The economic fallout from COVID-19 has compelled governments around the world to launch the largest fiscal and monetary aid programs in living memory, incurring massive deficits in the process. This is happening at the same time as a radical, new approach to economic policy making is gaining momentum: Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Its proponents believe that governments that issue their own currencies are not limited by revenues when it comes to spending. What governments choose to spend money on is a political, not an economic decision. Opponents of MMT and deficit spending argue that there are no free lunches in modern economics. Too much government spending leads to slow growth, devalued currencies and wasteful, politicized public expenditures. On this episode of the Munk Debates Podcast, Stephanie Kelton, author of the new bestseller, The Deficit Myth, and Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, from the Peterson Institute, debate the essence of these two competing arguments.
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