WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 23 prominent African-American clergy leaders, collectively representing almost 40,000 parishioners, released a statement in response to Larry Summers' attack on the insurgent school of economic thought, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which was published March 4, 2019 in the Washington Post. The statement comes 11 days after the Our Money Campaign led approximately 1,000 supporters, clergy, economists, and activists to Washington, DC for its Labor Day March for Full Employment and Economic Justice. In their response, the faith leaders charge mainstream economists such as Larry Summers with "economic malpractice on a grand scale" that has done grave harm to the American economy and the African-American community in particular.
Our Money Founder, Rev. Dr. Delman Coates remarked: "It's time we get the message across to Washington that there will be no more excuses for failing to harness the full extent of our public power of money creation to attend to public priorities, many of which have grown alarmingly urgent from neglect, due to the failed economic stewardship of mainstream economists. The country needs congressional hearings on Modern Monetary Theory, and we need them now," says Coates.
The response lays out a laundry list of calamities and traces them back to Summers and his fellow "Rubin Wing" economists. "We have this default assumption that these guys are somehow the adults in the room and the sensible thing to do is dutifully defer to their wisdom and guidance. But if you look at their track record, it's enough to make a drunken sailor blush, to put it mildly," said Our Money Policy Director, Spencer Veale. "It's only a matter of time until the public sees what we see. Once that happens, the pressure will be too great. They won't be able to keep the keys to the castle tucked away and unaccountable to democracy any longer."
Our Money hopes their work will open up space for brave political and community leaders to take on the challenge of invoking MMT-based messaging in defense of the Green New Deal agenda, which they point out includes a Job Guarantee, Medicare for All and Tuition-free Public College. "This is a paradigm shift we're promoting here,'' said Program Manager, Tomeka Scales. "Our aim is to equip political candidates, community leaders, and the broader public with the messaging they need to answer the question of how these robust spending proposals will be paid for. We are here to help the policymakers and the public understand that a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and Free Public College are attainable."
"As faith leaders, we are guided by a moral conviction that prioritizes the public interest," said Rev. Willie Francois III of the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pleasantville, NJ. "When the establishment convinces the public to misunderstand and underutilize our public power of money creation, it becomes all too easy to divert money creation toward private interests. We seek to re-legitimize the power of money creation for public priorities, making it more accountable to democracy and setting us on a path towards having a more sustainable economy that works for everyone."
About Our Money
Our Money is a campaign which seeks to popularize an understanding of the importance of our public power of money creation and demand that it be used on behalf of the public to the fullest extent responsible, rather than diverted towards private interests.
Contact for inquiries:
Tomeka B. Scales, Ph.D.
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