We’re excited to welcome back the metabolically optimistic Robert Hockett, advisor to Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Bob talks with Steve about a wide range of subjects that will thrill political junkies and educate those interested in exploring the depths of Modern Monetary Theory.
They engage in the popular sport of punditry, looking at the recent Democratic Presidential Debates and surmising the calculations behind our favorite candidates’ messaging. Hockett makes the tantalizing suggestion that Senator Warren is more accepting of MMT than is commonly believed.
Addressing the ubiquitous question of how to pay for progressive political programs, they turn to Hockett’s article in Forbes that asserts “how we will pay for it isn’t ‘a thing.’ Kicking off from the basic tenet that our only constraint is the availability of resources, he explains why inflation is not “a thing” either. Newcomers to MMT will find the depth of this discussion illuminating.
Steve asks about the hoopla surrounding Libra and other cryptocurrencies which prompts Bob to talk about the need to understand money as credit. He makes the compelling case that credit allocation severely affects inequality and suggests a new, public institution which would make capital available to small businesses and individuals. He outlines what we want a central bank to do, comparing it to what the Federal Reserve actually does, and talks about future legislation to transform it.
Robert Hockett is a Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy at Cornell. He writes about law, justice, money, finance and economics for Forbes.