Wolfers’ inference is obvious, if “the very smart people running the IGM poll” get MMT scholars’ views so wrong that the poll questions represent the opposite of what MMT scholars believe, then the fault must lie with the MMT scholars. [Source]
When Bill Black is upset, he really goes on a rant (deserved, but still).
I do agree with him completely, as my own posts on this blog have made perfectly clear.
Bill rips in to all of them: all the kangaroo-court judges. Bill is not only an economist, he's a legal expert (especially concerning fraud). Obviously, he's saying the Chicago Booth survey on MMT is a complete fraud.
However, maybe he's leaving the possibility that Krugman and Wolfers, et al., are actually not very bright people.
He didn't say it, but my understanding is that if Krugman and the rest of the New Keynesians (that's what most of them are) don't understand MMT, it's because they never studied it. One shouldn't attack an entire economic school of thought without at least having studied it. Attacking in ignorance is the opposite of bright. Secondly, if they have tried to study and tried to understand it but haven't been able to, then why was understanding it like rolling off a log for so many and me? MMT is not hard to understand at all. It is not mysterious, especially now. The MMTers have had no choice but to practice how they impart what MMT is. They refined it and refined it and refined it to reduce it to plain language and almost soundbites. Yes, more than just 2 or 3 points but not dozens and dozens.
One needs some background knowledge concerning central banks in terms of how they issue money. It's not identical worldwide but there are some basics. One needs to understand currencies, which ones are dominant and why. It helps to understand government debt, but it is not, I repeat, not required to get the basic principles of MMT. It is required to ward off the anti-MMT trolls: been there, done that.
MMT is right. I've never said it's wrong. I've only argued over terminology (choice of words and how those words really ought to be defined). In our mixed economy with our banking system and method of creating currency and increasing and reducing the money supply and/or money actually circulating, MMT is exactly right. Knowing that is easy if you simply take the time to read MMT's primers. They have them. MMT could be taught in grade school, and the kids would get it.
So, I don't mind that Paul Krugman may be insulted when I say he's really, really slow on the uptake.
In case you're wondering, I've read hundreds and hundreds of Krugman's articles in the New York Times. I've also read even more articles by MMTers.
Bill Black mentioned Scott Fullwiler, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, in his article. I communicated with Scott quite a bit through a private forum. Scott was patient, never condemning, and actually seemed to be broadened by our interaction. He's truly expert in central banking mechanics. We debated pretty much everything MMT and more. I argued for what I thought would only help the movement. I believe I succeded in the end, even though I was finally block from the group (by the owner of the group, who was actually a gold bug and really disliked me because I had nothing but negatives to say about the "Gold Standard."
The thread I was in had about 5 or 6 main participants and ran for literally hundreds and hundreds of comments, some highly detailed, for months. I was sorry to be kicked out but don't regret what I said in that thread a bit.
I then went on to get kicked out of an MMT group because I was adamant that MMT was too wrapped up in its own jargon and that, that would leave the public confused. I advocated for common terminology so imparting the principles to everyone would be an easy thing all the way around. I knew I was right then, and I'm still right.