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Activist #MMT - podcast

Apr 9, 2020

Welcome to episode 22 of Activist #MMT. Today I talk again with PhD political scientist, author, and MMT-er Joe Firestone (Twitter/@joefirestonephd). Joe and I first talk about our personal experiences during these first weeks under the new normal of the coronavirus quarantine. We then move onto a discussion of the origin, history, and basics mechanics of #MintTheCoin, concluding with Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib's coronavirus relief bill, The Automatic BOOST to Communities Act, written in consultation with Modern Money Network founder Rohan Grey (Twitter/@rohangrey). The bill is funded by two platinum coins worth one trillion dollars each.

We then end with a hearty dual rant about the profound unfairness of the 2020 Democratic primary, highlighted by the Democratic Party and its frontrunner Joe Biden encouraging millions to vote in person, in the middle of a now-raging global pandemic. One of these states, Florida, on the very same day its primary was held, announced that all its schools would be canceled for a month, and perhaps for the rest of the school year. On the same day.

The state of Wisconsin held its own in-person primary the day before this episode was released, despite the CDC now classifying the state's community transmission of coronavirus as "widespread." As of last week, this decision resulted in the resignation of poll workers across the state, funneling more voters into even fewer polling sites, sharing even fewer door handles, pens, and voting touchscreens.


Random thoughts and lessons learned (in both parts)

  • Joe says the number of "suicides of despair," because they are not being provided for (despite our government easily being able to do so), could easily exceed the number of deaths from the coronavirus itself.
  • The goal is not to prevent people from getting sick in an overall sense, but to prevent too many from getting sick all at once. So much so that our healthcare system cannot handle it.
  • Healthcare workers getting infected does not just decrease the number of healthcare workers, it also increases the remaining healthcare workers' load. It's a doubling effect.
  • Means testing done on the front end puts the burden on the people. They must fill out forms to prove to an anonymous faraway bureaucrat that they are poor enough to deserve that benefit. Only then do they receive it. Means testing can also be done on the back end (such as by collecting taxes from those who don't need it), which puts the burden on the government, and gets the benefit out there for all, immediately.


For an overview of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) with many reliable sources to learn more, here is a good place to start:

  • On the web: My layperson intro with many expert sources listed at the bottom.
  • On Twitter: My massive pinned tweet with expert sources and layperson tutorials.
  • On Facebook: Follow this podcast :) The pinned post contains the above web-article. Also, the pinned post on Modern Monetary for Real Progressives contains a wealth of information.

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