Yet Another Strawman Attack On MMT

The number of bad takes on MMT has slowed down, but they are still arriving. I have a section on MMT critiques in my manuscript (the formatting of which I am supposed to be finishing off instead of ranting), but we have yet another data point to back my assertion that it is not worth responding to most MMT critiques, since they are terrible.

Yesterday on Twitter I was "entertained" by a thread that contained the following assertion*:

Unlike the AW Phillips Professor of Economics at the LSE, I have almost no formal training in economics (undergrad courses engineering economics, and environmental impact economic analysis). Nevertheless, even an ignorant shnook like myself was able to understand the Functional Finance concept that the constraints on a currency sovereign are real, not financial. We cannot point to a dollar amount and say: "this is the limit to spending!" And if you disagree with that, the response is very simple: what is the limit, then? The belief in such limits was the driving force behind The Widowmaker Trade.

One can debate how any particular MMT text explains the concept, but I have never seen a text by a credible MMT academic that was inconsistent with the above explanation if we take context into account. (One could presumably strip a quote out of context to find examples.) There is no way of characterizing the Reis assertion as being done in good faith. If mainstream economists dislike heterodox economist assertions about "mainstream" economists, here is yet another example of a highly credentialed economist making some obviously non-scholarly comments about other academics' work. Enough of these incidents, one might begin to suspect that this represents a systemic problem within the profession.

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