An Old Keynesian Book Launch – Sadly is Anyone Listening

Was at the launch of Bill Keegan’s new book ‘Mr Osborne Experiment’ last night with my friend Professor Steve Keen, organised by the Mile End group at KCU.

It was a sad but inevitable fact that the audience was dominated by Old Keynsians, including the Tory Father of the House, Andrew Adonis and even Ed Balls as many great and good columnists and treasury alumni.  The labour politicians  weirdly constrained between what they intellectually believe and what politically they can say, given Osborne’s media dominance of the narrative that austerity has no alternative. Sadly these are no most unfashionable ideas.

The book is lively and short enough to read at a single sitting.  It sums up nicely the argument not that austerity prevented growth bit that it delayed and reduced it unnecessarily.  He concludes that principally austerity is not about economics but the shrinking of the state.

The arguments though are primarily old Keynesian.  The author does not take on the psuedo gurus they have been cited by the treasury in support of austerity, no mention of Reineirt and Roggoff, Alesina or Sumner.  So I think, sadly, of the book, will anyone listen?

From a lakosian perspective I think the new ‘Treasury view’ will only be toppled if it is shown to be old fashioned from a fiscal and monetary theory perspective.


4 thoughts on “An Old Keynesian Book Launch – Sadly is Anyone Listening

  1. Of course austerity is about shrinking the government. Ultimately it’s the only thing that can possibly implement a balance to the monopoly enjoyed by Finance. Of course government also tends to end up becoming as big if nor worse demon than Finance. This is what economic theoreticians conveniently forget in their theories and politicians forget in their policy recommendations. A little historical and philosophical/ethical instruction might awaken them to their obvious folly in considering only the two two alternatives of dominance by Finance or government…instead of empowering the individual directly with government policies of a direct dividend and a rebated back to businesses discount to consumers. Or maybe a lot of such philosophical/ethical instruction might be required seeings how neither politics nor economics in today’s fragmented mindset takes any real consideration of such.

    Ethics (the study of the sensitivity to the other and also to one’s Self/one’s own consciousness) should probably be required from elementary school on…especially for those showing an interest in economics, politics and religion.

  2. Of course I agree with everything Keen says about DSGE, and had expressed that and admiration of his iconoclasm numerous times on his Debtwatch blog. It was only after he claimed that new keynesians required a philosophy and I pointed out to Keen himself that he hadn’t made any macro policy recommendations to “handle” disequilirium and that Douglas had already done that philosophical and policy thing 90 years ago….that he decided I was “a bore” with my posts to that effect on his blog and then banned me there. This as he also admitted that he seldom paid attention to the blog…so he apparently never read my posts, but was responding to the few remaining posters there that I posted “to much” and was some gross religionist etc. which of course I am not. Authoritarianism and excessive sensitivity to critique hides in many places.

  3. I feel that the basic groundwork for the economics of the future probably exists. It is called Transfinancial Economics. When economics becomes “wedded” with the Digital Revolution then real Economic Revolution will probably be possible.

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