I had thought about writing something in response to this article by Labour MP and Corbyn supporter John McDonnell about Corbyn’s economic plans. I was going to disagree with the way he felt the need to talk about how Corbyn would aim to “clear the deficit”. I was going to do that, but then someone else did the job for me and much better than I could. Economist Bill Mitchell wrote this blog yesterday. Here is Bill’s conclusion with which I wholeheartedly agree:
I am very excited about the Corbyn challenge. There is a chance to clear out the New Labour crust that has welded neo-liberal narratives onto the Party and restricted its capacity to offer a progressive alternative to Britain.
But, increasingly, the attempts by his support base to appear to be ‘fiscally responsible’ tells me that he will not succeed in altering the debate if he continues to promote ideas that equate fiscal responsibility with deficit elimination.
Fiscal responsibility is equated with achieving full employment with price stability – and in the current climate that would require a fiscal deficit some percent of GDP larger than what it is at present.
Corbyn’s camp should be talking about that rather than deficit elimination, which is a ridiculous policy target to aspire to.
Excitingly, Bill is speaking at a free event in London on 27th August alongside Richard Murphy and Ann Pettifor. Here are the details. Annoyingly, I can’t make it, but if you can, I think it would be well worth it. If any of you do go, do let me know what you thought.