Notes from a snowy afternoon
I joined a call this afternoon organised by GIMMS (The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies). As I had that very morning finished Pavlina Tcherneva’s latest book — The Case for A Job Guarantee — it seemed perfect timing to listen to her in conversation with Phil Armstrong.
It was as I expected. Ms Tcherneva was eloquent, convincing, and, better still, interesting. For me, the best part of the call was when she responded at length to Phil Armstrong’s question about how she ended up in the MMT world — and what keeps her there.
I’m not going to summarise what she said here. The whole talk was recorded and will be up on the GIMMS YouTube channel in the near future.
In addition to the recording, there was a live transcript of the call. As in most live transcripts, some of the translations from the vocal into the verbal were less than accurate. Perhaps most tellingly, whenever the term MMT was used, the transcript recorded it as ‘empty’. I’m sure many of the critics of MMT would call that accurate. I’m happy to laugh along.
In a later transcript blooper — and one for all the teenagers out there — when Pavlina Tcherneva used the phrase “emancipatory”, it became “masturbatory”. This happened more than once. Perhaps the most striking example was when she was describing workfare and especially its use by the authoritarian right. Tcherneva wanted the left to wake up and see that there is a democratic and emancipatory way of pursuing direct employment. Unfortunately, the transcript told us to wake up and see the democratic and masturbatory way.
Oh, how we laughed. But, hey, it was a Sunday afternoon and I was on a call about MMT. I’m allowed to find something to smile about.
And that’s it. It’s possible I may be writing this simply to keep my daily posts going. Never, you say.
And the book that slips into the reading list to replace Tcherneva is The Great Fortune, the first volume of Olivia Manning’s The Balkan Trilogy.