Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The New Cainsianism

For those unfamiliar with John Maynard Keynes, he was a British economist whose greatest work was published in 1936.  It is fair to say that his macroeconomic analysis was largely responsible for the unprecedented growth and success experienced by most of Europe and the United States in the decades following WWII.  And in fact, it more or less codified and explained the success of the elements of FDR's rather ad hoc, cobbled together New Deal policies, which halted the collapse of the Great Depression.  In short, his school of thought, Keynesianism, is the economic foundation of progressivism.

Conservatism embraces a different approach to the subject of economics.  I didn't watch the Republican circus last night and have not heard or read any updates on the latest idiocy.  But I did hear something from Herman Cain last Sunday which I've been meaning to mention in this forum.  And as I'm certain even a stage full of Republican presidential pretenders couldn't match or exceed this gem for crystalline clarity of the deep depravity and greed which defines that political and economic philosophy, this is as good a time as any for a quick comment.

When questioned on the Face The Nation television program as to exactly how his economic plan would bring about an improvement in the economy, Cain responded that his plan would expand employment so much that "the working poor would be able to hold two jobs." 

I'm not kidding, he really said exactly that.  The problem is he's not kidding either.  How about, instead of promulgating  a new brand of "Cainsianism" for the rich, we work on designing an economic plan which would produce a result wherein the phrase "working poor" has no meaning.  That is, one in which employers could not work people for their own profit, while keeping them poor as a result of insufficient compensation?

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