As loyal follower Chris rightly points out (see his comment to "100 Economists and Plan B "), the 100 may be a slight overstatement, as two of them, Prof Malcolm Sawyer of Leeds and Dr Pritam Singh of Oxford Brookes, appear on the list twice. However, as my former students and colleagues will acknowledge, I have never claimed that economics is all that precise a science: we look for trends and tendencies. The French, as usual, have a word for it,une centaine, which means "about a hundred."
The centaine make five specific proposals for their Plan B:
1. reversing public sector cuts:
2. directing quantitative easing to a green new deal;
3. increasing (welfare) benefits;
4. a British investment bank;
5. the introduction of a financial transactions tax.
I'm proud to say that, although I have never claimed to be a leading economist, all but the last of these appear in my own Plan B, posted on the 9th August. In a fit a absent-mindedness I seem to have failed to mention a financial transactions tax, but have advocated that on several other occasions so, though now retired, and never at the "cutting edge," I do feel reasonably "up to speed."
I do quarrel, however, with the leading economists' advocacy of quantitative easing, even if it is specifically directed at a green new deal. I should prefer direct government expenditure. Both that and quantitative easing risk fuelling inflation, but, of the two, direct expenditure is more subject to control.
It is heartening to see, in a letter to yesterday's Guardian, that a group of leading Liberal Democrats have also at last come to the conclusion that "enough is enough," that we should stop supporting the coalition's disastrous austerity programme and support the Compass Plan B.