97 episodes

A podcast about non-violent, MMT direct activism, introducing Modern Monetary Theory to the world, both online and in person.

Hosted by third-year MMT activist, Jeff Epstein.

This channel was formerly called People Conversations, by Citizens' Media TV (CMTV). All People Conversations interviews remain intact in this channel. Any MMT articles I write remain hosted on the CMTV website.

People Conversations by Citizens' Media TV Jeff Epstein

    • News

A podcast about non-violent, MMT direct activism, introducing Modern Monetary Theory to the world, both online and in person.

Hosted by third-year MMT activist, Jeff Epstein.

This channel was formerly called People Conversations, by Citizens' Media TV (CMTV). All People Conversations interviews remain intact in this channel. Any MMT articles I write remain hosted on the CMTV website.

    Ep46 [3/3]: John Harvey on inflation: mainstream versus Post Keynesian (and the MMT job guarantee)

    Ep46 [3/3]: John Harvey on inflation: mainstream versus Post Keynesian (and the MMT job guarantee)

    Welcome to episode 46 of Activist #MMT. Today is the final part of my three part conversation with Texas Christian University economics professor, author, and , John Harvey. We continue our conversation about inflation from both the mainstream and Post-Keynesian points of view, and also discuss the MMT-designed job guarantee. A full introduction can be found before , but for now, let’s get right back to our conversation. (Here's a link to .)

    • 59 min
    Full (and improved) audio: MMTConf19 panel: Money, Imperialism, and Development

    Full (and improved) audio: MMTConf19 panel: Money, Imperialism, and Development

    The full (and significantly-improved) audio from a panel called "8. Money, Imperialism, and Development" with Ndongo Samba Sylla and faclitated by Fadhel Kaboub. This is from the 2019 International MMT Conference in Long Island New York. It ends with a question-and-answer session. Original MMT developer Randy Wray about this panel: "This one-two punch is the best panel on MMT I have ever seen." Here is a link to , which is featured in this MMT resource post: (And, I have to say: the orange-black charger Fadhel is holding at the beginning, plus the blue-green “CM” logo on the top-right of the screen as the slides are being loaded, are both mine. So I’m forever part of the best panel on MMT Randy Wray has ever seen 😁.) Original video, with not-the-greatest audio Here is the which has audio that is servicable enouguh (with headphones and the volume turned up), but is a bit difficult to hear.

    • 1 hr 57 min
    Ep 45[2/3]: John Harvey on inflation: mainstream versus Post Keynesian (and the MMT job guarantee)

    Ep 45[2/3]: John Harvey on inflation: mainstream versus Post Keynesian (and the MMT job guarantee)

    Welcome to episode 45 of Activist #MMT. Today is part two of my three-part conversation with Texas Christian University economics professor, author, and , John Harvey. In part one we talked about John himself, institutionalism, and discrimination. In the final two parts, John and I talk about inflation as seen through the lenses of both mainstream and Post-Keynesian economics. As people who challenge the overwhelmingly dominant school of economic thought, we must learn both schools. Another reason is because we want to efficiently communicate with and convince the masses who have been influenced by the dominant school – and the nearly infinite power that backs it. I was inspired to talk with John after having an unpleasant debate with a local lawyer and history-buff. He was perfectly pleasant and respectful, but his views I found to be highly cynical and disappointing. (With his permission, the entire dialogue can be found in the show notes.) As I understand it, his view is that it is essentially impossible for the central government, the one and only issuer of the currency, to safely do anything bold, without offsetting that spending one-to-one with taxation or bond sales, in advance. In his own words: I simply believe the government has to pay for those programs through taxes or serious consequences will result. Often, the tradeoff is worth it - I'd gladly pay more taxes for universal healthcare for example. This is because, regardless how desperate the program may be needed, creating the money to do it would increase the money supply, which would cause inflation, which would cause the people to rise up and literally bring down the entire government. In other words, the quantity theory of money is so volatile that even the state’s monopoly on violence is no match for the unbridled rage that would result from the inflation caused by the new money necessary to implement that bold policy. So, for example, take the Green New Deal, which is required to prevent organized human civilization from devolving into literal worldwide chaos. Daring to create the money necessary to implement this program would cause revolution and bring down the government anyway. As Randy Wray and Yeva Nersisian say in , "it is irrational to fear deficits more than we fear the annihilation of human civilization." The objection reminds me of the resistance I have received regarding the job guarantee: for example, if the job guarantee jobs are not "valuable," it would potentially demoralize workers, lead to corruption, and undermine the entire program. Another is that corruption in general would make it essentially impossible for the job guarantee to be properly managed. [I’ve included some screenshots of this criticism in the show notes] (See screenshots at the bottom for examples from a recent conversation.) The idea that these micro concerns would somehow so-dramatically undermine the entire macro purpose of these programs is, of course, absurd. For example: how valuable are the jobs we have today? Right now? Even if a job guarantee job weren’t as valuable as the jobs we currently have, would they be so bad that it would completely outweigh the horrors of involuntary unemployment? What kind of corruption do we have right now in the for-profit private sector? Even if there was some corruption in the administration of the job guarantee, again, would it be so detrimental that it would outweigh the horrors of involuntary unemployment? How much has corruption undermined other federal program such as the police, libraries, and public schools? (And of course, those who vehemently express these concerns are almost always not desperate for a job, or a better job.) As John says, the job guarantee is "elegant in its simplicity" and "just so obviously simple and straightforward." The job guarantee is as beneficial to society as seatbelts are in cars. While

