Transformational Growth and Full Employment
Edited by Edward J. Nell and Mathew Forstater
Interlude II: ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
FORSTATER: This afternoon IÕm pleased to moderate a panel of distinguished visitors and local scholars. Since they all are familiar to you, IÕm not going to run through their many publications and accomplishments. Please join me in welcoming our panel. First, from Middlebury College, we have David Colander. Next is the graduate facultyÕs Robert Heilbroner. Then James Duesenberry from Harvard University, Robert Eisner from Northwestern University, Edward Nell, also from the graduate faculty of the New School, and finally, Richard Musgrave from Harvard University. Proposing, as we do, to revive the Functional Finance approach to macroeconomic policy and develop it for todayÕs world, we are brought face to face with a number of problems. How can we respond to the current (1998) enthusiasm in the US, for balanced budgets, even for running surpluses to pay down the national debt? In Europe, where it is proposed that national powers to run independent fiscal policy be forfeited to a common currency managed by an independent central bank, will there be any room for Functional Finance? On the other hand, recent crises seem to indicate that the international financial system is pretty fragile. LetÕs consider each of these situations in turn. PART I Presently, in the United States and in other countries, there is strong support across the political spectrum for balanced budgets and even for running a surplus in order to begin to pay down national debts. What are the possible economic impacts of this trend and...
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