Paul Krugman: The Great Anti-Keynesian Flip-Out


The Great Anti-Keynesian Flip-Out, by Paul Krugman, in NY Times:  Keynesian economists made some pretty clear predictions around 3 years ago – predictions that were very much at odds with what anti-Keynesians were saying. We said that as long as the economy remained deeply depressed, even a huge rise in the monetary base would not be inflationary, and that even huge budget deficits would not send interest rates soaring. And we said that fiscal austerity would be contractionary, not expansionary.

All these predictions have been borne out. And some of the anti-Keynesians seem to be in the process of acknowledging, at least in a grudging way, that they got it wrong.

But some anti-Keynesians have tried to save their dignity, or something, by attacking supposed Keynesian propositions that nobody actually, you know, proposed. The usual one is to claim that Keynesians predicted great results from the Obama stimulus (which I very noisily did not). But Tyler Cowen has come up with something truly strange. He seems to believe that any good news anywhere somehow refutes Keynes. Hints of recovery in Ireland (which proved a false dawn)? Keynesianism is wrong! A relatively encouraging month on the jobs front? Keynesianism is wrong!

I’d say that this was attacking a straw man, but that would be an insult to straw men. What is going on in Cowen’s head?

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