Interview with Dr. David Graeber on the subject of debt jubilee. Graeber is a respected anthropologist who teaches anthropology at Goldsmiths university of London, the author in many leading magazines and of a new book about the history of the last 5000 years of debt.
The Roosevelt Institute's New Deal 2.0 blog asked seven economic thinkers to address what they see as the most dangerous myths currently circulating on the deficit. Several of these experts will be on hand to educate the public on April 28, 2010 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. at a "Fiscal Sustainability Teach-In."
Myth #1: The government should balance its books like a private household.
Reality: Our federal government is the issuer of the currency, which makes its budget fundamentally different than the average citizen's. ~Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Assistant Professor, Franklin and Marshall College
Myth #2: Fixing Social Security and Medicare will require "tough choices."
Reality: Social Security and Medicare are not facing a financial crisis. ~Stephanie Kelton, Associate Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri
Myth #3: We are passing on debt to our grandchildren.
Reality: Payments on Treasury securities are a matter of data entry, not a financial burden. ~Randall Wray, Professor of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri
Myth #4: What we don't tax we have to borrow from the likes of China for our children to pay back.
Reality: Paying our debt holders back consists of transferring funds between accounts. ~Marshall Auerback, Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Warren Mosler, President, Valance Co.
Myth #5: The government must tax or borrow to get money to spend.
Reality: Government spending is not constrained by revenue. ~Yeva Nersisyan, Doctoral candidate in economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri
Myth #6: Deficits and government borrowing takes away savings.
Reality: Deficits add to income and savings. ~Warren Mosler, President, Valance Co.
Myth #7: We'll end up just like Weimar Germany or Zimbabwe.
Reality: Hyperinflation in both countries was caused by circumstances far different than ours. ~Marshall Auerback, Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Rob Parenteau, sole proprietor of MacroStrategy Edge
Myth #8: Government spending increases interest rates and 'crowds out' valuable private sector investment.
Reality: Banks can lend essentially without limit, and the Fed can hit any interest rate target it chooses. ~Stephanie Kelton, Associate Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri
Myth #9: The money spent paying interest on the national debt could be spent elsewhere.
Reality: Interest rates can easily be brought to zero and are not an obstacle to federal spending. ~Randall Wray, Professor of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri
Robert Reich Debunks 6 Big GOP Lies About The Economy