Pavlina Tcherneva (@PTcherneva), Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) Bloomberg, April 30, 2018

Whether America Can Afford a Job Guarantee Program Is Not Up for Debate
— David Dayen (@DDayen), The Intercept, April 30, 2018

How much would a job guarantee actually cost?
— Jeff Spross (@jeffspross), The Week, (@TheWeek) April 26, 2018

How Guaranteeing Jobs Became the Hot New Policy Priority for 2020 Dems • Bernie Sanders has a bill. Cory Booker too. And now Elizabeth Warren is on board.
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick), The Daily Beast, (@thedailybeast) April 25, 2018

Why the Cause of Full Employment Is Back from the Dead • Franklin Roosevelt and Martin Luther King campaigned for it in vain—but the need for full employment has never gone away
— Harold Meyerson (@HaroldMeyerson), American Prospect, (@TheProspect) April 25, 2018

Need Work? Maybe That’s a Job for Government • Lots of good things can happen when people are employed.
— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion), Bloomberg, April 24, 2018

We Need Strategies for Integrating MMT Knowledge Into Progressive Politics
— Max Mastellone (@MaxMastellone), Real Progressives USA, April 24, 2018

Stephanie Kelton: Student Debt And Deficit Delusions
— Richard Eskow (@rjeskow), The Ring of Fire Network, April 24, 2018 (18:00)

Embracing ‘the Sort of Bold Thinking We Need,’ Sanders to Introduce Plan to Guarantee Every American a Job • Proponents trace the idea back to the New Deal Era, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt pitched a ‘Second Bill of Rights’ to Congress in 1944. First on the list: the ‘right to a useful and remunerative job.’
— Jake Johnson (@johnsonjakep), Common Dreams, (@CommonDreams) April 23, 2018

Bernie Sanders to announce plan to guarantee every American a job
— Jeff Stein (@jstein_wapo), Washington Post, April 23, 2018

The jobs guarantee and human-capital “nationalisation”
— Alexandra Scaggs (@alexandrascaggs), Financial Times — Alphaville, April 22, 2018

Students as Debt Slaves • It is time for a system that turns students into indentured servants to go
— John Buell, Common Dreams, (@commondreams) April 21, 2018

The Government Has A Job To Do– Creating Full Employment… And It’s Been Failing At It
— Howie Klein (@DownWithTyranny), DownWithTyranny, April 18, 2018

What If We Didn’t… have any unemployment?
— A.P. Joyce (@AndrewPaulJoyce) Mic, April 17, 2018

U.S. Jobs Guarantee Held Out as Path to True ‘Full Employment’
— Katia Dmitrieva (@katiadmi), Bloomberg, April 17, 2018

Fadhel Kaboub – Financing the War on Climate Change The Power of Financial Sovereignty. Real Progressive April 16, 2018 (51:01)

Why Democrats should fight for the right to a good job
— Katrina vanden Heuvel (@KatrinaNation), The Washington Post,
April 10, 2018

The Zero Hour
R.J. Eskow talks with Pavlina Tcherneva about the the moral, policy and economic impacts of a national job guarantee. April 8, 2018 (16:38)

The Government Should Guarantee Everyone a Good Job • We have an opportunity to pass a good-jobs guarantee—but we have to start a movement now.
— Ady Barkan (@AdyBarkan), The Nation, April 4, 2018

Steve Breen

A Guaranteed Jobs-for-All Program Is Gaining Traction Among 2020 Democratic Hopefuls
— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff), The Intercept, April 1, 2018

‘Reclaiming the State – a Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World’ • A challenge to the left to repoliticise on national decision-making
— Anthony Coughlan, Village Magazine(@VillageMagIRE),
March 30, 2018

Food Stamps Aren’t a Substitute for Work. They’re How Low-Wage Workers Avoid Hunger. (#FederalJobGuarantee)
— Kalena Thomhave, @kalenasthom The American Prospect,
March 28, 2018

Data Wonk: A Federal Jobs Guarantee
— Bruce Thompson, Urban Milwaulkee, March 28, 2018

Red and Blue Voters Alike Could Rally Around This Radical Job Growth Idea • Pushing to expand Americorps or supporting a federal jobs guarantee has benefits for everyone.
— Liz Posner @elizpos, Alternet, March 28, 2018

This Democratic Senator Has a Plan to Make College Debt-Free for All.
— Eric Levitz @EricLevitz, New York Magazine, March 25, 2018

