Monday, June 4, 2012

Keynes: A Deadly Ghost from the Past Who Keeps Reappearing

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I recently delivered the keynote address at the Seventh Annual Moral Foundations of Capitalism Confernce hosted by the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism in Clemson, South Carolina.

My talk was on "John Maynard Keynes: Vision for the Future or Ghost of the Past?" I try to explain the absurd economic premises, harmful moral assumptions, and dangerous policy consequences that we have been plagued with over the last three-quarters of a century since Keynes published his "General Theory of Employment, Interest, Money" in 1936.

I have posted my talk on Northwood University's blog, "In Defense of Capitalism & Human Progress."

In one of the most famous passages in "The General Theory," Keynes said that "the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Practical men, who believe themselves to be exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct eocnomist. Madman in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back."

Over the last seventy-five years since the appearance of Keynes' "The General Theory," many practical men of affairs and politicians in authority have remained the slaves of defunct economists and academic scribblers. The tragedy of our times is that one of the leading voices they still hear in the air as they corruptly mismanage everything they touch is that of John Maynard Keynes.

I thought that you and your readers might find it of interest.

As always, all best wishes,


  1. MyFirstNameIsPaulJune 4, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Personally, I compare Keynesianism to bloodletting; despite all evidence, the remedy is enforced by experts everywhere and for everything.

  2. I think it's time we stop blaming Keynes for all these bureaucrats behavior. Yes he provided the intellectual framework for interventionist economics. But it just gave them an excuse to do what they want to do anyway.

  3. people in power like Keynes beause Keynes jusifies more spending by them financed by borrowing or monitary policy.

    More spending by them is the important fact. Money is power and more spending is more power.

  4. Keynes made irresponsible spending appear "scientific".

    Hayek: You see, another political element was that, of course, politicians just lapped the argument and Keynes taught them if you outspend your income and run a deficit, you are doing good to the people in general. The politicians didn’t want to hear anything more than that -- to be told that irresponsible spending was a beneficial thing and that’s how the thing became so influential.