A confused professor thinks we, Keynesians, don’t understand Keynes at all. He thinks we think Keynes advocated for planned economy and proceeds to demonstrate that Keynes was at times a supporter of free markets. As such, Keynesians and progressives in general, in his view, lionize him for some ideas that he did not have. He doesn’t think we can support Keynes for the ideas that he actually professed, because in a conservative two-dimension world there are only two choices: free markets and communism and we must be for the latter.
“Assumption is a mother of fuck up” – is one of my favorite expressions. The author of this article assumes a lot. For example right after he quotes Keynes: “the political problem of mankind is to combine three things: economic efficiency, social justice and individual liberty” he proceeds to assume that Keynes was looking to force social justice at the cost of economic liberty and efficiency. Why doesn’t he assume that Keynes was looking to force economic liberty at the cost of social justice and efficiency, or efficiency at the cost of social justice and economic liberty? Or why does he think that Keynes was looking to force anything at all, by merely stating a problem? Why such a conclusion?
I was getting more and more confused with the point the author was trying to make as I read a long. If, according to the author, Keynes was such a heavy-handed Commie, then how I can take the later argument that Keynes, after all, was for free markets, seriously?
“In addition, he believed in cutting taxes in recessionary times to stimulate economic activity and raising taxes during times of prosperity. This is contrary to the modern liberal philosophy of raising taxes and spending ad infinitum.” WTF? Didn’t Obama just kept tax cuts for 98% of Americans, not to mention his tax cuts a few years ago that everyone forgot about?
Dean Kalahar claims to know what we, Keynes supporters, supposedly don’t know. He thinks we don’t know that Keynes wasn’t adamant about rejecting free markets when he delivers Keynes quote: “The engine which drives enterprise is not thrift, but profit” as some kind of revelation that will prompt us, Keynes supporters, to renounce him. He probably thinks that if we support government planned economy (a mistaken belief in itself), why would we waste our time with lukewarm and conflicted Keynes instead of aligning directly with the grandfather Marx himself?
“Whichever the case, if Keynes is the darling of the progressive left, they ought to have the guts and intellectual integrity to accurately portray the man they are canonizing and actually align their actions to his words.” But we do! We do see the world like he did, in gray, not in black and white as Milton Friedman acolytes. We do believe in applying appropriate remedies as a certain situation requires, not a one-size-fits all laissez-faire free for all, all the time. We acknowledge that there are times to cut taxes and there are times to raise taxes. For conservatives, there are no circumstances under which taxes should be raised.