29 de outubro de 2011

Keynes face à conjuntura

A primeira transcrição abaixo é uma citação famosa de Keynes. Poderia acrescentar-se que os ditos homens práticos não só são escravos das ideias dos outros, como acabam por as distorcer por ignorância. Marx num dado momento, face às interpretações que lhe estavam a ser feitas em França por "soi-disant" marxistas, retorquiu, de modo acerbo, se uma coisa não era, era marxista. Keynes tem sofrido da mesma sina -a leitura do artigo abaixo relembra-o: ver a segunda transcrição, que deve ser complementada pela leitura de todo o artigo. 

What Would John Maynard Keynes Tell Us to Do Now? : The New Yorker

The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.
Yet Keynes was anything but a spendthrift. When deficits and debts reached historically high levels, he believed, it was necessary to spell out how they would be reduced in the long term. As Backhouse and Bateman observe in their timely and provocative reappraisal, Keynes never said that deficits don’t matter (the lesson that Dick Cheney reportedly drew from President Reagan). He believed not only that large-scale deficit spending should be confined to recessions, when business investment was unusually curtailed, but that it should be directed mainly toward long-term capital projects that eventually would pay for themselves. When some of his followers, by way of postwar planning, advocated using tax cuts and deficit spending to “fine-tune” the economy on an ongoing basis, Keynes struck a note of caution. “If serious unemployment does develop, deficit financing is absolutely certain to happen, and I should like to keep free to object hereafter to the more objectionable forms of it,” he wrote

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