Social Security: It’s About REAL Productive Capacity

I visited the MMT-oriented New Economic Perspectives web site today and found another of the animated videos produced by students in Eric Tymoigne’s modern money course at Lewis & Clark College (I’d posted a link to an earlier video here).

The video focused on Social Security, which it discussed from an MMT-oriented perspective.  While the whole video is worth watching, I found the last 5 minutes, which begins at the 8:04 mark, particularly worthwhile.  It starts with this initial Q&A exchange:

Q:  “If we don’t need to worry about [the financial health of] Social Security, what do we need to worry about?

A:  The future productive capacity.

While the video’s focus was Social Security and the need to address the needs of an aging population, the more general and very important point raised by the final 5 minutes is that, once our economic thinking is free of unfounded federal deficit fears, the real issues we need to focus on relate to how we can increase the REAL productive capacity of our economy to deliver REAL value and satisfy the REAL needs of our citizens.  

In future posts I’ll be discussing how Internet-related policies informed by both MMT and New Growth Theory can help address these REAL economic and social issues.

The (negative) flip side of the video’s message is that, if we and our political representatives get caught up in unnecessary “federal deficit” fears and adopt policy initiatives that reflect them (e.g., cutting federal spending during a recession to reduce the deficit), we’re very likely to aggravate the REAL problems we face regarding the ability of our REAL productive capacities to address our REAL needs, both today and in the future.

Unfortunately this seems to be the direction in which many government officials (virtually all Republicans and a lot of Democrats) are leaning.

Here’s the video (again, the section most relevant to this issue starts at 8:04):

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