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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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Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren (1930)

Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren (1930)

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren (1930)
Source:
Revisiting Keynes
Author(s):

John Maynard Keynes

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262162494.003.0002

The purpose of this chapter is not to examine the present or the near future, but to dispel short-sighted views and take a look into the future. From the earliest times of which we have record down to the beginning of the eighteenth century, there was no very great change in the standard of living of the average man living in the civilized centers of the earth. This slow rate of progress, or lack thereof, can be attributed to two things—the remarkable absence of important technical improvements and the failure of capital to accumulate. It is argued here that the modern age began with the accumulation of capital, which began in the sixteenth century. This was initially due to the rise of prices, and the profits to which that led, which resulted from the treasure of gold and silver which Spain brought from the New World into the Old.

Keywords:   standard of living, average man, civilized centers, progress, technical improvements, modern age, accumulation of capital, Spain

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