Money on the Left

From Liberation Theology to Public Money Creation with Delman Coates

February 16, 2020 Money on the Left
Money on the Left
From Liberation Theology to Public Money Creation with Delman Coates
Chapters
Money on the Left
From Liberation Theology to Public Money Creation with Delman Coates
Feb 16, 2020
Money on the Left

Reverend Dr. Delman Coates joins Money on the Left to discuss why the politics of public money creation are essential for social and spiritual liberation. Dr. Coates holds a Master’s in Divinity from Harvard and a Ph.D. in New Testament & Early Christianity from Columbia University. He currently serves as Senior Pastor at Mount Ennon Baptist church in Clinton, Maryland, and is founder of OUR MONEY, an organization fighting to restore democratic control over public money. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Coates about how he teaches Modern Monetary Theory to the over 10,000 members of his congregation; about his call for a new “theology of economics”; and his efforts to unite the traditions of the black church and the Civil Rights movement with the fiscal & policy frameworks of MMT. For more on Dr. Coates’s efforts, check out his essay, “The Unfinished Work of the Civil Rights Movement,” published recently in Sojourners magazine. Also, see ourmoneyus.org to learn about his organization’s work and how to get involved.

Show Notes Transcript

Reverend Dr. Delman Coates joins Money on the Left to discuss why the politics of public money creation are essential for social and spiritual liberation. Dr. Coates holds a Master’s in Divinity from Harvard and a Ph.D. in New Testament & Early Christianity from Columbia University. He currently serves as Senior Pastor at Mount Ennon Baptist church in Clinton, Maryland, and is founder of OUR MONEY, an organization fighting to restore democratic control over public money. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Coates about how he teaches Modern Monetary Theory to the over 10,000 members of his congregation; about his call for a new “theology of economics”; and his efforts to unite the traditions of the black church and the Civil Rights movement with the fiscal & policy frameworks of MMT. For more on Dr. Coates’s efforts, check out his essay, “The Unfinished Work of the Civil Rights Movement,” published recently in Sojourners magazine. Also, see ourmoneyus.org to learn about his organization’s work and how to get involved.

spk_0:   0:12
you were listening to money on the left official podcast of the Modern Money Network Humanity's Division. Presented in partnership with Monthly Review Online, Reverend Delman Coates hold a Masters in divinity from Harvard and a PhD in New Testament in early Christianity from Columbia University. He currently serves as senior pastor at Mount Enon Baptist Church in Clinton, Maryland, and its founder of Our Money on organization Fighting to restore Democratic control over the financial system. We were excited to speak with Dr Coats for this episode about how he teaches modern monetary theory to the over 10,000 members of his congregation about his call for a new theology of economics and his efforts to unite the traditions of the black church and the civil rights movement with the fiscal and policy frameworks of MMT. You sure to check out his essay titled The Unfinished Work of the Civil Rights Movement published recently in Sojourner, which is linked to in the show notes Thin head to our money us dot org's to learn more about their work and about how to get involved thinks is always to our production team. Alex Williams, Richard Farrell and Megan Sauce for bringing this episode together. Delman Coates. Welcome to money on the left.

spk_2:   1:35
Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm delighted to be a part of this conversation.

spk_0:   1:40
We're delighted to have you, um, to start off. Could you tell us a little bit about your spiritual, educational and professional background,

