Noah Smith is being criticized


Here’s Emily Peck in Axios:

A handful of prominent male economists, including former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, are freaking out — mostly on Twitter — about a weekend New York Times profile of economist Stephanie Kelton, known for her work on Modern Monetary Theory, or MMT. . . .

And the gender dynamics — male economists piling on against a female economist and a female journalist, Times’ reporter Jeanna Smialek, in ways distinctive from typical academic arguments — look terrible here. . . .

What they’re saying: “I am sorry to see the @nytimes taking MMT seriously as an intellectual movement. It is the equivalent of publicizing fad diets, quack cancer cures or creationist theories,” Summers tweeted.

Noah Smith, a well-known economist and former Bloomberg columnist, wrote a Substack post calling the article “bad.”

The NYT article was bad, as are many of their articles on macroeconomics. The same snobbish establishment paper that criticizes all of the junk science on Covid and climate change reported in the conservative media is quite willing to give credence to junk science in economics.

As for Noah Smith, all I can say is that I know how he feels.



26 Responses to “Noah Smith is being criticized”

  1. Gravatar of steve steve
    8. February 2022 at 12:24

    …says the biggest hack out there in the world wide webs

  2. Gravatar of Classical Liberal Classical Liberal
    8. February 2022 at 13:09

    Noah hits the nail on the head here:

    “So maybe MMT people don’t write down models of the economy because they can’t. Because as Françoise, Christian, Rondina, Palley, and others have concluded, MMT is not a theory of how the economy works, but rather a set of political memes to push for more deficit spending.”

  3. Gravatar of Brett Brett
    8. February 2022 at 14:15

    It’s wild how evasive the MMT people are about some of the most basic tenets of their school of thought. Kelton’s book, for example, says that MMT uses taxes to constrain inflation – but she and the other MMT folks get really evasive when you ask them about that on Twitter.

  4. Gravatar of Classical Liberal Classical Liberal
    8. February 2022 at 14:37

    As someone commented on this blog years ago, MMT is neither modern, nor monetary nor a theory.

  5. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    8. February 2022 at 15:48

    Perhaps the expression “junk religion” should be used to define MMT.

    After all, there is a great deal of faith in all the major religions within the Temple of Orthodox Macroeconomics.

  6. Gravatar of Tacticus Tacticus
    8. February 2022 at 15:59

    Calling a NYT puff piece of MMT nonsense is now sexist? Great! Glad to see the Dems will be quickly defeating the Reps, then.

    I first came upon MMT sometime in the early 2000s; I can’t remember exactly how, but someone recommended to me something by L. Randall Wray. I read it, I thought it had some interesting points about deficits and inflation and fiscal crowding, and then I moved on with my life. 20 years later… Ugh. And now criticising a garbage piece in the ‘paper of record’ is sexist? Of course the Dems will keep losing.

  7. Gravatar of Lizard Man Lizard Man
    8. February 2022 at 16:53

    I thought that part of the critique of the NYT is that when they want to talk to respected economists, they don’t seem to call up any female economists.

  8. Gravatar of Spencer Bradley Hall Spencer Bradley Hall
    9. February 2022 at 09:07

    The question of MMT is both technical and semantic. Indirect purchases?

  9. Gravatar of Scott Heber Scott Heber
    9. February 2022 at 10:34

    All people should stay out of science until their ideas can be freely criticized. The termites continue to eat at the foundation.

  10. Gravatar of rinat rinat
    9. February 2022 at 12:58

    How are 20,000 deaths “junk science”.

    And are the 20,000 scientists signing the great barrington declaration practicing junk science? I didn’t realize so many Oxford and Harvard academics were on the fringe. Can you remind me where you taught? Bentley? Is it a car dealership or a school?

    Are academic articles showing little to no efficacy in the journal lancet “junk science”.

    Is Dr. Malone, a once revered scientist now a “junk scientist”, simply because he has an opinion contrary to the establishment.

    And how does an economist know what medical junk science looks like?


