Today’s blog post is shorter than usual but you do get to access a hour-long video where I talk with Indigenous leader and activist Noel Pearson about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), how it impacts on his perceptions of options to improve indigenous well-being in Australia, and how it informs a new collaborative venture we are in the process of putting together – JUST2030 – as a response to the socio-ecological crisis that three decades of neoliberalism and the fiscal obsession with surpluses has created.
Conversation with William Mitchell and Noel Pearson, Newcastle, December 15, 2019
You can learn about his work as a lawyer, activist, indigenous leader, writer from the Wikipedia page, which provides extensive links to his work.
The Institute’s home page is at – Cape York Partnership.
Noel and I have been having regular meetings over the last several months to develop our collaboration on a major project that we hope will influence the direction of policy in Australia and beyond.
Our project – JUST2030 – will be launched in the coming months – coronavirus allowing – to the general public.
It will outline what we think is a realistic but ambitious agenda to meet the challenges of the social and environmental damage left after three or more decades of neoliberalism and its related policy misuse.
We are partnering with global climate activists and other academics and community activists.
We are also forming partnerships with activists in Timor-Leste, West Africa, Europe, and the UK (and hopefully Japan) to create a global movement that allows the insights of an MMT understanding to inform a green agenda designed to (among other things):
1. Improve the quality and availability of employment for all, including the design of a viable Job Guarantee framework.
2. Restore the integrity of public infrastructure and public services.
3. Provide coherent opportunities for workers and their families in regions affected by carbon-reducing strategies to retain material prosperity and employment in equitable ways via a Just Transition.
4. Address the excesses of the financial markets.
5. Reduce income and wealth inequality through wage justice and other measures.
6. Outline a viable path to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030 through regulative action and public investment.
While this video doesn’t articulate the JUST2030 agenda (that will come in due course), it does provide essential background to how Noel and I came together to begin this work together.
The video starts off talking about his – Light on the Hill – speech delivered in Bathurst, NSW on August 12, 2000.
It goes on to discuss how Noel came to understand MMT and how it has changed, to some extent, how he thinks about unemployment and the opportunities for disadvantaged people in Australia and beyond.
Our conversation also allowed me to understand the background to Noel’s ideas surrounding ‘passive welfare’ and ‘radical centrism’.
It was a most enjoyable and rewarding hour spent in conversation with a good friend.
The video goes for 59:27 minutes.
I was going to cut it into shorter segments but I decided that it would then lack continuity.
I am thankful to David Thompson, from the Cape York Partnership for his excellent filming and video editing services.
When I did the last conversation with my co-author Thomas Fazi – released in this blog post – Our sequel to Reclaiming the State in now in progress (February 27, 2020) – we used my iPhone as the movie camera mounted on a little tripod structure that we bought in a Trastevere street market in Rome for a few euros.
This video, thanks to David, was recorded using professional audio and video equipment and the quality is excellent.
The music is my addition (obviously, 1960s rock steady)!
That is enough for today!
(c) Copyright 2020 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.