Sheldon Richman on the Staying Power of Keynesian Economics



Whatever you may think of Keynesian economics, you have to give it credit for one thing: its staying power. You can't watch a news program without hearing pundits analyze economic conditions in orthodox Keynesian terms, even if they don't realize that's what they're doing. What accounts for this staying power?

Sheldon Richman thinks it's because Keynesianism gives intellectual cover for what politicians would want to do anyway: borrow, spend, and create money. They did these things before John Maynard Keynes published The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money in 1936, and they wanted to continue doing those things even when trouble came of it. And anyone who has been watching President Obama's response to the Great Recession will realize that policymakers have learned little since the 1930s.