I hinted in an answer to a comment on here yesterday that I am thinking of working on a new book explaining how government funding really works. This will be the foundation of the work I plan with Colin Hines on funding the Green New Deal, but very obviously has broader application.
The reaction of my sons to this news was amusing. They groaned, noting that in their opinion I hate every aspect of writing a book excepting thinking about it and saying ‘I wrote that’ when it’s done. There is some truth in this, but I have to admit this one has been developing in my mind for a while.
The aim will be to explain everything from what money is, to how it is created, to what it’s relationship with tax is, before then going on to the much harder stuff. That will look at debt, deficits and, of course, quantitative easing. Inflation then comes into the mix, but before that the true nature of government accounting - both the income account and balance sheet - will need to be addressed. The latter is particularly important and may be a focus of this work.
The relationship between the government and the rest of the economy will also need consideration, of course. That will then bring in a discussion of fiscal and monetary policy, with multipliers and interest rate issues in that mix.
Description will not be enough though. This work will be quite explicit about the fact that there is never anything neutral about the economics of government funding. Always, and without exception, government funding decisions have a policy objective. What those objectives might be will clearly need to be discussed, but this book would have the aim of explaining how to fund the economic transition we face. The aim is to in that case explain how finance can be aligned to policy, rather than policy to finance.
I do not suggest this is anything more than an outLine at present.
There is also no publisher in mind. Maybe it will just be an ebook to make it as readily accessible as possible. It could be a printed work. In either case partnerships with others with concern on this issue might be welcome.
But right now I am interested in reactions, and requests for what needs to be included, explained or otherwise addressed.
Suggested titles might also be interesting.