Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

The Death of Keynes?

January 7th, 2011 - 9:02 am

“Random thought of the day: what if Lord Keynes was right . . . but only in 1932,” Megan McArdle wrote this past summer.

At Ricochet, Peter Robinson writes that we’re witnessing the endgame for Keynesianism:

Steve Forbes, arguing in the current issue of Forbes that Keynesianism is now coming under a final, and mortal, intellectual assault:

[G]overnment efforts to “temper” the “ups and downs” of business cycles will be regarded as preposterous and hubristic.  We’ll no longer have the spectacle of a Larry Summers, President Obama’s outgoing Director of the White House National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, overtly declaring the Keynesian axiom that if consumers don’t spend on a scale satisfactory to such economic commissars as himself then the government must seize their assets and spend them for them.

The government, seizing our assets to do our spending for us.  Really, that’s as pointed and accurate a one-sentence description of Keynes as I’ve ever come across.  Beautiful.

Forbes writes that “There’s one big story this year that won’t garner headlines but will have a profound impact on our future: The edifice of post-Great Depression economics is coming under an ultimately mortal intellectual assault.”

Is he right? I’d like to think he is, in that it’s certainly longer overdue, but I can’t imagine governments giving up the power to tax and spend that Lord Keynes gave them 80 years ago willingly.

Related: “No one said loving free markets was easy.”

Click here to view the 4 legacy comments

Comments are closed.