spk_2:   1:48
right? Well, I'm originally from Richmond, Virginia, and I'm a product of a small black Baptist church in the inner city of Richmond, Virginia. I grew up in the church going to church, probably 4 to 5 times a week. And my journey towards pastoral ministry in many ways was shaped by an image I saw every time I went to church. My church was surrounded by two housing projects the city jail and the juvenile detention center. Every time I went to church, you know, 345 times a week. And I mean that, quite literally. Um, I would see images of teenage boys locked up behind a barbed wire fence outside on their recreational time and black men behind offenses on their recreational time as well. And as I mentioned surrounding our church was to housing projects. And so I wrestled my entire life with the relationship between my faith community, our church and the social and economic realities outside of our church when I was a teenager. At one point, you know, I became convinced that the theology, mission and Ministry of the Church had to relate to the broader social, economic and political realities outside of the church that that the gospel that I heard preached every week that the messages I saw in Scripture had something to say about the pain and the poverty and the pathos that I saw on a daily basis. Um, you know, as I went to church and when I became, um, I would say, around 17 I really felt a calling to to the pastoral ministry to be a leader and work towards relating the Ministry of the church, too. You know, everything that was happening around me and in many ways that shape and inform my call to ministry. My my understanding of religion and theology is decidedly shaped by its since this imperative that we have to be relevant to the broader social and economic realities that are happening in our world today. What I went to college my freshman year at Morehouse College I was introduced to the to what we call then the social Gospel, right? So this formal theological tradition of American Protestantism oriented towards relating the faith of the church to a range of social ills that happening and the most famous, um, you know, communicator of the social Gospel out of Morehouse is certainly the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Whose birthday we, um, celebrate every year. And, um, that really shaped me in a profound way. Um and so my formal theological education began at Morehouse College. This all male, predominantly African American institution in Atlanta, Georgia, that that shaped my formal training toward to ministry. I left there. And, um, I went to Harvard Divinity School, where I was really intent on being a university professor at that time and started, uh, preparing to do a PhD and Biblical studies if you know anything about, um, that kind of academic work, the fil A logical training and background is pretty extensive. And so when I went to Harvard, I spent a great deal of time during my master's program doing the language, the linguistic, and fill a logical training to prepare me for the PhD. Um and ultimately did the PhD upon completing my master's at Columbia University, did a PhD in New Testament in early Christian origins. Um, and over the course of my, you know, graduate education really felt that the academy was not gonna be my terrain of struggle. Um, I really became convinced that I wanted to used the best of my gifts, training and background and passion to the institution that produced me. And that's the black church. And, um, I wanted to bring the best of academia to serve her. That is the black church. Now I want to say something for a minute about what I mean by the black church. What I mean by the black Church is that subset of African American Christian spirituality that has historically been on the side of the fight for freedom, justice and equality. Um, I say that because not all churches of blacks are committed to the black church tradition of freedom. Fighting is the black church that helped to bring down help to end slavery to Injun pro segregation and was a critical part of a range of other freedom movements in America. And so I come out of that tradition I'm committed to trying to further that tradition and have done so is apart, um, of my pastoral ministry in Clinton, Maryland and Mounting and Baptist Church. While I've been serving for the past 16 years, we've grown, uh, from about 1500 to almost 10,000 in the last 16 years. And in large part it's been because we've, um, brought together the best of African and African American sacred spirituality, Um, and the best of the social justice social gospel tradition of the African American church. And so ours has been a ministry of public engagement. I've been a leading voice on a range of progressive causes. Whether, um, it's been fighting for, um, you know, health help, universal health care. Um, LGBT rights. Addressing mass incarceration, marijuana legalization, range of other issues. And I'm really delighted to continue that work as a part of this economic Kim economic justice campaign that we started in May of 2019. That's a bit about my jury.

spk_0:   8:50
Cool. And so before we get specifically into the tenants of the economic Justice campaign, could you for a moment speak Maura about your commitment to liberation theology in the long Scylla rights movement, perhaps even with reference to your interesting doctoral project titled Resistance Reading. Reconsidering the Functions of Early Christian allegory that you mentioned as a part of your work at the Harvard Divinity School.

