MMT Economist: Picture of John T Harvey

Who else in the MMT universe is worth paying attention to? Part 4

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Who figured out Modern Monetary Theory?

Since Warren Mosler accidently created this MMT thing, what is considered to be a new school of economic thought (or perhaps it’s a subset of the post Keysenians school – I’m not sure), it has come to the attention of what I’ll call “real” economists, and political economists, and others, by which I mean people with PhDs who teach economics and/or political economics and/or public policy at Universities.

The list of people I identify in this series is by no means all inclusive. I’m stumbling across more economists who accept the implications of having a sovereign currency and floating exchange rates every month. As such, this list should grow over time.

John T Harvey

If you’ve read this full series, my little “who’s who” in the MMT universe based on my exposure to these guys, you may recall I said Mark Blyth is one of my two favorites.

John T Harvey is the other.

He is a Professor of Economics and the Chair of the Economics Department at Texas Christian University.

Why is he my other favorite?

A number of reasons.

First, like Mark Blyth, he’s entertaining.

He has a YouTube channel named Cowboy Economist in which he explains economic concepts in easy to understand fairly short lectures. He does so in the persona of this cowboy economist who almost always wears a cowboy hat and talks with an “Aw shucks” style of communications.

He created a course named Contending Perspectives in Economics which compares and contrasts various schools of economic thought. He provides summaries of the major influences on and ideas of the following schools of economic thought:

  • Neoclassical
  • Marxism
  • Austrian
  • Post-Keynesian
  • New Institutionalist (and Institutionalist)
  • Feminist Economics
  • Ecological Economics

That course is of course accompanied by a textbook of the same name “Contending Perspectives in Economics: A Guide to Contemporary Schools of Thought “, which I have on order and which will go straight to the top of my To Be Read stack as soon as it arrives.

And, due to the need to do distance learning because of Covid, he created lectures for that class which he put into a playlist on his YouTube channel, also called “Contending Perspectives in Economics”.

I’m “auditing” this course of his (he has playlists for some of his other courses I plan to get to later) because, why not? They’re on the Internet, they’re free, and they’re VERY interesting.

In his two hours of lectures about Marxism (3 lectures of 40 minutes each), I was presented with an overview of Marx and Marxism which leads to be believe Karl Marx may be one of the most misrepresented people in human history.

Marx as presented in these lectures, was an ardent fan of and supporter of capitalism, who “dared” to identify and discuss it’s failings, and who made predictions of it’s eventual self destruction, some of which seem to be coming true.

If not for my ability to audit this class, and to read the textbook later after it arrives, I would would not know this. I’ve not seen this perspective/aspect of Marx presented before by anyone.

John T Harvey is also a contributing author at Forbes where he writes on (surprise surprise) economics.

He himself is a proponent of the post-Keynesian school of thought, which I started to glean while watching his lectures (after having heard him be interviewed on various podcasts and after having read articles he wrote), until he simply stated factually in one of his post-Keynesian lectures that he is in fact on team post-Keynesian.

He is however a strong proponent of getting the various schools of economic thought together to discuss and better understand their differences, which I personally think is a worthy objective and effort.

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