Keynes and the Planned Economy

  • Alec Cairncross
Part of the Keynes Seminars book series (KESE)


Keynesianism, said Richard Kahn recently, is in danger of becoming a dirty word. The mismanagement of the British economy is laid at Keynes’s door long after his death. Was he not the man, in the words of Brendan Bracken, ‘who made inflation respectable’? Who but Keynes is to be blamed for the ‘mistaken’ belief in budget deficits; in fine tuning; in a simplistic approach to demand management? Who turned our attention away from the quantity of money? Who killed the gold standard? Who destroyed belief in the good old automatic regulators and left us at the mercy of political misjudgement and cowardice? Above all, who opened the door to a steady growth of government intervention in economic affairs and with it an increasing invasion of individual rights and liberties?


Monetary Policy Central Bank Money Supply Full Employment Demand Management 
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  1. 9.
    E. R. Walker, From Economic Theory to Policy (University of Chicago Press: 1943), p. 72.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    Cited by R. F. Harrod, The Life of John Maynard Keynes (London: 1951), P. 436.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    Keynes, Economic Journal (June—September 1943), pp. 183 and 185, quoted by Lord Kahn in ‘On Re-reading Keynes’, Proceedings of the British Academy, Vol. LX (1974), p. 379.Google Scholar

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© Keynes College 1978

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  • Alec Cairncross

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