spk_2:   9:21
So my understanding of B Witness of Jesus, as articulated in the tradition of the Scriptures, is that, um, his ministry and movement was largely a movement of social, political, economic and spiritual liberation that, for me, is framed by passages of Scripture found, for example, Luke, Chapter four versus 18 through 21 where Jesus talks about being anointed to preach the good news to the poor, to set the captives free and to priest the acceptable year of the Lord's favor. And so, for me, liberation is foundational to how I read the Scriptures. It is the overriding Herman new tick that informs how I read the text of the Bible from Genesis to revelation. Um, um, and while you know that can include, you know, certain notions of individual personal piety. For me, it is difficult to separate personal piety from social and economic salvation as well. Actually believe that salvation understood who, holistically in the scriptures both in the Hebrew Bible and in the Christian Testament are fundamentally about communal salvation. About the redemption of our society and not just the liberation of souls is very important because there's been this long tradition in the West, particularly that tradition that supported the transatlantic slave train and colonialism in Africa that really tended to separate, Um, had this sort of, um, untie ology that separated, you know, spinning people's individual spirits from the society in which they lived. It enabled European missionaries and white Christians in America toe have no problem proselytizing Africans baptizing Africans on the one hand and enslaving them. On the other hand, this is very interesting image. If you go to West Africa or Ghana, West Africa, for example, to see the slave castles there in Ghana, where when you go down to the slave dungeons and let's athe el Nina castles and Amina Coast, you see the you know, you experienced this the horrors um uh, with the places where African bodies were put in chains and then shipped off to the to the so called New World and they become right upstairs from the slave dungeons. And they're these churches, right? Um eh, So it's just interesting, Um, contradiction between the incarceration, the enslavement of bodies, um, and the liberation of souls. Well, I believe in a much more integrated, holistic spirituality, one that sees a connection between, um our spirits and our bodies and the society in which we live. And so for me, it's very foundational and fundamental to how I think about religion. Not just my own faith tradition, but you know, all all faith traditions and even those who don't have a profess faith tradition. What I affirm is a Baptist is people have freedom off and from religion. Um, and so I see, um, I don't believe that, you know, Christians had a monopoly on, um, one god or woman believe on heaven for lack of a better term. But I see the hand, you know, the the move of the spirit expressed in a range of faith, traditions and expressions. I just happened to be located in a particular place, but in that place, liberation is this foundation.

spk_3:   13:43
Maybe we can turn now, Thio your recent, um activism and thinking about modern monetary theory. I'm curious. How did you find your way to this thinking in this growing community? um, And then, um you know what? What has your learning process been like? Ah, And then, in addition, um, what's it like to minister to a congregation and beyond with, with modern monetary theory in mind?

spk_2:   14:22
Well, um, you know, they're probably various phases of this work. Um, you know, if I think about my formative years as a child and has an undergraduate in college, you know, you're always wrestling with why is there so much economic poverty in the world? Right. I mentioned that my church was surrounded by two housing projects and, um, the city jail and the juvenile detention center. And, you know, their range of responses or interpretations or analysis for why, um, there's the kind of social and economic pain and poverty that we experience in black communities in America. And, you know, I have socialized around a range of those ideologies that can span from, you know, um, he's very conservative ideologies that tend to imply that, you know, people just lack certain morals, like a kind of work ethic, and if they would just, you know, have better morals and work hard, right? Um then they could enjoy, you know, the good life, um, to, um, you know, perspectives on the other end of the spectrum that may talk about the need to kind of overturn certain capitalists. You know, capitalism, right? You know, and so have a kind of, um, standard Marx's critique of structure and superstructure. And, you know, the reason that there's all this poverty and inequality in the world is because you know of capitalism, right? Well, well, about 11 years ago, as a pastor, I began to notice that there was an uptick in the number of people coming to my church needing emergency assistance because they were being evicted from their homes. Our congregation provides emergency assistance up to a certain amount if we can help people avoid eviction, foreclosure And I saw a huge uptick in that number around 7 4008 And we know that, you know, this is around the time of the global financial crisis, and, you know, in attempting to respond to this crisis in our community, I think Prince George's County er leads the state of Maryland and foreclosures. Maryland was in the top two and three in the country and foreclosures. I really found myself um, around 2008 really trying to get into the weeds and trying to understand the global financial crisis. I wanted Toa understand what was causing so many people to be put out of their homes. And at that time, you know, I was learning about mortgage securitization and collateralized that debt obligations and on these kind of things. And I became really burden and disturbed over time that the very financial institutions that caused the global financial crisis we're getting bailed out. But my home won't you know, my the members of my church, we're getting put out. And over time, I began to notice that the very institutions that but, you know, financial institution that caused the crisis where two and three times larger after the crisis than they were before. And this really seemed to be an injustice for me to me, Rather. And, um, during that time I recalled, someone directed me to a book. Um, I believe it was the creature from Jekyll Island. If I think about it, um, someone told me about the creature from Jekyll Island. And, you know, I started learning about the history of the Fed. Right? And you know people you know, started learning about money creation. That really kind of started my journey towards understanding money creation. Over time, I really became convinced that the root cause of many of our social and economic crises had a lot to do it how money is created in America. You know, Dr King has his quote. He said he's quoting Victor Hugo, what's in the aftermath of the riots? And he says something to the effect. If a soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. But the guilty one is not the one who commits the sins, but the one who caused the darkness. And King, at other times kind of talks about the differences between derivative injustices and causative injustices. And I became very much interested in trying to understand the causative structures that created poverty, inequality, wealth, concentration. And, um, I started this journey with a being just because just by way of introduction, I started this journey being exposed to a more positive money. Am I approach to, um uh, you know, monetary reform for lack of a better term. And, um, over time, I began to feel as I after I got introduced amount of monetary theory felt that modern monetary theory provided a very credible, legitimate framework for really thinking about what I think is desperately needed in America. And that is the need to re legitimize the power of money creation for purposes in the public interest that if we really want to reclaim our democracy, we do need to have, um, uh, campaign finance reform do need to reverse citizens united. But a part of that movement in my mind also needs to intel reclaiming the power of money creation. Because if it is the case that most of what we think of and use as money in our society is created by private interests, private banks when they make loans that this for me creates a fundamentally unstable foundation for our economy. And to change that to shift, we need to shift our reliance from money created by private banks to private lending money created by the public who public spending. And if we do that, we can have a sustainable economy. And after getting introduced to MMT from someone who is now our, um, policy director for the Our money campaign spends reveal, I was very much interested early on and trying to reduce what I perceived to be the dissonance between kind of positive money, perspective and anti perspective. Um, I really, you know, believe that modern monetary theory provides the key to unlocking the untapped potential of our economy so that we can have an economy that works force rather than against it.

