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Bill Mitchell-en Podcast – Unemployment, Surpluses and Investment


.. an interview I recently did with financial market educational professionals, the i3 (Investment Innovation Institute) where I cover a range of topics of current interest from an Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) perspective. (…)

Podcast – Unemployment, Surpluses and Investment

I have been doing a lot of interviews, workshops, and podcasts in the last 6 months without travelling much at all. It is a very weird experience interacting with the rest of the world from lockdown.

Here is a recent podcast that the team at i3 did with me – Episode 51: MMT’s Bill Mitchell: Unemployment, Surpluses and Investments.

Thanks to Wouter and the team at i3 for doing this and I look forward to being their keynote speaker at their (delayed) annual dinner in Sydney in November. The way the virus numbers are falling it looks like that event will now (finally) go ahead.

The edited podcast goes for 37:26 minutes.

Here is the “Overview of Podcast with Bill Mitchell, University of Newcastle” courtesy of i3:

1:00 You coined the term ‘Modern Monetary Theory’?
3:00 Starting to blog:
5:00 More interest from the investment industry
6:00 The Australian economy has collapsed
7:00 Most of the collapse could have been prevented
9:00 We are about $100 bn short of government spending
10:00 Not against the lockdowns
12:00 Much attention goes to MMT’s comments on deficits, but what it says about budget surpluses is much more interesting: it detracts from economic activity.
15:00 What is the role of fiscal policy? It is to ensure that spending in the economy is sufficient to maintain production at levels which will provide jobs for everybody.
16:30 To run a deficit is to undermine economic activity. That is okay in the case of Norway (where the economy runs hot).
17:00 A surplus not only undermines economic activity but it also destroys private sector wealth
22:30 Can we solve unemployment? A very pertinent problem at the moment.
23:30 Mass unemployment like we have today is a political choice
27:00 The Green New Deal or Green Transition.
28:00 If I was [were] the government I would be embarking on large scale investments in renewables, transition technologies, in speeding up the process of carbon elimination.
28:30 Why not use the Hunter Valley culture of high productivity manufacturing to build a renewable energy hub for Australia and create jobs in manufacturing, R&D, et cetera.
31:00 What do you want people to take away from MMT?
34:00 Does working from home distort the measuring of worked hours?
35:30 There is a massive distortion in economic data. This is not to blame the statistic agencies, but it is just very hard to measure right now.

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