What would Keynes do?

What would Keynes do as Krugman loads climate dice?

What would Keynes do?From the BBC News, very interesting piece on A Point of View: What would Keynes do?

Keynes would be just as sceptical about the prospect of returning to growth. With our ageing populations and overhang of debt, there’s little prospect of developed societies keeping up with the rapid expansion that is going on in emerging countries. Wouldn’t we be better off thinking about how we can enjoy a good life in conditions of low growth?

This is a point economist Karl Seeley and I have been talking through via his blog, The Dance of the Hippo. We cannot simply return to growth in the Keynesian sense, but there is plenty of work to be done to reduce resource use–that in the U.S. could be done with unprecedented interest-rate borrowing power, putting people to work to re-tool our built environment.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., resident Keynesian Paul Krugman–who certainly has been writing about borrowing for employment–shifts to talk about Loading the Climate Dice. It’s an interesting piece, worth reading, but it’s mostly about the politics of climate change. I’m still hoping for more connection–for how we can borrow now to end the recession, creating jobs and work for people who need employment, but directed at long-run resource use reduction, so we have a chance at forestalling the tipping point that could push the Earth over the brink.

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