The Lightbulb Moment with Malcolm Reavell


Manage episode 302577798 series 2809925
By Steve Grumbine and Real Progressives. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
MMT, at its most fundamental, shows us the difference between a currency user and the currency issuer. This reality affects policy decisions in ways it would be foolish to ignore. As Fadhel Kaboub and Bill Black explained here recently, even if it were possible to create some inadequate public programs at the state level, they will stall the progressive agenda.
Malcolm Reavell of Modern Money Scotland talks to Steve about the parallel situation he and his compatriots are facing. Scotland’s annual budget is determined and controlled by Westminster, the Parliament of the UK.
Every year they get a block grant from Westminster according to certain calculations, and that block grant is supposed to provide enough money for the Scottish government to do whatever it has to do. It's a totally artificial constraint, and it is used to prove that Scotland can't manage its own finances and it's too poor.

The Scottish government is criticized for not taking sufficient action to combat climate change, for not properly supporting the health service, and for the schools being underfunded. Of course, just like in the states, any money spent on one of these programs reduces the available funds for the others.
Malcolm and Steve share their histories as MMT activists trying to contribute to a new movement. They both relied heavily on familiar experts like Mitchell, Mosler, Hail, and many, many others. Some, like Steve Keen and Mark Blyth, they see as adjacent or “broad MMT.”
Modern Money Scotland and Real Progressives have a common origin story as Facebook groups. We often hear the charge that MMT is US-centric, so it’s a pleasure to have guests from other parts of the world to compare and contrast our mutual journeys as well as differing political and social conditions. For example, Brexit disrupted the trucking industry in Scotland well before COVID disrupted supply chains for the rest of us.
Whether you call it football or soccer, our listeners will recognize Malcolm’s approach to talking MMT to the uninitiated.
Well, just imagine this. If all the goals ever scored had to be paid back, who would you pay them back to? ... Supposing they had a ledger. Every time a football team had a goal scored against them, there was a debit marked against them.
Then if you ended up with a net balance, you had more goals scored against you than you've scored, how would you settle that account?

For more information about Modern Money Scotland and the Scottish National Party, listen to our episode 105, The Case for Scottish Independence with Karin Van Sweeden.
Malcolm Reavell is a co-founder of Modern Money Scotland. According to his Twitter bio, he is an “Ex-Aircraft engineer, retired IT guy, internationally renowned composer, now decomposing, still #MMT though.”

144 episodes