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More Keynesian than Keynes

Like most people who create an “ism,” John Maynard Keynes quickly found his followers running ahead of him. And now Keynes's greatest biographer, Robert Skidelsky, has become too Keynesian for his own good.

CAMBRIDGE – Like most people who create an “ism,” John Maynard Keynes quickly found his followers running ahead of him. “You are more Keynesian than I am,” he once told a young American economist. Now it is the turn of his biographer, Robert Skidelsky, to become distinctly more Keynesian than Keynes.

Keynes was not averse to changing his mind. But, as far I am aware, he did not change his predictions after the fact. This does not seem to be the case for Skidelsky.

In November 2010, Skidelsky described British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne as a “menace to the future of the economy,” whose policies “doomed” the United Kingdom to “years of interminable recession.” In July 2011, he declared that Osborne was making a “wasteland.”

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