Day: December 22, 2020

Background Briefing: December 22, 2020

A Look Back on Economic Trends in 2020


The Economist Stephanie Kelton Explodes the Deficit Myth

We begin to look back on the stories that dominated the headlines in this tumultuous year of 2020 which is coming to a close. Today following the example of the stimulus package that just passed in Congress which is weighted to bail out assets before bailing out people as the uncontrolled pandemic begins to devastate the economy, we will look back on the issues that shape our unequal economy as we explored ways to make it work for the 99%. Let’s now go to an interview from June 11 when the Dow dropped 1800 points following Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s announcement that although deaths from the pandemic could double or triple by the fall, there will be no second shutdown of the economy. We spoke with the economist Stephanie Kelton, who served as chief economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and was an advisor to the Bernie Sanders 2016 and 2020 campaigns. She joined us to discuss her new book The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy and her article at The New York Times “Learn to Love Trillion Dollar Deficits: Our country’s myth about federal debt, explained”.


How the Biggest Digital Companies are Decimating the Economy Turning People into Assets

Then we go an interview from August 23rd when we spoke with Douglas Rushkoff, named one of the world’s ten most influential intellectuals by MIT. He is an award-winning author, broadcaster, and documentarian who studies human autonomy in the digital age. The host of the popular Team Human podcast, he has written twenty books, including the bestsellers Present Shock and Program or Be Programmed; written regular columns for Medium, CNN, The Daily Beast, and The Guardian; and made the PBS Frontline documentaries “Generation Like” and “Merchants of Cool.” He is a research fellow of the Institute for the Future, and founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism at the City University of New York in Queens, where he is a professor of media theory and digital economics. His latest book is Team Human and we discussed his articles at Medium “The Biggest Digital Companies Are Decimating the Economy” and “What Happens When People Become Assets.” 


How Plutocrats and Their Enablers Captured the U.S. and How Americans Can Take Back Their Country

Then finally we goto an interview from October 4th on how plutocrats and their enablers captured the U.S. and how Americans can take back their country. We spoke with Kurt Andersen, the bestselling author who co-founded Spy Magazine, was editor-in-chief of New York Magazine and a cultural critic for Time and The New Yorker. He joined us to discuss his new book, Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History which explains how plutocrats and their enablers captured the United States and how Americans can take back their country.