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Degrowth and MMT with Christopher Olk and Colleen Schneider
Episode 24721st October 2023 • Macro N Cheese • Steve D Grumbine MS, MBA, PMP, PSM1, ITIL
00:00:00 00:48:05

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**Tuesday, October 24th, join us for an informal Zoom meeting where we will be listening and discussing this episode. 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. Find the registration link at

As a society we are conditioned to believe we can f*ck with nature, with the living world, but the economy is immutable. We dare not try to change it. As MMTers we say: hahahahaha... *sob*

These two assumptions explain why we’re hurtling towards ecological catastrophe and why austerity has become a way of life.

Steve’s guests this week are Colleen Schneider and Christopher Olk. They are co-authors, with Jason Hickel, of the paper, How to Pay for Saving the World: Modern Monetary Theory for a Degrowth Transition.

Any listeners who have paid attention to Real Progressives’ journey over the past couple of years will be excited to add Colleen and Christopher’s insights to their intellectual arsenal. They are those rare scholars who manage to be both realistic and optimistic. (They are not suggesting that the right slate of politicians will tweak capitalism to make it heal the the planet and the population.)

They discuss how both MMT and the degrowth movement challenge the myth of scarcity. They look at the disparities between the Global North and South. They emphasize the interconnectedness of ecological and social issues, and the need to address both the predation on the Global South and the climate crisis.

They talk about non-reformist reform and the ways in which addressing national economic policies can be played out at the local level to radicalize people. By understanding the power dynamics within the financial system, MMT can empower and mobilize, allowing us to attack multiple problems as if they were one. Which they kind of are.


Colleen Schneider is a PhD student and research assistant in the Institute for Ecological Economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and is a lecturer at Torrens University. She has a BA in Physics from UC Berkeley and MSc in Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy from WU.  Her research focuses on the political economy of monetary and fiscal policy in a social-ecological transformation. Her recent work brings an MMT-informed lens to degrowth scholarship. She teaches courses in social ecological economics, and the intersection of money, society, and environment, and has also worked and published in the field of environmental justice.

@ColleenFights on Twitter

Christopher Olk is a PhD candidate in political economy at Free University Berlin. His current research focuses on the links between international monetary power, offshore finance, and fossil fuels. Christopher is also active in the climate justice movement.

@christopher_olk on Twitter



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