A recent intellectual epiphany I had was that to debunk religion one cannot look "forward," but rather "backward." What this means is that if you are going to try to debunk a religion (or philosophy or ideology, etc.) you cannot further argue within the context of that religion (philosophy, ideology, etc.). You merely abide by the rules laid out by said religion and in doing so get into semantical arguments that never resolve anything.
No, one must go BACKWARDS and ask basic elementary questions about the entire religion (ideology, philosophy, etc.) itself, challenging the PREMISES by which the entire religion is founded upon. And once those premises are proven to be false or at least unfounded or immoral, then the entire belief system itself can be called into question, if not, completely debunked.
And I believe Keynesianism is one such ripe candidate.
Let us say that Paul Krugman is 100% correct.
Barack Obama is 100% correct.
Janet Yellen is 100% correct.
And John Maynard Keynes himself was 100% correct.
My question is simply - so what?
And the reason my question, in spite of them all being theoretically 100% completely correct, is "so what" has nothing to do with being right or the efficacy of their policies. It has to do with whether their actions, claims, or demands upon an economy are moral. What right do they have to demand such behavior from other individuals?
Take smoking for example.
Right now private property rights are being violated across the globe because some people believe that just because they're right, their "rightness" trumps people's individual liberty and choice. Thus, now, even though people "own" their property in the form of bars and restaurants, those people have no rights as to whether or not to allow smoking, not to mention smokers who would like to smoke on private property where it would have otherwise been allowed.
Does smoking cause cancer?
Should you not smoke?
Are the anti-smoking Nazi's right?
Still does not give them the right to tell other people what to do with their bodies.
And it is here that is the core to Keynesianism's immorality - they deny people's right to self-determination.
Let us be clear what Keynesianism is.
It is the belief that the government has the right to intervene in the economy (read- individuals' lives) to "make things better."
Noble or not
Honorable or not
RIGHT or not
that one belief transgresses the individual and makes Keynesianism a true evil in that it violates people's individual choice, individual freedoms, and individual decisions. It forces the will of a few government bureaucrats and politicians on the masses because "they know better." It dares to suggest some people know what's best for you AND GRANTS THEM THE AUTHORITY to intervene.
The problems and threats with such an economic religion (and that's what it is) are obvious to anybody with half a brain and an ounce of intellectual honesty.
1. In the Keynesian World nobody learns from their mistakes.
Spit out more kids that you can afford?
Lend to douchebag cronies who are connected to the banking system?
Major in stupid ass liberal arts suburbanite chicky girl studies?
Never fear! Government bailouts are here!
Understand that with a philosophy of Keynesianism any mal-investment that results in a crash or a recession is "magically" undone by merely pumping more money into the economy or (more the more vote-getting solution) bailing out people from their spectacular mistakes. This means that nobody can fail, and in nobody failing, nobody learns from their mistakes. The consequences are disastrous as amply displayed by the black community. The "hot stove" in the form of "illegitimate children" is never seared in pain with the bearing the full costs of rearing one's own child. Keynesian bailouts merely moot the pain, denying 70% of the black population a much needed lesson in profitability, finance and survivability, and sadly condemning them to a life of poverty. And before you get all pissy and set your phasers to "accuse of racism" it's functionally no different than the denizens of lily white bankers who got bailed out just the same.
2. Keynesianism Is Too Easily Abused By Politicians
Hmmm....let's think this one through.
"Unlimited government spending"
"the power to bail out people for their mistakes"
Oh, no. No potential for amoral politicians to abuse this economic philosophy by
1. Spending money till the cow come home to
2. Bail out and thus bribe the idiot classes of society to vote for them because
3. In a democracy every person, welfare queen or not gets the vote
No, no politician would EVER sacrifice the future integrity of the country's finances and economy to win votes now at the expense of a mortgaged future. No, would never happen.
