By L. Randall Wray, a Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His book, Modern Money Theory , will be available in August. Cross posted from New Economic Perspectives
Lambert here. As MMT increasingly gains mainstream popularity and some traction in policy-making circles, some MMT advocates and detractors have found a policy prescription put forth by MMT scholars — the Jobs Guarantee or JG ( Mitchell ; Mosler ( “must read” ); Kelton ; Tcherneva ; literature review ) — problematic. Wray’s post may address some of their concerns.
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The contentious issue is this: can one adopt MMT while rejecting the JG?
I had made the analogy between disease and unemployment: would any reasonable person who understands the cause of a disease oppose a cure? If you knew that a vaccination can prevent smallpox, would you oppose providing vaccinations (at least to those who want them—I do not want to get into a debate about forcing vaccinations as we have never advocating forcing jobs on those who do not want to work)?
Now I do realize this is not quite a fair comparison because it is possible that there are many cures for the disease of unemployment. MMTers advocate the Jobs Guarante (JG) cure. I am open to alternative cures. I just do not hear any coming from the critics.
Some try bait and switch: Let’s give them a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) instead of jobs. That does not cure the disease of unemployment. It is like providing antibiotics instead of vaccinations to fight Polio. They then try to justify this on the argument that if we give people BIG, they can still choose to work if they want to. No, they cannot. There