As the news broke that George Osborne was made honorary professor at the University of Manchester, journalists and academics expressed outrage at what is Osborne’s 6th job. Particularly, because this is a most undeserved position, particularly given that he was the architect of the catastrophic austerity policies which have all but brought the UK economy to a stand still and caused suffering to many. The reaction on social media was predictable.
There was anger:
There was despair:
But perhaps the best reaction came from US based economist Ellis Winningham, Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) advocate, avid campaigner and social media warrior.
He took the time to write a long letter published on Facebook demanding answers from the University of Manchester as to why they considered Osborne any more deserving than himself. See the full transcript below.
George Osborne appointed as Honorary Professor of Economics by the University of Manchester.
I want to ask a question of the University of Manchester.
Where is mine?
That’s right – where is my appointment by the University of Manchester as honorary Professor of Economics in recognition for my ability to translate difficult monetary and macroeconomic concepts into a language that the general population can digest, and for the successful use of social media to facilitate that understanding?
Where is it? I demand an answer!
I mean, I totally understand that by lecturing on the reality of UK government spending and taxation through the use of social media I didn’t become Chancellor of the Exchequer and wind up killing UK citizens like George did with needless austerity measures, and quite clearly my bank account isn’t as large as Osborne’s, but the thing is this: I know precisely how UK government spending, taxation, public debt and the macroeconomy works, unlike Osborne. Does that not count for something? What am I – chopped liver here? I work my ass off, and without pay mind, to educate the people properly on the subject of fiscal and monetary policy, prolifically, through the use of social media so that they might be properly informed citizens, fully qualified to do their civic duty.
Where is my honorary professorship?
Do you know how hard it is to come up with 53,122,884 different ways to say the same thing – that the UK government is monetarily sovereign, it is not revenue-constrained, the national debt is nothing more than savings accounts at the BoE, and it can afford anything for sale in Pound Sterling as long as the nation has the real resources available and to do that with a reasonable amount of success? It’s not easy, I can tell you.
Again, I ask, where is mine?
Furthermore, I support Manchester United – well, I did up until 2004, then the bloody Glaziers took the club away. Because of that, I became a founding member of FC United of Manchester in 2005, an IPS that allows the supporters to own one share of the club. And the club pays living wages as well. But, that’s still Manchester, isn’t it? I think so. Anyway, I still have sympathies for MUFC, and still follow the matches. I just refuse to support the Glaziers, ok? What’s wrong with that then? Nat is wrong with it, in my view.
So, where is mine?
Look, I’d support the University of Manchester, but if you are going to select a man such as Osborne for an honorary professorship; a man who doesn’t know his asshole from his elbow when it comes to economics and UK government spending and who wound up helping to lay waste to the British economy (and a few lives as well) over someone such as myself, then I guess that my sympathies will lie with your students of economics who must endure the embarrassment of knowing that their university; an institution of education, selects people as honorary professors of economics who factually know just as much or even less than the students themselves with regard to the subject matter.
At least I know what the hell I am talking about!
Where is mine?
E. Eugene Winningham
Hard to disagree.