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February 07, 2010

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DMZach

The greatest flaw of Keynes was that he was unattached to the future - that is, he did not have children and thereby did not have the same attachment to long-term thinking that parents have. He's known for saying. "In the long run, we are all dead." No, and he was dead wrong about it.

Parents give birth to the future and they see the future extended across time through their children. For that reason, they invest, they are more prudent and (at least in the past), they did not borrow unlimitedly from future generations. Present culture and politics act as if nothing comes after us for which we might sacrifice and at least restrain our seemingly unlimited appetites. Maybe it's consciously self-destructive, maybe not - but in the end, failure to invest in the future and not borrow from it will end in death, for the individual, for the society, for the culture.

The science fiction writer Bruce Sterling once said that "Real futurists have children." The same should be said for real economists.

Joyce

James T. You nailed it on the show... the number 1 issue is the deficit.

I too worry about how my children and grandchildren will fare. The excessive, irresponsible spending needs to stop. Those in Congress ignore what the Tea Party message is: STOP Spending!

derek

the guy makes zero sense. that's why he doesn't propose anything in the article. how do you say in one breath that keynes advocated deficit spending during a recession then berate obama for deficit spending? that's contradictory. not only that, even if his complaint is structural deficits, obama didn't create medicare or social security.

it's a poorly thought out critique.

derek

well, it's an excerpt from a larger interview, so i guess i shouldn't fault it for being shallow if i haven't seen the interview in full.

but either way

the question is this: given what we have, which is a large structural deficit (fueled by entitlements, war spending, and taxes that are too low) and central bank interest rates near zero, how does a government respond.

pointing out that keynes didn't like structural deficits doesn't change the fact that there needs to be a response. we have to live in the world we have not the world we wish we had. dealing with the deficit in the middle of the recession is stupid and completely anti keynesian, and not doing anything has it's obvious drawbacks.

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