How I Came to Learn MMT

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For many years, we have all been duped and lied to. In 2007 and 2008 I graduated with a Master of Science in Technology Management and a Master of Business Administration respectively. During that process, I learned much neoclassical economics and finance. Of course, an MBA program teaches that markets are king. They never taught me how money was created or what federal debt actually was.

In 2009, after gaining those two professional graduate degrees, I lost a 17 year career at Ma Bell. My family was a Bell family. Both my mom and dad retired from Ma Bell. I thought I would too. However, I lost my job in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis on July 24th, 2009. My life would never be the same.

I was a Republican at the time. My family revered Reagan. I was a Christian Conservative who had supported Bush Sr, W, Bob Dole and later Ron Paul. I was all about bootstraps. Calvinism. Etc. Part of me didn’t know better. Part of it was reinforced during grad school. But regardless, all of me was finding out first hand what life was like without a good, safe job… without good solid health benefits. No more tuition assistance. No more 5 weeks of vacation and paid sick time off. No more eye care. No more dental care. No more bonuses. No more vacations. No more dining out on a whim. No more Christmas shopping like a big spender. No more “good life”.

Soon, bankruptcy hit. Another divorce. Massive child support and no jobs.

During this time period, I was busy worshipping Ron Paul and having a crisis of conscience… my savings were keeping us alive. But they were vanishing quickly. No way did I see being without a job for 18 months. No one wanted to hire a guy who had a pot possession charge going back to 2002. No one wanted to hire an over educated middle management guy who they felt would quit as soon as a better opportunity came along. I was stuck.

Eventually savings ran out. Lawnmowers broke. Cars fell apart. Home repairs were required. And now… the mortgage fell behind. At first it was skipping a month to keep the electric bill paid up. Then it became, I can’t pay it… eventually my shades were drawn. Every knock on the door was a process server telling me I was being foreclosed on. I would split the slats to see the man pretend to walk away only to listen to see if I was actually in the house. I was terrified.

I started a GoFundMe to keep myself afloat and my meager unemployment was gobbled up with child support. Horrible, evil people decided to mock me for my go fund me. Others made fake Facebook profiles to troll me. Others did even worse. Smearing my name. Saying atrocious things about my children. Celebrating my every sorrow. My every pain.

My mom stepped in and helped as much as she could, but my goodness, is this really how it should be done? What of the people without a family? How do they survive?

During this time, I was approached about a revolutionary understanding of how government finance ACTUALLY worked. It didn’t take me long to realize that something was terribly amiss with my understanding of economics, MBA be damned. All the Ron Paul, Austrian bullshit and gold standard idiocy was quickly being exposed for its fallacies. How could I have gotten it so wrong? How could I have been so duped for so long? How could I change when my entire family believed the lies as well… my entire life was unraveling and now my belief system had to unravel as well.

Enter Modern Monetary Theory.

My good friend Bruce Patrick had been breaking the ice with me on the subject of economics for some time. He would take my strong religious beliefs and help me see how they were holding me back from truth. Videos… articles… books… white papers… introductions to people like Warren Mosler, Mike Norman and a host of others gave me further insight into my knowledge deficit… which introduced me to the concept of a New type of deficit: Deficit Owls.

Eventually I grabbed hold of the most important book I have ever stumbled onto… 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy by Warren Mosler. I also read with fresh eyes L Randall Wray’s “What Taxes Are Really For” in New Economic Perspectives.

I had to overcome my “End the Fed” fetish as well… reality is real… No one said it was easy.

I was introduced to the likes of Stephanie Kelton, Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Scott Fullwiler, Rohan Grey, Nathan Cedric Tankus, Raul Carrillo, Scott Ferguson, Charles Hayden, Rob Steinernomics and too many others to name.

I learned we are NO longer on the gold standard or pegged to any commodity such as oil. That our dollar is a sovereign, free floating, non-convertible fiat currency.

That the Federal Reserve is actually a creature of Congress and not the other way around.

That Congress controls spending through Constitutional authority and fiscal policy and the Fed controls interest rates through monetary policy.

I learned that an economy without full employment meant the government had too small of a deficit.

I learned that the dollar was merely a tax credit.

I learned that the answer to all questions of how will the government “pay for it” was that CONGRESS will authorize spending.

I learned that all Fed spending was keystrokes.

That social security wasn’t broke.

That we never have to “find the money” or cut spending here to create spending there.

That a public sector deficit was a private sector surplus.

That sectoral balances are key to knowing the state of any economy.

That currency users are very different than currency issuers.

And that taxation drives the need for currency but doesn’t pay for spending.

That hyperinflation does not come from government spending.

That inflation isn’t based on money growth but access to real resources.

In the end, I was given hope because I realized that austerity was unnecessary and that if everyone learned how it really worked, the left/right divide would be decimated and we could rise as the 99%. That we could have a New Deal without raising taxes.

That we could have Green Energy TODAY.

That we could have national healthcare as a right TODAY.

That we could get rid of student debt TODAY.

That we could end poverty and homelessness TODAY.

That we could end wars for oil TODAY.

That we could provide our children with a future we would be proud of TODAY.

I gained hope. Genuine hope by learning how economics REALLY worked.

That happened when I learned MMT: Modern Monetary Theory.


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Wray debunking the lie about the Fed’s independence

Mosler Fed Interest and Deficits

Can we print our way out of ‘debt’:

Monetary Sovereignty is the foundation of economics, by Rodger Malcolm Mitchell:

7 Deadly Innocent Frauds, by Warren Mosler:

Money Growth Does Not Cause Inflation:

Taxes for revenue are obsolete:

Taxpayers don’t fund anything:

What taxes are for?:

J.D. Alt’s “The Millennials’ Money”:

How to Pay for Jill Stein’s Student Debt Forgiveness Plan:

Replacing budget constraint with Inflation constraint:

Get to know:

Bill Mitchell
Stephanie Kelton
L Randall Wray
Ellis Winningham
Fadhel Kaboub
Steven Hail
William Black
James Galbraith
Warren Mosler
JD Alt
Raul Carrillo
Rohan Grey
Scott Fullwiler
And many more…

1 thought on “How I Came to Learn MMT”

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, Steve. Believe me, I know poverty all too well since I became disabled in 2004 when I had over 30 kidney stones removed just from my left kidney. The prep for the surgery (inserting a tube thru an incision on my back into my left kidney) was supposed to take 20 mins but took over 3 hours. They hadn’t done enough imagining and every time they tried to put the tube in they couldn’t because it was blocked by all the stones. They gave me a shitload of pain meds but they did nothing for this kind of pain. I had told them I was already taking opioid painkillers and had a significant tolerance but they didn’t listen. It was 3 plus hours of torture that left me with significant PTSD.
    They should’ve knocked me out. But they skipped a lot of prep because I didn’t have health insurance and I only got any treatment because my stepfather (God bless him) paid out over $30k.
    I should’ve sued them, but I filed for disability, which I didn’t get until 2010. My stepfather helped me scrape by during that time.
    Learning MMT hasn’t given me hope (people are just too indoctrinated and/or stupid) but it has certainly pissed me off. Now I have to try to make it with an income of less than $1500 a month in this 2023 economy.
    I will do what I can to help spread this truth.

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