Monday, May 13, 2013

A bad first sentence

Jerry Bowyer writing at the Forbes site (h/t):
If you pay attention to economic debates you know by now that a celebrity historian named Niall Ferguson made some off-hand comments at a financial conference in which he linked John Maynard Keynes’ homosexuality to some flaws in his economics. (italics added)
That is not what Ferguson did. What Ferguson did was to attempt to link Keynes's sexuality to a mistaken interpretation of Keynes's famous "in the long run we're all dead" line [italicized words added per TBA's comment]. As has been pointed out elsewhere, that line, when taken in context, was being used by Keynes to make a point against those economists who argued that a depressed economy, if left alone, would eventually recover on its own through the magic of the business cycle.

Thanks to a comment on my previous post, I now know that in 2004 two UCLA economists published an article in which they argued that if only certain New Deal policies, in particular the National Industrial Recovery Act, had not mucked things up by 'artifically' raising prices and wages, the Depression would have ended much sooner than it did. Live and learn, as they say.


Anonymous said...

I would even say, "attempted to link." Because the attempt failed pretty flatly.

LFC said...

Yup. Will edit post to reflect this.