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.