From Karl Smith: "The point, however, is getting all wrapped up in government policy is likely to obscure your vision of how the economy works. And, it is working in a way that looks thoroughly Keynesian to me." (emphasis mine)
Some people obsess about government and the economy. Some people put it center stage in explaining what ails us in the economy. When you view things like that, of course, "what the government should do" either by intervening or cutting back intervention, is what you go to first in thinking about economic fluctuations. That's the wrong way to look at it. The economy is a dynamic system with its own laws of motion. Yes, there are smart things a government can do and dumb things a government can do, and I personally try to advocate the smart things and criticize the dumb things. But that can't be the center of how you see the economy working.
This is why, when students learn Keynesianism, they first learn a model without government in it. This is why Keynes didn't talk about government until later in his book. The market isn't helpless without government, and you have to understand it's laws of motion before you start thinking about what you might or might not want government to do.
[There's lots of other good stuff in Karl's post - including a discussion of thinking about the future]
The steeds of Poseidon
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