    • 58 min
    Ep44[1/3]: John Harvey on John Harvey, discrimination, and aliens

    Ep44[1/3]: John Harvey on John Harvey, discrimination, and aliens

    Welcome to episode 44 of Activist #MMT. Today I talk with Texas Christian University economics professor, author, and , John Harvey. In this first of a three-part episode, John talks about how he decided on economics as a profession, despite mainstream thought doing its best to discourage him. He then elaborates on the concept of institutionalism, which he recently discussed on MMT Podcast [parts and ], and specifically how MMT integrates its ideas. This part one with John is the first Fred Lee’s book, . As the book makes clear, heterodox economics, which includes MMTers, Institutionalist, Marxists, and all Post-Keynesians; is resisted by mainstream economists with every fiber of their being – and the nearly infinite power that backs them. John talks about how John Galbraith told him – importantly over drinks – that mainstream economics is "dead" and "hopeless." So instead of changing the minds of people whose paychecks depend on their minds not changing, the decision was made to communicate directly with candidates, policymakers, and importantly, laypeople via interviews, blogs, and social media. In parts two and three, John and I discuss inflation as seen through the lenses of both mainstream and Post-Keynesian economics, and of course we touch on the MMT-designed job guarantee which directly addresses much of it. Resources John’s book Contending Perspectives in Economics: A Guide to Contemporary Schools of Thought, . New version coming out August 2020. , by Alfred Eichner. My Naked Capitalism article on . #LearnMMT For an overview of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) with many reliable sources to learn more, here is a good place to start: containing many expert sources, layperson tutorials, and people and places to follow. On Facebook, the on Modern Monetary for Real Progressives contains a wealth of information. Please become a monthly patron of Activist #MMT We shouldn't have to beg, but we do have to beg. So it's not *that* we beg, but *who* we beg. I am choosing to beg you, my listeners, to financially support this show. For even a dollar a month, you'll get exclusive patron-only content and updates, highlighted by around four-days access to every episode, before they're released to the public. However, you'll also get super-early access to several episodes, weeks, and sometimes even months in advance. To be clear, however, all episodes of Activist #MMT are free, for all, forever. Patrons only get the opportunity to hear them before the public. Take a listen. If you like what you hear, please consider becoming a monthly patron of Activist #MMT. You can start here: https://www.patreon.com/activistmmt. ✌️, ❤️, and #MMT 🦉

    • 45 min
    Episode 34 [2/2]: Mark Collins: Some of the puzzle pieces have been intentionally turned over.

    Episode 34 [2/2]: Mark Collins: Some of the puzzle pieces have been intentionally turned over.

    Welcome to episode 34 of Activist #MMT. Today is part two of my two part conversation with Mark Collins (Twitter/@amlighthouse). Mark is a fourth year MMT activist, Arkansas resident, and self-described "far-to-the-left socialist." In this second half, Mark talks about how he spent five decades knowing that something was wrong with his understanding of the economy, but not being able to put his finger on why.

    Description continues here: https://activistmmt.libsyn.com/episode-34-22-mark-collins-some-of-the-puzzle-pieces-have-been-intentionally-turned-over

    • 1 hr
    [Not MMT] An attempt to remotely-hack my computer via a scam phone call.

    [Not MMT] An attempt to remotely-hack my computer via a scam phone call.

    I got a call pretending (according to the caller ID) to be from my local Apple Store. This is a short recording of me pretending to believe them, up until the point where they could actually cause any damage. This demonstrates how these scammers try to scare you into giving them total remote control over your computer, how to prove it, and how to prevent it from happening.

    Description continues here: https://activistmmt.libsyn.com/not-mmt-an-attempt-to-remotely-hack-my-computer-via-a-scam-phone-call

    • 5 min

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