My reference to Huey Long was in part speculative.  However, I think the vested interests used such movements as Long's to confuse the message stated in the Omaha Platform.  Call me an radical but I thought their goals were reasonable.  But I'm not as radical as Mitch McConnell and his right wing Republicans are in Congress. 

If I read the Harper's article correctly that Randy forwarded, the vested interests, including many Democrats, have tried to conflate populists as the ignorant productive farmers we now need to fill our Food Banks.  We love our farmers, truck drivers, toilet paper makers now.  The goal of the Goldman Sachs Tribe is not to increase the commonwealth but to grab as much for themselves and their clients as possible.  As we we moved from workers to employees and now Associates and Team Members our disrespect for production workers continues.  

I am comfortable being identified as a populist as an updated Omaha Platform person.  Let's identify populism ourselves rather letting the vested interests do it.  

We have become a financial economy rather a production economy.  We can't even produce protection gear for our beloved health care team members.  


On Monday, April 13, 2020, 12:35:20 PM PDT, Henry, John <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Glen raises a most important issue. Just when/how did "populism" change from a progressive term to one associated with all the things we AFEEers deplore? Huey Long may be a step in this development, but my recollection places the change in a very recent period. When I started to see it used significantly, maybe 20-25 years ago, I thought that it was a misplaced reference to the real populists of the late 1800's. But, no..... So, why this term used to describe white nationalists, anti-immigrant, religious fanatics, etc.? Someone has had to have written to this specifically. 


P.S. AS much as I hate to admit, I did purchase Atkinson and Paschall Law and Economics...., and actually read significant portions of the thing. For those who haven't dipped their toes in these waters, I'd recommend they do so. 

John F. Henry
Levy Economics Institute of Bard College


From: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Glen Atkinson <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2020 12:58:27 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Lock-down reading
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:

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: 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
[log in to unmask]

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;


Macroeconomics; Author(s): William Mitchell, L. Randall Wray, Martin Watts; Red Globe Press, Macmillan International; February 2019;


Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the work of a maverick economist, Princeton University Press


Modern Money Theory: a primer on macroeconomics for sovereign monetary systems, Palgrave Macmillan 


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