May 8, 2013
In the “kerfuffle” over linking John Maynard Keynes’s sexuality with his famous focus on short-term fiscal policies, Bruce Bartlett has a piece in The New York Times. In Mr. Bartlett’s view, the kerfuffle misses what is more important: Keynes’s recommended stimulus of aggregate demand by government spending is needed now more than ever, because the stagnant American economy is in Keynes’s “liquidity trap.”
Although Keynes is identified with the political Left, there have been a large number of Keynesians–such as Mr. Bartlett–who are from the political Right. Three of the top six Keynesian presidents were Republicans, and they would be vociferous in denying that they support Fabian socialism. Yet Keynesianism is the intellectual force behind Fabian socialism’s incremental attempt to institute socialism without a violent socialist revolution (found on page 375 of Keynes’s General Theory).
It does not matter what Keynes’s sexuality was, and it does not matter whether the call for fiscal stimulus comes from a socialist or a capitalist. What matters is that the RETURN on the taxpayer’s money in the stimulus is greater than the cost. There is no example of the dollar benefit from the many Keynesian stimuli attempted over the past decades being in excess of the dollar cost. Therefore, Keynesian fiscal stimuli are identified as “death spiral” economics, where every dollar spent on stimulus returns less than a dollar to the taxpayer.
Keynes’s Fabian socialism ‘toilet-flushes’ an economy, completely counter to its intent to stimulate an economy. Taxpayers receiving back only 95, 90, 80 cents back on every tax dollar spent in fiscal stimulus means the taxpayer is steadily going Keynesian broke.[Email comments welcome: duoism(at)sbcglobal.net]