The British economist John Maynard Keynes may live on in popular legend as the world’s most influential economist. But in much of Europe, and most acutely here in the land of his birth, his view that deficit spending by governments is crucial to avoiding a long recession has lately been willfully ignored.
In Britain, George Osborne, chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered a speech on Wednesday that would have made Keynes — who himself worked in the British Treasury — blanch.He argued forcefully that Britons, despite slowing growth and negligible bank lending, must accept a rise in the retirement age to 66 from 65 and $130 billion in spending cuts that would eliminate nearly 500,000 public sector jobs and hit pensioners, the poor, the military and the middle class because of what he insisted was the overwhelming need to reduce the country’s huge budget deficit.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Cuts in Britain Ignore Views of Keynes - NYTimes.com