Take a look at the picture below. Take it in. Now scan your eyes to the far right…there, in faded blue you’ll see the initials MMT. Now zoom out. Take it in again. Notice: a few hundred people. Spending their time learning about an economic theory called Modern Monetary Theory or MMT and its application to the European debacle. Now where does that happen? In this case, Italy. Normally, never.
But something is changing out there. Economic necessity is opening people to new ideas, just like it did in the 1930s, just like it always has. First, it was the Economist. Last week, the Washington Post. Then the Financial Times. Even Jared Bernstein, economic adviser to U.S. vice-president Joe Biden, jumped in.
Never mind that they all get it mostly wrong. Never mind that they invite derision from those who take the journalist’s word as gospel. Focus instead on the people, the power of a new idea that is not defending the status quo but advocating for something new and exciting based on sound reasoning and deep institutional understanding, and then remember: First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.
Now ask yourself: the times they are a changing but are we?
- Beating Back the Ghosts: Be Gone Appeals to Reinhart and Rogoff Authority. Welcome the Triumph of Reason. (April 16th, 2013)
- Austerity through infrastructure Cuts: Budget 2013 (March 22nd, 2013)
- Dead Money (August 23rd, 2012)
- Fiscal “Crisis” In Context: Two Indicators (July 12th, 2012)
- Krugman: End This Depression Now! (May 20th, 2012)