Why it’s a good time to be an economist

22/02/2012 § Leave a comment

A couple of days ago, the Washington Post ran an article on Modern Monetary Theory.

A decade later, as the soaring federal budget deficit has sharpened political and economic differences in Washington, [James K.] Galbraith is mostly concerned about the dangers of keeping it too small. He’s a key figure in a core debate among economists about whether deficits are important and in what way. The issue has divided the nation’s best-known economists and inspired pockets of passion in academic circles. Any embrace by policymakers of one view or the other could affect everything from employment to the price of goods to the tax code.

I don’t know from MMT so won’t even try. But, this article highlights why it’s a good time to be an economist. Lots of ideas are being tossed around. Economists are trying to figure out the consequences of the theories, and sorting out where they fit together and where they don’t.

Furthermore, policy makers and the general public actually care about this stuff right now. People actually have some notion of Austrian, Keynesian, neo-classical, etc. I had a bus driver ask me last week what I thought about Greece. Ack! Where to start?

So let us bask in the attention while it lasts, and try not to do too much damage.

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