How Keynes Helped Bring Fascism to America: The Libertarian Angle

February 24, 2016—On this episode of The Libertarian Angle, Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling of the Future of Freedom Foundation return to the history of economic thought, with special attention on John Maynard Keynes. Check out the previous economic history episodes here: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, and Part 5.

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John Maynard Keynes “spent a good part of the second half of the 1920s writing his two-volume work, called The Treatise on Money, which he expected to be the work on monetary theory and policy that would establish his reputation as, if not the, one of the most prominent monetary theorists of his time,” Ebeling explained, but “there was only one problem with that, Jacob,” he added.

“And that was that when the book came out, it was basically critically reviewed, some would say page-by-page demolished, by every prominent economist of that time.”

Hornberger notes that during the Great Depression, “Keynes comes along, it seems like, at the perfect moment in history, where all of this is in flux, and people are looking to government for the progressive idea of managing the economy, managing society. Roosevelt saying, ‘government’s going to save the free enterprise system,’ and then Keynes comes in and says, ‘yes, all that stuff with people saving in a capitalist order, it shows you that it’s failed, and now we really need government to put things right.'”

Will Austrian economics ever be as popular as Keynesian economics? Comment below!

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