Date of Award

Winter 2017




L. Randall Wray, Ph.D.


Kenneth Boulding maintains that the economy is comprised not just of an exchange system (twoway transfers), but also of a grants system (one-way transfers), where the latter arises to bridge gaps in the former. This paper uses Boulding’s unconventional framework to analyze the modern economy of the United States. I investigate grants issued by the government, by families, and by private entities, and reveal their respective inabilities to adequately mitigate inequality and unemployment in the exchange economy. I show that the current grants system is unable to bridge the gaps in exchange, and that the grants expansion that would be necessary to accomplish this is ill-advised. I conclude that rather than using a basic income guarantee to expand grants, the US should strengthen its exchange system with a job guarantee. While this would not eradicate gaps in exchange completely, it would reduce them to a scope that grants can safely bridge.

Access Control

Open Access

Included in

Economics Commons