Start with this, from the New York Times: Modern Monetary Theory Makes Sense, Up to a Point. It begins:
The term “modern monetary theory” has been talked about so much lately that we mainstream economists need to try to understand it.
We’re having trouble, though I’m beginning to suspect that it may be because M.M.T., as it’s often called, is really just a voguish name for a group of old and, for the most part, sensible ideas, repackaged in a new form.
And just what are these old ideas in a new form?
Because there are great opportunities for government investment at the moment and interest rates are low, these programs should go forward with deficit spending. Once again, this is a conventional argument: It makes sense to spend when the return on government investments exceeds the borrowing rate.
These are reasonable ideas. They are not always expressed in ways that are appealing to mainstream economists, however, so it’s not surprising that two Harvard economists recently wrote articles severely criticizing modern monetary theory. Kenneth Rogoff did so in “Modern Monetary Nonsense,” while Lawrence Summers wrote, “The Left’s Embrace of Modern Monetary Theory Is a Recipe for Disaster.”
I wouldn’t be that harsh. It seems that modern monetary theory is not so much a recipe for disaster as it is a not entirely original series of ideas that are not well defined or well integrated, and whose implications have been exaggerated.
Entire fields of study in economics departments are devoted to grappling with some of these problems. For a serious examination of issues concerning public debt, for example, consider the classic 1979 study “On the Determination of the Public Debt,” by Robert Barro of Harvard.
Professor Barro said, in essence, that the government faced time-varying expenditure needs and, optimally, could attempt to keep tax rates constant by varying borrowing. Then there is the 1936 opus of John Maynard Keynes, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,” which prescribes countercyclical deficit spending to stabilize the economy.
Demonstrating once again that pretty well the whole of modern textbook theory is junk science. Paying attention to almost any of it will drive your economy off course and into the sand.
Which brings me to this: Beto O’Rourke Goes Full Socialist, Says He Will ‘Break Apart’ American Wealth.
He may be a far left nutter but is centre stage among Democrats. As dangerous as he is ignorant, but when did that ever stop a politician from succeeding?