Friday, March 27, 2015

Matias Vernengo — On being a 'real Keynesian'


Has "Keynesian" become a relatively meaningless cliche? Yes.

When even Keynes was not a "Keynesian," it's time to move on.

Must-read.

Naked Keynesianism
On being a 'real Keynesian'
Matias Vernengo | Associate Professor of Economics, Bucknell University

4 comments:

circuit said...

"So I'm increasingly favorable to the Keynesians, that might not be 'real' (heterodox), but that promote Keynesian policies. We need more of those around, even if they are not 'real.' Particularly in government positions."

Nice ending by Matias, and great article overall.

Neil Wilson said...

That quip about being a slave to some dead economist applies to Keynes as much as anybody.

He was dead long before the capital debates and never saw a fully floating currency world as interconnected as ours.

So the ideas are interesting, but they are not exactly the right fit for today. Treating the General Theory like a religious text full of universal truths is a mistake.

The key point is that the driver should be the political economy philosophy you wish to pursue, and then you can use certain insights from the past to make that happen.

So if your target is to ensure that everybody who wants work has it at the living wage, along with price stability but without handing over power to the usurers or the builders, then there is nothing in reality stopping that approach.

The neo-classical objections are misguided and mistaken. The Krugman et al obsession with using usury to stabilise an economy is misguided and mistaken.

This idea that there is no appropriate 'theory of capitalism' is a stalling tactic. Of course there is an appropriate theory of capitalism.

It's just bubble up rather than trickle down to ensure that the entrepreneurs can interface demand and innovation to provide for all the population's needs before they get started on the wants.

Matt Franko said...

In the sciences the academe usually just names a unit of measure after a person seen as the key contributor and moves on....

Brian Romanchuk said...

Interestingly enough, mathematicians will name things after people who did not develop them, in honour of their other contributions.

I have heard a story that Hardy was in a lecture honouring his work, and the lecturer unveiled the concept of the "Hardy Space" for the first time. He had missed the introduction, and asked what these spaces denoted with H were.

It would be considered gauche to refer to something that is named after you using your name - John Taylor take note.