February 7, 2017

23. How does the government choose to spend?

Phil Dobbie asks Professor Steve Keen about the role of public sector spending. We’ve learnt that the government can create money, through its central bank, and this is, in effect, pumping new money into the economy. The alternate approaches, tax increases or austerity, pull money out of the economy. So public sector spending is a good thing, particularly when the economy is experiencing hardship – but how do they determine what’s best to spend money on. Aren’t government’s notoriously bad at decided how and where to inject funds? Isn’t there a need to focus on productivity rather than pushing up wages?

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