Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Krugman on Syll on Keynes

Very interesting.

Actually, if not an actual prophet, Keynes was at least the smartest economist ever, whose ideas have stood a long test of time (while competitors only crumble, even the great edifice of Smith, Ricardo, and Walras lays in ruins).

Some of his ideas were influential in economics, and therefore it is interesting to understand in particular the General Theory, the most influential part of his contribution to economics.  I would go beyond saying has the best economic ideas and theories--he has about the only good fundamental ones, and the only good way to start.

It is wrong to start with Adam Smith's rational baker.  Fundamentally wrong (and so, in a peculiar way which casts a good light on the misanthropes).  It tells you little about how the overall economy operates.

But since Keynes was such a smart man, it might be a good idea also to look at all the rest of the things he said about economics, and everything else.  Not only was he a smart man, but he put his intelligence to the benefit of his society, as much as his influence lasted and lasts.  So he was a good man, and a smart man, and therefore be of great benefit to know what he said publicly about most things.

As much so as doing, what I do far more often, as reading Krugman's take on things.  Another good and smart man, maybe not Keynes, but still worth reading.

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