Interesting economics here

I also think that the editorial missed a killer punch. That was, first of all, because they kept referring to Keynes, and not his motives, and yet it is his motives, and their contrast with those of monetarism that is critical. Keynes was motivated by social concern: monetarism was motivated by the desire for private profit. Keynes was about creating fairer societies, and monetarism was about creating inequality.

Really? And here’s every economist in the world thinking that they’re just two proposed methods of dealing with the business cycle.

And not all that different either, Keynes himself runs with the idea that fiscal policy is what you do in that special case when monetary no longer works. Oh, and QE is derived from Keynes’ insistence that the velocity of circulation of money does indeed vary….

This is correct, and yet it needs contextualisation. We have just seen an election where policies in the shadow of Keynes did not prevail. Whilst nationalisation, social housebuilding, the welfare state and much else that might be associated with Keynesian policy all poll well with focus groups they did not deliver election success for Labour.

Keynes of course being a pre-war Liberal. Not notably in favour of all of those things.

Nor, come to that, did the Green New Deal in the way that Labour presented it. And that is because Keynes did not just want these things, as if they in themselves mattered. What he was particularly interested in, I suggest, was what they could deliver for people. In other words, what he wanted to address was not just an economic crisis, but the oppression of people’s hopes and aspirations and their replacement by fear. He knew he was fighting fascism, and he played a key role in achieving that goal.

Rilly? Il Musso saw Keynes’ economics as being at worst “not incompatible with fascism” and the Nazis were probably the first to put them into action. Building infrastructure to stimulate the economy? Heard about the autobahns?

Keynesian spending is about transforming relationships in society.

And that’s not something you’ll find in Keynes.

19 thoughts on “Interesting economics here”

  1. Ever so slightly off topic (maybe), but I remember a very short time ago when investing in Northern railway infrastructure really floated Murphy’s boat, him being a rail enthusiast an’all. But that was before the Tories decided they liked the idea. So now the economics don’t work unless to share what was in Keynes’ heart.

    BTE does having a bad mind change the economic analysis of exactly the same idea?

  2. Keynes (1883-1946) was a eugenicist ,( Director of the British Eugenics Society (1937-1944)- so he was prepared to crack a few eggs (so to speak) to make his fairer society omelette.

  3. What he was particularly interested in, I suggest, was…

    This is a regular stylistic trick for Capt. Potato.

    He starts with an assertion, “What he was particularly interested in” and then continues with “I suggest”, an admission that what follows is pure invention.

  4. Murphy maintains a studied ignorance of almost every subject area on which he blogs.

    He would make an ideal subject for in depth study by an agnotologist.

  5. One difference between Keynes and Keynesians is that Keynes was a genuinely clever chap. People still talked about his intellect with awe decades after his death.

    My own guess is that if macroeconomics proved too difficult for even Keynes you can safely assume that it’s too difficult for the whole economics guild.

  6. Keynes was also a stock market spuculator so the idea of personal, individual profit and gain was not alien to him.

  7. Dennis, Bullshit Detector

    What he was particularly interested in, I suggest, was what they could deliver for people. In other words, what he wanted to address was not just an economic crisis, but the oppression of people’s hopes and aspirations and their replacement by fear. He knew he was fighting fascism, and he played a key role in achieving that goal.

    Right. If there was ever a man of the people, it was J. M. Keynes. Like the rest of the Bloomsbury Group (especially Lytton Strachey). Their contribution to defeating fascism is evident to all.

  8. @Dennis – Keynes was not remotely a “man of the people”, and his social circle was full of conscientious objectors; but he himself worked for the UK Treasury during both World Wars, and it’s pretty clear that the second stint contributed mightily to his death at the age of 62 in 1946.

  9. Dennis, A WASP If Ever There Was One

    @Dennis – Keynes was not remotely a “man of the people”, and his social circle was full of conscientious objectors; but he himself worked for the UK Treasury during both World Wars, and it’s pretty clear that the second stint contributed mightily to his death at the age of 62 in 1946.

    I’m well aware of that. My snarky sarcasm aside, the essential truth of my statement stands. Murphy’s attempt to make Keynes out as some savior of the working classes is ridiculous. And by the way, the heart attack of 1937 contributed more to his death than anything else. Not discounting that he overextended himself during the war years, just pointing out what actually contributed mightily to his early death.

  10. Murphy’s (and much of the Left’s) idea of Keynes and Keynesianism is as rooted in reality as their idea of Scandinavian economies and societies. It is an imagined ideal, bizarrely shared among them, and genuinely believed by them to be real.

  11. @Rob

    Same as Left believe USSR, Cuba, Venezuela… are socialist paradises where everyone is joyous in their bountiful countries and any negative news is fake USA propaganda

    @Dennis

    You’re not real, you’re a Denisovan Ghost

    @Dennis, Gamecock

    Sections within media have launched ‘anti-Trump psychological warfare’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCGAwcd0CZU

    Trump kicks off Daytona 500 with Grand Marshal speech
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6_H6NjiIMk

    As a Motorsport fan I liked this. Imagine Greta Obama there :vomit

    Boris should watch, learn and give same speech at Silverstone F1 Grand Prix and instead of convoy, do some donuts in his Jag (like JCB thru wall)

  12. Dennis, He Of The Gently Sloping Forehead

    You’re not real, you’re a Denisovan Ghost

    I’m real, and allegedly descended from a Denisovan (Mom’s side of the family)and a Neanderthal (dear old Dad’s side).

    Got Mom’s looks and Dad’s personality.

    And you wouldn’t doubt the veracity of either statement if you’d (1) seen me, and/or (2) seen any of my relatives, and/or (3) seen either side of the family eat a meal.

  13. ‘The Nazi press enthusiastically hailed the early New Deal measures: America, like the Reich, had decisively broken with the “uninhibited frenzy of market speculation.” The Nazi Party newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter, “stressed ‘Roosevelt’s adoption of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies,’ praising the president’s style of leadership as being compatible with Hitler’s own dictatorial Führerprinzip”
    :
    Mussolini… wrote a glowing review of Roosevelt’s Looking Forward. He found “reminiscent of fascism … the principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices”; and, in another review, this time of Henry Wallace’s New Frontiers, Il Duce found the Secretary of Agriculture’s program similar to his own corporativism.
    :
    Once more we must avoid a common misconception. Because of the ruthless crimes of Hitler and his Italian ally, it is mistakenly assumed that the dictators were for the most part hated and feared by the people they ruled. Quite the contrary, they were in those pre-war years the objects of considerable adulation.’

    https://mises.org/library/three-new-deals-why-nazis-and-fascists-loved-fdr

    We can be certain that, pre-war, Ritchie and his fellow travellers would have been in thrall to these socialist heroes busy building their fairer societies. Venezuela being just the most recent example.

  14. “And that [relationships in society] is not something you’ll find in Keynes”

    But is of course something that Smith wrote about.

  15. dearieme: “genuinely clever chap” yes not least evidenced by using his nerdy economics brain to play the markets and make err what Richard would call a ‘large private profit’.

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