The Radical Proposal That Moderate Democrats Should Be Running On (#FederalJobGuarantee).
— Eric Levitz @EricLevitz, Bloomberg Businessweek, March 22, 2018

Why Democrats Should Embrace a Federal Jobs Guarantee
— Sean McElwee @SeanMcElwee, Colin McAuliffe @unburythelead17 and Jon Green @_Jon_Green, The Nation, March 20, 2018

Killing a Parasite, Part 2 — How to Implement Student Debt Cancellation
— Gaius Publius (@Gaius_Publius), The Smirking Chimp,
March 12, 2018

Stephanie Kelton explains how the government budget affects the economy and the mechanics of student debt forgiveness
— Matthew C. Klein (@M_C_Klein), Financial Times Alphaville,
March 10, 2018

The Federal Job Guarantee – A Policy to Achieve Permanent Full Employment
— Mark Paul (@MarkVinPaul), William Darity Jr. (@SandyDarity) & Darrick Hamilton (@DarrickHamilton), Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,
March 9, 2018

Stephanie Kelton on budget deficits and student debt
Financial Times Alphachat Kelton talks with Matt Klein (@M_C_Klein) about how government budgets really work and what large-scale student debt forgiveness might do for the US economy. March 8, 2018 (48:29)

An Economic Bill of Rights for the 21st Century • In 1944, Franklin Roosevelt proposed constitutional amendments to guarantee Americans’ fundamental economic rights. It was never adopted—and today, is more necessary than ever. Here’s an adaptation of his program for our time.
— Mark Paul (@MarkVinPaul), William Darity Jr. (@SandyDarity) & Darrick Hamilton (@DarrickHamilton), American Prospect,
March 5, 2018

Pavlina Tcherneva — The Federal Job Guarantee
Job guarantee research; why such a policy is needed; and how it would work, from funding to implementation. Benefits to those who are often excluded from full participation in economic and social life; why a job guarantee is superior to an income guarantee alone;
Harvard Law School Chapter, Modern Money Network— , March 2, 2018 (1:14:01)

Picture the United States Without Student Debt
— Richard Eskow (@rjeskow),,
Feb 27, 2018

Killing a Parasite — Canceling Student Debt, Part 1
— Gaius Publius (@Gaius_Publius), DownWithTyranny, Feb. 27, 2018

Opinion: Provide Jobs for All and End Poverty
— Chuck Lynd, Columbus Underground, Feb. 26, 2018

The Sanders Institute Talks: Student Loan Debt
Dr. Jane Sanders sits down with economist Dr. Stephanie Kelton to talk about the macroeconomic effects of student loan debt cancellation in the United States. Feb 18, 2018 (25:53)

Stephanie Kelton: Cancel Student Debt to Grow the Economy
R.J. Eskow, host of The Zero Hour, presents the question: “Could cancelling all student debt help everybody, including people with student debt and people who have never gone to college?” Feb 18, 2018 (14:23)

Canceling student debt could be the answer to growing the economy
— Ashley Curtin (@AshlyCurt), Nation of Change, Feb. 15, 2018

How Progressives Can Criticize Trump’s $7 Trillion Deficit Without Preaching Austerity
— Kate Aronoff (@KateAronoff), In These Times, Feb. 13, 2018

Want To Stimulate The Economy? Cut Student Debt–Not Taxes
— Ben Schiller (@btschiller), Fast Company, Feb. 12, 2018

More Support For Student Debt Cancellation
— Gaius Publius (@Gaius_Publius), Down With Tyranny, Feb 10, 2018

We Must Cancel Everyone’s Student Debt, for the Economy’s Sake
— Eric Levitz (@EricLevitz), New York Magazine, Feb. 9, 2018

Canceling $1.4 trillion in student debt could have major benefits for the economy
— Jillian Berman (@JillianBerman), Market Watch, Feb. 8, 2018

New Study Finds Cancelling Student Debt Provides Broad Economic Benefits at Low Cost
— Yves Smith (@YvesSmith), Naked Capitalism, Feb. 7, 2018

Want to grow the US economy? Cancel student debt, new report shows
— A.P. Joyce (@AndrewPaulJoyce) Mic, Feb. 6, 2018

The case for erasing every last penny of student debt
— Ryan Cooper (@ryanlcooper) The Week, Feb. 2, 2018

Radical Imagination: Imagining Economic Democracy. Host Jim Vrettos of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, introduces Richard Wolff and Stephanie Kelton, Feb 2, 2018 (57:59)

