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Introduction

Welcome to the August 2018 edition of the Deficit Owls Monthly Newsletter. Our hope is to keep you updated on the latest happenings in the world of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT): the best articles, videos, podcasts, events, and more over the past month.

The Modern Money perspective helps us pull back the curtain on the social processes and relationships that underlie our money system, connecting the paper money in your pocket to the macro changes that shape our world. If you are new to MMT, here is a quick explainer . 
 

Modern Money Blog Highlights

Heteconomist has a really great introductory piece about Buckwell Island, an imaginary place whose citizens decide to start a new currency - the "buck." This is a good one for sharing with MMT newbies.

Writing in New Economic Perspectives, J.D. Alt once again displays his masterful talent for explaining Modern Money concepts in terms that anybody can understand, this time tackling national debt.

Over at the Billy Blog, Professor Mitchell declares that irresponsible fiscal policy is endangering future generations - not because of government debt, but because of cutbacks in basic research and development funding due to baseless austerity myths. Bill also gives some fiscal linguistic advice to newly-anointed American progressive superstar Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reminding us that the real limits to government spending do not come from the bond market.

Speaking of the bond market, Ellis Winningham is back to blogging after a long absence, and this past month he made the same point. While Mitchell's post gave us the bullet point version, Winningham dives into some pretty heavy detail, but as always, in Ellis's clear but hilarious style. This month he also spent some time talking about how to talk about MMT (so meta...), including this specific piece of advice for newbies (which ends up getting deep into the question of "what is money"), and this little entertainer about...how to be entertaining.

Modern Money in the Media

Stephanie Kelton is making in the big leagues these days. She just appeared on CNN with Fareed Zakaria. Here's a clip where she talks about the Job Guarantee.

It was a great month for the Job Guarantee! This piece from Jeff Spross over at The Week talks about the legal right to a job that a Job Guarantee should enshrine, quoting from the Modern Money Network's Rohan Grey and Raul Carillo. 

In this 5 minute interview on Bloomberg with Joe Weisenthal, long-time Job Guarantee advocate Professor Sandy Darity argues that the JG could be used to create jobs for physical infrastructure and human infrastructure.

In a slightly longer piece, Professor Pavlina Tcherneva sits down with the Institute for New Economic Thinking to outline why we need a Job Guarantee, and what the benefits are. She argues that growth is not by itself a sufficient goal, and reminds us that unemployment transmits like a disease through the economy.

Tcherneva also appeared in this video/article from Newsy reminding us that the JG is a very popular idea. They also point out that while a JG could "cost" about 1-2.5% of GDP per year, it would probably increase GDP by more than that. (Of course, we shouldn't forget all the costs of unemployment that we're paying now!)

And although it was only in passing, Seth Meyers mentioned the Job Guarantee on his late-night program. Whether the world likes it or not, the JG proposal is going mainstream!  

MMT itself got a public endorsement from a Labour Party MP, Chris Williamson from Derby North. We love MMTers in government! Be sure to thank him if you get a chance. 
In a less warm though still welcome mention, a writer at the Financial Times admits that MMT is shaking things up and may be worth considering, even if apparently our name is hard to get right (I've never been called a "modern monetarist" before...)

And in the "any press is good press" category, conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro had some disparaging words to say about Kelton and MMT, though his argument makes about as much sense as the number of middle fingers an owl has (zero). If you've got a minute, feel free to start a friendly conversation in the comment section. 
In the world of podcasts, MMT friend Joe Weisenthal and his co-host Tracy Alloway did an episode of Bloomberg's Odd Lots podcast, breaking down "what actually happens when the government auctions bonds." A very good listen!
Over at Pocket Change, a new MMT podcast, Adam Rice interviews Professor Fadhel Kaboub about what MMT has to say for developing nations. 

Fadhel also recently appeared discussing a similar topic with the Money On The Left Podcast.

Meme of the Month 

Rob Steinernomics with a beauty addressing the MMT deniers! 

And for even more monetary memes, join the Modern Money Theory Dank Meme Stash, and follow Modern Money Memes on Facebook and Twitter.

The Latest from Deficit Owls

This new meme should help you talk to people about hyperinflation. Mention MMT alongside a policy like tax cuts or education spending, and a typical response is "printing money causes hyperinflation!" But we think the idea that a few more public schools, or a bit smaller tax withholding, is going to cause a collapse of the currency and the economy is pretty far-fetched! 
Plus, we're announcing the 3rd Annual Modern Money Meme Week! Like last year, it will be the week leading up to the MMT Conference. Also Like last year, each day will have a theme that you can make memes related to, but this year there will also be voting and prizes! If you've got an idea for a daily theme, let us know by replying to this email, or flagging us on social media.
PLUS, this month marks Deficit Owls' 2nd birthday! To celebrate, we're (finally) going to start selling MMT t-shirts! More details to come, but if you've got a design idea, let us know and we'll see what we can do.
Upcoming Events
Don't forget to register for the 2nd International Modern Monetary Theory Conference, happening the last weekend in September! All the big players will be in New York City at the New School, for the theme "Public Money, Public Purpose, Public Power."
Following the MMT Conference, Professor Bill Mitchell will be going on a 2 week lecture tour in October, to cities including Dublin, London, and Glasgow. For all the dates, see the bottom of this post.

Then in November, Professor Stephanie Kelton will be spending some time in Australia, vising Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in the middle of the month.
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