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Peter, could your approach be called: Micromotives & Macrobehavior, (despite being a title of Tom Schelling's book.)?

As we know, there were economists recommending expanding government spending during recessions even before Keynes made it his own policy. The source was the old Chicago school. I am saying that there was this kind of macro-thinking even before the Keynesian revolution.

There is nothing wrong at all with the idea of balancing based on some benchmark level of GDP. The problem that Buchanan so clearly pointed out that is particularly relevant for fine-tuned Keynesian policies is the asymmetry of such policies: it is politically very easy to cut taxes and raise spending, but very hard politically to raise taxes or cut spending. So, discretionary stimuli are hard to undo when they are no longer useful. But targeting a fiscal policy on some benchmark level of GDP is certainly wiser than obsessing with whatever the current budget balance is.

Interesting to see the way that Keynes (admittedly not original but very influential) changed the "rules of the game" and the "forms of life" of economists and policy-makers. What a shame that Wittgenstein and followers, who were so interested in those concepts, seldom applied them in a critical and problem-focussed manner to substantive issues in science and public policy.

What we need is a list of terms and an exposition of the rules so we know where we went so horribly wrong and what to avoid to avoid such habits of thought ourselves.

Coming from a background in mainstream econ, I found Austrian econ very difficult to grasp. I kept looking for hooks in mainstream to relate it to. Garrison's book helped a lot in that he compares the schools very well using the same concepts.

I like to poke mainstream macro with micro principles. For example, when people insist that the Fed needs to print more money or that the fiscal stimuli were too small, I ask them how that relates to diminishing marginal returns.

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