Monday, February 23, 2009

This Keynes craze...

A couple weeks ago, I walked out of my first graduate school class. Funny it didn't happen when I was called a nazi (fall of 2007) or a person who affiliated with devil people like Phyllis Schafly or Charles Murray (spring 2008). I just got fed up.

We had a guest lecturer come talk to us about Keynes in our macroeconomics course. Fine. Ok, I was mentally prepared for a tedious class. What I wasn't prepared for was the ensuing Keynes lovefest coupled with derogatory comments about those crazy and unrealistic free market ideas that have "thankfully been proven wrong" etc. I bit my tongue and concentrated on keeping my cool. Unfortunately my laptop died or I would have vented my frustrations live on my blog. I made it all the way until 9:15pm (the class ends at 9:45) and the professor had obviously finished his prepared lecture and was just grinding his axe. Some snotty faced eager beaver in the front row eagerly raised his hand (why raise your hand when you're 3 feet away from the prof is beyond me), "Don't you think these irresponsible and greedy executives deserve some punitive damage for what they've done?"

As the professor started to calmly respond to this absurd question, I gathered my things and left the room. Unfortunately, my exit was punctuated inadvertently with the slamming of the door behind me. To which the professory commented, "Well, she must be an investment banker!"

No, my good sir, I am not, but I feel their pain.

The primary problem I have with Keynes is the same problem I have with neoclassical economics and all that other mainstream econ you learn in most undergraduate programs - it's assuming too much. Whether is perfect information on behalf of the neoclassical model or better information by the Keynesian planners, it assumes that some central authority is better equipped to make decisions than individual participants in the economy.

Here's a good explanation on the current Keynes craze and what Keynes was really all about.

Hat tip: David

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