Monday, May 7, 2012

Krugman on the depression

I feel like my grandfather must have felt when he realized that instead of the reforms he and his political party had championed (the Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota—which basically ran Minnesota during the Great Depression) he was going to have to settle for the Keynesianism of Franklin Roosevelt.  Just remember, the folks who championed monetary reform like the Greenback and People's Parties were not interested in trusting a banker / speculator like Keynes.  Keynes hovered somewhere over the far right end of their political agenda.  I mean, besides being a banker, he was a Brit who suggested it was a good idea to get democratically elected governments more deeply in debt to his class of people.  For the farmers in the internal empire, this was reversing the American Revolution through the back door.

Like my grandfather, I am not easily convinced that an Eastern college professor with a soapbox at the New York Times has my interests at heart.  This is especially true of Krugman because he was a "known" conservative for the early part of his career—even going so far as to take money from the utterly corrupt Enron.  So this is a guy who once won a big award for being the most promising conservative in the land who is now telling us that he has seen the light as a Keynesian.  And yet for all my snorting, we must keep track of Krugman because it is VERY likely that he is as good as we can expect for a long time.  If this interview is any indication, it MIGHT be good enough.  Might.

These days he is pushing a book called End This Depression Now!  Since the folks who ended the Great Depression were heavily influenced by Keynes, so is this book.  And as someone who was educated by the Keynesians, I find his thoughts to be authentic and historically accurate.

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