Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vulgar Keynesianism

There's an excellent article at called, "Six Fundamental Errors of the Current Orthodoxy." The author, Robert Higgs dissects what he calls the "vulgar Keynesianism" that dominates current economic analysis. Here's a couple of excerpts.
Most of the people who purport to possess expertise about the economy rely on a common set of presuppositions and modes of thinking. I call this pseudointellectual mishmash "vulgar Keynesianism." It's the same claptrap that has passed for economic wisdom in this country for more than 50 years and seems to have originated in the first edition of Paul Samuelson's Economics (1948), the best-selling economics textbook of all time and the one from which a plurality of several generations of college students acquired whatever they knew about economic analysis. Long ago, this view seeped into educated discourse, the news media, and politics, and established itself as an orthodoxy.
people who think along such lines are currently working to continue a policy that contributed greatly to producing the unsustainable boom of 2002–2006, namely, subsidized lending to would-be homeowners who cannot meet normal commercial qualifications for receiving such loans. It does not occur to the vulgar Keynesians that too many resources have been directed into house and condo construction and that lending to homeowners who cannot afford to purchase homes unless they are subsidized to do so signals an uneconomic use of resources at the expense of the taxpayers who directly or indirectly finance these subsidies.
The whole thing is well-worth reading.

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