Saturday, January 29, 2011

Reading Keynes

I have read quite a bit about Keynesian economics -- including quite a bit from some Keynesian economists, like Paul Krugman -- but I haven't read the man himself. So I'm embarking on The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. Everything I have read about Keynesian economics, including by its supporters, suggests that it's an approach that turns economics on its head, is inflationist, prefers mercantilism over free markets, and mathematizes folk economics and borderline magical thinking. Indeed, Paul Krugman's otherwise excellent book The Self-Organizing Economy includes a chapter on Keynesianism that doesn't match the rest of the book in its uneconomic thinking and bizarre conclusions.

Nevertheless, it could simply be said that it is not the fault of Keynes that his followers have transformed his work into so much unscientific nonsense. Marx himself declared he wasn't a Marxist. So I am reading Keynes himself. I'm sure I'll be making comments here as I do. As of the moment of writing this, I have gotten through pg. 13 -- all introductory material, explaining the problems with classical economics in regards to understanding wages. Assuming he is correct about these problems (which is unfortunately a huge assumption considering his purposeful distortion of Say's law), one cannot disagree with the analysis of the problems. Of course, being able to recognize problems doesn't mean one can solve them. But we shall see what Keynes himself has to say.
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