- This topic has 7 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 5 months ago by jim.
October 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm #17207mariviwMember
My AP Econ teacher( a conservative/Republican) said he liked Keynes because he would oppose Obama’s stimulus. When I asked why if Keynes believed in deficit spending he said it is because Keynes believed in deficit spending for only a quick amount of time then to immediately pay it off in one or two years. Was that Keynes actual position on deficit spending?October 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm #17208
I have not read Keynes other than when he is quoted in Austrian circles. However, contemporary Keynsian sympathizer Paul Krugman does not sound at all like he would agree with your teacher.
Krugman is famous for pushing the notion that the U.S. during FDR, Japan during 1990s, and U.S. during Obama and Bush did NOT RUN BIG ENOUGH DEFECITS to counteract the respective recessions. If he truly follows Keynes, it follows that Keynes would support major stimulus packages.
Hopefully the experts will weigh in!October 9, 2012 at 11:24 am #17209jmherbenerParticipant
Keynes argued for running budget deficits in recessions so that government expenditures, by making up for sagging private expenditures, restore aggregate demand to a level that renders full employment. He did not favor running permanent budget deficits, but only as long as and as large as needed to restore full-employment aggregate demand.
He also argued that to prevent depressions, the government should socialize investment. In that way, it couldn’t collapse from private investor pessimism.October 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm #17210jimMember
After reading Henery Hazilitt’s “Failure of the ‘New Economics'”, I think it is most difficult to know what Lord Keynes would recommend. He often used the same word to mean different things a few pages later on in his General Theory. Also, he often contradicted himself. Hazilitt rips his ideas to shreds, line by line. However, his followers are all apologists and each tell you what he meant leaving their own various ideas and spins on it.October 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm #17211
JamesHarry Schaeffer, thanks for the comment. Would you recommend Hazlitt’s book to relatively new readers to economics? I have read Economics in One Lesson and Meltdown, but nothing too intense as far as economic analysis. Also, slowly working my way through Jeff Herbener’s lecturesOctober 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm #17212mpelkowskiMember
I find that when Mises, Hayek and the like become too complex for my comprehension, Robert Murphy saves the day. He puts in clear language that is easier understood. Check out his Lessons for the Young Economist…
http://library.mises.org/media/In%20Studio%20Interviews/Lessons%20for%20the%20Young%20Economist%20Robert%20P%20Murphy.pdfOctober 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm #17213
Thanks MichaelP! Will definitely check it outOctober 9, 2012 at 10:38 pm #17214jimMember
JohnD, I am not an economist but an IT expert for more than 40 years (I am 71). Before I ended up in IT, I thought that I wanted to become an economist. Luckily, I took some computer courses and gave up the idea of becoming an economist. My interest in economics has been a hobby. I think I have read more than 50 books on economics, though. MichaelP mentions of Robert Murphy. Murphy is great source for making difficult concepts understandable. JohnD, your choice of Economics in One Lesson and Meltdown were excellent for a non economist to get started with. I have read three or four of Heyek and Mises books. They were definitely a challenge for me (had I been test on their content I not sure how good my grade would have been).
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