spk_3:   22:23
U s So what's it like to speak to your particular community about MMT? You know them, Auntie. At least in its most ah recent formulation, he was largely in economics discourse that comes out of, uh, you know, mostly the the Academy. And, you know, I think that, um, we on this show being in the academy, but outside of the economics discipline, um, feel the need to develop and grow and complicate that language for for our questions and our communities, whether it's with other scholars or with, um, students in the classroom. And I just imagine that ministering in the context of the church, it would present its own kinds of challenges and opportunities Thio Thio to expand the MMT project.

spk_2:   23:31
Right. Well, quite to the contrary, I have found it to be Choi and, um, I have found it to be incredibly, Um, it's not difficult at all. And I think it's

spk_3:   23:46
been

spk_2:   23:47
I have really spent my entire professional career trying to figure out how to crystallize, you know, very technical academic concepts, theological concepts, you know mainly, you know, from my training as a Bible scholar and as a historian of religion and having that crystallize these concepts and language that 1/5 grader could get or that a high school student could get. So it's a part of my training, right, too, too, You know, I don't go in the pulpit as a preacher preaching, you know, a text from, you know, Heidegger or Adam or full mind Jake home. You know, I have to crystallize these concepts using conceptual tools and metaphors that people can pirate accessible and that they can get right. And so when it comes to MNT, you know, I really spent you know, to two and three year, two or three years before we lost our money campaign, Um, trying to think through the best conceptual frameworks and metaphors to help people think about, um, how much you know how money should be created. The role, purpose, public role of money how to think about what happens systemically when money is created by private banks were payable with interest versus money created by the public pursed public treasury, The government without an obligation. Um, and, um, I have found the work of Professor Stephanie Kelton, who was actually on the advisory council for our money campaign. If I haven't said it already, the arming our campaign's web site is our money us dot org's shameless commercial. Um, but, Steph, Professor Kelson is on our advisory counsel. I think Professor Kelson, um, you know, really has some awesome tools and frameworks to help make MNT accessible to a more mainstream audience. We do need the technical work, and I know that there have been folks who have been working on the higher, higher level discourse on MNT for 25 30 years. We all know the names, but if we're gonna build a public mo mentum short grass roots, um, a grassroots movement to complement the grass tops academic work that's been taking place over the last quarter century, three decades, and we're going to we have to figure out how to town to develop tools and frameworks, conceptual metaphors that people can get. And I'm presently going around the country doing trainings and workshops for fake leaders, laypeople, civil rights organizations, labor groups wherever I'm invited. And, um, you know, I go in with very, very basic lesson to help people understand that it it understand at the end of the day, that is preferable. Toe have money created by us and for us rather than having money created by private interests. I'll start off doing things like, um, oftentimes will start off using a deserted island. Illustration. Actually think I got this deserted Island illustration from Ben Dyson. Actually where I saw in one lecture years ago, he asked the audience to imagine they're on a deserted island. And on that deserted island, a discussion came out, came about about how money should be created for those on the island, and he sort of postulated two or three options. I think one was like the money would be created from the public purse, the public treasury and everyone will be given an equal amount of money. The second option was that the money would be created from the public purse of the public treasury, and they would pay people for work performed in the public interest. The third option is that there's one enterprising person on the island who says, Hey, you know what? I'll create the money for those of us on the island. You guys just pay me off small fee. Let's call it interest for the privilege of creating the money right? And I asked people in the group to take some time to discuss which of these three options would be the best option. And invariably the responses are always the same, right? Um, there will be some discussion about the pro, the merits of options one into some will say, Can they be some kind of hybrid between options? One into. But no one ever says which would allow this private individual to create our money and to charge us interest for the benefit of creating money. And that kind of sets the framework right for people seeing, um, that the irony is that even though this is the option, that's least preferable. This is actually the kind of system that we've allowed to happen. And if we want to change that, we've got to reclaim the power of money creation through public spending and So for me, you know, it's not a it's not has not been a challenge or an issue. I think people find it incredibly enlightening because money is the one thing that we take for granted. We think we know where it comes from. We think we know how it's created, but we really don't and educating people about how money is created, how it functions in our society and how we can have a more sustainable economy by reclaiming on re legitimizing the re legitimizing the role of money creation people get it. I mean, we just had a rally in D. C. On Labor Day, where 1000 people I didn't take a long time to schedule this round to plan this rally. About 1000 people come out. Um, several of the guys from the Mountain Monetary Network came down, um, to speak. We had several organizes and activists to speak on a range of topics. Um, and I find that when you teach people, they get it. They understand how how this issue is affecting their lives. And I really believe that the public is that money is being intentionally, um um oh, obscured. You know, from the public to keep us to keep money mystified. But when you help me explain it in in in concepts that they can get that they find accessible, give them, you know, tools to demonstrate certain concept concepts. They get it. And I haven't found it to be a problem at all.

