When the world financial system failed in 2008, world governments intervened decisively. Guided by Keynesian economics teams with impeccable credentials, they intended not only to “stimulate” the economy, but to “jolt” it back to borrowing and spending as usual. All of these actions were taken from a playbook devised by British economist John Maynard Keynes, author of The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money and by far the most influential social thinker of the past century.
But . . . not all economists agree. Following the Crash of 2008, some critics of Keynesianism ask: Isn’t the root problem that Americans have borrowed too much? Will even more borrowing, this time government borrowing to support deficit spending, really help us out of the bind we are in?