"The idea of freedom is great for those who have large reserves of credit... Contracts between equals are rare things in capitalism." —Economist Robert Boyer
For nearly a century, most economic debate in capitalist societies has come down to a battle royal between two camps: those following John Maynard Keynes and those whose allegiance lies with Friedrich Hayek. Or, in other words, the ideological divide between those who see the need for economic policy to serve social cohesion and stability, and those for whom price - as set by the free market - is the only guide to rational economic decisions.
KEYNES VS HAYEK: A FAKE DEBATE? Delves deeply into the origins of both schools of thought, and how they were shaped by post-WWI German reparations, the Depression, and the need to rebuild industrial economies after World War II.
Keynesians ruled the day in the post-war economic expansion, but the soaring crime rates and economic stagnation of the 1970s rekindled interest in the idea that the government could not successfully guide the economy. This was the moment at which uber-Hayekian economist Milton Friedman emerged from obscurity, influencing the neo-conservative governments of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, and leading to an economic revolution whose hallmarks - privatization and deregulation - continue to be felt today.
Is it time for the pendulum to swing back to Keynes? Or do we need a whole new approach that goes beyond the dualism of Keynes vs Hayek?
Featuring Keynes biographer Robert Skidelsky, Hayek biographer Alan Ebenstein, and economist James Kenneth Galbraith, among others. View the complete list of storytellers.