January 21, 2019

MMT: How to get out of the infinite meta-communication loop

Comment on Brian Romanchuk on ‘MMT In The Newsflow Again’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference

Brian Romanchuk observes some communicative delirium: “There have been a number of attempts to ‘explain’ MMT by various American conservatives. As one might expect, those attempts have been pathetic; …” and then heads towards a solution “There are two angles of attack to this debate.
1. Are MMT policy proposals radical?
2. Is it a radical approach to economic theory?”

This, though, means nothing else than a continuation of the communicative delirium. The point is to get out of meta-communication about MMT and to ask the scientifically relevant question: Is MMT true or false? with truth well-defined as material and formal consistency. Who cares about whether MMT is “radical”?

The scientist’s goal is to definitively settle a given question: “That the settlement of opinion is the sole end of inquiry is a very important proposition.” (Peirce) The blatherer’s goal, on the other hand, is simply to blather on in all eternity. After all, professional windbags, journalists, propagandists, soapbox economists, and trolls seek, like anybody else, long-term employment in a decently paid job.

There is political economics and theoretical economics. The main differences are: (i) The goal of political economics is to successfully push an agenda, the goal of theoretical economics is to successfully explain how the actual economy works. (ii) In political economics anything goes; in theoretical economics, the scientific standards of material and formal consistency are observed.

Theoretical economics (= science) had been hijacked from the very beginning by political economists (= agenda pushers). Political economics has produced NOTHING of scientific value in the last 200+ years. This holds also for MMT. MMT is refuted on all counts.#1 Scientifically, MMT is dead and buried, however, it still has substantial talk-show qualities.#2

Brian Romanchuk brushes off the shallow pseudo-explanations provided by “various American conservatives”: “Modern Monetary Theory is part of a long line of post-Keynesian economics; if you want to understand the theory, there’s a lot of reading to do.”

True. Indeed, there is not only a lot of reading to do for MMTers but ― even more important ― of thinking. What MMTers do not understand to this day is that post-Keynesian economics is scientifically dead since Keynes. Keynes got macroeconomics wrong and post-Keynesians, including MMTers, have not spotted the blunder.#3

The blunder is baked into the MMT sectoral balances equation (I−S)+(G−T)+(X−M)=0. This equation proves that MMTers are too stupid for the elementary mathematics that underlies macroeconomic accounting.#4

Brian Romanchuk eventually stumbles upon the crucial point: “… my Twitter feed has been filled with condescending comments from mainstream economists who state that MMT has no empirical aspects to it. Firstly, if one does not read the literature, one will not find empirical work. Secondly, how much empirical work can we expect from theory in the first place?”

Good question. What first of all has to be done empirically is to decide between the false MMT sectoral balances equation (I−S)+(G−T)+(X−M)=0 and the axiomatically correct equation (I−S)+(G−T)+(X−M)−(Q−Yd)=0. And this will settle the matter once and for all. The MMT equation will be empirically falsified ― after it has already been logically falsified ― and with it the whole verbal superstructure of MMT blather/fraud.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 For the full-spectrum refutation of MMT see cross-references MMT
#2 The economist as stand-up comedian
#3 Why Post Keynesianism Is Not Yet a Science
#4 Wikipedia and the promotion of economists’ idiotism (II)

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