Inflation: Facts & Pernicious Myths

Edited: I meant to add a number of articles to the page on Inflation. Then it turned into more. I think readers will find it worth their time.

Are Major Central Banks Doing Enough to Fight Inflation?
— James K. Galbraith Project Syndicate April 14, 2022
He begins “Say what? Seriously? OK, I’ll give it a try, but promise me this is not a joke…The notion that central banks fight inflation is a pernicious myth, spread by their officers, acolytes, and by credulous reporters. Central banks raise interest rates. The blather about inflation is eyewash.”

Beware the Inflationary Bogeyman • Recent price increases in the U.S., and demands for a forceful response by the Federal Reserve, have brought back memories of the 1970s and all of the economic and political disasters of those years.
— James K. Galbraith Common Dreams, Project Syndicate – November 20, 2021

CPI, commodity charts Quite a few price increases, which the media now calls ‘inflation’ even though inflation is a continuous increase in the price level.
— Warren Mosler (@WBMosler) Mosler Economics/Modern Monetary Theory Nov 12, 2021

An MMT Perspective: Interest Rates and Inflation with Warren Mosler
— Warren Mosler (@WBMosler) Real Progressives June 26, 2021 (01:05:31)

Manhattan Project to prevent Hyper-Inflation
— J.D. Alt New Economic Perspectives March 26, 2020

Campaign Platform & Job Guarantee. Rick DeVoe MN-01

Hopefully we will see, in not too distant future, the inclusion of a Job Guarantee planks in many more platforms.

Campaign Platform – Rick DeVoe – MN1
Good Jobs For Everyone: Full Employment Plus (FEP) is the 2022 version of FDR’s and MLK’s proposals for all Americans to be guaranteed a job at a livable wage working in and for their own communities, when good jobs are unavailable in the private sector. FEP plan jobs will be determined, as to the scope of work, by local governments and nonprofits. Job completion will be locally administered. A Federal backstop program, consisting of work to restore human and natural habitat, will provide work if there is unfilled demand at the local level. Read more

Clarity: Inflation – Labor Shortages – Michael Moore -Steven Hail – Stephanie Kelton

#GlobalMMT Modern Money Lab

An Inflated Sense of Inflation (w/ Stephanie Kelton) #Labor Shortages
— Episode 220: Rumble w/ Michael Moore (@MMFlint) Stephanie Kelton (@StephanieKelton) (01:04:00)

Steven Hail’s Nov 1, 2021 Twitter thread begins:
“Inflation is not in itself some terrible disease which we have to minimize or eliminate.
It is not like Covid, needing to be stamped out. It is not like involuntary unemployment, underemployment and insecure employment, which are genuinely social evils.” Read more.

Debt Ceiling, Job Guarantee, Inflation

Grabbing a moment to catch up:

The Case for Minting a $1tn coin to deal with America’s Debt Ceiling
— Nathan Tankus (@NathanTankus) <em>The Guardian</em> (@guardian) Oct 15, 2021

Good Forms of Collectivity: Low-Carbon Care Work and a Federal Job Guarantee

— Natan Last (@NatanLast) Los Angeles Review of Books @LAReviewofBooks April 26, 2021

Like Haiku, the limits created by Twitter offer opportunities for brevity and coherence. Here’s the first bit of Steven Hail’s admirable Nov 1, 2021 Twitter thread:
“Inflation is not in itself some terrible disease which we have to minimize or eliminate.
It is not like Covid, needing to be stamped out. It is not like involuntary unemployment, underemployment and insecure employment, which are genuinely social evils.” Read more.

The POINT of MMT is Inflation!

The POINT of saying “deficits don’t matter” is that policymakers should be asking “will this cause inflation?” instead of “are we spending too much?”

Budget planners should analyze use of resources, capacities, etc., instead of just looking at “scary” dollar amounts.

Stephanie Kelton, writing at her Substack, in We Need to Think Harder About Inflation, explains,

The MMT lens keeps us focused on the things that matter. It’s not the headline dollar figure—$1.9 or $3.5 trillion—or the budgetary impacts of that spending that warrant our attention. What matters is the economy’s capacity to safely absorb those dollars as they begin to flow into people’s pockets.

