For over eighty years economists have studied the ideas of John Maynard Keynes, an economist who advocating government spending to counter recessions. We have tried an enormous variety of models demonstrating how and when Keynesism would work, but the models seem absurd. Only if prices never change and people hoard money for no justifiable reason would Keynesism work. We have purged data from economies near and far, current and historical, but we cannot find evidence that a dollar spent by government generates more than a dollar in overall wealth (see the work of Robert Barro).
There are some instances when government spending might increase overall wealth, but the point is that identifying when those instances would occur has been a daunting task.
After all this--considering all this--a smart and eloquent James Suroweicki writes a The New Yorker editoral on the obvious truth and sanctity of Keynesism (9/5/11, p 24), ridiculing the European Union for not going on a spending spree. Not only does he call the European Union stupid, he calls them predictably stupid. Where can one gather such hubris to set oneself on a pedestal above all Europeans and most economists? Especially from one who wrote The Wisdom of the Crowds! (A superb book, by the way.)
I think I know the answer. I have come to know what sells in print and what editor believe sells in print. It is my hypothesis that Mr. Suroweicki does not wish to sound so arrogant, but that is what readers want, and thus that is what editors want. To sell, one must develop an enemy, attach them with intellectual fierceness, and make it seem that when the last period is typed the issue is settled for any smart reader. Moreover, one must tell the reader what they want to hear. From this we get Ann Coulter, and Michael Moore.
This is why, when I read books I know have earned profits, I no longer see the words as thoughts of an author, but the latent desires of the masses of readers and the steward: the editor.
- Was the Old Testament plagiarized?
- Economists should act more like historians
- [Marginal Revolution Style] Markets in Everything:...
- The Goal of Economics
- Fact About Garbage
- Fact About Plastic Shopping Bags
- Today's Quote
- Two Neglected Phenomena of Modern Macroeconomics
- Local Currencies
- An odd wedding vow
- Isabel Paterson's Political Philosophy (first atte...
- There is a book within each of us
- Projecting Book Sales
- How To Run An Ancient Government
- Jon Stewart on political polarization
- Equal Before The Law
- The Evolution of Language
- What would you say before your suicide?
- The Majesty of Ancient Rome
- Greek Stimulus (not what you think)
- I deceive myself because it makes me awesome
- Quantification and Society
- Wonder-Twin Powers: Activate
- Law and Order: Anglo-Saxon Unit
- Item related to origin of law and contract society...
- The Evolution of Contract Society
- Purple is for Power
- China and Ayn Rand's Train
- Never believe academic research (half the time)
- Pillage and murder is okay, but not the earning of...
- Nuts to St. Francis
- What I look for in a fiction
- On McDonald's Happy Meal
- Merchants of Christ and the Sin of Planning
- Movie of Leonardo Fibonacci
- Cause of the Great Recession (1998-?) and Importan...
- Origin of "noon" from Medieval Ages
- Huey Long: Destined for Dictatorship
- The First Monotheist...
- The Religion of Keynesism
- Origin of the word salary
- The Tragedy of Russia
- Tragedies of Central Planning
- Medieval Merchants, Ideas, and Economic Growth
- Ancient Chinese Thought on Government
- ▼ September (45)
- ► 2009 (71)