Randy I respect your work and it has influenced my thinking in so many ways.  But right now there are literally millions of people a home afraid of where they are going to get the money to make it through the next 3 months.  The politics on capital hill are such that no real change like what you and I both want are likely.  I think fighting for that change is important, hell it is my lifes work.  right now however the country is on fire.  Millions of households are literally on the edge of running out of money. 

My letter is likely to garner the support of many across the board.  Is it the solution to the problems we face?  Of course not.  We need a job guarantee, sick leave....  We must have them.  Yet right now we have to get real money into the hands of the people who are about to fall off the cliff.  What you are saying is we need to create  a new system not prone to fires like we are experiencing.  You will find few people more in support of your ideas.  However I am saying we need to put the fire out in order to literally save millions of lives.  I hope that you will consider that. 

These families on the edge are people.  They are the ultimate end and are what we have to consider first and foremost.  I hope that will help you understand, and perhaps even support the ideas in this letter.


Timothy A Wunder

Clinical Associate Professor of Economics

Department of Economics

From: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Wray, Randall <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 12:39 PM
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Emergency Government Household Income

I'd like everyone to think a bit more about this proposal.

See this first: http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/the-economic-response-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic

I admit that things have deteriorated greatly in the 5 days (!!) since we wrote that piece. 

People need free testing; free medical care; debt relief; paid sick leave (NOT Pelosi's bait and switch, which excludes 85% of all workers--thanks Nancy for excluding Wall Street and megacorps). 

Many have lost their jobs (some permanently); many are losing their small businesses. 

They need additional help--expanded and more generous unemployment compensation for example.

The homeless need special attention, more urgently than pre-crisis.

"cash" should be targeted; care and compassion should be indiscriminately supplied.

A small BIG is not the answer. As the virus spreads, infecting perhaps 2/3 or 3/4 of the population, putting cash into everyone's hands is not the answer. 

It is the "free market" solution favored by Silicon Valley and others who think we will eliminate most workers and just turn them into consumers who are otherwise detached from the economy and the political system. As Naomi Klein put it, this is shock doctrine--and the virus is the perfect shock to implement the doctrine. 

More cash indiscriminately handed out + loss of maybe half or more of the labor force + disruption of global supply chains = significant fall of output = ???

This is a REAL crisis, not a situation of insufficient aggregate demand. More cash will not get more people onto airlines or into restaurants. We are a service sector economy. Much of that requires physical proximity.

L. Randall Wray
Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute

Professor of Economics, Bard College

Emeritus Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Co-editor Journal of Post Keynesian Economics
ISSN 0160-3477 (Print), 1557-7821 (Online)


Recent Books:

A Great Leap Forward: Heterodox Economic Policy for the 21st Century; Randall Wray; Paperback ISBN: 9780128193808; Academic Press; Published Date: 22nd January 2020; https://www.elsevier.com/books/a-great-leap-forward/wray/978-0-12-819380-8


Macroeconomics; Author(s): William Mitchell, L. Randall Wray, Martin Watts; Red Globe Press, Macmillan International; February 2019; https://www.macmillanihe.com/page/detail/Macroeconomics/?K=9781137610669.


Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the work of a maverick economist, Princeton University Presshttp://press.princeton.edu/titles/10575.html


Modern Money Theory: a primer on macroeconomics for sovereign monetary systems, Palgrave Macmillan http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/modern-money-theory-l-randall-wray/?isb=9781137539908 


Please make note of my new email address as I will be transitioning all email to:

From: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of C whalen <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 9:34 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [AFEEMAIL] Emergency Government Household Income
Great idea, Tim.

It would be great to have such a letter composed, and circulated widely for signatures, by the members of AFEE, which is, as I often say, an (American based) international group of scholars in the tradition of those who fashioned the New Deal and Great Society. Of course, signatures would not be limited to AFEE members.

I also think this should be done in a nonpartisan way.

And, since the crisis is global, perhaps we should see if members of our sister organizations in Japan (JAFEE) and Europe (EAEPE) want to pursue similar letters in a coordinated fashion.

Iím willing to contribute input.

Tim: Donít worry about your rank as a social or professional influencer, just draft something and share it for comment. If you build itÖ ;


On Mar 17, 2020, at 10:16 AM, Wunder, Tim <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Can we get an open letter started calling on the government to get money to families directly?  There is a proposal for 850 billion in emergency funds.  That's enough to give every man woman and child $2500.  Can someone more influential than I am start an open letter calling for the government to send households money directly.  So a household of 4 would get $10k.  A household of 2 would get $5k.  

This would be incredibly popular and it would actually help the people.
I know there are people on this list who could organize something like this.  Retail workers are terrified, as are so many Americans.  Perhaps this is something we could do to help.


Timothy A Wunder
Clinical Associate Professor of Economics
Department of Economics