spk_0:   30:57
Do you find Cem Cem joy and translation And there's enlightenment in it. It's being well received in terms of the sort of basics in the framework. Do you also engage in the sort of history of the, you know, job guarantee advocacy? That's so central MNT minutes articulation with, you know, the civil rights movement and the black Church historically does that kind of clueless?

spk_2:   31:26
Absolutely the, You know, I let people understand that the unfinished work of the civil rights movement is economic justice, and that foundational to that work is a fight for dignified job with benefits for every American at once. One. I mean, many people fail to realize that that march on Washington, the 1963 march on Washington was a march on Washington for jobs, right? Like it was just a march for, you know, racial reconciliation. So black hairs and white kids could just, you know, hold hands and saying Cool. No, it was It was a march for jobs. Threat of Sky King, I believe in the seventies lead 1.2 million people in a quest for federal job guarantee. Really, a federal job guarantee was one of the core aspects of the nation's first black female economists. Sadie Alexander Um economist Nina Banks has written a lot about Sadie Alexander. Nina Banks is on our advisory council as well. But back in, you know, as early as the forties Sadie Alexander is talking about, Ah, job guarantee is one the best ways of addressing economic insecurity for African Americans as a as a great way to reduce, um, smother racism and some of the concerns around economic insecurity that whites were feeling as well, right? And so absolutely, we help people to understand how ah federal job guarantee is so critical and necessary today so that people can get better ages. You've ever gone to your boss to get a raise. Well, there's less incentive for private sector employers to increase your wages if there's a whole pool of unemployed people, right? Um, who willing to take $10 an hour. So we educate people about a federal job guarantee we educate people about, Um uh, the dual mandate of the Fed was off was really kind of a settling or compromise of the, um, push force federal job guarantee, um, and that we should not seek to balance the economy on the backs of the poor and the unemployed. And, um eso absolutely, on when you talk to folks about federal job guarantee Medicare for all free public college, a green and deal and federal funding form or local and state priorities. And you use the framework of M and T, it really gets us out of this common trap that occurs whenever public policies in the public interest are debated and discussed today by those running for office or those who are currently in power. And that one question is how we're gonna pay for it, right? Like how we're gonna pay for Medicare for all you heard the presidential candidates on the Democratic side, you know, debating whether Medicare, for all is, you know, feasible when candidates as boast that their plan just costs $785 billion how you know Bernie's plan is irresponsible because it's going to cost $30 trillion. Well, MNT helps us to understand that we don't have to, uh, we don't have to tax, you know, Amazon and Jeff Bezos in order to get public public priorities. I mean, we may you know, that there's a role for taxes, but public priorities should not be held hostage to taxing the rich in order to create the money through deficit spending in order to pay for it. I even say that these public priorities don't don't cost us money. They create money, right? But and we understand that you understand that a pro ah policy like Medicare for all isn't gonna cost us $30 trillion. And I really wish Canada's pushing some of these policies would really embrace the MNT framework. Because these policies are not gonna cost us money. They respond, they will. It will responsibly create $30 trillion over 10 years, and I say responsibly because deficit spending for the federal government is something to be desired if it's responsibly done and it's responsibly done as long as we don't exceed the threshold, uh, of of inflation, whenever the federal government under utilized the power of money creation who deficit spending. It causes the public to rely on money created through private bank lending and borrowing. Um, and so I have found MNT to be a very powerful framework toe, helping us to reimagine what the future can be like. A future where you know every American who wants one can have a dignified job with benefits where we can literally eliminate involuntary unemployment, where we can have single payer health care and not universal health insurance. We can have true health care, single payer health care for every American. We can eliminate student loan debt. We can have free public colleges in America and do so responsibly by utilizing the power of the public purse. But when you help people to understand that the government, the federal government does not need revenue first in order to spend and you show them a range of examples on how that's done in their everyday life, like God forbid, I'm in an area where they're major military institutions and, God forbid if we go to war tomorrow. But if we were to go to war tomorrow, no one is going to say where is the money gonna come from first in order to fund this war? Do at the tax bill gays or Jeff Bezos? William Buffet to get the money for the war? No, we create the money through deficit spending. Deficit spending properly understood, is net public money creation. And if we can, deficits been if we can responsibly deficit spin four. Unnecessary wars if we can deficit spend to give tax cuts to the rich. Weaken Certainly deficit Spit for a range of public priorities that the people care about to protect our environment. To eliminate mask, to reduce mass incarceration en mass incarceration in our society and have a sustainable economy.

