Great Leap Forward

Hyman Minsky’s New Book on Ending Poverty: Jobs, Not Welfare

OK, after my last post, we need an optimistic note. As you know, MMTers have adopted the “employer of last resort” or “job guarantee” approach to ending unemployment. Many of us got this policy from the late Hyman Minsky, who is well-known for his “financial instability hypothesis”. However, in the 1960s and 1970s he wrote nearly as much on unemployment and poverty. Indeed, he linked the two topics because he believed that full employment would promote financial stability.

After his death, some of us at the Levy Economics Institute began to go carefully through his archives, examining both published and unpublished work. He had a number of lengthy manuscripts that detailed his approach and at the same time presciently argued that the Kennedy-Johnson “War on Poverty” would fail because it relied on “pump-priming” to generate “trickling down” jobs, plus welfare for those who could not find jobs. Instead, he insisted that any serious policy to end poverty would have to rely mostly on job creation.

He was right, of course. The War on Poverty never significantly lowered poverty rates, and if anything, the jobs shortfall has got very much worse since the 1960s (even before the global financial crisis).

We have assembled his best writings on that for a new book, just now published. Here is the Amazon page for Minsky’s book, “Ending Poverty: Jobs, Not Welfare”:

We’re expecting the electronic version (Kindle) to be added this week. Here is the flyer and the book cover. Enjoy!

Minsky Book flyer3


2 Responses to “Hyman Minsky’s New Book on Ending Poverty: Jobs, Not Welfare”

DismayedApril 15th, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Thank you. I just purchased the Kindle edition (my wife often points out thatwe're out of shelf space).

business essayMay 16th, 2013 at 11:21 am

Minsky’s vision might have been dark, but he was not a fatalist, he believed it was possible to craft policies that could blunt the collateral damage caused by financial crises.