3. They're Completely Wrong Anyway
I'd like to say the Keynesians were right, but truthfully that was just a handicap I gave to what is nothing more than the biggest frauds, shysters, intellectual weaklings and parasitic academians currently heading up our government, media, and educational institutions. If there's one thing to learn from the Obama administration it's that Keynesianism
Forgot the moral argument that Paul Krugman has the right to tell you how much money you should earn, keep, save, spend, invest, be taxed upon, etc., because according to his wee-little academic econometrics model it's "what's best for society"
they're all wrong and (worse still)
they all know it (and worse still than that)
they don't care.
They are nothing more and nothing better than the modern day Catholic church killing people for reading the bible or being literate. They wish to retain their power by keeping the masses ignorant about economics. But unlike Europeans during the Dark Ages, most Americans are willing to be fattened and satiated watching The Bachelorette and getting some "great apps" at Applebee's. Just remember come next fourth of July our founding fathers aren't rolling in their graves as much as you're merely pissing on them.
That's why I'm a big fan of supply side. The Obama stimulus was a failure, as many on the right correctly predicted it would be.
This is why the Austrians make the most sense to me.
I'm still waiting for one of these dumb Keynesian twits to explain me why my money should depreciate in value or why inflation is good.
While I agree with this and definitely think most countries in the west have leaned too far towards socialism over the last 50 years, what would you make of the idea that, if left unchecked, private power has the potential to be even more coercive than big government? An example of this would be big companies in the 19th century who used to force workers to live in "company towns" and sometimes paid them in "company currency" that could only be spent there, or the situation with United Fruit in Latin America over the 50s. If there was a weaker government that wasn't able to regulate them corporations would surely just step in again and fill the power vacuum.
This is the only criticism of libertarianism that I've never really been able to find an answer to and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this.
Herbert Hoover was a Keynesian.
He had his come to jesus moment when he toured Europe in 1936. He noticed that all the states that followed the Keynesian ideology, and tried to spend their way out were still locked in the Great Depression.
The states that implemented austerity measures, and did not interfere with the free market via bailouts and "stimulus" were beginning to recover.
He realized that Calvin Coolidge was right, and right to ignore his bad advice.
( source: his book, Freedom Betrayed )
Anonymous: Company Towns were put an end to via the Mann Act ( I think ).
An act which simply enforced an employees right to buy from whoever he pleased. Companies were forced by law to do the right thing, and pay their employees in cash, instead of company scrip.
Just because an actor is a corporation does not automatically make anything they do "free market". Most corporate folks really hate the free market, and will try to subvert it.
There is a difference between minarchist libertarianism, and balls to the wall anarcho-capitalism. Minarchists realize that there will always be assholes out there who desperately need correcting.
The fact that people in Latin America think so little of themselves and their earning capacity that they would allow themselves to be "forced" to work for a company that would abuse them, does not give you or anyone else the right to dictate anything to me. I would not allow any corporation to force me to do anything, let alone work for them.
You want to help the masses that get exploited by big corporations? Teach these people some fucking self respect.
Government is the only entity that uses violence or threats there of to force people to do anything. I've never had an agent of a corporation show up at my door with a gun and force me to build widgets for them.
Without Government guns, corporations could not grow to become the threats to our freedoms that they have become.
To the anon, people in America used to have guns pointed at them by employers quite regularly and in Latin America the company was powerful enough to basically pay the government to do their bidding. You can see a similar thing going on today in Nigeria.
Kristophr, that's a very fair point. There is a rather fine line between the necessary antitrust, regulation and labour organisation needed to keep an economy running and socialist red tape. The one thing I would say on the Hoover thing is that Roosevelt, who oversaw the recovery from that recession, was about as socialist as it gets, though I suppose he was spared the repercussions of his actions by WW2.
Only in a modern world (where technology can mitigate most of the consequences of our stupider actions) could Keynesianism develop. It's a shame that Modernism has caused us to discard or forget most of the wisdom of the past:
A poor man's field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away. (NIV)
He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich--both come to poverty. (NIV)
By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down. (NIV)
Do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.
I wish I could unleash some Old Testament God on the smug idiots who are driving our world into the ground.
Once again, a brilliant analysis.
Keynsian economics has worked once (maybe more) in human history? WWII is probably the best, and only example where Keynes was correct.
And why did it work then?
