Om behovet av Keynes

Min favorittankesmedja, brittiska Compass har en artikel om behovet av mer Keynesianism i skuggan av finanskrisen. De har förresten gjort om hemsidan också.

”The recession is mostly discussed in terms that imply the process is somehow unavoidable and we have to put up with it as best we can. But recession is only inevitable if we remain confined within the neo-liberal ideology that has dominated economic policy for the past three decades. But now Alistair Darling has re-discovered Keynes, the great economist whose new approach to economic management made possible the recovery from depression in America in the thirties and full employment and growth in Europe after the war. It is this approach which urgently needs to be adopted now. …

The traditional orthodoxy, to which the neo-liberal ideology reverted, was that. if times looked hard, the government, like any prudent private household, should retrench. The government, it was believed, should cut spending and raise taxes. Keynes showed that this approach would only make things worse, because national economies do not behave in the same way as private household economies. In the wider economy depression is caused by inadequate overall demand – too little spending leading to reduced output, higher unemployment and declining incomes. So cutting government spending or raising taxes would further depress the level of overall demand, thereby making the depression worse, not better. …

Measures to increase demand need not be a real cost if they bring into use resources that would otherwise be wasted. For example, if there is a recession in the building industry, less building work is carried out, constructive capacity lies idle and building workers are laid off. If on the other hand the government seizes the opportunity for an expanded public building programme, it can mean the industry’s capacity is more fully used, more useful construction work is carried out and more building workers are still in a job, earning wages and spending them in ways that give a boost to the rest of the economy. And public finances are helped by receipt of taxes on company profits and workers’ wages instead of being burdened with higher unemployment benefits.”


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