Stephanie Kelton, TED Talks & Fast Company

Added to Stephanie Kelton’s page (under Principal…), Deficit Hawks (under FAQ) and Debt, Deficit Spending & Austerity (also under FAQ)

MMT and the deficit myth — Lars P. Syll, Sept 12, 2021

TED talks: The Big Myth of Government Deficits                                                                                                     — Stephanie Kelton (@StephanieKelton), <em>Ted Talks</em> (@TedTalks) Aug 2021, (13:46)

How one economist is making some deficit hawks reconsider • The pandemic has offered economist Stephanie Kelton a chance to help turn Modern Monetary Theory into practice.          — Talib Visram (@TalibVisram), <em>Fast Company</em> (@FastCompany) Aug 10, 2021

 

 

It’s All Connected

Added to Job Guarantee, here.

A Federal Job Guarantee: The Unfinished Business of the Civil Rights Movement • The 1963 March on Washington put a government guarantee to a job at the front of the civil rights agenda. It’s long past time to complete the work.
—  Rep. Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley), David Stein (@DavidPStein <em>The Nation</em> (@TheNation) Sept 2, 2021

A little macro background for Macroeconomics: Provisioning and Prosperity, particularly with regard to universities as a provider of alternative currencies.  

The Rise of the UniverCity • As they come to resemble corporations, universities increasingly wield the kind of power and influence that were hallmarks of ruthless employers in isolated company towns. Historian Davarian Baldwin calls this ominous trend the “rise of the UniverCity.”  — Davarian Baldwin (@DavarianBaldwin), <em>Jacobin</em> (@Jacobin) Sept 2, 2021 #Background #Unis4All #InTheShadow

A new addition to our Blogroll and Kelton’s page under Primary Sources.

The Lens – Stephanie Kelton • “The Lens is a portal into my academic and professional world. It’s a place to visit for economic analysis, commentary on public policy, and previews of forthcoming talks and publications. Never miss an update.”

 

 

Added to Provisioning & Prosperity

Much of Microeconomics: Provisioning & Prosperity concerns local alternative/complimentary currencies. I began looking for reports or commentary to learn about the impacts on the participating organizations and agencies. Those who used — but did not issue — the currencies.

What I’ve found offer detailed descriptions of operations, student responses, lessons learned, types of organizational participants, etc. All important to know, but, readers familiar with impact/output evaluation models may notice what’s missing. They make little or no mention of the impact of using these local currencies to employ students had on the agencies that took advantage of the programs.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile,
here are the latest additions to Microeconomics: Provisioning & Prosperity”

Currency, coercion and campuses
— Alan Hutchison Matches in the Dark· Nov 20, 2020 (updated)

The Paper Chase
— Rob Trump The New Inquiry April 25, 2014

The Buckaroo and the Demand for Money
— John Carney (@Carney) CNBC Feb 9, 2012

The UMKC Buckaroo- A Currency Model for World Prosperity
— Warren Mosler (@WBMosler) MoslerEconomics/Modern Monetary Theory Nov 20, 2011

BerkShares, Buckaroos, and Bear Dollars: What Makes a Local Currency Tick?
— L. Randall Wray New Economic Perspectives July 13, 2009

Cancelling Student Debt

Fixed a link. Feel free to share with your members of Congress who are still using the austerity lens and don’t seem to realize the opportunity.

The Macroeconomic Effects of Student Debt Cancellation Summary.
— Scott Fullwiler, Stephanie A. Kelton, Catherine Ruetschlin and Marshall Steinbaum. The Levy Economic Institute of Bard College (@LevyEcon) 2018

Research, proposals and commentary here.

James Galbraith

Added to Debates & Controversies

Dismal Economics “Although neoclassical economics relies on assumptions that should have been discarded long ago, it remains the mainstream orthodoxy. Three recent books, and one older one, help to show why its staying power should be regarded as a scandal.”
— James Galbraith Project Syndicate (@ProSyn) July 23, 2021