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Sep 7, 2019

We’re fortunate to have a close friend and advisor of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez as our guest for this episode. Andrés Bernal’s optimistic and expansive point of view is contagious and inspiring.  Explaining the source of his optimism in this terrifying time, Andrés says he is influenced by historical struggles for justice: the Black struggle, from abolition to the civil rights movement and beyond, the struggle of indigenous communities, and the liberation movements of colonized nations. In seemingly impossible situations, against all odds, people persevered. What emerged are the most beautiful examples of solidarity.
 
Andrés was a philosophy major, with concern for deconstructing knowledge, questioning what we know and how we know we know it. Perhaps this explains the direction his life has taken. Whether his boundless curiosity is innate or epistemological, his passion for humanity is palpable. He believes that cynicism is the fastest way to destruction and the antidote is a genuine search for knowledge.
 
He has managed to combine his disciplined pursuit of greater understanding with a belief that we can build a society of abundance that’s grounded in human creativity and based in a caring economy. In this interview he has the same reasoned enthusiasm when explaining the Green New Deal, a federal job guarantee, or public banks.
 
Andrés relates the story of his long friendship with AOC and how her political evolution coincided with his developing understanding of Modern Monetary Theory, which he shared with her. This magical confluence has had history-altering consequences; she is a major reason MMT has broken through the surface, and the ripples have not yet been stilled. She put the job guarantee on her platform and told a reporter that MMT should be part of the national discussion. She challenged the accepted wisdom that there’s a natural rate of unemployment, below which society will collapse, or face some calamitous fate. The chairman of the Federal Reserve was forced to agree with her, publicly.
 
This interview covers enough wonky material to satisfy regular fans of Macro N Cheese. But Andrés also inspires us to unleash our imagination, reconsider the nature of work, and plan for a future that meets all our needs.
 
Andrés Bernal is Lecturer of Urban Studies at CUNY Queens College, Doctoral student in Public & Urban Policy at The New School, and policy advisor, political organizer and Green New Deal scholar.
 
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/opinion-green-new-deal-cost_n_5c0042b2e4b027f1097bda5b
 
Andrés-Bernal.com
 
@andresintheory on Twitter