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Setting the Bar Low with Yeva Nersisyan
Episode 23024th June 2023 • Macro N Cheese • Steve D Grumbine MS, MBA, PMP, PSM1, ITIL
00:00:00 00:53:54

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If you’ve recently chatted with a well-informed liberal – the kind who reads the NY Times or watches PBS NewsHour – you’ve heard encouraging things about the economy. You’ve heard that Biden’s doing a good job. Unemployment has gone down, wages have gone up. Why can’t you be happy about it all?

To celebrate all this good news, we brought back our friend, Yeva Nersisyan, associate professor of economics at Franklin and Marshall College, research scholar at the Levy Institute, and frequent collaborator with MMT OG Randy Wray.

Yes, unemployment rates are lower, but we know those numbers don’t tell the true story. Or have you already forgotten our episode with Pavlina, just two short weeks ago? Yes, wages have gone up. But so has inflation. And in the race between inflation and wages, inflation is winning. Speaking of which, our Macro N Cheese family knows that one thing worse than inflation is the Fed’s cure for it.

In this episode, Steve and Yeva look at the disconnect between the ongoing immiseration of the working class and the rosy scenario painted by politicians, pundits, and economists. At least one of those groups should know better. They discuss the looming student debt crisis, and the effect of the Fed’s interest rate hikes on student loans.

When discussing MMT-informed solutions, Yeva warns:

“You have to be consistent — whether it's the Trump tax cuts, whether it's the social security question. And you have to consistently say: the question of taxes and government spending, it should not be about deficits, should not be about debt, it should be about: is this the right thing for the economy? Is this what the people want? Is this what the people need? That's what you need to start with. And just because you want to raise taxes on the wealthy, which I do too, but I don't want to tie it to things like social security, because I think that's just a losing argument, and that's just not true.”

MMT points toward answers, if anyone is asking.

Yeva Nersisyan is an associate professor of economics at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and a research scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.



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