spk_1:   39:05
Theo Thing

spk_0:   39:15
sort of tenor of public money creation that you describe really calls to mind what you have called the need to reclaim a theology of economics. And oh, we're wondering if you could ponder this question in this call along the terms of what you seem to be suggesting, which is a tenant of economic creation and public creation, which which brings to the four questions of infinity and scarcity, and and how this theology of economics perhaps contrast with those of the past as well as other present theologies.

spk_2:   39:59
Well, when I talk about reclaiming a theology of economics, I'm principally referring to, um this this tradition of critiquing the private manipulation of money creation that we find in Judaism historically Christie, Christianity historically and Islam presently that in these Abrahamic traditions there's been this historic critique of the manipulation of money it has. Um, you know, the turn that's often used is use ary or ryba in Arabic, and Islamic tradition, usually historically was more than just charging excessive interest on loans. Um, the definition of usury as the charging of excessive interest was a definition of interest, um, that the Venetian bankers were able to use to convince the church to give up its historical position, that usurious sin. And with the help of some, you know, philosophers at the time, Bentham and others at the time they were able to kind of convince the church to define usury as excessive interest, which then kind of open up the door to, uh the church being comfortable with a little interest or some interest. But historically, um, usually was much broader than that Hughes use. Ary was about be manipulation, a monopolist monopolisation of the money creation Money power. For example, Thomas Quietness said that use ARY is in the 13th century. Use. ARY is the earning of interest on that which did not exist before. And it's very interesting because when you think about the how banks create money when they make loans, um, and that's very important wants to frame this, because what is often called lending by banks is really not lending. When people think of lending, they tend to think of being lending of something that already exists. But when banks quote unquote lend, they create deposits out of nothing so deposits don't create. Uh, the loan alone actually creates the deposits. So banks, when they lend, are creating the loan out of nothing gets accommodated by Federal Reserve UH, bye reserves. The Federal Reserve's accommodates the commercial bank lending of banks after the fact, so banks are literally creating the loans, creating money out of nothing and earning interest on money that they've created out of nothing. Well, there could be nothing more. In line with the quietness is definition of users as the earning of interest on that which did not exist before, I would contend that's more in line with the historic definition of usury and is that stands in that posture. And that's that posture, uh, of critique of, um, private money creation that I think people of faith needs a kind of reclaimed and have a critique around. Otherwise, what is of happening is we get a kind of endorsement of the current economic order that ultimately resorts results in kind of distortions of economics that we see today in the popular church community. You may have heard your audience may have heard about things like prosperity, gospel. Um, where creatures tend to go around, um, legitimizing a theology of, uh of wealth and getting wealth almost at any cost without any sort of critique around an understanding of the mechanisms of of money creation. So So when I talk about reclaiming the theology of economics, for me, it's about reclaiming this historic fatigue of, um, private money creation that I see in, you know, these Abrahamic religions, a critique that I think is also present in my own tradition the day before Jesus is crucifixion. Where, um, there is this common story of Jesus overturning the tables of the moneychangers and what many people fail to realize is that this story is more than just a critique of commerce gone awry, is it? It's a critique of the way in which the money create the money. Lenders who had set up shop in the temple had monopolized the creation of the temple shackle and left people in Maur debt and bondage. When they left Passover, then they had when they came, I would contend that the overturning of the tables of the moneychangers was a critique of this private money creation mechanism. And it's that respect that I think we want to replay. We need to reclaim that tradition and the critique.

