Given the special interest politics at play in the U.S. and elsewhere, which policy — fiscal conservatism or Keynesianism — is more likely to be achieved in something like its pure form?
My Townhall column this weekend asks a question about political feasibility . . . of the most popular doctrine in 100 years. Take a look, then come back here and contemplate (and comment) on this strange idea of “politically impossibility.”
More importantly, here are some links for further consideration:
First off, I assume you know who John Maynard Keynes was, and what he was all about. You can look him up on Wikipedia, or page through the archives on this site. Or you could watch these amusing and excellent rap videos:
For a recent example of the Keynesian “our stimulus hasn’t been tried” excuse, consult a recent EconTalk podcast, “Frank and Roberts on Infrastructure.”
Jim Powell’s discussion of Warren G. Harding’s “depression” is worth reading, in case you were unfamiliar with this history.
Some important discussion of the causes of the Great Depression are brought up on a recent EconTalk podcast with economist Lee Ohanian, who does not cite Murray Rothbard’s study of the Great Depression, but offers evidence that does indeed back up Rothbard’s thesis.
Whole libraries have been devoted to Keynesianism. One of the odder free-market critiques contains some great stories, and might be worth looking up, W.H. Hutt’s “The Keynesian Episode: A Reassessment.”
It has been the economists of the Austrian School who have provided the most interesting perspectives on what are called “business cycles.” You may want to look up the work of Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Roger Garrison, and others, to balance out all the stuff you’ll find in support of Keynesianism.
Finally, a little humor: “Is Obama a Keynesian?”