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Activist #MMT - podcast

Aug 21, 2022

Welcome to episode 132 of Activist #MMT. Today's the final part of a six-part series with Texas Christian University (TCU) economics professor and Cowboy Economist John Harvey. Parts four through six are also the first main interview of Activist #MMT hosted by someone other than me. Today's guest host is my own former guest, MMT researcher, Texas lawyer, and author, Jonathan Wilson. Jonathan and I spoke in episodes 106 and 107.

(A list of the audio chapters in this episode can be found at the bottom of this post. Here's a link to part one in this six-part series with John, which contains a link to all other parts. For a link to every Activist #MMT interview with John – plus the full audio of every Cowboy Economist video (!) – go here.)

Today in part six, they focus on some of the core assumptions and ideology of mainstream economists. They also discuss how some assume inflation to always be caused by too much demand and too high wages, despite clear empirical evidence that it's caused by something else.

You'll find links to many resources, as mentioned by John and Jonathan throughout these final three parts, in the show notes to part four.

But for now, let's get right back to Jonathan's conversation with John Harvey. Enjoy.

Audio chapters

  • 3:57 - What if the price of diamond jewelry goes up? Should we care?
  • 6:09 - Josh Barro, if it wasn't inflation in used cars, it'd just be somewhere else. (victim blaming)
  • 9:38 - GDP can be dominated by financial speculation.
  • 13:26 - At the rank-and-file level, neoclassicism is not a conspiracy
  • 17:16 - What neoclassicals really believe
  • 21:47 - Thomas Oberlechner and balancing trusting what test subjects say and their biases
  • 25:10 - Paul Davidson- it is better to be approximately right than precisely wrong. (accuracy versus precision)
  • 30:34 - Complicated models for complexity sake, or because it needs to be?
  • 32:32 - Policy based on children's building blocks
  • 35:31 - South Africa COVID loan program (worry for "over investment", for investment in what the economy really doesn't need)
  • 41:39 - How much of the resistance against intervention is ideology?
  • 43:43 - Where did initially believing in no intervention, come from inside you?
  • 46:58 - Do you think MMT needs to be more upfront about its political economy aspect?
  • 49:53 - Warren Mosler's banking proposals
  • 52:41 - Jonathan recaps
  • 55:41 - Goodbyes
  • 58:53 - Duplicate of introduction, with no background music (for those with sensitive ears)