As the sociologists go, so goes the (mainstream) economists.
I put Econlog out of my feed reader today. Scot Sumner was talking about the unfeasible nature of a universal basic income, which seems like a reasonable sentiment. I mentioned in the comments that I had read a sci-fi story long ago where the central bank just gave money to the people, rather than the banks.
Scott decided to focus on my use of the word 'gave', and responded to my comment by saying central banks do not give money banks.
Way to go, idiot.
As daft as U.B.I is, it is much less daft than ignoring private debt, and imagining the push for automation is all awesome and everything. Our various governments are damaging themselves, making the cost of employing people ever higher- and when the cost of automation with an acceptable margin of error is cheaper than the cost of hiring through the maze of regulation, insurance, and liability concerns, automation shall be implemented.
Apparently, the mainstream's response to the juggernaut is to ignore it and quibble.
At least U.B.I. addresses the damn issue. In the short term, the people receiving U.B.I would use it to pay off their debts, and we would see some growth again. But the debt level would eventually rise again, and then we'd be stuck with a high debt level and U.B.I.
If I remember correctly, Scott's big thing is to have the central bank target nominal G.D.P. This, of course, involves not getting rid of the central bank, nor does it involve modelling what the current system actually does and then attempting to act in some sort of rational faction. No, Scott merely dreams of being a central banker and targeting nominal G.D.P.
This involves trusting the numbers and actually hitting targets. And then, of course, should he actually be able to hit the target, he would have to invent wonderful new epi-cycles to explain why his brilliant plan didn't work.