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Revisiting KeynesEconomic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren$
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Lorenzo Pecchi and Gustavo Piga

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262162494

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262162494.001.0001

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Really Thinking Long Run: Keynes’s Other Masterpiece

Really Thinking Long Run: Keynes’s Other Masterpiece

(p.198) (p.199) 15 Really Thinking Long Run: Keynes’s Other Masterpiece
Revisiting Keynes

William J. Baumol

The MIT Press

This chapter argues that, although Keynes’s predictions are riddled with outright errors, his observations about the distant past are so remarkable—and the poor predictions that emerged from his clouded telescope so illuminating—that we must forgive him his many sins, not only for his outright errors but even his then-fashionable anti-Semitism. Pointing out the root of Keynes’s errors or presenting an alternative forecast is not the goal here; the aim, rather, is to present some of Keynes’s observations that will lead us to reevaluate standard conclusions that are usually taken to be nearly self-evident and largely beyond dispute. It is assumed here that the standard conclusions remain valid, but that they must be regarded with a certain amount of modesty, i.e. with less than absolute confidence.

Keywords:   outright errors, distant past, anti-Semitism, standard conclusions, modesty, absolute confidence

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