By Henry Hazlitt
Henry Hazlitt faced the increase of Keynesianism in his day and prepare an highbrow arsenal: the main tremendous economists of the time displaying what's wrong with the process, in nice aspect with nice rigor. With excerpts from books and articles released among the 30s and 50s, it is still the main robust anti-Keynesian assortment ever assembled
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The oldfashioned economist must, therefore, struggle not only with new ideas and new methods of manipulating them, but also with a new language. There is ample reward, however, for the expenditure of time and attention necessary for even partial mastery of the argument. 1. "INVOLUNTARY" UNEMPLOYMENT Mr. Keynes claims that the "classical" 2 economists recognized the possibility only of "frictional" and of "voluntary" unemployment, and that a vitally important chapter of economic theory remains to be written about a third class of unemploy2 Used by him to mean the later economists, such as J.
Let us ascertain to what extent the two cases actually resemble; what is the explanation of the false appearance, and the real nature of the phenomenon which, being seen indistinctly, has led to a false conclusion. We shall propose for examination a very simple case, but the explanation of which will suffice to clear up all other cases which fall within the same principle. Suppose that a number of foreigners with large incomes arrive in a country, and there expend those incomes: will this operation be beneficial, as respects the national wealth, to the country which receives these immigrants?
Diet. Phil. Art. ) By a continuation of the same false reasoning, he goes on to declare, that a thorough citizen of the world cannot wish his country to be greater or less, richer or poorer. It is true, that he would not desire her to extend the limits of her dominion, because, in so doing, she might endanger her own well-being; but he will desire her to progress in wealth, for her progressive prosperity promotes that of all other nations. 10 This effect has been sensibly experienced in Brazil of late years.