Friday, 22 March 2019

Drivel, hogwash and nonsense from Bloomberg on MMT.

With MMT having suddenly become flavour of the month, thanks to Occasio-Cortez’s semi-endorsement of it, every other journalist has overnight become an expert on the subject, despite clearly knowing nothing about it in many cases. Not that that will damage the careers of journalists all that much: after all, the job of a journalist is fill up newspaper column inches with hot air, waffle and clap-trap. For some bizarre reason, newpaper readers pay good money to read this nonsense.

At any rate, the Bloomberg article claims that controlling monopolies and “businesses’ excessive pricing powers” is an important element of MMT’s preferred way of controlling inflation. Well that’s news to me! (Article title: “A beginner’s guide to MMT”).

I’ve backed MMT for about ten years and have read at least a thousand articles and blog posts by MMTers. I don’t remember much stress being put on the monopoly question or “businesses’ pricing powers”, important as those questions are.

As to where the Bloomberg authors get that idea about monopolies and pricing powers from, they are commendably honest there: they got it from a Financial Times article on MMT which itself was not representative of MMT thinking.

This is a classic example of what goes on in the newspaper / periodical industry: one journalist publishes some nonsense, then a more journalists, rather than do any worthwhile research, just repeat what they’ve read by the latter first journalist.

Moreover, it’s pretty obvious that we need to do as much as is feasible to control monopolies and cartels whether we have an MMT regime in place or not. Thus there is a distinct lack of logic in the claim that the control of monopolies and cartels has anything specifically to do with MMT.

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