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The Critics of Keynesian Economics

The Critics of Keynesian Economics

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Published by: Educators of Liberty on Feb 12, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Edited with
Introduction and new Preface
The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.Irvington-on-Hudson, New York 10533
About the Editor and Publisher
Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993) began his distinguished career in 1913at
The Wall Street Journal.
He went on to write for severalnewspapers, including
The New York Evening Post, The New YorkEvening Mail, The New York
The Sun.
In the early 1930she was literary editor of
The Nation,
and succeeded H. L. Menckenas editor of the
American Mercury
in 1933. From 1934 to 1946 heserved on the editorial staff of
The New York Times.
While at
he wrote a series of courageous editorials opposing the trendtoward radical intervention by all levels of government. From 1946to 1966 he was the "Business Tides"columnist for
Mr. Hazlitt will be remembered as an eloquent writer, an incisiveeconomic thinker, and a tireless defender of freedom. His best knownbook was
Economics in One Lesson,
which has sold more than onemillion copies since its first publication in 1946. He wrote or editedseventeen other books, including
The Failure of the "New Economics "
(1959) and
The Foundations of Morality
(1964). He was a FoundingTrustee of The Foundation for Economic Education.The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), established in1946 by Leonard E. Read (1898-1983), is the oldest economicresearch organization dedicated to the preservation of individualfreedom and the private property order. Its goal is to study the moraland intellectual foundation of a free society and share its knowledgewith individuals everywhere. It avoids political controversies. FEEis a purely educational organization, publishing and sponsoringseminars and lectures devoted to the limited government, privateproperty principles it espouses. In addition to books, its principalpublication is the monthly journal,
The Freeman.
©1995 The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.Originally published 1960 by D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc.ISBN 1-57246-013-X(Previously ISBN 0-87000-401)
For further information, contactThe Foundation for Economic Education30 South BroadwayIrvington-on-Hudson, New York 10533Telephone (914) 591-7230Fax (914) 591-8910
Nearly twenty years ago, in his 1977 Preface to the SecondEdition, Henry Hazlitt joyfully reported that prevailingacademic opinion had changed and that Keynesian doctrinesno longer went unchallenged. But he also observed that "thevast majority of politicians and governments today arepersistently applying the Keynesian remedies, even though theydo not know that they are Keynesians."These words could have been written in 1995, two yearsafter his journey's end. Although the many limitations, defects,errors, and shortcomings of the Keynesian system have becomeapparent, its basic principles are still with us. Most academiceconomists continue to use the aggregative approach and todwell on the macro factors that influence, and which areinfluenced by, the whole economy. To them, national income,national growth, levels of employment, savings, consumption,and fiscal policy are more important than the pricing of goodsand services. Now, though, in contrast to their colleagues ofthe 1950s and '60s, contemporary Keynesians no longer showany great missionary zeal for their cause. They humbly admitthat they know precious little about the forces affectingeconomic events. After all, the mass unemployment which theymeant to alleviate is still with us—and even tends to grow worsewhenever they apply their Keynesian antidotes. It continuesto plague most industrial countries despite the fact that theirgovernments continue to cling to a policy of keepingexpenditures at high levels and spend freely without fear ofmounting deficits. Even the Keynesians now wonder how longthis process can continue.Henry Hazlitt clearly foresaw the calamity. He saw that "inthe foreseeable future it [deficit spending] seems more likelyto accelerate than to come to a stop." In the 1980s and '90s hisfears were confirmed when, in most of the world's industrial

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