Some questions just have easy answers, don’t they?

Question of to the day: what to call an economics that embraces MMT?

Although we might explain this a little bit to make it a less easy answer.

The nuts and bolts of the heart of MMT are correct. Governments make money, governments can make more money. Thus the money is not the limitation to what a government can spend.

This also doesn’t make any difference. For money is only a proxy for what we’re interested in, which is scarce resources. Making more money doesn’t change the resources we have available to us – therefore it doesn’t actually solve our important problem.

If you want to say that at times more money does solve problems then that’s fine. For it’s also correct. We’d rather not have deflation, QE stopped that, QE was making more money. But that’s straight monetarism, that’s not MMT (we can and do derive it from Friedman and the money equation for example, and that just ain’t MMT).

Moving on to the Sage’s musings:

So, what is economics that we need, which will have to embrace MMT and the Green New Deal, which I believe can together provide the required tools and policy framework?

Two ideas come to mind. One is enoughness. The idea that we can have enough may be something that we are learning right now.

That’s called “satisficing” and is hardly new nor does it emanate from Ely, not even a whiff of spudness about it.

But I think I prefer balanced economics, which then becomes BE and BEing.

I am, of course aware that this can be suggested to be very ‘touchy-feely’. But that’s far from what it is. It’s hard nosed fact that we do need to balance the way that we live and to recognise that there is virtue in enough now if we are to have any hope of surviving the climate crisis that is to come.

That’s known as prioritising and ain’t new either.

8 thoughts on “Wrong”

  1. I thought the climate crisis was already here. I’m sure that’s what right-thinking people have been saying for yonks.

  2. Nice one TMB.

    Whatever it ends up being called the end result will be that he claims credit for inventing MMT and perhaps the whole of economics, under a sort of back of a fag packet grand unified theory of Elynomics.

    Move over Bill Mitchell and Adam Smith, the intellectual powerhouse of Ely cometh!

  3. Prominent physicists often receive letters (emails, these days) from members of the public claiming to have produced a Grand Unified Theory of Everything. Prominent mathematicians receive similar from people claiming they can square the circle (or solve other problems that have been known to be impossible for centuries).

    I wonder whether prominent economists get missives from Ely explaining how the writer has personally rewritten their subject from first principles.

  4. “the climate crisis that is to come”: isn’t it time that these fuckers found a new bogeyman?

    This one really should be played out – the first forecasts of warming doom were made so long ago that their falsity has been demonstrated beyond doubt.

  5. The earliest example of MMT that comes to mind is the nummi. But that was late Roman imperial times, so there must be plenty earlier than that.

  6. Dear Mr Worstall

    “It’s hard nosed fact that we do need to balance the way that we live and to recognise that there is virtue in enough now if we are to have any hope of surviving the climate crisis that is to come.”

    Translated:

    “It’s hard nosed fact that I need to balance the way that you live and to recognise that there is virtue in whatever I allow you to have now if we are to have any hope of surviving the climate crisis that is to come. I will of course have whatever I want and will smile benevolently upon my starving, shivering subjects, secure in the knowledge that I have saved them from their self-inflicted anthropogenic global warming as the ice sheets cover Scotland and move slowly south.”

    DP

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