Magazine February 23, 2009, Issue

The Anti-Keynes

The Federal Reserve building in Washington, D.C., August 22, 2018 (Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Friedrich Hayek sheds light on our economic troubles

In the current economic-policy debate, the ideas of John Maynard Keynes are resurgent. Here are some of the results: Federal deficit spending soon will reach, and far exceed, previous peacetime peaks. Current projections indicate the budget deficit may surpass $1.1 trillion (that’s trillion with a “T,” one thousand billion) in fiscal 2009. Deepened by emerging stimulus expenses, the deficit may top $1.4 trillion, or about 10 percent of gross domestic product. The federal government will borrow slightly less than half of what it spends.

Before he became the great intellectual opponent of socialism, Friedrich Hayek was a technical economist and Keynes’s

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