Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bill Mitchell — Reflections on a visit to New Zealand

Last Friday, I gave a public lecture organised by the strategy group Strategy2040 and the full presentation is available on YouTube – (I made it available in yesterday’s blog). After that presentation I was invited to a ‘Roundtable’ meeting (although the layout was rectangular) which comprised about 30 or so people (mostly economists as I gather) being given the opportunity for 90 minutes to question me about the presentation etc – to tear me apart really. There was a call from an former senior central banker in the audience to have Chatham House rules governing the meeting. I declined acceptance of that constraint. Opinions should be owned. But what the meeting taught me was that, despite the GFC and the failure of the mainstream macroeconomics to predict it, deal with it when it arrived and then change its approach in the aftermath, very little has changed within the mainstream narrative. The same myths are being propagated and academic and senior policy economists seem blithe to reality.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Reflections on a visit to New Zealand
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia


Matt Franko said...

Bill has to get out of the Econ Dept...

peterc said...

Matt, I know what you mean, but we need him and the other heterodox economists in the Econ Depts big time.

It's so hard for heterodox economists to get a foot in the door to begin with, let alone get to the level of chair as in Bill's (and some others') case.

I think Bill comes out of these exchanges more than fine. Seriously on-the-nose-with-the-electorate former prime minister and failed central bankers, trying to defend their failures, will have next to zero credibility with many in the public.

The central banker's arguments in favor of monetary over fiscal policy are discredited, for starters, by the reality that Australian policymakers intervened strong and early fiscally, helping Australia to avoid recession in the wake of the GFC, whereas New Zealand policymakers failed to do so and the country fared poorly.

Matt Franko said...

Peter, Maybe you guys could establish your own Dept?

Like "Govt Operations" or "Government" or something like that?

Pull some other PhDs in from other applicable disciplines and start a totally new degree program at some school...

Bill is just taking a bunch of crap from these people he doesn't need ...

peterc said...

Actually there's a history of that sort of thing at the uni I attended and taught at for a while. A dispute in the 1970s (well before my time) resulted eventually in 'Political Economy' splitting off from 'Economics'. :)



Having said that, there are a handful of heterodox economists in 'Economics'.

Tom Hickey said...

Political economy and economics are separate but related fields, as are accounting and finance.

Putting theoretical economists in charge of policy formulation is just dumb.