The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and how to Build a Better Economy

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John Murray, 2020 - Budget deficits - 325 pages
The leading thinker and most visible public advocate of modern monetary theory - the freshest and most important idea about economics in decades - delivers a radically different, bold, new understanding for how to build a just and prosperous society. Any ambitious proposal - ranging from fixing crumbling infrastructure to Medicare for all or preventing the coming climate apocalypse - inevitably sparks questions: how can we afford it? How can we pay for it? Stephanie Kelton points out how misguided those questions really are by using the bold ideas of modern monetary theory (MMT), a fundamentally different approach to using our resources to maximize our potential as a society.We've been thinking about government spending in the wrong ways, Kelton argues, on both sides of the political aisle. Everything that both liberal/progressives and conservatives believe about deficits and the role of money and government spending in the economy is wrong, especially the fear that deficits will endanger long-term prosperity.Through illuminating insights about government debt, deficits, inflation, taxes, the financial system, and financial constraints on the federal budget, Kelton dramatically changes our understanding of how to best deal with important issues ranging from poverty and inequality to creating jobs and building infrastructure. Rather than asking the self-defeating question of how to pay for the crucial improvements our society needs, Kelton guides us to ask: which deficits actually matter? What is the best way to balance the risk of inflation against the benefits of a society that is more broadly prosperous, safer, cleaner, and secure?With its important new ways of understanding money, taxes, and the critical role of deficit spending, MMT busts myths that prevent us from taking action because we can't get beyond the question of how to pay for it.

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User Review  - fionaanne - LibraryThing

This book is way longer than it needed to be based on the amount of information that is being presented. Much repetition of concepts and arguments, like readers aren't going to get it when it's really ... Read full review

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User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

Like Mark Carney's recent book, Value(s), this book argues for measuring what matters; in this case, outcomes. Basically, the author is asking: “How can the economy morph into a system that optimizes ... Read full review

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About the author (2020)

Stephanie Kelton is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Stony Brook University. She was formerly Chief Economist on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic staff). In addition to her many academic publications, she has been a contributor at Bloomberg Opinion and has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Reports, CNN, and others.

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