...is going to be the ruin of us all.
Seriously: in today's Handelsblatt (the article isn't currently online, but it's in German anyway), the lead article is about how the "economic elite" in the US is calling, apparently in a Keynesian unisono voice, for additional spending: the hundreds of billions spent weren't enough.
Apparently these folks still believe that throwing money at problems is all you really need to do: it is, after all, a classic Washington solution to any problem that shows up (which does explain part of the reason the budget looks like it does).
Here's a question that has, as of yet, not been answered: At what point does a Keynesian economist say that his set of dogmatic tools fails to work and that an economy must go through a very painful period of austerity - paying off the bills, as it were, after decades of Keynesian excess - in order to restore order to the country?
I fear the answer is that a Keynesian economist will admit the failure of the system about the same time that a Marxist will admit that the Marxist system failed as well.
In other words, never.
Ye gods. The way things are going, the economy and the country will be sacrificed in order to meet the belief structure of a long-dead economist. Keynes was right:
"The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist."
How ironic can it be that the defunct economist that Keynes here speaks of is ... Keynes himself?
"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones."
That economists of the calibre of Stiglitz call today for increasing government spending underscores how bankrupt Keynes' thought has become.