I’ve been organising an anti-the-41 letter, which has been going slowly, the score currently 41-29. In the course of that I corresponded with Paul Levine, a Professor specialising in macro at the University of Surrey.
Paul is a founder member of the European community of economists that started to do macro properly, following the lead of the US. And with Pearlman, wrote foundational papers in time-consistency and control theory that I remember Nobel laureate Tom Sargent marveling at in his macro lectures.
Anyway, cutting to the chase, Paul wrote his own letter, which the Observer seem to have decided to ignore, responding to the 41. I hope their neglect was accidental, because it does not look like it, spoiling as it does a Guardian letter that became a one-sided Guardian story about how Corby is proposing respectable macroeconomics. Here’s the text:
“The 41 signatories (Observer, Sunday 23rd August) writing on Corbyn’s economic policy fail to distinguish between the quite different forms of “anti-austerity” policies proposed by opponents of the Government. These vary from deficit denial (high debt doesn’t matter); to proposing much slower consolidation involving some combination of spending cuts and tax rate increases dependent on the growth of tax revenues; to a simple painless solution based solely on taxing the rich, raising corporation tax and incredible estimates of preventable tax avoidance/evasion levels. Corbynomics is firmly rooted in the latter, whilst being vague about debt targets. IMF, current Labour Party policy and, in effect, that of the SNP (as shown by the Institute of Fiscal Studies) belong to the middle category, often denounced as “austerity-lyte”. The mainstream position is this one, not Corbynomics.”