domingo, 26 de outubro de 2008

Leitura anti-Keynes

The Failure of the New Economics, by Henry Hazlitt (1959), full text in PDF

No FOREWARD por Rothbard: "Henry Hazlitt, in this vitally important and desperately needed book, throws down the challenge in a detailed, thoroughgoing refutation of the General Theory. Anyone tempted to scoff at this debate as simply a tempest in an abstract academic teapot, unrelated to the current practical world, might ponder such statements as these, which can be found, unquestioned and unchallenged, in almost any news magazine or newspaper column:

"We need no longer worry about a depression, because now government knows how to cure it — with deficit spending and 'built-in stabilizers."

"The government's X billion dollars of military spending is a useful prop to the economy."

"Business will improve in the next quarter because government intends to grant more contracts and run a larger deficit."

"To check the threat to inflation, the government should impose high taxation to sop up excess purchasing power."

"The government's main economic duty is to stabilize the economy and ensure full employment."

"In contrast to the capitalism of the nineteenth century, which emphasized thrift and production, our modern capitalism depends for its prosperity on consumer demand."

These are the common coin of the land, to such an extent that they are now virtually "non-controversial," accepted by both political parties. And yet, they are not primeval truths, but mischievous fallacies, every one of them introduced into the modern world by Lord Keynes and his disciples.

(...). Keynes's General Theory is here riddled chapter by chapter, line by line, with due account taken of the latest theoretical developments. The complete refutation of a vast network of fallacy can only be accomplished by someone thoroughly grounded in a sound positive theory. Henry Hazlitt has that groundwork. An "Austrian" follower of Ludwig von Mises, he is uniquely qualified for this task, and performs it surpassingly well.

It is no exaggeration to say that this is by far the best book on economics published since Mises' great Human Action in 1949."

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