Saturday, 25 July 2015
Debt and deficit talk has now become Kafkaesque.
Thanks in part to the efforts of MMTers, anyone with a brain know knows that there is no great urgency to reduce the national debt or deficit (DD). Even the dimwits at the IMF have now tumbled to this point – see this Brookings Institution article. (For more on dimwittery at the IMF, see here.)
However, it is de rigueur to weep and wail about the debt and deficit. Even Jeremy Corbyn, the left wing UK politician knows it’s important to put on the appearance of a Very Serious Person when talking about the DD. And as a left winger, he’s the last person that really ought to take the DD seriously.
This is getting a bit like the situation that used to exist in the USSR where everyone went around telling lies they knew no one actually believed. The extreme case of that scenario was nicely described by a Russian, I forget where, who described the situation in university lecture theaters, particularly when it came to lectures to do with politics, history, sociology and the like.
He put it something like this. “Lecturers know they’re lying. Students know the lecturer is lying. The lecturers know that students know they are lying. Students know that lecturers know that students know lecturers are lying. And if you have any imagination, you’ll be able to construct ever longer sentences based on that series.”