William K. Black
March 11, 2019 Bloomington, MN
First Article in a Series
The massive, coordinated assault on Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) scholars by the most elite forces of orthodoxy represents a watershed moment in economics, but we must not lose sight that the real attack is actually on progressives, particularly the newly elected progressive members of Congress plus Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. Even that statement is incomplete, for it is the combination of the rise of these progressive elected officials, the 2020 presidential election (and nomination battle), and the exceptional embrace of progressive policies by the general public and Democratic Party candidates for the presidential nomination that prompted the coordinated and personalized assault of overwhelmingly neoliberal economists on MMT scholars. This first column in a series provides an overview of why the progressives’ embrace of MMT spurred the terrified assault on MMT by orthodox economists. That desperate assault reveals how much orthodox economists fear the voters’ increasing embrace of the progressive core policy issues on the environment, health care, and restoring the rule of law to the markets. Later articles in this series will flesh out that overview.
The polls showing enormous public support for the key progressive initiatives terrify the neoliberals. Sanders’ 2016 policy initiatives have transformed the Democratic Party candidates’ policy proposals for 2020. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Warren’s policy proposals are having a similar effect. Polls show broad support for the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, a jobs guaranty program, a tax system that would reverse the current race to plutocracy, a campaign to reduce gun slaughter and massacres, the restoration of the rule of law (including antitrust laws) to business (particularly banking and Silicon Valley), and a meaningful minimum wage.