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"Each year the public enjoys a sleigh full of Keynesianism shoved down our collective chimneys by a media obsessed with Christmas consumer spending because “we have a consumer economy”, or so we’re told. Nothing gets that so-called “marginal propensity to consume” into high gear like the holidays!"

Something tells me Papola won't be invited to Daniel Kuehn's new years eve party.

Since it's a rather inflammatory article, a good Turing test might be for those who agree with the general thrust of Papola to offer what they expect Paul Krugman's response would be.

Bravo, John Papola! He has a way with words.

I found the statements from economic notables (two Nobel Prize winners included) simply embarrassing. Nothing more to be said on that.

I'm reading Hazlitt on Keynes right now.

Not all of Hazlitt's criticisms are that great, but Keynes' math and logic failures are so egregious that they make me wonder how his book even got published. Keynes' obsession with saving (to the point where he appears to believe that any absolute increase in saving is always and everywhere a bad thing) seems to border on psychosis.

Keynes' obsession with savings is just consistent with the Principle of Effective Demand that is central to his theory, and I believe that this is sometimes neglected in criticism on Keynes, maybe because the PED was discarded in the IS-LM models

After leaving it sit on my shelf for 20 years I've started to wade into Keynes' General Theory. What strikes me so far is his very systematically distorted presentation of the issues. For example, he includes the effects of legislation under the heading of "voluntary" unemployment (p 6), which allows him to attribute to "classical" theory the contention that involuntary unemployment cannot occur (p 16). Indeed, so far I see no recognition that government intervention might have negative effects. For example, he finds it "not very plausible" that unemployment in the US in 1932 was due to labor refusing to accept lower wages, with no mention of Hoover's browbeating of business to hold wages high.

Keynes sets himself up in opposition to classical economics that he apparently thinks started with Ricardo, who he says expressly "repudiated any interest in the amount of the national dividend as distinct from its distribution"; no reference to Smith (for whom the sources of general wealth were indeed the main interest) until p 352. Keynes points out that with a given complement of capital goods the employment of additional labor will be subject to diminishing returns, without noting the incentive thereby for entrepreneurs to invest in additional capital. Indeed, he accuses the classicals of falsely assuming that there is a nexus which unites decisions to abstain from present consumption with decisions to provide for future consumption, ignoring the interest rate which he defers to Ch 13 (I peeked ahead, and his analysis there stops at the point where carrying it further would undermine his picture).

By portraying the free market as flawed while ignoring the negatives of political tinkering, Keynes is constructing an intellectual justification for uncritical support of interventionism. That's a negative legacy, IMO.

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