The Macroeconomic Effects of Student Debt Cancellation
— Dr. Stephanie Kelton (@StephanieKelton), Dr. Scott Fullwiler (@stf18), Dr. Catherine Ruetschlin, Dr. Marshall Steinbaum, The Sanders Institute, Feb, 2018

“But How Will We Pay for It?”: Modern Monetary Theory and Democratic Socialism”
— Alexander Kolokotronis, (@AVK48) Sean Keith (@sean_keith) Truthout, Jan 2, 2018


What Sounds Better To You – Guaranteed Basic Income Or Federal Job Guarantee?
— Howie Klein (@DownWithTyranny), Naked Capitalism, Dec 29, 2017

The Job Guarantee & Social Justice (w/ Pavlina Tcherneva)
— Pavlina Tcherneva (@ptcherneva), Adam Simpson (@Adam Simpson), Cecilia Gingerich (@c_gingerich) The Next System Podcast (with transcript), Dec. 20, 2017

Citations Needed • Episode 11: The Deficits Racket Part I — Single Payer Propaganda War
— Nima Shirazi (@wideasleepnima), Adam Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC), Stephanie Kelton (@StephanieKelton), Citations NeededSept 27, 2017 (1:03:00)

What Modern Monetary Theory Can Teach Us about Criminal Justice
— Raúl Carrillo (@RaulACarrillo), Tropics of Meta, July 6, 2017

It’s Time for the Government to Give Everyone a Job
— David Dayen (@DDayen), The Nation, May 19, 2017

Why Coretta Scott King Fought for a Job Guarantee
— David Stein (@DavidpStein), Boston Review, May 17, 2017

You’re Hired! • The Democrats are looking for a big idea? Here’s one: a guaranteed job for anyone who wants one. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.
— Jeff Spross (@jeffspross), Democracy, March, 2017

“The Job Guarantee” featuring Pavlina Tcherneva
Jacobin Filmmaker: Rebecca Rojer 2017 (14:02)

5 Reasons Why a Federal Job Guarantee Makes Sense
— Mark Paul (@MarkVinPaul), William Darity Jr. (@SandyDarity) & Darrick Hamilton (@DarrickHamilton), In These Times, Feb 7, 2017

Why We Need a Federal Job Guarantee • Giving everyone a job is the best way to democratize the economy and give workers leverage in the workplace.
— Mark Paul (@MarkVinPaul), William Darity Jr. (@SandyDarity) & Darrick Hamilton (@DarrickHamilton), Jacobin, Feb 4, 2017

Why a universal basic income is a poor substitute for a guaranteed job
— Claire Connelly (@_ClaireConnelly) ABC News, Jan 19, 2017


A Job for Everyone • A federal job guarantee is a good, All-American policy.
— Mark Paul US News Oct 7, 2016

“MMT: A Job Guarantee Would Bring Unemployment to Zero”
— Pavlina Tcherneva Deficit Owls Aug 15, 2016 (4:29)

A Guaranteed Federal Jobs Program Is Needed.
— William Darity Jr. (@SandyDarity) NY Times July 11, 2016


The Federal Job Guarantee: A Step Toward Racial Justice • A federal job guarantee would go a long way toward addressing racial disparities and building an inclusive U.S. economy.
— Darrick Hamilton (@DarrickHamilton), Dissent Magazine, Nov 9, 2015


How the U.S. Government Could End the Student Debt Crisis Today • Instead of loaning students money, the federal government could just pay for their tuition, without causing any significant economic problems
— Raúl Carrillo (@RaulACarrillo), Yes Magazine, Nov 12, 2014

Free Culture? Free Finance.
— The Modern Money Network (Columbia Chapter), The Morningside Muckracker, Oct 28, 2014

Why Banking at the Post Office Could Be a Better Option Than Payday Loans—and Wall Street • USPS used to offer financial services. Proponents say that bringing them back could buffer us from financial meltdowns and alleviate poverty. Here’s why it just might work.
— Raúl Carrillo (@RaulACarrillo), Yes Magazine, Aug 6, 2014

Raising the Floor, Not Just the Ceiling • To reform higher ed, we need a federal job guarantee.
— Tressie McMillan Cottom (@tressiemcphd), Slate, Jan 23, 2014

Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For: Guaranteed jobs, universal basic incomes, public finance and more
— Jesse Myerson (@JAMyerson), Rolling Stone, Jan 3, 2014