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November 24, 2008


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Arthur James

William Kristol also urges Charles Schumer and others to read "the political economists" like John Maynard Keynes. Absolutely right.

One of the most important lessons of Keynes is not to think of our economic woes in isolation from the rest of the world, or to think that we alone can solve our problems. Keynes teaches us that the US needs, for its own sake, to provide leadership to the international economy, and to encourage coordination of economic policies (such as fiscal and monetary stimulatory measures) between major economies, to develop and strengthen international economic institutions, and as much as possible then to ensure free trade.

It is encouraging that many of those whom President-elect Obama has chosen as his economic team share an understanding of these ideas.

Fortunately there are works about Keynes, such as Donald Moggridge's biography of him and Donald Markwell's study of "Keynes and international relations", to help us consult this great "political economist", as Kristol urges, and in particular to see his emphasis on international economic cooperation.


I bet if Kristol had known that all he needed to do to keep his job was to watch The West Wing, I bet he would have done this a long time ago:


Interesting column, nevertheless.

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