Present or Past Tense?

I was in the middle of writing this morning when I wrote “monetarists emphasize” before instinctively changing it to “monetarists emphasized”. Should it be present or past tense? In other words, are there any monetarists left (besides myself and a few notable exceptions)?

29 responses to “Present or Past Tense?

  1. Of course there are moneyists around. Half our government policies for its income is based on this philosophy, and it ain’t all bad although there are better ways to collect money for the public purse. So I find your question provacative and unserious.

  2. Personally, I think it’s a good question. It’s David Chester’s comment about “moneyists” that I find “provacative and unserious”.

    So much of what was once thought of as being especially “monetarist” has now been absorbed by the mainstream New Keynesians for example that it no longer seems distinctively “monetarist”. Vertical LRPC, and the idea that inflation should be the responsibility of monetary policy, are two examples. So when we think of “monetarism” now, we only think of those bits of monetarism that didn’t stand the test of time so well, like the k% rule.

    Fish don’t feel the water they swim in?

    The hegemony that need not speak its name?

    But Stephen Williamson has now coined the term “New Monetarism”!

  3. Nick,

    I am not sure I like New Monetarism.

    First, I don’t like search models of monetary exchange. I do not search out others for trade, but rather using money to avoid such search.

    Second, labels do get tedious, but I think that New Monetarism is reaching. In their overview, Williamson and Wright do not have a single citation to Brunner and Meltzer, who were the two predominant Monetarist theorists.

    Also, critiques of Old Monetarism accepted by New Monetarists are levied by folks like Neil Wallace who argue that Old Monetarists didn’t take into account fiscal policy, etc. However, he wrote those papers in the early 1980s and Brunner and Meltzer’s paper in Monetarism, published in 1976 explicitly addresses these issues.

    In other words, there seems to be some grain of truth to New Monetarism, but I just cannot get on board.

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