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Understanding Modern Money:The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability

by L. Randall Wray

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In this innovative and very practical book, L. Randall Wray argues that full employment and price stability are not the incompatible goals that current economic theory and policy assume. Indeed, he advances a policy that would generate true, full employment while simultaneously ensuring an even greater degree of price stability than has been achieved in the 1990s.Wray's clearly written argument incorporates incisive historical analysis, modern monetary theory, and an examination of policy alternatives that rises above the doctrinal debates among monetarists, supply-siders and Keynesians over natural or non-inflationary rates of unemployment. Understanding Modern Money proclaims that a labor buffer stock program would guarantee full employment and increase labor productivity and economic growth, while reducing inflationary pressures. Wray's analysis shows that, contrary to popular belief, the dangers of a government budget deficit are largely imaginary. He outlines a program in which the government acts as employer of last resort, thereby providing employment and training to the otherwise unemployed, and stabilizing the wage scale which acts as a brake on inflation. This permits greater price stability without requiring conventional methods such as wage and price controls or countercyclical monetary policy.This ground-breaking book offers important new ways of thinking for policymakers, students, and general readers interested in economics, employment policies, and monetary theory.… (more)
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In this innovative and very practical book, L. Randall Wray argues that full employment and price stability are not the incompatible goals that current economic theory and policy assume. Indeed, he advances a policy that would generate true, full employment while simultaneously ensuring an even greater degree of price stability than has been achieved in the 1990s.Wray's clearly written argument incorporates incisive historical analysis, modern monetary theory, and an examination of policy alternatives that rises above the doctrinal debates among monetarists, supply-siders and Keynesians over natural or non-inflationary rates of unemployment. Understanding Modern Money proclaims that a labor buffer stock program would guarantee full employment and increase labor productivity and economic growth, while reducing inflationary pressures. Wray's analysis shows that, contrary to popular belief, the dangers of a government budget deficit are largely imaginary. He outlines a program in which the government acts as employer of last resort, thereby providing employment and training to the otherwise unemployed, and stabilizing the wage scale which acts as a brake on inflation. This permits greater price stability without requiring conventional methods such as wage and price controls or countercyclical monetary policy.This ground-breaking book offers important new ways of thinking for policymakers, students, and general readers interested in economics, employment policies, and monetary theory.

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