Modern Monetary Theory Isn’t Helping

Doug Henwood in Jacobin:

Now that policies made famous by Bernie Sanders, like Medicare for All and free college, and newer ones like the Green New Deal, are infiltrating the political mainstream, advocates are always faced with the question: “how would you pay for them?” Although there are good answers to “this question” that could even be shrunk down to a TV-friendly length and vocabulary, they’re not always forthcoming. Even self-described socialists seem to have a hard time saying the word “taxes.” How lovely would it be if you could just dismiss the question as an irrelevant distraction?

Conveniently, there’s an economic doctrine that allows you to do just that: Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is at least MMT-curious, and it’s all over Marxist reading groups and Democratic Socialists of America chapters. It’s even seeping into the business press — Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal is friendly to the doctrine. James Wilson of the New York Times tweeted recently, “The speed with which young activists on both left and right are migrating toward MMT is going to have a profound effect on US politics in the 2020s and 2030s.”

More here.  [Thanks to Tony Cobitz.]