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John Maynard Keynes was an important English economist who died in 1946 , but his thought would reappear several times in recent history, following doubts that arose in the liberal economic system of Western countries .
Certain fissures present in this vision made some economists turn to something Keynes called the benefactor state . What was it and what was it for?
His position was based on the application of protectionist policies within societies that were not. The objective of such a strange mix would be in regulating the functioning of the State to benefit people . Beyond agreeing with it or not, the truth is that the ideological framework it ended up building would end up dominating important economic recovery processes around almost everyone. Many politicians rekindled their ideas, used them, exceeded their use, and there were even those who ended up condemning them.
“ The market does not regulate itself,” Keynes said , “but it needs state intervention by generating income redistribution policies, subsidies and unemployment insurance.”
The recovery after the Wall Street Crack in 1929, clearly translates into the figure of the so-called Welfare State developed precisely by Keynes .
Although what happens in another hemisphere may sound alien to local thought, the truth is that many economists who emerged from both radicalism and Peronism , in their own way and time, applied and still observe many of the formulas born from the basic conception of the welfare state . That is why we often hear that this or that economist applies certain measures because technically he is “ Keynesian .”
The perspective of these practices would seem simple at first glance. By extending the rights to wages of the inhabitants of a country, it is possible to increase consumption.Consequently, it is also feasible to generate an offer proportional to the wage recomposition (*) .
Always within the group of academics close to protectionist currents, Keynes also knew how to recommend the systematic application of extensive policies that would in turn encourage work.
Such practices would increase expectations about Present State Theory , expanding into such important sectors as education, health, safety, infrastructure and services . In addition, all these aspects of social life would also be individual rights. Railways, for example, bring losses around the world, but they are necessary. That is why Keynes argued that the economy is not regulated spontaneously, but also requires some kind of intervention (**) .
Within the historical perspective, the Keynesian system was a response to the trade crisis that arose from the two World Wars , which generated considerable losses on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same time, as we have already said, he solved many of the difficulties caused by the fall of the New York Stock Exchange during the Great Depression of the 1930s . That is, his ideas served to overcome the first three major crises of the twentieth century .
It is also true that as early as the 21st century, from 2008 onwards, the liberal world would resume the idea of strengthening the state's presence in the most vulnerable sectors of society, assuming that this alternative would be imposed on the concept of savage capitalism . That was how John Keynes reappeared again and again among the most frequented Western thinkers.
In this regard, the Obama System is currently recognized as part of the Welfare State . Politics had finally shown that the theoretical sustenance that emerged from the work of the universally known English economist would be applied whenever capitalism needed a bailout. At last, a strange sort of controlled liberal regime had imposed itself on the absence of control .
But the essential problem of evoking Keynes , despite his apparent balance, would not be in the results obtained from his statements. According to some of his most fierce adversaries, he ended up being, as is often the case with many figures of the 20th century, one of the English economists to whom he was most related to the Nazi regime. The eternal ghost of much of the contemporary nightmares was there again. But the evidence against him doesn't seem entirely firm.
The rumor generated about their sayings and ties with Germany then provoked a great rejection within the world of many purely liberal thinkers. However, one of the most frequent reasons for excelling Keynes from his supposed ideological links, often appeals to his premature death. This scholar of the market did not have time to go through the period of denazification to which intellectuals submitted between 1946 and 1959. He died seven months after the declaration of the end of World War II .
Beyond the fact that many authors in 1933 were convinced that Hitler could be the only viable option to combat revolutionary communism , Keynes' method would not affirm such a thing, although it would create its own obscure questions.
One of the harshest points of his thought would be the appearance on stage of a possibly clientelle and totalitarian state system . Perhaps the dangerous fruit of populism , which arisen both on the left and on the right , could come from the Keynesian method. This question would become a nightmare for many liberal economists. So much so, that some came to identify the Welfare State with the so feared and always suspected State of Cooptation . But that, frankly, is another story...
Publication Date: 12/01/2020
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