Keynesian Economics in a Nutshell

10 April 2009 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

An earlier post on Keynesian economics in four paragraphs has proven extremely popular. Here’s Keynesian economics in just one-and-a-half paragraphs, courtesy of Mario Rizzo:

Clearly, DeLong is a rigid aggregate demand theorist. He talks about output and employment as if it were some homogeneous thing. In his mind, macroeconomics is just about spending to increase the production of stuff. Yes, there is lip service to the idea that the stuff should have economic value. But that is easy when you assume that the only alternative is value-less idleness. . . .

The sectoral problems generated, not only by exogenous shocks but by the low interest rate policy of the Fed, are of critical importance. The aggregate demanders are blind to this.

Here at O&M we take the opposite perspective, namely that heterogeneity matters. Actually, as Mario has pointed out in a series of posts (1, 2, 3), Keynes himself was much better than his latter-day followers. Keynes may have been wrong — deeply, deeply wrong, in my view — but he was no fool. As for today’s Keynesians. . . .

Update (14 April): See also Mario’s fine essay in the April Freeman, “A Microeconomist’s Protest.”

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Classical Liberalism, Myths and Realities, People, Public Policy / Political Economy.

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