Week 2 of the MOOC Modern Monetary Theory: Economics for the 21st Century starts today

Its Wednesday and only a short blog post day – well a collection of items I accumulate during the week. Week 2 of our MOOC – Modern Monetary Theory: Economics for the 21st Century – begins today and you can find enrolment details below. We also have some culture today – a beautiful poem which inspires optimism and some music that inspires past memories.

MOOC – Week 2 started today

We have well over 3000 participants enrolled in our edX MOOC – Modern Monetary Theory: Economics for the 21st Century.

The free course began last week and will run until March 31, 2021 with new material coming out each Wednesday.

After the first week, the engagement on the discussion boards and activity tasks has been fantastic.

Week 2 has now started and we get into MMT Basics this week after covering topics in economic literacy last week.

There is a lot of video and written content to study, a Game Show for some light entertainment, things to do, research tasks, script writing opportunities, and interviews with Warren Mosler, Randy Wray and Martin Watts to watch when you get sick of me.

It is still not to late to join the course, which will run until March 31, 2020.

You can still catch up on Week 1 material if you care to.

Further Details:



Longing for Genuine Global Solidarity – a poem by Fadhel Kaboub

You may have seen this from other sources but to give it widespread coverage I am posting it here.

It is from Fadhel Kaboub, who is a professor at Denison University in the US. He appears in our MOOC in Week 4 by the way. I have known Fadhel since he was a graduate student.

He spent some time at my research centre – Centre of Full Employment and Equity – as an intern while he was a graduate student and we enjoyed getting to know him and his work greatly.

He is now a foremost expert on MMT particularly as it applies to less developed nations.

The poem is US-centric but clear out those specific references and you have a manifesto for progressive change.

Longing for Genuine Global Solidarity

ou know that Green New Deal by Ed Markey and AOC,
it needs to be a Global GND.
Just read the document from the IPCC,
it’s gloomy as hell, but that’s the painful reality.
Our plan must be global, with reparations for the tragedy of ecological damage and colonial atrocity.
Millions of people want to live freely,
with justice for all, peace, and prosperity.
They want dignity and hope, not your charity.
Clean water, clean air, clean soil, that’s not a fantasy.
No more hunger and bread riots, we’ll have food sovereignty.
No more darkness nor smog, we’ll have clean energy sovereignty.
We’ll use the sun, the wind, the tides, and even some volcanic energy.
We’ll end the pain, we’ll end the suffering, we’ll build a truly circular economy.
We’ll change the metric to guide every public policy.
We’ll use GPI, laser-focused on quality of life, not some useless GDP.
It won’t be easy, cheap, or enemy-free.
The naysayers will scream, ‘the deficit, the debt, OMG it’s inflationary!’
Little do they know, we have plenty of productive capacity.
We’ll build even more with our industrial strategy.
We’ll go after price-setters, cartels, and every monopoly.
We’ll setup Pecora-style hearings in every congressional committee.
We’ll fight corruption and greed, and end the oligarchy.
We will have a Brand New Congress in Washington DC.
535 lawmakers, and a true participatory democracy,
a government of the people, by the people, for the people, like it was supposed to be.
We’ll tax polluters, speculators, and the oligarchs; you see,
not because we need their money, or their permission to have an equitable society,
but because we need to decarbonize the system and fight inequality.
It’s the only way forward. I can’t compromise and settle for insanity.
Don’t try to distract my people with your conspiracy theories.
Qanon, Rothschilds, gold bugs, or a new kind of cryptocurrency.
Let’s stick to the facts, history, logic, and a simple accounting identity.
It’s all brought into shape focus under the lens of Modern Monetary Theory.
I know it’s a little silly but I like it, I made this poem rhyme with MMT.
It’s a paradigm shift, it’s undeniable, don’t you agree?
It changes the narrative, and it destroys the foundations of austerity.
A whole new world is possible, without artificial scarcity.
We’ll fight unemployment and poverty with a Job Guarantee,
with decent wages, full benefits, and every need covered if necessary.
We’ll make those jobs green, community-driven, and focus on the care economy.
We’ll look after the planet, the children, and the elderly.
Every living thing, every drop of water, every inch of soil, is our responsibility.
Every source of life is so precious; a gift in our custody, not some kind of private property.
I’m taking this global Climate Action plan very seriously,
because I don’t want to end up a Climate Refugee.
Call your Reps and tell them about Ayanna Pressley.
She wrote the Job Guarantee resolution, to complete the civil rights legacy.
Urge them to endorse it promptly.
Be sure to warn them: ignore us, and you will see,
your term in office will expire in January 2023.
Hit the streets and chant with me:
“By the ballot, or by decree, we demand a Job Guarantee!”
Humanity is longing for genuine global solidarity.
So join me in this struggle, it’s my final plea.
I’ll die trying if I have to, for this better future is within reach, and it’s yearning to be set free.

