I've written on this blog that I always read Robert J. Shiller. I don't always agree with him, but it's always been worth knowing where he stands and why. The following is Robert J. Shiller:
... it’s not surprising that two Harvard economists recently wrote articles severely criticizing modern monetary theory. Kenneth Rogoff did so in “Modern Monetary Nonsense,” while Lawrence Summers wrote, “The Left’s Embrace of Modern Monetary Theory Is a Recipe for Disaster.”
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I wouldn’t be that harsh. It seems that modern monetary theory is not so much a recipe for disaster as it is a not entirely original series of ideas that are not well defined or well integrated, and whose implications have been exaggerated. [perfect!]
Entire fields of study in economics departments are devoted to grappling with some of these problems. For a serious examination of issues concerning public debt, for example, consider the classic 1979 study “On the Determination of the Public Debt,” by Robert Barro of Harvard.
Professor Barro said, in essence, that the government faced time-varying expenditure needs and, optimally, could attempt to keep tax rates constant by varying borrowing. Then there is the 1936 opus of John Maynard Keynes, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,” which prescribes countercyclical deficit spending to stabilize the economy.
Are such works new enough to be called “modern”? If so, they might be considered the core foundations for modern monetary theory, though I haven’t seen them cited that way.
But I don’t expect most people to read these dense works on public finance and macroeconomic theory. It’s more likely that people who aren’t professional economists will be influenced by simpler stories and metaphors that may, unfortunately, encourage fallacious thinking.
Still, I think the modern monetary theorists have a point: We should not react automatically against new expenditures that increase the deficit. There do appear to be some urgent needs that might justify more debt for a while. But acknowledging this does not require a revolution in economic theory, and it does not license unlimited spending or carelessly adding debt upon debt. [Source]
I don't agree that MMT economists are unaware of any of this or would disagree with any of it except for the part where Robert says the attacks on MMT have been understandable. They have only been understandable if you first realize that the attackers don't know what they're talking about concerning MMT.
Robert probably isn't even slightly aware (yet) of just how awful various attackers have been over the decades. MMTers have been subjected to barrages of tolls from the Austrian School of Economics (anti-Keynesians).