Because it was a brilliant economic philosophy? Somehow, I, doubt that.
Morning likely, it worked because there was a nation willing to give their all to support the American ideal.
Keysnian economics will fail now, and in the future because progressives are teaching kids self hated, rather than self pride.
Who would be willing to indenture themselves anymore?
Consider what might happen if when the government bots come to your house to 'intervene', and the home owner shoots them right on the doorstep. What if a lot of people started to do that?
Like Mike Tyson says. "Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the mouth".
I fear that is what escalating government smothering is going to do.
The problems you describe aren't limited to Keynesianism, They're true of all governmental central planning. Central planning is where the immorality arises.
The Church actually lifted Europe out of the Dark Ages. They were preserving the Roman and Greek sciences when the Barbarians spent all day killing each other. The more Christianized Germans tend to have more stable Empires of their own, and the Church helped them get that way. Also, they didn't give a damn about people reading the bible. They kept it in Latin because they feared its meaning would get lost in translation, and there were French, Spanish, and Italian bibles available before Protestantism anyways. They were just rare because the printing press wasn't invented until the Renaissance. They also didn't care about people being literate. In fact, they were okay with it, since that's the first thing they taught people in the Church universities. There's a reason why most Churchianity exists within Protestantism: they have fickle dogmas that change all the time.
The US did not recover from the Great Depression under FDR. FDR doubled down on Hoover's bad policies, and stretched the agony out until the US got into WWII.
The US recovered after WWII because the US was the only industrial nation left standing.
Careful -- invoking "moral hazard" may be hazardous to your health ...
Captain Capitalism: Let us be clear what Keynesianism is. It is the belief that the government has the right to intervene in the economy (read- individuals' lives) to "make things better."
Keynesianism is the economic view that "in the short run, especially during recessions, economic output is strongly influenced by aggregate demand (total spending in the economy)." This often leads to the argument that fiscal and monetary policy can be used to mitigate the market cycle.
Captain Capitalism: just
Though Keynesian economic theory has gone through many changes, there is strong empirical support for the basic tenets of the theory. Most economists are Keynesians of one sort or another.
Grey Enlightenment: The Obama stimulus was a failure, as many on the right correctly predicted it would be.
Most economists agree that the stimulus had a positive effect on the economy, but was insufficient considering the depth of the fiscal calamity. As for 'the right', the financial meltdown occurred after two terms of a Republican administration.
sth_txs: I'm still waiting for one of these dumb Keynesian twits to explain me why my money should depreciate in value or why inflation is good.
You may want to read a book or take a class. Price inflation is taught in basic economic theory. Too much inflation can be bad, while deflation can devastate an economy. Moderate inflation avoids a deflationary spiral, while encouraging investment.
Kristophr: FDR doubled down on Hoover's bad policies, and stretched the agony out until the US got into WWII.
GDP growth was over 8% from 1933 to 1936. There was a short recession in 1937 when the Roosevelt Administration tried to rein in the New Deal, but they reversed course, and the economy started growing again. Countercyclical policy strongly mitigated the market cycle after WWII. The Bush Administration implemented procyclical policies, which aggravated the formation of market bubbles.
" if left unchecked, private power has the potential to be even more coercive than big government? An example of this would be big companies in the 19th century who used to force workers to live in "company towns" and sometimes paid them in "company currency" that could only be spent there,"
Imagine each person killed by government as a stalk of wheat. To make this statement, you must stand in the midst of a vast field, harvested by the combine of government, and rail that somewhere in the field is a stalk of wheat that was eaten by a mouse called "private power."
You have to try to see past Lenin, past Stalin, past Mao, past Pol Pot, past Rwanda, past Armenia, indeed past the U.S. government during the civil war (rightly or wrongly, the U.S. government killed hundreds of thousands of its own citizens during the Civil War). If you can see that far, you have to still be worried that somewhere, among the pile of corpses, there is a tiny group "exploited by corporate power."
Churchianity is not unique to protestantism considering the rampant corruption of the church that prompted that eventually culminated in the reformation. It has its own set of problems. Althrough you are certainly correct in the preservation of western culture the church played.
Post a Comment