Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Project Syndicate's fake claim to be interested in submissions containing “original” and “insightful” ideas.

E.g. see the first para of this self congratulatory intro to PS.

If PS is so interested in “original and insightful” material, you have to wonder why they have published so many articles by one of the World's most antedeluvian and “totally lacking in insight” economists, namely Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard. Rogoff has been advocating pro-austerity policies ever since the 2008 bank crisis.

Of course, he is not pro austerity per se, but he and his side-kick, Carmen Reinhart (also formerly of Harvard) have advocated policies which are effectively austerian: reason being that he and Reinhart cannot get their heads round the simple point made by MMT, namely that the optimum size of the deficit is whatever minimises unemployment without pushing inflation above the 2% target. As for the SIZE of the deficit and debt as such, that size is irrelevant because reducing it, (if that proves necessary, and it WON'T necessarily prove necessary to do that), that can easily be achieved via tax hikes or public spending cuts

 Of course for the economically illiterate that might seem to support the Rogoff / Reinhart argument in that they'd claim that all they are trying to highlight is the probable cost subsequent to a debt build up, namely the need to raise taxes and repay some of the debt. But what the latter point misses is that the PURPOSE of those tax rises would simply be to keep demand down to the maximum feasible level without excess inflation being sparked off. i.e., there'd be no REAL COST for the population. Living standards would not fall one iota. .

But PS is far from unique in engaging in the above bit of virtue signalling. Most so called “blog content aggregator” sites (e.g. Brave New Europe) do much the same: i.e. claim to publish original or insightful material, while in fact just publishing material by well-known or household name authors.

After all, aggregator sites know perfectly well that the average reader is not the least bit interested in original or insightful material: the average reader is much more interested in gawping at and being mesmerised by household name authors than in original material.

If Tony Blair, who is famous for his ignorance of history where to write an article on some historical subject, the aggregators would fall over themselves to re-publish it

And finally, in defence of the above “aggregator / virtue signallers”, it should be said that actually RECOGNISING an original and worthwhile idea for what it is is EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. Only one in ten thousand people are capable of original thought. And only about one in a thousand can recognise and original idea when presented to them.

As an American inventor said, you never need worry about anyone stealing your original idea: in  fact to get an idea across you'll have to "ram it down peoples's throats". (Can't find the inventor who said that, but will note it  down here soon as I find it.  .


P.S. (19th Nov, 2021).  The inventor: Harold H. Aiken said, "Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."


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