There is an interesting report in Business Insider of a survey of America’s economists. It states
In the latest survey of 42 of America’s top economists by the Chicago Booth School of Business, not a single respondent agreed with the basic tenants [I think they meant tenets!] of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT):
36% of economists disagreed and 52% strongly disagreed with the statement, “Countries that borrow in their own currency should not worry about government deficits because they can always create money to finance their debt.” (2% had no opinion.)
26% of economists disagreed and 57% of economists strongly disagreed with the statement, “Countries that borrow in their own currency can finance as much real government spending as they want by creating money.” (7% had no opinion.)
Apart from finding it alternately hilarious and depressing that up to 7% of these professors of economics had NO OPINION on these statements, it has to be admitted that the questions themselves were not the best, and so for example, Larry Samuelson from Yale, whilst he ‘disagreed’ with both statements, his comments indicate that he considers MMT is actually correct:
“Deficits can be financed by creating money, but still have disadvantages as well as advantages that should be carefully considered.”
“Creating money can finance a great deal of spending, but incidents of hyperinflation, collapse and other crises indicate there are limits.”
So although the questions were poorly thought through most of the economists are themselves thinking poorly – because more than half ‘strongly disagreed’ with both statements. That tends to suggest that in American Universities most Economics Professors don’t understand money. Indeed some of their comments appear to suggest they don’t even understand Quantitative Easing! And it is both interesting and lamentable that none at all mention tax.
I rather fear that a similar survey in Britain might not be too dissimilar.