By Michael Hoexter
Michael Hoexter is an energy efficiency and renewable energy policy analyst and marketing professional located in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is concerned that flaws in economic thinking are derailing effective policy action on climate and energy challenges.
Currently, on the world political stage, there is little discussion of an alternative progressive framework for economics that would significantly counteract the push towards fiscal austerity. One hears now and again protests about the damage already done and yet to be done by fiscal austerity, but the public in general has little knowledge of a comprehensive alternative framework. There are signs that the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) view is reaching a wider audience, but it is probably the case that even most well informed political insiders remain in the dark. The public at large is exposed in both media and policy circles to two flavors of the same neoliberal economics that sees no positive leadership role or well-thought-out supporting role for government in the economy. In the upcoming US Presidential election, the American public must choose between two candidates, superficially different, but who offer in practice weaker and stronger versions of the same approach to governing. The lack of a perceived alternative engenders apathy and cynicism in many.