I was off from blogging and reading for a couple of days last week and just missed this new war on Keynes. It is not new actually as Keynes homosexuality keeps cropping up in jokes etc.
It all started with Niall Ferguson who remarked on Keynes one of the famous quotes – In long run we are all dead:
Over the weekend, there was a kerfuffle about whether Keynesian economics ignores the long-run implications of its policies. The Harvard historian Niall Ferguson asserted that this was the case and said that it resulted from the British economist John Maynard Keynes’s homosexuality. Professor Ferguson said that those without children, as is the case with most gay men and women, necessarily had less of a long-term view of the world than those with children who will live on after their death.
Professor Ferguson has apologized for his off-the-cuff comment, which was widely interpreted as being homophobic. But before this incident fades from memory, I’d like to take the opportunity to discuss the questions raised by it: Is Keynes’s sexual orientation at all relevant to the interpretation of his economic theories? Does Keynesian economics completely ignore the long run?
This was really crass stuff and no apology can help. I mean it is so crazy and crass.
Bard Delong has this whole summary of views on Keynes homosexuality…C’mon Sirs please behave…This is all below the belt and not economics…If one looks at impact of austerity all around, the evidence is pretty clear. Keynes was right that govt stimulus works in special economic situations which we are currently facing. How does one improve long term when there is no hope over short-term?
Mark Thoma lists seven myths over Keynesianism:
- Keynesians do not care enough about long-run economic problems:
- Keynesians are not concerned with economic growth
- Keynesians are advocates of big government:
- Keynesians do not care about government debt
- Keynesians are unconcerned with inflation
- Keynesians do not believe in monetary policy
- Keynesians use old, outdated, and inferior models
Sums it all..
I mean this warfare over which econ camp you belong to leads to nowhere. There is no single econ theory which can help. Economics is a complex area and we need to understand that certain things work during certain times and not always. This does not mean you criticise a theory just because you belong to the opposite camp. In that way econs behave much like politicians who simply oppose because the word opposition says so..