MMT – technique exposes purpose

Thinking about the two recent reviews of The Deficit Myth, I am coming to the view that these rather lightweight critiques are simply designed to sow seeds of doubt in readers minds. But there is no very serious argument against the facts of the case.

When Jessop says that if something seems too good to be true it probably is – he is really just diminuishing the work with no hard evidence, in order to enshrine political beliefs, which, as a former member of the IEA, he must consider important. Meanwhile of course Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is actually true in the here and now.

These critics, as expertly qualified high priests of economics, want, it seems to me, to keep taking our ‘indulgences’ money and also want us to keep thinking of the sins we have allegedly committed so that their own world of power and prestige remains in place.

Or in simpler terms, keeping a (fake) obsession with money as bean counting, without letting on what, or for whom, the beans are actually for.

It is examining the technique rather than the purpose.

Of course MMT itself examines technique rather than purpose, but in examining that technique it reveals that the technique has been either completely misunderstood or misappropriated.

Thus when indulgences are promoted it is not helpful to those already believing in them to be told that they are sham. Or to find out that admission to heaven is entirely possible for free!

Money should be just a method of getting people to do things for the greater benefit of everyone – it is not an end in itself, though of course, for many, especially on the right, it has become one.

As I’ve suggested before: Money is man-made. Government creates it. We elect governments. They control who gets it.

By supporting the prevailing othodoxy the critics of the Deficit Myth wish to preserve the status quo. And they are in government or close to it…

MMT in exposing the supposed lack of money for no lack at all, is really about pricking the bubble of those who use money as power.

In realising that this has been highlighted, the right wing becomes extra motivated – because their power base becomes threatened by MMT’s proper understanding of money, which is why those on the right consider as – and even promote – MMT as left-wing, when it is actually just fact.

Technique has actually exposed purpose.


  1. Graham -

    These critics, (and others) sense danger, that the emperor will be revealed in his all too human frailty – and it’s not a pretty sight. Part of the danger is that perhaps they realise MMT is actually factually correct, but that although it has largely seemed counter-intuitive to the general public, indoctrinated as we are, with “tax-payers money”, “the household budget” metaphor etc etc, here is a book written for the general public. A book that most of us can understand without having a PhD.

    Books that are accessible to the non-specialist are dangerous as they may start a revolution in understanding and overturn the established paradigm – they are heretical and challenge the high priests. This could be one of these books.

    We are seeing the “usual suspects” mount their attacks, determined to maintain the status quo and their status, both as high priests and as wealth extractors. So, they say, we will need higher taxes, lower public spending, the debt will have to be paid down so we don’t leave it to our grandchildren……etc, but they will ensure that their wealth and high income isn’t affected with the help of “useful idiots”, as they did with Cameron and Osborne.

    1. Peter May -

      Good point. Stephanie Kelton says in the introduction that she had a good editor who encouraged her to leave out maths and jargon and speak to the public…
      Hurray for him!

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