How to Talk About Suicide: Dan Reidenberg

14 May 2018 – This past week, with the suicide of Frightened Rabbit frontman, Scott Hutchison, media and, well, all of us, once again came up against how best to talk about suicide and best practices for media. Dr. Dan Reidenberg, Executive Director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), joined us for the interview. In particular he spoke about the fact that everybody has a role in suicide prevention and that including stories of hope, of those who have survived, is important. Dan also mentioned a number of websites and I am including links for you:  SAVE.org; Live Through This; Blogging on Suicide; and To Prevent the Attempt (for media organizations).

At the top of the show Will lets the Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire’s, French flag fly with Le Maire’s threat to push the EU to use blocking regulations in response to Trump reinstating US sanctions against Iran in breach of the Iranian nuclear treaty. I’m excited that heterodox economists are finally being accorded a modicum of respect and space in the overall discussion around the “science” of economics.

In his block Will gets into the fracas the International Association of Athletic Federations is in over their new regulations on natural testosterone levels. Their reasoning is based on secret, unethical, and dubious research carried out by the communist German Democratic Republic which suggested that testosterone levels affect the performance of female athletes. This research can’t be repeated because dosing children with testosterone without their knowledge or consent is deeply unethical. Despite broad opposition from scientists of various disciplines, the IAAF is pushing forward with the regulations, mostly because they’re angry that Caster Semenya keeps winning races.

In my block I’m still on framing modern monetary theory (this is part 4) because how we talk about things, how we frame them, makes all the difference and since MMT redefines the art of the possible and we are still at the beginning of surfacing MMT, this is the time to set those frames well. Also, I learned a new word from Will:  sado-monetarism!

As we mentioned at the beginning of the show, we will be off next week because my day job is invading my life. Until next time, many carrots to you and yours! – Arliss

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Revised! Nathan Tankus: Defending Job Guarantee

Update: The original episode released this morning did not contain the extended interview. We’ve corrected that this evening.

7 May 2018 – Job Guarantee remains the talk of the Twitter town (nest?) as well as some mainstream media. Critics have been vocal and a core of MMT thought leaders have been guiding the response to the push-back. Nathan Tankus (@nathantankus), who is a research scholar at the Modern Money Network and a terrific follow on Twitter, is among those leaders and joins us for the interview.

Will focuses in on the court case between the British and Scottish Parliaments and why that is another example of the losses incurred by the structures of norms which underlie both the US and UK systems of governments. I am on to the third part in my series on framing MMT. In this show I cover better and more accurate framing for neoliberal deficit, surplus and balanced budget memes. I think I have just one more week on framing before I hop onto another topic. Many Carrots to All – Arliss

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Inherent Contempt: Not Just Another Pretty Statute

23 April 2018 – Everyone is talking about the Comey memos and I think I’m about over it BUT I have been curious about how Congress and the Justice Department both run investigations in parallel without pulling a Nunes or embarrassingly dropping a Gowdy on the floor. David Waldman (@KagroX), who is a lawyer, Congressional procedure expert and the master of all that is Kagro in the Morning, is on the show to walk us through why it is such a mess right now, how it is supposed to be done and, in Extra Mad, he gets into something I had never heard of, inherent contempt. Between March of 2007 and April of 2008 David wrote a number of explainer diaries at Daily Kos so I have included the links here:

At the top of the show, Hopping Mad #99, we take a quick look back at how we got started and then Will continues his Big Ideas of Democracy series talking about just war theory. In my block I begin my own multi-show series, this one focusing on framing MMT.

Many, many carrots! – Arliss

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Dems Dangerous Debt Dance with Bluegal

16 April 2018 – There comes a time in every federal budget cycle when I have to find a way to talk about debt and, specifically, the Dems dangerous debt dance. This time I decided to switch things up and invited Frances Langum (Bluegal), from my favorite podcast, The Professional Left, to interview me and to provide push-back. Fran is someone for whom I have enormous respect but, like 99% of the Dems out there, she comes at economics from a purely Keynesian perspective…and that’s what I wanted. You are going to love the conversation and, I hope you find it an interesting way to get the MMT message out.

At the top of the show I refresh the information about the Rapid Response events taking place when (if) Trump does any of the following:  fires Robert Mueller, fires Rob Rosenstein, pardons any key witnesses. Please go to Nobody Is Above the Law to register for the event closest to you. Our democracy cannot be allowed to go down without a fight. Also, on the day you can tune in to Netroots Radio for a live stream as events unfold.

During the rest of the show Will covers an item you may have missed on your news feed, the angry Scottish badger, as well as some of the larger issues surrounding the US/UK/French strike on Syria. I get into Mick Mulvaney’s appearance on Capitol Hill to give his bi-annual report from the CFPB. Both Joan McCarter, of Daily Kos, and David Dayen, for The Nation, covered this particularly well.

Be vigilant folks, things are getting real. – Arliss

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Trade & Tariffs (Rebroadcast)

4 April 2018 – Due to the holiday weekend we do not have a new show this week. This is a rebroadcast of a special mid-week combined Hopping Mad and Irreverent Testimony entirely focused on trade. Travis Rosen and Rachel Hutcheson of Irreverent Testimony joined Will and I to talk about the domestic and international implications of the Trump Trade Tariffs and the basics of what international trade really means. This is a deep dive into what we should all really be messaging about trade and “why trade deficit” matters not at all.

