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Activist #MMT - podcast

Mar 20, 2022

Welcome to episode 113 of Activist #MMT. Today I introduce MMT to author, journalist, radio talker, podcaster, and friend, Gregg Stebben. Gregg is co-author of the 1999 book Everything You Need to Know about Economics, which is part of a four-book series called The Pocket Professor, on the topics of economics, physics, philosophy, and religion. Among several other books, Gregg also co-wrote the 2017 The Little Red Book of New York Wisdom with former mayor Ed Koch.

(Here's a link to part two. A list of the audio chapters in this episode can be found at the bottom of this post.)

This two-part episode is an unscripted conversation, but our starting-off point is a short introductory post I wrote for the purpose of this discussion. In part one, I give Gregg a broad introduction to MMT, its basic policy implications, and some of the major myths it shatters. In part two, we branch out to a wide-ranging conversation about the state of the world and how MMT does and does not relate to it.

This episode is also another step in my journey to creating a general introduction to MMT. It's actually my second recording with Gregg. The first, in May of last year, was never released. I ran through my introduction presentation, which I had been working on for several months. Although I got a lot out out of the experience, including some important analogies and insights, as a whole it just never came together. It was overwhelming. Even though only an hour, it probably contained somewhere between five hours and four years of information. After my experience with Gregg, I abandoned the presentation entirely. This was most upsetting to me because of how so many gave their time and feedback to improve it. As Gregg says, however, it was all a part of how I got to where I am today. The information is still there, just in a different form. Speaking of which, before listening to today's episode, you might want to consider reading my post. It's called A political introduction to real-world economics.

If you like what you hear, then I hope you might consider becoming a monthly patron of Activist #MMT. Patrons have exclusive access to several full-length episodes, right now. A full list is here, each with a brief highlight. Patrons also get the opportunity to ask my academic guests questions, such as my recent episode with Warren Mosler. They also support the development of my large and growing collection of learn MMT resources. To become a patron, you can start by going to Every little bit helps a little bit, and it all adds up to a lot. Thanks.

And now, onto my conversation with Gregg Stebben. Enjoy.


Audio chapters

  • 5:17 - Adam Smith
  • 5:35 - Macro automation software
  • 10:09 - Gregg introduces himself
  • 12:59 - My abandoned presentation
  • 19:04 - MMT is a map
  • 24:53 - It is impossible for the government to purchase anything except by creating more money.
  • 27:05 - Real versus false constraints
  • 32:23 - Then where does the money come from?
  • 34:41 - Going to the bathroom does not fund our eating
  • 38:10 - Give everyone a Tesla
  • 53:49 - What if we started discussing the goals and instead of the tool? (The portfolio on the table)
  • 1:03:46 - Duplicate of intro with no music