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Activist #MMT - podcast

May 14, 2022

Welcome to episode 121 of Activist #MMT. Today's the second half of student debt horror story number two, with Sean McCoy. In part one, Sean described his background, his journey to decide on a university, the basics of his loans, and his experience and difficulties paying them off. Sean left school with nearly $150,000 in student debt. Now it's five years later and he's paid more than required each month, which has reduced it to around $120,000. At this rate, he will have fully paid off his loans around the year 2042. That's not a joke.

(A list of the audio chapters in this episode can be found at the bottom of this post.)

Today, we continue that discussion, and especially focus on Sean's responses to some of the terrible arguments against canceling student debt. These arguments are largely based on the false notion that "our individual tax dollars" are required to pay for the education – and debt – of others.

To learn more about Sean and his work, you can visit his website at

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, let's get right back to my conversation with Sean McCoy. Enjoy.

Audio chapters

  • 6:05 - Milton Friedman and short-term thinking FOR WHO?
  • 11:53 - Growth for who (Retirement Heist)
  • 13:46 - Graduates add value to the economy!
  • 16:04 - Criticisms against canceling student debt: The anger behind them.
  • 22:32 - Criticism- You chose to take this loan, so pay it back.
  • 29:01 - Criticism- Canceling student debt punishes all those who already paid back their loans. ("I had to pay my loans but you don't have to pay back yours?!")
  • 32:50 - Criticism- If education didn't have a cost than everyone world get useless degrees. (Define useless.)
  • 39:33 - Did your brief introduction to MMT change your thinking about student debt?
  • 42:13 - How would your time in college have been different if it had no cost?
  • 48:45 - How would your life be different today if you didn't have student debt?
  • 52:44 - Final thoughts and goodbyes.
  • 57:07 - Duplicate of introduction, but with no background music