Rethinking America's 'Deficit Myth' With Economist Stephanie Kelton

Sep 2, 2020

Fiscal policy in a pandemic. We discuss why COVID-19 is giving a bigger voice to economists with very different ways of looking at the deficit.


Stephanie Kelton, professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University. Senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. Author of “The Deficit Myth.” (@StephanieKelton)

Joseph Stiglitz, professor of economics at Columbia University. Chief economist at the Roosevelt Institute. Co-founder and co-president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue. (@JosephEStiglitz)

From The Reading List

Excerpt from “The Deficit Myth” by Stephanie Kelton

Copyright © 2020 Stephanie Kelton. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Excerpt from People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Reprinted from People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent. Copyright (c) 2019 by Joseph E. Stiglitz. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

The New Yorker: “The Economist Who Believes the Government Should Just Print More Money” — “Stephanie Kelton, a senior economic adviser to Bernie Sanders and a professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University, is popular in a way that economists, almost definitionally, are not.”

CBC: “Modern monetary theory is not the future — it’s already here: Don Pittis” — “When modern monetary theory began to emerge into popular consciousness almost two years ago it carried with it an odour of coming from the distant economic fringe.”

The Balance: “US Budget Deficit by Year Compared to GDP, Debt Increase, and Events” — “The U.S. budget deficit by year is how much more the federal government spends than it receives in revenue annually. The Fiscal Year 2021 U.S. budget deficit was budgeted at $1.1 trillion.”

The Prospect: “Fiscal Follies in the Biden Campaign” — “Joe Biden has heartened progressives with his calls for levels of public spending, well into the trillions, equal to the urgent needs at hand.”

Dissent Magazine: “Monetary Myth-Busting: An Interview With Stephanie Kelton” — “Stephanie Kelton’s The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the Peoples’ Economy is a foundational book on economic policy.”

New York Times: “Ben Bernanke: I Was Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Save the States.” — “The coronavirus pandemic has set loose a recession of shocking speed and severity. In the coming months, the actions taken by both the public and the private sectors will have economic and public health repercussions that will reverberate for years.”

Forbes: “Biden’s Mask Of Moderation Has Finally Slipped” — “Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pitches himself to American voters as a reasonable and pragmatic centrist. But he’s stocked his campaign team with some of the Democratic party’s most prominent—and extreme—left-wingers.”

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