But third, is something more significant. It is the obvious agreement of those writing the letter with three of the first four arguments I made on the success of Corbynomics last weekend. Those writing appear to agree that the case for infrastructure investment is clear: their only argument is that it should be financed by conventional debt and not a form of QE. They add their names in the process to those from Chris Giles to Larry Elliott in saying this.
Is that a coup? I’d say so: 55 conventional economists appear to have agreed that the case for investment is made because interest rates are so low at present that not making that investment would be an error of judgement. They don’t go on, of course, to ask why that investment is not being made as a result. Nor do they consider issues such as the framing of the debate or the austerity narrative to which some signatories may have contributed: they just say this investment should take place with conventional funding. And since that investment is not happening and the demand for it is a core part of Corbynomics the truth is that these signatories have tried to oppose Corbynomics by agreeing with one of its core objectives.
Arguing for more infrastructure investment at a time of spare capacity and low interest rates is hardly novel. So it’s also not a surprise to find that when Ritchie says something not novel, indeed standard, many economists agree.
When Ritchie says something novel, non-standard, that we should just print the money to pay for it, amaaaazingly, economists don’t agree.
Quite remarkable that, really.