    You have no idea what you are talking about. We don’t even have all of the data; the fda is still releasing it – slowly…

    If anyone is practicing junk science – it’s you!

    And I will go out on a limb and say MOST economists are practicing junk science.

    You are not a physicist. You are not a virologist. You are not a doctor. You are a small minded social scientist (there are so many because its easy to be a social scientist) who try to build models that are somewhat predictive.

  11. Gravatar of Nick Nick
    9. February 2022 at 13:04

    Bitch boy sumtard is just getting angry that he was wrong again.
    Don’t worry thug boy, you are always wrong.

    In the meantime, keep trying to arrest us.

    Not going to work. Try again thugtard. And go inject yourself with something…

    la loser…

  12. Gravatar of Henry Henry
    9. February 2022 at 13:42

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” – Emerson

    Think about what Sumner says, and then ask yourself if this guy is thinking like a scientist, or someone with a “little mind”.

    1. He claims that thousands upon thousands of scientists who disagree with him are practicing “junk science”.

    2. He claims that the data reported in VAERS is “junk science”. VAERS is the best tool the government has in determining the risk associated with medicines.

    3. He claims people propogating the supposed “junk science” are all “conservatives”.

    Yet, none of this is true. Hundreds of academic papers now show that the vaccine has very little efficacy, and that the side effects are worse than advertised. The medical journal lancet, the most prestigious journal, publishes this information daily.

    Hundreds of coroners have expressed publicly that they’ve never seen so many young deaths from myocarditis, heart attacks, and strokes.

    Sweden, just a few days ago, said they do not advise vaccinating children. Why? Because the preponderance of data shows it’s not a good idea. The risks outweigh the benefits.

    Most academics who are against mandatory vaccines are democrat! Indeed, 80% of the Great Barrington signatories are liberals.

    Sumner appears to fit Emerson’s description quite well.

  13. Gravatar of nick nick
    9. February 2022 at 14:13


    SUMTARD and his elite thugs totally destroyed.

    learn to tow their bitch boy

  14. Gravatar of jayne jayne
    9. February 2022 at 17:10

    Another uncessary death due to the vaccine. George Watts Jr, 24 years old.

    At that age, his statistical probability of dying from the virus – assuming he’s a healthy 24 year old – is almost zero!

    But according to Scott this is all anti-science. Those young soccer players collapsing on the field after taking the vaccine is apparently anti-science too.

  15. Gravatar of Classical Liberal Classical Liberal
    9. February 2022 at 17:29


    Thanks for It looks to me like published findings in the Lancet findings are consistent with the vaccine reducing hospitalizations (which is the key to removing restrictions/stringency):

    For instance in “Effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine up to 6 months in a large integrated health system in the USA: a retrospective cohort study” the authors state that “Vaccine effectiveness against hospital admissions for infections with the delta variant for all ages was high overall (93% [95% CI 84–96]) up to 6 months.” This finding was related to delta but it’s even more true for Omicron. Th vaccines won’t prevent infections but they dramatically reduce hospitalization and severe outcomes. That’s why unvaccinated people are massively overrepresented among people who end up in critical care.

    “Hundreds of coroners have expressed publicly that they’ve never seen so many young deaths from myocarditis, heart attacks, and strokes.”

    I’ve heard about this. But is there a study supporting it?


  16. Gravatar of Spencer Bradley Hall Spencer Bradley Hall
    10. February 2022 at 06:03

    re: “I’ve heard about this. But is there a study supporting it?”

    Talk to any funeral parlor.

  17. Gravatar of Spencer Bradley Hall Spencer Bradley Hall
    10. February 2022 at 06:24

    MMT didn’t stand a chance. Powell couldn’t raise reservable liabilities and reserve ratios after getting rid of them. Powell is the worst Central Banker the FED has ever had. CPI up 7.5% y-0-y

    O/N RRPs flat. POMOs still 110b per month. The FED is still easy, not tight. Inflation should have spiked with this release (based on the distributed lag effect), but Powell got rid of the evidence (turned savings accounts into transactions accounts).

