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Russ Roberts: Why Keynesians Always Get it Wrong (and Most Economists Too)


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ReasonTVReason TV:

"Economics as practiced by most of the profession...is full of hubris and should be much more full of humility," says former George Mason University economist Russ Roberts, NPR commentator, host of the popular podcast Econ Talk, blogger at Cafe Hayek, and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.


Throughout the fiscal crisis, Roberts has attacked economic stimulus plans promulgated by left-of-center Keynesians and right-of-center monetarists. Such plans, he says, almost always fail to deliver the desired results because they're predicated on a fundamentally flawed understanding of "the economy" as a single entity that can be directed one way or another.


Which isn't to say that there aren't better or worse policies to follow. We may not be able to control the economy says Roberts, but we can make it easier for it to function by following what he calls "general principles that are pretty timeless" such as a government that lives within its means and investors who are held accountable when their investments go bust.


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According the National Bureau of Economic Research, the US economy recovered from the recession at the beginning of the summer of 2009. Yet the recovery has been disappointing when compared to other recoveries. In this episode of the Numbers Game, John Taylor of Stanford University talks with host Russ Roberts about the nature of the recovery. How does it compare historically to other recoveries? How can we measure the pace of the recovery? The conversation ends with a discussion of possible explanations for why the recovery has been disappointing.
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