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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10459/bruce-bartlett-hearts-keynes/

Bruce Bartlett Hearts Keynes

August 14, 2009 by

Another “supply side” Republican from the Reagan era outs himself as a follower of Keynes.

{ 16 comments }

Michael J Green August 14, 2009 at 1:57 am

Talk about a pointless article. “Conservative” is used in so many contexts as to make the word meaningless.

And, of course, there’s all that “Keynes saved capitalism from itself” nonsense.

Borislav August 14, 2009 at 3:35 am

This is disgusting and I said that as conservative.

What about this?

The following year, economist Gottfried Haberler, of the conservative Austrian school, conceded that the specific policy recommendations of Keynesian economics were not at all revolutionary. “They are in fact very conservative,” he admitted.

John M August 14, 2009 at 5:29 am

Borislav,

That would be Bartlett exemplifying the logical fallacy known as equivocation. He is using the same word with two entirely different meanings. Everyone (but Bartlett it seems) knows that Austrian economics advocates diametrically opposed solutions to economic woes. When Austrians say Keynesian economics is conservative they mean that it’s old, not that it is really for the free market, as Bartlett is trying to argue.

Clearly Bartlett blames recessions on the market, and believes Keynes was trying to save the market from itself. What Bartlett and Keynes fail to realize is that it is in government’s nature to grow. You give them the proverbial inch, and they take the proverbial mile. So while, obviously, they are wrong from an economics perspective, they are even more wrong from a political perspective.

Simply explaining the the populace that doing nothing is better than doing something is all that needs to be done to insure the government stays out of the market. It is not necessary, and inhernetly wealth destructive as well as politically destructive, to put chains on the market just for the sake of making the people think you’re solving the problem so that they don’t get the pitchforks out.

Professor Blitzkrieg August 14, 2009 at 6:57 am

I think I just threw up…

2nd Amendment August 14, 2009 at 7:29 am

“Simply explaining the the populace that doing nothing is better than doing something”

No, we should instead explain to the populace that it is up to the populace to do something, not the government.

The populace doing nothing and awaiting for the government to do everything is exactly what brought this mess and what will make it worse.

It’s as if individuals and the populace have no faith nor trust in themselves.

William P August 14, 2009 at 7:39 am

Quoth Drucker:
“Keynes was the real father of neoconservatism, far more than [economist F.A.] Hayek!”

Doesn’t that sum it up pretty well?!

Barry Loberfeld August 14, 2009 at 8:00 am

RE “real father of neoconservatism”:

What changed all this, of course, was the advent of Adam Smith and free-market liberalism. With the repeal of medieval regulations and mercantilist rules came an era of unprecedented increase in prosperity, population, freedom, peace. And in his revolt against this liberalism (or “capitalism,” his coinage) — and not against feudalism or theocracy or aristocracy, to say nothing of twentieth-century fascism — Marx, history’s first neo-conservative, was advocating nothing less than a revolving back to the ancien régime of the controlled economy. Herein lies his unicum opus and bequest to the Left: the rhetorical inversion of reality — specifically, the presentation of reaction as “revolution,” of the return to a past stage of history as a progression to the “next.” Backward is Forward — the Orwellian prototype.

FROM HERE

FarSide August 14, 2009 at 8:27 am

I got to this in the 2nd paragraph and stopped reading:

“They [freemarket economists] believe governments should never do anything to counteract economic downturns. Consequently, they must implicitly believe that all recessions are the result of massive and simultaneous failures by private businesses and workers who must therefore bear all the costs of adjustment”

If he starts out with such a ridiculous and obvious logical error, there is no point to reading anymore. It will just raise my blood pressure on an otherwise nice Friday morning.

Ken August 14, 2009 at 8:34 am

Most of these johnnies are acolytes of government first and whatever else they are second. Newt Gingrich is another sterling (for given values of sterling) example.

William P August 14, 2009 at 9:06 am

Tried to address this through contacting the list administrator, but the form kept on rejecting my email address as invalid.

I received the Welcome email for Mises Daily, and it contains a typo:

In your welcome letter:

Mises.org’s “Mises Daily” Email List delivers one email per weekday, offering the most recent Mises.org Article. You will also receive an occasional “Weeked Read,” a special Saturday version of the Mises Daily.

WEEKEND, I presume, not “Weeked.”

Apologies for the non-relevance. I hate typos.

Raymond T. Walter August 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

I think that article constituted the greatest abuse of language, theory, and history I have read in quite a long while.

Not to mention context-dropping.

Raymond T. Walter August 14, 2009 at 9:40 am

One thing was very accurate, however.

Neo-conservatives are much closer to Keynes than Hayek.

bob August 14, 2009 at 10:10 am

Indeed…Has there EVER been a free market in American money and banking? No. Even if there was freedom federally during the free banking era, states still regulated banks upon branching and reserves. And during this time, there was bimetallism, another intervention, which pushed gold out of circulation in favor of silver, which was highly inflationary at the time. The 1837 recession would have been even less severe if it wasn’t for those interventions, although Rothbard remarks that its presence had very little effect on the common man.

Rusty August 14, 2009 at 11:29 am

I think I know the answer to this question, but is Peter Drucker’s characterization of what Keynes intended to accomplish as described in the article accurate?

Dick Fox August 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm

It is emabarrassing that Bruce Bartlett wrote Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action. He has called for dumping the name supply side and now in this article he makes nothing but demand side arguments in an attempt to prove Keynes was a “conservative,” whatever that is. Bruce Bartlett has proven he is not a supply sider nor is he a conservative. He writes what he thinks will get him published.

It is so sad that so many who became “famous” because of Reagan’s supply side revolution have no idea what supply side even means.

Matt J. September 2, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Dick Fox observes:

It is so sad that so many who became “famous” because of Reagan’s supply side revolution have no idea what supply side even means.

To which I reply:

This could be because “supply siders” were always relying on equivocation in the first place, necessary to cover up the fact that their ‘theory’ was simply an excuse for ignoring economic ‘facts’ well established by Keynes and others so long ago.

The excuse was very welcome, since there has always been lots of political pressure in Washington for the government to be irresponsible in precisely the way supply siders said they should act.

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