    Powell loosened the spigots without consensus. The FED’s independence is questionable.

  18. Gravatar of Classical Liberal Classical Liberal
    10. February 2022 at 07:49

    “Talk to any funeral parlor.”

    I’m open minded but I need more than that. And so will other people that you’re trying to convince. The plural of anecdote is not data.

  19. Gravatar of ankh ankh
    10. February 2022 at 09:03

    Interesting that all DNC run states dropped their mandates yesterday.

    A CCP paid contributor at CNN says the “science changed”.

    Except, the science hasn’t changed. The science has always said the same thing. Study after study after study, over the last two decades, show masks simply don’t work. The efficacy rate of the N95, which is the best mask on the market, is 44%. That means the penetration rate is 56%. The penetration rate for cloth masks is 95%. This has ALWAYS been true. Even Fauci admitted this before he was told to propogate his anti-science – no doubt for political purposes.

    Either these left wing tyrants are scared that a version of the Canadian Convoy will arise in the USA (and they should be), or they realize their internal poll numbers are so bad that they might get destroyed in the midterms.

    Either way, that extreme and absurd party has to go. Replace them all with moderates. Take the red pill soon, so that pendulum shifts back to the middle.

  20. Gravatar of Harry Harry
    10. February 2022 at 09:18

    And we may finally have our proof.

    A team of researchers from Hungary accidently discover soil collected from Antartica in 2018 where a Chinese lab was located. Guess what it shows.

    Mutations that connect the bat coronavirus to the first wuhan strain. So they tested 80,000 animals without a trace. And suddenly, in Antartica, where the Chinese were doing “something”, we stumble upon an almost identical match in a batch of soil.

    Sumner hopes and prays that he beloved CCP is innocent. He tries very hard to make outlandish claims that it came from a bat that someone ate, monkey brains during some ritual ceremony, arrived when a comet hit the rural parts of China, or some other crazy idea – anything at all to take eyes off the lab.

    Soon he will tell us it was made, secretly, by a conservative Nazi (emphasis on conservative), somewhere in America’s heartland where all those “bad people” live. Those “moronic conservatives”, who just don’t get it.

    Such is the mind of a liberal. Everyone is “out to get them”, covertly, in the dead of night. Everyone is stupid and practicing junk science accept for them. They are so delusional that they believe Steven Pinker, Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris are hard right conservatives.

    You see, for the average radical liberal, there is an in-club and an out-club. You either believe what they tell you, or you are a “RIGHT WING NAZI” propogating what Sumner calls “Junk Science”.

  21. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    10. February 2022 at 16:10

    Harry, You said:

    “Sumner hopes and prays that he beloved CCP is innocent.”

    No, I’ve indicated here that I think the CCP is guilty of much worse than a lab leak. There are guilty of wild animal markets.

  22. Gravatar of Johannes Johannes
    10. February 2022 at 19:52

    Keynesians, and its offspring MMT, will destroy America.

    And I noticed that the same article called all economists racists, because the discipline is mostly “white”.

    Why do you read that garbage? Axios is a radical left propaganda outlet; it’s fake news.

  23. Gravatar of Mark Z Mark Z
    11. February 2022 at 15:31

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Noah Smith do the exact same thing: insinuate without evidence that people he disagrees with are motivated by racism or sexism. I think I’ll reserve all my pity for Larry Summers.

  24. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. February 2022 at 15:56

    Mark, I’m surprised no one looked at my last two links.

  25. Gravatar of Jeff Jeff
    14. February 2022 at 16:54

    The NYT article was bad, as are many of their articles on macroeconomics. The same snobbish establishment paper that criticizes all of the junk science on Covid and climate change reported in the conservative media is quite willing to give credence to junk science in economics.

    And yet you still quote the New York Times regularly.

    From a speech by Michael Crichton:

    Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this. …

    Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. … You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. …

    You read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know. …

    In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. … But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. … The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.

  26. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    16. February 2022 at 08:32

    Jeff, You said:

    “And yet you still quote the New York Times regularly.”

    That’s a complete non-sequitur.

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