Keynes’ deadheads — still alive

22 May, 2016 at 17:46 | Posted in Economics | Leave a comment

I am not confident, however, that on this occasion the cheap-money phase will be sufficient by itself to bring about an adequate recovery of new investment. It may still be the case that the lender, with his confidence shattered by his experiences, will continue to ask for new enterprise rates of interest which the borrower cannot expect to earn …

deadheads-51ebdded4e11cIf this proves to be so, there will be no means of escape from prolonged and perhaps interminable depression except by direct state intervention to promote and subsidize new investment … The only way out is for us to discover some object which is admitted even by the deadheads to be a legitimate excuse for largely increasing the expenditure of someone on something!

It is not the harshness and the niggardliness of nature which are oppressing us, but our own incompetence and wrong-headedness which hinder us from making use of the bountifulness of inventive science and cause us to be overwhelmed by its generous fruits. The voices which — in such a conjuncture — tell us that the path of escape is to be found in strict economy and in refraining, wherever possible, from utilizing the world’s potential production are the voices of fools and madmen.

J M Keynes The World’s Economic Outlook

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