Keith: You are getting a little prolix. Short, to-the-point comments will do. You do not need to summarize the whole MMT textbook, I am familiar with it. You can skip the bits about taxation, money, and government finance, I get all that. Just stick to the bits that are directly relevant to JG.

Here are some short responses of my own.

(1) Do you have data to support your contention that “the vast majority of service workers are making less than $15.” Take a look at the BLS data here: If you look at the 15 largest service occupations, comprising 128 million workers (80 percent of the labor force), you will see that over half of them work in occupations with median hourly wages over $15 per hour. In only one of those occupations (12 million food prep workers) do more than 75 percent of workers (“a vast majority”) earn less than $15 per hour. If you have a source that supports your claim, I’d love to have a link.

(2), (3) I think you have answered my questions here. Thanks.

(4) There are many varieties of UBI. I have noticed that MMT supporters often pick the most extreme or least well thought out versions. I myself have many criticisms of those. However, if you would like to comment on the specific version of UBI that I endorse, I would be quite interested to see what you have to say. For summaries of my views on UBI, see the series that start here: and here:

(5) Here is one thing you say that stuck me: “Most workers would be better off if production was less efficient because their labor would command a higher wage.” I wonder if you could elaborate a little on the reasoning behind that. Do you mean that the economy would grow faster with slower productivity growth? Do you mean that the labor share of output would be so much larger with lower productivity that workers would be better off even if the economy as a whole were smaller? Or do you mean still something else? (See also my exchange with TaraElla earlier in this comment thread.)

Written by

Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store