Brian Doherty responds to me: "While there may be some alternative I'm not seeing, are you saying toward the end of graf one that Keynesians belief that free markets NEVER create bad outcomes for which concerted government action are required as a remedy? If you've argued this point at greater length elsewhere, I'd be interested in seeing a link. If I'm misunderstanding what contrary to that statement of mine you are arguing, I'd be interested in elaboration."
Of course Keynesians think that markets can create bad outcomes. And of course Keynesians point to government action that could be beneficial. The problem is this view (which Doherty is not alone in promoting) that once the economy runs into problems Keynesians think "only concerted government action could pull them out" [that's from the original article]. This is the point that's patently untrue. I'm not sure what else there is to say about this, because Doherty hasn't even really explained why he thinks this is the Keynesian position in the first place. All I can say, then, is that it's never been the claim. Keynesianism points out how we can have a less-than-full employment equilibrium in market economies. If investment demand recovers, of course we can see a recovery of the economy without government. Who ever said we couldn't? We might be seeing some of that right now. The stimulus certainly slowed the downturn, but it's likely that the signs of recovery we're seeing now have little to do with govenrment policy at all.
Anyway - I compare Doherty's odd point here with an earlier odd point made by Tyler Cowen. I give more details on the Cowen disagreement here.
I genuinely don't understand why some people insist on attributing bizarre arguments to the other side. How does that help. What good would it do me to say "Austrians hate poor people", and then waste my breath telling them why they shouldn't hate poor people. It would be entirely unproductive because it would entirely miss the mark. Why do people do this? I don't know.
Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History”
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