Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Quote of the Day: Keynesian Nostrum

Keynesianism is not a panacea because Keynesianism has dominated public policy making for half a century and has left us in such a state of public debt. Keynesianism broke the old time fiscal religion of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility, and changed not only attitudes of economists and policy makers, but also eroded whatever institutional constraints existed on public spending that had existed. Keynesianism cannot work to solve our current problems because Keynesianism is responsible for our current problems. Keynesianism provided an illusion of short term prosperity, but the reality of long term stagnation. Of course, the revealing of the illusion can be put off, as I have pointed out before, if there is the discovery of new opportunities for gains from trade, and/or gains from innovation.

But the governmental habit of spending is still there and the bill has to be paid as some point. Keynesianism is a disease on the body politic because it caters to the natural propensity of politicians to focus on short run, and to concentrate benefits and disperse costs.

That’s from Professor Pete Boettke.

Keynesianism has functioned as the intellectual pillar of the 20th century welfare-warfare based political economy. Yet in applying Keynesian prescriptions to Keynesian generated predicaments would tantamount to “doing things over and over again and expecting different results”. Albert Einstein, who was attributed with the quote, call this insanity. However, modern politicians and their allies seem to know only one option thereby insisting on the same route which brought us to our present conditions.

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