Seeping into the Mainstream?

By Stephanie Kelton

Scott Fullwiler spent part of the afternoon reading (and reacting to) a paper that John Cochrane just gave at a conference on central banking in Stanford, CA. I haven’t read the paper yet, but judging by Scott’s reaction on Twitter, there’s lots to like about it. (Mostly because it appears to draw heavily from a broad swath of at least a decade of published work from MMTers.)

STF

We’ll have to wait for Scott’s forthcoming post to see just how close the parallels are (and how much Cochrane 2014 departs from Cochrane 2009). It will be interesting, particularly because several years ago Cochrane wasn’t interested in garnering insight from outside the mainstream. “Every now and then,” he confessed, “there’s an excluded subgroup that turns out to be right.” But he readily admitted — nay, disparaged — “I haven’t read their specific work. I’m busy, and I try to read what is considered interesting and valid.” Being right matters, and I think that’s why MMT has begun to seep into the mainstream. The risk (though this is not how Noah sees it) is that “all the interesting heterodox ideas [will] quickly get incorporated into the mainstream in some slightly bastardized form,” leaving the discipline as a whole only marginally better off, while those who did the heavy lifting remain at the margins.

 

 

4 Responses to Seeping into the Mainstream?

  1. Detroit Dan

    “The risk is that “all the interesting heterodox ideas [will] quickly get incorporated into the mainstream in some slightly bastardized form,” leaving the discipline as a whole only marginally better off, while those who did the heavy lifting remain at the margins.”

    Yes, it’s been discouraging to see so many who learned economics in large part from the MMT crowd then turn against the very people who taught them so much about economics in the first place. Roche, Kervick, ….

  2. Ben Johannson

    Dan,

    Certain people seem to be pushing for a second neoclassical synthesis, I suspect out of a desire to be part of the “in” crowd. It can be difficult to always be on the outside if one isn’t psychologically tough enough to deal with it.

  3. Stephanie, it would be great if you could make a ted talk. Now that the information is getting out there, it needs reinforcement or it will be ignored. Haiku Charlatan does good job explaining monetary system in 3 minutes, but the video has under 5000 views. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTZGU9s0idM

    I also very much like this meme: “we know what works, balancing the economy, not the budget”. Implies that when budget is balanced economy is misbalanced.

    • Not sure why they never posted this video on the NEP blog or promoted it on twitter to get more views, but here was the latest video of Dr. Kelton’s presentation on balancing the economy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A75juXZo9o

      Although I take your point that an official ted talk (or TEDx) usually does get more views and seems more apt to be shared.