Critics of Keynesian Economics by Henry Hazlitt

By Henry Hazlitt

Henry Hazlitt faced the increase of Keynesianism in his day and prepare an highbrow arsenal: the main awesome economists of the time exhibiting what's wrong with the procedure, in nice element with nice rigor. With excerpts from books and articles released among the 30s and 50s, it is still the main strong anti-Keynesian assortment ever assembled

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In the present state of the commercial world, mercantile transactions being carried on upon an immense scale, but the remote causes of fluctuations in prices being very little understood, so that unreasonable hopes and unreasonable fears alternately rule with tyrannical sway over the minds of a majority of the mercantile public; general eagerness to buy and general reluctance to buy, succeed one another in a manner more or less marked, at brief intervals. Except during short periods of transition, there is almost always either great briskness of business or great stagnation; either the principal producers of almost all the leading articles of industry have as many orders as they can possibly execute, or the dealers in almost all commodities have their warehouses full of unsold goods.

We touch upon the question, not in the hope of rendering these fundamental truths clearer than they already are, but to perform a task, so useful and needful, that it is to be wished it were oftener deemed part of the business of those who direct their assaults against ancient prej- JOHN STUART MILL 27 udices,—that of seeing that no scattered particles of important truth are buried and lost in the ruins of exploded error. Every prejudice, which has long and extensively prevailed among the educated and intelligent, must certainly be borne out by some strong appearance of evidence; and when it is found that the evidence does not prove the received conclusion, it is of the highest importance to see what it does prove.

It must, therefore, be a matter of mere accident, if by arriving in a place, the new unproductive consumer causes any net advantage to its industry, of the kind which we are now examining. Not to mention that this, like any other change in the channels of trade, may render useless a portion of fixed capital, and so far injure the national wealth. A distinction, however, must here be made. The place to which the new unproductive consumers have come, may be a town or village, as well as a country.

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