spk_3:   46:02
One of the things that I've heard you say is that despite our many differences, what unites us is our need for and reliance upon money. And this seems to, um, I think really trance figure the way Ah, in the modern West, we typically think of money's so called universality right? And the major way that we think of monies. Universality is as a universal equivalent, which makes possible bilateral exchanges between private actors. Um, but this is a totally different kind of, um, articulation of universal connection and one that um, you know, probably seem strange or even perverse from from, ah kind of mainstream point of view. That sort of seize money is primarily a private wealth gaining activity. I'm wondering if you could just kind of reflect on that and flesh that out.

spk_2:   47:07
Sure. Us. Well, when I I'm I'm starting From the perspective, that money is a public utility. Not, um So for me, money is fundamentally public in nature. It is a result of our failure to, um um um utilized that public power that these private interests, um then step in and fill a space that the public, you know, has deferred to the private sector. But if we reclaim that public power, that understanding that of the public nature of money fundamentally public in nature um, then it seems to me that huh It helps to compliment for political purposes. Um, the various identity politics that in the absence of a unifying meta narrative that links us um um can cause those of us, you know, on the left, I'll skate. This program is money on the left. Big money is for, you know, it's public for everyone. Whether they identifies, left not, but sure. I think I have found on the left that were kind of a fragment it fellowship, Right? Um, there's, you know, um l g b t Q I plus community. There's, you know, Marx is There's MMT, folks, there's it was black lives matter, folks. There's, um, Latino ex communities, you know, fighting for their land. And for me, I've always struggled, uh, with what is the narrative? What is that meta narrative that's gonna link us to really empower a movement going forward? And for me, it's money Not in a private sense, but understanding money in a public sense that links all of these, you know, disparate, um identity, uh, and identities. And I have found that if we don't have something that links us on the left, we find ourselves potentially vulnerable to the unified force is on the far right. And so for me, you know, the economic framing presented by MNT provides that kind of narrative that can help link, you know, LGBT Q I, you know, movement, black lives matter. Those who are fighting to end mass incarceration, those we're fighting for health care reform. Those who are fighting for green and deal and address are environmental crisis money. As I understand it, public money can serve as that narrative that links is. It seems

spk_0:   50:07
like a really good time to transition to talking about our money. Can you tell us a little bit about what that organization is? And when it