Cormann – let’s hope not!

The OECD is about to appoint a new secretary-general and one of the last two candidates left in the race is the former Australian finance minister, Mathias Cormann, who resigned his post in the Australian government in October 2020 after being part of several leadership spills that saw him preach loyalty to a Prime Minister only to shift camps.

He didn’t have a very distinguished career in the Government.

He was one of the deficit-debt terrorists that drove austerity and maintained elevated levels of labour wastage throughout the term of this government.

His views on climate change are particularly disturbing.

He voted to abolish Australia’s carbon tax regime in 2014 – calling it a “job destroying carbon tax”.

He also tried to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which was set up by the previous Labor government funding to provideto renewable energy projects.

He also tried to get government to abandon Australia’s renewable energy target, and tried to get rid of Australia’s Renewable Energy Agency.

He never supported investment in renewables.

You can read about those efforts – HERE.

As soon as he announced he was going for the top OECD job, he suddenly started to mouth of about his commitment to fast-tracking climate policies.

Fortunately, people are on to him.

The UK Guardian article (March 5, 2021) – ‘Not a suitable candidate’: climate groups urge OECD not to appoint Mathias Cormann as next head – notes that various groups and climate experts are teaming up to undermine his bid to become the next secretary-general.

Leopards don’t change their spots.

Music – Missing London

This is what I have been listening to while working this morning.

It is now more than a year since I have travelled abroad which is a big change from doing several trips each year for as long as I care to remember.

Around this time last year I was in London, after finishing my annual teaching stint in Helsinki.

I miss London.

I miss running in the early morning cold and mist in Regent’s Park.

I miss seeing the good friends I have there.

I sort of miss the hustle, although I cannot be sure about that.

Anyway, with that sort of thinking, I put this record on.

I have always liked it. I loved the way – Ralph McTell – was faithful to the acoustic blues players early in his career and evolved into a magnificant song writer.

So here we are – The Streets of London.

The song came out in my last year at high school and I was trying to be a musician.

I purchased Ralph McTell’s 1969 album – Spiral Staircase – in 1970 as I was flush with cash from working 12-hour shifts in a factory trying to save up to start university in the March of that year.

The song appeared on that album. There was also some really fine blues guitar playing on that record. It remains among my favourites. A long list.

Around 12 years later I was in London one night (I was doing my PhD in Manchester) and saw that he was playing at the Southbank Centre but didn’t have enough money to buy a ticket. Such were the days.

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2021 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Bill,
    I remember discovering Ralph McTell (in the early 2010s) and his unique guitar playing and impressed with his ability to take prose and turn it into something poetic!

  2. I enjoy playing The Streets of London on the guitar myself. I first heard it played by a guitarist on a cruise ship a couple of years ago, of all places.

  3. I’ve been wondering lattely if the Bretton Woods system was bad, not so bad or a good system.
    I mean, the western global economy is coming to a constelation of hollowed currencies.
    Globalization and the deindustrialization that followed the colapse of the Bretton Woods system got us into the GFC in 2008, which nobody fully recovered (well, maybe with the exception of the Chinese).
    And now , it accrues to the pandemic induced crisis.
    That is: we live in permanent crisis nowdays.
    Big business means inneficient business and the states are bailing them out continuously, because “their’re to big to fail” and other cr*p like that.
    So, if we had a gold standard currency, all gold was now in the hands of the Chinese.
    If we had a gold standard currency, our capitalist class wouldn’t be that lazy, as to relax, give up industry and went into resseling cheap stuff from China, as if it was manufactured home. Importing all the stuff sold here would eould mean transfering gold to China in december.
    If we had a gold standard currency, inflation would be a big issue right now.
    A worthless currency would push prices up, because it would be worthless.
    Maybe inflation will be na BIG issue in the future anyway.
    Maybe we are giving up every weapon we could use to fight back the nightmare that will follow the colapse of capitalism.
    Capitalism is currently in a state of “dog eats dog” and that won’t last very long.

  4. Thank you Fadhel Kaboub and thank you Bill for bringing us such a wonderful poem. Ought to be read from the rooftops. Ralph McTell’s Streets of London continues to be a masterful indightment of my society’s abandonment of the poor and unfortunate.

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