Macro ‘N Cheese – MMT and degrowth: with Bill Mitchell

When someone associates Modern Monetary Theory with left or right wing politics, they’re signaling they know nothing of MMT and are simply associating it with some of its proponents.  MMTers are political, MMT is not. Regarding degrowth, this week’s guest, Bill Mitchell, explains: 

“The way I think about it is that MMT is compatible with deep, hard industry pollution and massive growth if you want it to be. And it is also compatible with a highly sustainable strategy to reduce our reliance on mass consumption and to divert our economic activity, which we normally think is gross domestic product, to divert that into sustainable products. In other words, radically change the composition of our output.” 

In other words, MMT neither supports nor opposes the degrowth agenda. In this episode, Bill describes degrowth as a value system and strategic approach to the future of humanity on the planet. 

MMT, on the other hand, is a lens or framework for understanding the capacities of currency issuance and the consequences of using that capacity. He and Steve highlight that MMT is compatible with both growth-oriented and sustainable strategies, and that degrowth policies would require significant investment from the state. They also discuss the challenges and obstacles to implementing a degrowth agenda, including the resistance of powerful vested interests and the potential for military conflict. 

The conversation also delves into the historical and political factors that have shaped the current domestic and global politics, including the counterattack by corporations and the wealthy against social democratic majorities in the early 1970s. They discuss the role of ignorance and media manipulation in perpetuating the current system and the importance of education and knowledge in empowering individuals and fostering solidarity movements. 

Listen HERE.

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