spk_2:   50:14
happens? Well, in May of 2019 I launched the our money campaign to really mainstream core concepts of modern monetary theory. Um, it's been a long has been. The evolution is the final. It's the final result of my wrestling's with the range of monetary reform movements. And I've really come to settle in on modern monetary, the providing the foundational framework for how we're going to move forward. And really, you know, whether there are people who self identify as M in tears or not, the court transept of MMT, I believe, are applicable and are unassailable, regardless of whether people identify as MMT or not, right? I mean, we see you know, many, some, you know, mainstream economists, right, even on the right, saying, Hey, you know, deficits don't matter the way we thought they did, Or, you know, the Phillips curve isn't as critical and foundational you know as we thought he thought itwas, you know, for, um addressing, you know, unemployment, stuff like that. So we lost our money last year to help mainstream set of court MMT Concepts and principles is a campaign that in many ways is born out of my own personal ministry and the and in large part funded by, um, you know, funded by my congregation. We are right now going around the congregation around the country rather doing workshops and sessions with faith leaders, civil rights leaders, laypeople, candidates for public office, educating them about the core tenets of modern monetary theory and helping them understand how it relates to a range of public priorities that are currently on the table. There are range of robust spending proposals on the table right now, and and MMT, I believe, provides the answer to the one question that everyone is asking and that's how we're gonna pay for it. We pay for it by re legitimizing the power money creation. Um, because the federal government does not spend does not need tax revenue in order to spit.

spk_0:   52:42
Did you say a little bit more about what those what you're up to in those workshops and maybe how people can start to get involved with the Armani project.

spk_2:   52:50
All right, Well, um, what we're doing in the in the workshops foundational e educating people about giving people a brief understanding of, um, how is preferable tohave money created through the public purse, public treasury or by the government versus having money created by private interests or the banks helping them, then understand that most of what we think of it uses money is created by the least preferable mechanism. And that's money created through private bank lending. And that if we wanna have a sustainable economy, one that reduce reduce is private household debt, one that provides a dignified job with benefits for every American who wants 11 that even is beneficial to businesses because it's in. It's in the best interest of businesses for, you know, everyday Americans toe have more money than they do have credits or debts, right? If people are way down and credit card dad and school student loan debt within their not ableto, you know, buy shoes, you know, food and clothes. And so we believe we believe I believe that this is also, you know eyes good for businesses. It's good for bro. It's good for, um, people improving the quality of life. And then we gotta walk people through, um, how they can organize in their local communities. The war for a specific set of Hollis bowls. Right now, right now, we're trying to move for and trying to push for members of Congress to oppose the pay go budget rule, which is a budget rule primarily on the House side right now, largely pushed by the Democratic leadership that says that for every dollar of pubs spinning, there needs to be a dollar of revenue. Uh, Paige Oh, we believe, is really harmful to America. Um, because whenever because whenever the public sector is in surplus, the private sector's in deficit. See, we want public sector deficits because when the public sector, when the government is deficit spending, then that means the private sector and homeowners in the private citizens have their surpluses and pay. Go under, utilizes the the power of money, create creation and prevents us from funding the things that the public needs. We want people to asked, have their elected officials of Pope a go as a budget rule We want them to ask their elected officials to push for congressional hearings on modern monetary theory on the Humphrey Hawkins Act and on regulating ah, financial fraud in the securities industry and, um uh to support policies such as a federal job guarantee. A green new deal, which includes a friendly job guarantee I'm Medicare for all free public college, abolition of student loan debt and Maur federal spending for local estate priorities. I mean, this fiscal policy framing is so powerful that even state and look, we can think of a range of other state and local priorities is being funded through, uh, federal government spending. Right now, in my community and in communities all across the country, state legislatures are meeting this month a CZ. They begin their new legislative session thinking about you know which schools to build. With schools back, we're gonna have to let close. We have schools in our community that are literally going to be closing down soon because the county doesn't have the resource is the tax revenue State doesn't have the money. Uh, um, And so just imagine if the federal government thought about its responsibility to fund local and state proud is in a broader way. If, if you know, our federal government said, You know, we don't want schools in our 40 50 years old, which we literally have in some of our communities in America, where and when it gets cold, there's no heat. And when it's hot, there's no air conditioning where there's still lead in the water, right? We want schools, you know, that should be rebuilt over 25 years old. Like if we can build new ballparks in cities across America, we certainly gonna be able to rebuild. You know, America's crumbling schools, and we'll pay for it not to local and state revenue, but we'll pay for it. Federal, that was It's been public spending. The possibilities are literally endless. And, um, you know, this is fundamentally what we're doing. We're going around the country on these, you know, with these sessions right now.

spk_0:   58:07
Well, Pastor Delman Coates. Thank you so much for coming on. Money on the left.

spk_2:   58:14
Thank you so much for having me on. I'm really delighted to be a part of this conversation and look forward to working with money on the left, going forward

spk_1:   58:25
way