Devolution of economics
My first year economics lecturer was freckled and pretty with long blond hair reaching most of the way down her back. She had a penchant for ballet and would often try to infuse the 101 with ‘culture’ through block bookings of various performances. (Which I dutifully attended). I mention her features only because it was so fantastically different from what I had envisioned. The adherents of the dismal science usual follow a very narrow stereotype.
She was, however, also a committed Keynesian…
Which, now in my old age, is something quite abhorrent to me. I’d likely be more well disposed towards you if you said you adopted puppies from a shelter and then live-streamed yourself drowning them in a bucket.
Of course, back then, I didn’t know any better. And even if I did, her lithe form and superior cheekbones would likely have gotten the better of any ideological high ground I may have considered occupying.
First year economics isn’t really about critical thinking. Its about drawing supply and demand graphs, preferably with a ruler and parroting the theory of Keynesianism versus monetarism. Certainly you are never exposed to Hayek or Von Mises or Rothbard. Economists I didn’t even know existed until after I’d gotten my degree.
In ‘libertarian’ economics John Maynard Keynes is likely the anti-Christ, up there to be voted among history’s most damaging human being. Of course some might pick one of the fascistic dictators of that period… but whoever you pick their lives and legacy affected only millions. Keynes has affected billions and potentially laid out the course for humanity that could one day lead to the implosion of our society.
Vaguely I wonder if that sounds potentially too dramatic. After thinking about it for a while I decide it isn’t.
Keynesian economics is a theory that says the government should increase demand to boost growth. Basically an increase in spending would increase demand. Second, Keynes argued that government spending was necessary to maintain full employment.
Keynes proposed government spending as a cure-all for everything and anything. If your economy falters or starts to stutter… just borrow more or print more money and spend your way out of it.
Everyone knows that this will eventually end badly. Very badly. But as long as we kick the can down the road, it will be someone else’s problem. Right now, it works just fine.