More Keynesian than Keynes.
JUN 1, 2015
CAMBRIDGE – Like most people who create an “ism,” John Maynard Keynes quickly found his followers running ahead of him. “You are more Keynesian than I am,” he once told a young American economist. Now it is the turn of his biographer, Robert Skidelsky, to become distinctly more Keynesian than Keynes.
So now Skidelsky retrospectively “predicts” something quite different: “that the start of austerity aborted the recovery in 2010; that recovery would have come sooner if the pre-austerity level of public spending had been maintained; [and] that it was the reduction of austerity in 2012 that enabled the economy to expand again.” With a flourish, he concludes: “The facts are consistent with Keynesian theory.
There are simply too many things – from the “prospect of a European war” to the “price of copper and the interest rate 20 years hence” – about which “there is no scientific basis on which to form any calculable probability whatever.”