MMT-Ökonomin Stephanie Kelton hat einen TED Talk zu "The big myth of government deficits" abgehalten, welcher jetzt auf den Seiten von TED verfügbar ist. Das Manuskript ist auf der Internetseite von Stephanie Kelton verfügbar. Hier sind die ersten Absätze:
When things break, we have an opportunity. We can pick up the pieces and put them back together the old way, or we can look for better ways to build. COVID broke everything. It put a spotlight on the many deficits in our economy – in employment, education, health care, housing. And it showed how inequality made it all worse.
Here in the US and around the world, governments did some extraordinary things. They sent money to people—directly—to help them buy food and pay rent. They provided free COVID testing and expanded health care to cover more of the population. They gave money to businesses to help them stay afloat while much of the economy was temporarily shut down. They offered debt relief to millions of people who borrowed money to go to college. They did all of this—and more—without raising taxes or having a prolonged battle over the usual question of how to “pay for” it.
Congress simply voted for the spending and calmly allowed it to increase the fiscal deficit. To me, this was exciting. And I’m an economist, so I don’t say that a lot.
But as someone who’s been trying to change the way we think about deficits and government spending, I saw this as an opportunity to show why government budgets don’t work like household budgets, why all of their red ink is really our black ink, and why our nation can afford to keep investing in the things we need, even after spending trillions to fight the pandemic.
For a while, it looked like the US and other countries were starting to break the mold on the old way of thinking about deficits and taxes. But now here we are—just a handful of months after all of that bold action—and we’re sliding back into our old habits of thought. Can we build affordable housing and repair our crumbling infrastructure? Can we expand Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing? Can we tackle our climate crisis? As Congress debates these questions, everyone is back to asking, “How will we pay for it?”
It’s the wrong question. In fact, the right questions aren’t about money at all. Instead of asking where the financing will come from, we should be asking: Are these things worth doing and do we have the real resources—the people, the equipment, the raw materials, and the technology—to do them? Will they make society better off, and do we have the political will to act?
I am one of a small number of economists who contributed to the body of academic scholarship that’s known as MMT, or Modern Monetary Theory. MMT provides an accurate description of how a fiat currency—like the US dollar or the British pound—actually works. It reminds us that we’re no longer on a gold-standard, so “finding the money” to pay for the things we need is never an issue for countries like the US or the UK.