On the crisis

It was interesting to find in a classic (Hobsbawm’s Age of Extremes, 1994) the prophecy on the failures of economic theory to deal with crises:

As unemployment soared, it did not seem plausible … that public works would not increase employment at all, because the money spent on them would merely be diverted from the private sector, which would otherwise have generated just as much employment.

Economists who simply advised leaving the economy alone, governments whose first instincts, apart from protecting the gold standard by deflationary policies, was to stick to financial orthodoxy, balance budgets and cut costs, were visibly not making the situation better.

…us who lived through the years of the Great Slump still find it almost impossible to understand how the orthodoxies of the pure free market, then so obviously discredited once again came to preside over a global period of depression in the late 1980s and 1990s, which, once again, they were equally unable to understand or to deal with.

Another case where I came to think that we don’t really need a simulation to understand.

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