Wednesday, March 03, 2021

The market could only reward ideas that turned a profit. Nobody stood to profit from clean parks; they were just nicer to live with than dirty parks. But if nobody made the political judgment that clean parks were better, a society organized around profit incentives from production alone would almost automatically end up with dirty parks. The market was not an impartial guide to the beliefs of the public, and some of its verdicts were crazy…. When public goods fell into disorder or neglect, people found them unpleasant and satiated their desires with what the market had to offer…. The economic organization of society was devoted not to maximizing social comfort and harmony but to satisfying the consumer desires created by advertising and production itself. And that in turn was hampering society’s ability to grapple with poverty. 

Kenneth Galbraith, according to Zachary D.Carter in The Price of Peace

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Though his American followers would pursue fine-tuned tax-and-spending plans to lift demand during recessions, Keynes instead called for the government to manage future stages of overall economic scarcity through direct investment spending…. the government should seek “to prevent large fluctuations” in employment by enacting “a stable long-term programme” that would spend money on things like infrastructure, factory equipment, and scientific research. 

Zachary D.Carter in The Price of Peace

Monday, March 01, 2021

Keynes had come to believe that the problem was really much simpler: Unemployment was a breeding ground for fascism. It created dangerous political instability and a source of anger that could easily be weaponized. The terms of trade might help or hurt efforts to establish international goodwill, but tariffs or no tariffs, the legitimacy of an international economic order depended entirely on whether it did, in fact, provide for mutual prosperity.

Zachary D.Carter in The Price of Peace

Saturday, February 27, 2021

According to Keynes

Uncertainty about the future—not irrationality or stupidity—makes crowds prone to calamity in both finance and politics, particularly under conditions of significant anxiety. Markets are no more self-correcting than a mob hailing a demagogue.

Zachary D.Carter in The Price of Peace

Friday, February 26, 2021

[Keynes argued that] money...was an inherently political tool. It was the state that determined what substance—gold, paper, whatever—actually counted as money—what “thing” people and the government would accept as valid payment. The state thus created money and had always regulated its value.... The very idea of capitalism required active state economic management—the regulation of money and debt.

Zachary D.Carter in The Price of Peace

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

It is not a correct deduction from the principles of economics that enlightened self-interest always operates in the public interest.

John Maynard Keynes, The End of Laissez-Faire, as quoted by Zachary D.Carter in The Price of Peace

Saturday, January 30, 2021