Bob Cropf

Posts Tagged ‘Keynes’

Why Keynesianism will (or will not) work

In Free-market, Keynesianism on February 26, 2009 at 1:20 PM

This article is a neo-classical take on Keynes. It presents the rationale behind why Keynes’ theory is supposed to work, which is the multiplier effect. In other words, federal spending for infrastructure and other things will result in additional GDP (an increase in the aggregate demand).

The article’s author does not believe this. He articulates a neo-classical response when he says that

Of course, if GDP is adjusted for quality, the multipler is most likely negative, as resource allocation is directed by government officials, not consumer demands.

I am not sure what he means by “quality” and, maybe if you read the article more closely than I, then something will immediately leap out at you. However, I believe it has to do with “consumer demands.” Again, we are faced with the issue that Galbraith raises, that is, can government produce wealth? Skeptics, such as classical economists, doubt this and so argue that only consumer demand can result in “quality” GDP. Presumably, this increase in aggregate demand would not come as the result of more bridges, roads and other public goods rather than increasing output of televisions and cars (i.e., what consumers want). Hence the author’s logic is that only private consumer goods will produce a true multiplier effect on the economy.

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A Marxian take on the financial crisis

In economics on January 31, 2009 at 9:44 AM

I came across this blog post today. I skimmed it and thought it looked rather interesting in light of our class discussion last week. In particular, pay close attention to what the writer says is the importance in Marxian analysis of the word, “crisis.” Recall O’Connor’s use of the word in his article. What is being conveyed is the idea of a complete breakdown in confidence. In a capitalist economy, confidence is key (you don’t have to read Marx to believe that). Therefore, if there is a lack of confidence or declining confidence then things can go south pretty fast. That’s what happened according to the Marxian viewpoint. The conclusion is pretty scary if you believe the writer: We’ve come to the point where we are not trying to save either the poor or the rich, but the system itself! As you read this, think about how a Neo-classical of Keynesian might respond. Do you think they would predict a complete and total collapse of the entire system as readily? How would they challenge the Marxian perspective on the data?

Interesting blog post

In economics on January 25, 2009 at 4:59 PM

This is an interesting blog post that uses a graph to show that over the long run, economic growth swamps short term fluctuations in the economy. The graph also tells the story mentioned in class that only the massive spending prompted by the world war pulled us out of the Great Depression. The overriding message of the post seems to be that historical trends indicate that we will pull ourselves out of this current mess; the fear that has captured the public is probably natural but that in the end long term growth will prevail.

Another great site for visualizing data is FlowingData. This example shows some interesting ways to visualize consumer spending.

Another good piece is this one in Forbes which provides a fair overview of the history of economic stimulus packages.