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By Robert L. Heilbroner

A deep and frequent challenge impacts sleek monetary concept, a predicament that derives from the absence of a "vision"--a set of commonly shared political and social preconceptions--on which all economics eventually relies. This absence, in flip, displays the cave in of the Keynesian view that supplied the sort of starting place from 1940 throughout the early Seventies, akin to prior visions supplied through Smith, Ricardo, Mill, and Marshall. The "unraveling" of Keynesianism has been by way of a department into discordant and useless camps whose universal denominator appears their shared analytical refinement and shortage of sensible applicability. This provocative research makes an attempt either to explain this situation, and to indicate the course within which fiscal pondering needs to circulate whether it is to regain the relevance and remedial strength it now pointedly lacks.

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Most macroeconomic theory since the 1970s has had a distinctly monetarist bent, including even the "New Keynesian" theory of the 1980s and 1990s. Indeed, as the public focus shifted from a concern with employment and income to worries over inflation, Keynesianism faltered, offering only "fiscalism in reverse" that is, fiscal restraint which proved to be of no value in combatting the inflationary surge. As a result, both its theoretical and its policy-related prestige diminished. With this (footnote continued from previous page) should be considered distinct.

Previous page < previous page page_64 page_65 next page > next page > Page 65 lian approach to the economy as an intricately interconnected congeries of markets, comprehensible as one gigantic total market; the other adding the concept of a system whose dynamics could not be portrayed as originating in a single market or group of markets. Probably because Marshall was aware of pitfalls in the simple aggregation of individual market outcomes, his attention was almost exclusively focused on questions of partial, rather than general equilibrium.

2, Winter 19823): 200. 11. See Phillip Cagan, "Reflections on Rational Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 12 (Part 2, 1980): 827; David Colander and R. " Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 2 (No. " Economic Inquiry, 15 (No. 4, October 1977): 466. 12. Mankiw, "A Quick Refresher Course in Macroeconomics," pp. 1648, 1649. Â < previous page < previous page page_74 page_75 next page > next page > Page 75 though Mankiw does not use the term, his characterization makes the axiom a heuristic whose usefulness is not to be judged by the economic modeling possibilities it opens up, but by the construals of reality it makes possible.

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