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Tag Archives: J. D. Alt

Standard Money Theory and the Coronavirus

By J.D. ALT The theme and illustrations of this essay are from the new book “Paying Ourselves to Save the Planet.” It might seem, as we observe the U.S. government “instantly” generating $2 trillion new dollars for direct payments and grants to people and businesses, that the coronavirus pandemic has shed a new light on the authenticity (and necessity) of modern money theory (MMT). But that light, if it is being shed at all, is illuminating instead the dramatic limitations of the...

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Manhattan Project to prevent Hyper-Inflation

By J.D. ALT It’s ironic that, at this moment, when the truthfulness and utility of modern money theory (MMT) is being publicly realized—(and even potentially implemented!)—that its singular vulnerability must emerge as a real concern: hyper-inflation. The most recent thing I’ve written—Paying Ourselves to Save the Planet­­—addresses the issue of hyper-inflation as follows: “Hyper-inflation” is a rate of inflation that happens so rapidly there’s no opportunity for people and businesses...

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STANDARD MONEY THEORY

By J.D. ALT The last two and a half months I’ve been at work on a new book. As it evolved, I found I was approaching MMT from a new direction—one which made an explanation of MMT much less counter-intuitive and, perhaps, less controversial. The approach is relatively simple and straight-forward: follow what I began calling “standard money theory” step by step until one reaches a perspective that has, almost seamlessly, become “modern money theory.” The book first considers why the...

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PARABLE for the New Decade

By J.D. ALT With the essential collapse of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid (“Climate meeting goals go unmet” Washington Post, 12-16-19) we now approach the first day of 2020 with much less to celebrate, much more to fear, and much more to accomplish. Here’s a little parable for the coming New Decade: “One evening of a December day 2019, several observatories in the International Asteroid Warning Network are startled to discover a cluster of incoming asteroids of...

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The People’s Money (Part 4)

Inflation & Consumption By J.D. ALT Let’s quickly recap: I outlined, in PART 3, an argument that modern society has evolved in ways that necessitates a dramatic increase in public enterprise—yet, at the same time, we’ve doubled down on an old-world narrative about “money” that makes it mathematically impossible to meet that need. In PARTS 1 & 2 we reconfirmed a “modern money” perspective by simply observing the actual operations of the Federal Reserve—and reconfirmed, as well,...

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The People’s Money (Part 3)

An Explanation of the Federal Reserve Money system and what it means for the potential accomplishments of American Democracy By J.D. ALT The big surprise of our tour of the Federal Reserve system (please see PARTS 1 & 2) is that the FED (America’s central bank)—as it is presently authorized to operate—can create “money,” as necessary, to support not only the undertakings of private enterprise, but the undertakings of public enterprise as well. Please recall that public enterprise...

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The People’s Money (Part 2)

An Explanation of the Federal Reserve Money system and what it means for the potential accomplishments of American Democracy By J.D. ALT Let’s begin by restating what I think was the main insight of PART 1: The overarching purpose of the Federal Reserve Act was to enable “money” to be created, as necessary, to support the scale of commerce that American Enterprise decides to undertake and accomplish. If the labor, materials, energy, technology, and ingenuity exist to do something—and it...

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The People’s Money (Part 1)

An Explanation of the Federal Reserve Money system and what it means for the potential accomplishments of American Democracy By J.D. ALT “Reserves”—that esoteric term in money-talk that postures to explain everything but explains nothing at all—have been much in the news of late. The Wall Street Journal even tried, recently, to explain what they are! They didn’t do such a great job. That’s unfortunate because, properly explained and understood, Reserves hold a big key to the political...

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Two-Cent Message

By J.D. ALT Elizabeth Warren has succeeded, I think, in framing an argument as close as anyone is going to get (in the present election cycle) to the progressive position of MMT. Warren acknowledges that she’s proposing goals and undertakings that will “cost” a lot of money. She further acknowledges that everyone asks: “How are you going to pay for it?” And she gives a very specific and simple answer: an “ultra-millionaire tax”—which she details as “two-cents on every dollar of income...

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Awakening the Investor-in-Whole-Society

By J.D. ALT There’s a lot of handwringing now about how central banks have no ammunition to fight a recession. The fact that this is apparently true—and, perhaps, uniquely true in modern history—is all the more reason to explore MMT’s premise that central banks are not just instruments of private commerce, but are, as well, instruments of collective, democratic will. The bankers are in a box of their own making, but that box, in fact, is inside another box which, as MMT makes clear, has...

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