Will and I have already recorded the interview for next week, with an election law expert, and we have a lot stored-up to add to the fire. Carrots! – Arliss


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Fadhel Kaboub of the Binzagr Institute – MUST Listen!

12 March 2018Dr. Fadhel Kaboub (@FadhelKaboub and @BinzagrInfo), President of the Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity and Associate Professor at Denison University, gave us such a wonderful interview that we dedicated the entire show to it including the compelling extended part of the interview. Dr. Kaboub became interested in modern monetary theory (MMT) early in his studies at a time when there was virtually no understanding of how the precepts of MMT could be applied to developing economies. His work in this area and his emphasis on the specific issues faced by the peoples and economies of the Middle East has become the leading edge of the conversation. You are going to be fascinated to hear him talk about how he believes Tunisia can fight imported inflation and political unrest with fish. Really. It’s brilliant. Also, Fadhel deeply understands the relationship between TIARA (There is a Real Alternative) and hope as a key to leveraging economic prosperity and political stability. I also enjoyed listening to his description of how the currency he has invented for his economics students, the Denison Volunteer Dollar (DVD), has crossed-over into the basketball program!

Will and I do plan to be back with a regular program next week. Carrots! –  Arliss

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Special! Mad Testimony on Trade

8 March 2018 – This is a special combined Hopping Mad and Irreverent Testimony entirely focused on trade. Travis Rosen and Rachel Hutcheson of Irreverent Testimony joined Will and I to talk about the domestic and international implications of the Trump Trade Tariffs and the basics of what international trade really means. This is a dive into what we should all really be messaging about trade and why “trade deficit” matters not at all.

Will and I will be back on Monday for our regular show. Carrots! – Arliss

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Real Progressives’ Steve Grumbine

5 March 2018 – WOW! We had an exhilarating, affirming, healing conversation with Real Progressives founder, Steve Grumbine (@sdgrumbine) who was on with us for the whole show. Steve is a long-time MMT evangelist and activist. He also has been active and is well known in Bernie & Green Party circles. I knew, from having heard his panel at the MMT conference in Kansas City last summer, that we shared many values and virtually all objectives and that was why I was determined to have him on as a guest. Still, I worried a little bit because the Hillary/Bernie divide runs so deep among so many. What I think we all learned as we spoke, and what I hope we were able to convey, is that there is little which divides us and much which unites us. This was a genuinely remarkable show. I learned a great deal and I think you will as well.

Next week I’ll get back to talking about inflation and unemployment but this break was well worth it. Many Carrots! – Arliss

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White Men, BS & Deficits vs Investment

26 February 2018 – Perhaps this time we will be willing to finally talk about the elephant in the room, white men and guns. We will never be able to ask the right questions or find workable solutions until Americans acknowledge that white men are not only usually the shooters but purchase most of the guns, organize the gun shows, protest in favor of their gun-based religion, own the gun manufacturers and are the legislators. The problem is white men from top to bottom.

Will begins the show talking about Jeremy Corbin and the Czech spy fiasco in the UK and then moves on into his main block on the subject of bulls*t. He ranges from the right-wing conspiracy theories about so-called “crisis actors” to left-wing nonsense that the “Russia stuff” is a smokescreen conceived by Hillary.

I burn the barn down (lol) explaining why neoliberal economists are completely wrong when they say “deficits crowd out investment” or that deficits cause inflation. It’s amazing that they continue to push this unproven drivel to the detriment of the real overall economy.

Next week I will cover the relationship between unemployment and inflation while Will will cover something genuinely compelling. Many carrots! – Arliss


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Our interstitial music today had an addition. The Flobots “Handle your Bars,” which was in response to the mangling of their song by an infamous YouTuber. I’ve posted links that song, and the original song below.

Flobots Handle Your Bars (Response Song)

Flobots – Handlebars (Original Song)

We Cannot Win Until We Win & Carolyn Fiddler

19 February 2018 At this point it really all boils down to one thing, we cannot win until we win. Everything we cover on the show today boils down to that. Prosecuting those who colluded with Russia, opening our hearts and borders to Syrian refugees, securing our elections, passing gun safety legislation – none of these are doable until we have taken Congress back (and even then it’s going to be a tough fight.) AND we can’t just win on the Federal level – states are key and that’s why we wanted to have Carolyn Fiddler, the Daily Kos Political Editor and Senior Communications Advisor on the show this week. Carolyn is a specialist in state races, something I know we do not cover enough. We promise to do better because, we cannot win until we win.

In the top bock of the show Will asks you to take a look at a video made by friend of the pod, Landon Shroder, which is the first in a series telling the story of Syrians who have fled to America. I don’t care who you are, this one will reach into your heart and remind you that humanity, kindness, life and love are things which bind us together. Lots of things are tearing us apart but can we please, please, please agree that kindness simply must be a shared value.

In my main block I cover the MMT take on inflation. It’s a real thrill ride. Carrots! – Arliss

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We referenced a heartbreaking video on Syrian Refugees living in the US. You can view that video here.