On Sunday, April 12, 2020, 11:25:51 AM PDT, Glen Atkinson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Thanks Randy.  I recommend reading the "The Omaha Platform -  The Launching of the Populist Party"  that was adopted in 1892

They wanted to eliminate tariffs, which was a major source of funding of the the federal government, and create a progressive income tax.  The other significant source of federal revenue was land sales.  

The party wanted radical changes such as direct election of U.S. Senators and secret ballots.  They stopped short of other radical policies such as national health insurance, but they did want to eliminate private banks and the Cross of Gold.  We have been assisted to forget all of this by the folks who opposed these measures and identify populism with the likes of Huey Long.  What if we had adopted some the important planks in the Omaha Platform?  Would it have stolen some of the appeal of the likes of Long?  We will never know, but it is worth considering.  The situation facing mid-western grain farmers in the nineteenth century was quite different from the truly impoverished southern farmers of the 1930s.  

The mid-western farmers were drawn into the mysterious price system system created by the wider market that was enabled by transcontinental railroads.  You will see some of their gripes against the consequences of the railroads in the platform.  Forty acres and a mule would not help them.  SELF PROMOTION WARNING - See Atkinson and Paschall "Law and Economics from an Evolutionary Perspective 2016" , pp. 31-33 for a brief discussion of this development.   

It might be worth reading John Steinbeck's novel, East of Eden along with Grapes of Wrath to appreciate the differences in agricultural communities.  Rosevile, CA became one the largest railroad yards in the nation because of the economic goal portrayed in East of Eden.  And it did become the largest  ice facility in the nation.  Steinbeck's talent was in connecting these major developments to people's lives.  We do remember Tom Joad as iif he were a natural -not a corporation- person.  

At least let us agree on what we mean when we reference populism.   


On Sunday, April 12, 2020, 08:12:25 AM PDT, Wray, Randall <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

All of us probably need some good reads to cheer us up in what will be a long lock-down. This is going to go on for months, maybe years, longer than our pundits are now claiming. So hunker down and take a look at these uplifting pieces.

Here's one on the upside to the downsides: Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting* by Julio Vincent Gambuto

Message: fight the return to normalcy. This is our opportunity to reflect on our unsustainable pre-crisis path.

A remarkable piece by Tom Frank: https://harpers.org/archive/2020/04/how-the-anti-populists-stopped-bernie-sanders/?fbclid=IwAR0-8Qu6vpr-QBytnw7r1o04e8j6Ck2gMk72Zyu5JUNs9FFFF4d1SMhqCSs

You will recognize all the memes raised against Bernie over the past 4+ years. It's Deja Vu all over again. Oh well, we've got Biden. Right. 4 more years of Trump.

Sit down before you read this one; scariest one I've seen:


https://truthout.org/articles/ venture-capitalist-stuns-cnbc- by-saying-we-should-let-hedge- funds-fail/?eType= EmailBlastContent&eId= f85f10a9-b749-4087-a67f- 8c0c97db6ecf 

maybe a bit pollyannaish but any big firm with a viable business plan would survive bankruptcy so he's right; the bailout alternative is really for firms with no reason for existence. Let them all fail.

FINDING the MONEY Documentary Launch

Dear Randall
As you’ve hopefully heard, we are producing a documentary about the most important shift to hit politics and economics in decades: Modern Monetary Theory. And we are excited to announce the launch of our crowd-funding campaign as a crucial next step to bring the film to life!
Today we are launching the campaignwebsite, and social media pages to share with the broad and diverse MMT community with a goal of raising $15,000. All donations are tax deductible! Thanks to our fiscal sponsor Filmmakers’ Collaborative SF.
As someone on the forefront of MMT, you know it is more relevant to the political debate now than ever, with the urgency to respond to coronavirus and mitigate the economic consequences.
But you also know what a complex story this is. Politicians will not be the first ones to come out and explain to the public how government financing and taxes actually work. The groundwork for this debate must be laid; that is the work many of you are doing today, and that is the work of this documentary.
This campaign is important to show the size of the audience that is already following and engaged with the MMT story, to show the potential for what I know is a film that will have broad appeal, a story that will affect our daily lives, affect daily political decisions, and affect the planet. Visit and share our GoFundMe page!
Although $15k is not the full budget for the film, it will bring an editor on board with the goal of completing a short film/work sample to release in September 2020. The film will then expand into a feature length form to give the full picture perspective of the story, get to know the characters involved, the conflict and drama with top tier economists, and explore fascinating examples from the past 5,000 years of the history of money.
Please share our GoFundMe page, or reach out to your contacts individually. A $25, $50, or $100 tax-deductible donation will go a long way in making this film a reality!
And please follow us on social media below to continue to connect the ever-growing MMT community.
Don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have any thoughts, suggestions, or advice! I would love to hear from you!
I look forward to continuing on this journey with you.
Take care of each other, and all my best,
Maren Poitras
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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: