2013년 4월 14일 일요일

[발췌: Milton Friedman's] John Maynard Keynes (1989 [1997])

지은이: Milton Friedman
자료: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond Economic Quarterly, Volume 83/2, Spring 1997

출처: “The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is indebted to Professor Friedman for his kind permission to publish this article in its original English version. The article first appeared in German translation in the volume of commentaries accompanying the facsimile edition of John Maynard Keynes’s the General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1936) published in 1989 by Verlag Wirtschaft und Finanzen GmbH, Düsseldorf, as part of its series Klassiker der Nationalökonomie. The generous permission of that publisher and its principal, Mr. Michael Tochtermann, are gratefully acknowledged.”

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※ 발췌(excerpt):

( ... ... )

2. The Influence of The General Theory

To return to the General Theory: its influence on both economic thinking and economic practice was profound. The "Keynesian Revolution" was far more than a figure of speech. From shortly after the publication of the book in 1936 to at least the 1960s, the majority of professional economists, and certainly the most prominent, termed themselves "Keynesians." Those who called themselves non- or anti- Keynesians were a beleaguered minority, supplemented, it must be said, by some important writers on economics who were not members of the professional guild.[2] Governments around the world hastened to adopt "Keynesian policies," though many an economistㅡboth Keynesians and anti-Keynesiansㅡregarded some of the policies, particularly when they led to inflation, as at best "bastard Keynesianism."[3]
[2] In the U.S., the most important was doubtless Henry Hazlitt, The Failure of the New Economics: An Analysis of the Keynesian Fallacies (Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand, 1959).
[3] The phrase was coined by Joan Robinson, one of the earliest and most dedicated members of Keynes’s inner circle, in her review of Harry Johnson’s Money, Trade and Economic Growth (1962), Economic Journal, vol. 72 (September 1962), p. 690. However, she used it to refer to the theories of some of Keynes’s followers, rather than to policies.
As of this writing (1988), the status and influence of the book has changed. It continues to have a major influence on economic thinking and economic policy, and will long continue to do so, but for very different reasons and in a very different way than it did initially. The catalyst for the change was the inflation and stagflation of the 1970s. As Robert Lucas wrote in 1981, "Proponents of a class of models which promised 3.5 to 4.5% unemployment to a society willing tolerate annual inflation rates of 4 to 5%  have some explaining to do after a decade such as we have gone through [i.e., the 1970s, when inflation rose to 16% and unemployment to 8% in the United States, and to 30% and 6% in the U.K. Inflation rose as high as 25% in Japan and 7% in Germany, though unemployment remained relatively low]. A forecast error of this magnitude and central importance to policy has consequences, as well it should."

The predictions to which Lucas refers were based on the so-called Phillips curve which linked inflation inversely to unemploymentㅡallegedly, the higher the rate of inflation, the lower the level of unemployment. The curve was asserted by many Keynesians to be stable over time and to specify a menu of combinations of inflation and unemployment, any of which was attainable by the appropriate monetary and fiscal policy. Lucas went on to note that "in the late 1960s Milton Friedman(1968) and Edmund Phelps(1968) had argued ... that these predicted Phillips curve trade-offs were spurious." They emphasized the importance of distinguishing between anticipated and unanticipated inflation in interpreting Phillips curve, and Friedman introduced the concept of a "natural rate of employment' to which the economy would tend as economic actors adjusted their anticipations.

"The central forecast to which [Friedman's and Phelps's] reasoning led," Lucas continued, "was a conditional one, to the effect that a high-inflation decade should not have less unemployment on average that a low-inflation decade. We got the high-inflation decade, and with it as clear-cut an experimental discrimination as macro-economics is ever likely to see, and Friedman and Phelps were right."[4]
[4] Robert E. Lucas, Jr., "Tobin and Monetarism: A Review Article," Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 19 (june 1981), p. 560.
The 1980s have been no kinder to the earlier Keynesian models. In the U.S., inflation was brought down drastically, accompanied by a temporary increase in unemployment to a peak of nearly 11%ㅡa short-term reaction to unanticipated disinflation along Phillips curve lines. But the, from 1983 on, unemployment fell concurrently with further declines in inflation, reaching 6% by the end of 1987 when inflation was about 4%ㅡa flat contradiction of the asserted negative relation between unemployment and inflation embodied in the Phillips curve. In the U.K., too, an initial decline in inflation was accompanied by a sharp rise in unemployment, which was very much slower to decline but has more recently begun to do so. In Germany ( ... ... ) All in all, this experience is hardly consistent with a stable trade-off between inflation and unemployment.

Experience led to disillusionment with initial Keynesianism on the part not only of professional economists but also of policymakers. The most dramatic evidence came from Jame Callaghan, when he was the Labour prime minister of the U.K.ㅡthe party and the country that had gone farthest in embracing and adopting Keynesian policies. Said Callaghan in 1976, "We used to think that you could just spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending. I tell you, in all candour, that that option no longer exists; and that insofar as it ever did exist, it only worked by injecting bigger doses of inflation into the economy followed by higher levels of unemployment as the next step. That is the history of the past 20 years."

Despite the widespread rejection of some of the key propositions that constituted the "Keynesian revolution," the book continues to have a major impact on economic thinking. ( ... ... ) However, the character of the book's influence has changed. Some years ago, I remarked to a journalist from ^Time^ magazine, "We are all Keynesians now; no one is any longer a Keynesian." In regrettable journalist fashion, Time quoted the first half of what I still believe to be the truth, omitting the second half. We all use Keynesian terminology; we all use many of the analytical details of the General Theory; we all accept at least a large part of the changed agenda for analysis and research that the General Theory introduced. However no one accepts the basic substantive conclusions of the book, no one regards its implicit separation of nominl from real magnitude as possible or desirable, even as an analytical first approximation, or its analytical core as providing a true "general theory."

( ... ... )

4. Keynes's Political Influence

In judging Keynes's overall influence on public policy, it is necessary to distinguish his bequest to technical economics from his bequest to politics. Keynes's bequest to technical economics was strongly positive. His bequest to politics, in my opinion, was not. Yet I conjecture that his bequest to politics has had far more influence on the shape of today's world than his bequest to technical economics. In particular, it has contributed to the proliferation of overgrown government increasingly concerned with every phase of their citizens' daily lives.[21]

I can best indicate what I regard to be Keynes's bequest to politics by quoting from his famous letter to Professor Friedrich von Hayek praising Hayek's Road to Serfdom. The part generally quoted is from the opening paragraph of the letter: "In my opinion it is a grand book ... [M]orally and philosophically I find myself in agreement with virtually the whole of it; and not only in agreement with it, but in a deeply moved agreement."

The part I want to direct attention to comes later:
I should therefore conclude your theme rather differently. I should say that what we want is not no planning, or even less planning, indeed I should say that we almost certainly want more. But the planning should take place in a community in which as many people as possible, both leaders and followers wholly share your own moral position. Moderate planning will be safe if those carrying it out are rightly oriented in their own minds and hearts to the moral issue.
What we need therefore, in my opinion, is not a change in our economic programmes, which would only lead in practice to disillusion with the results of your philosophy; but perhaps even the contrary, namely, an enlargement of them .... No, what we need is the restoration of right moral thinkingㅡa return to proper moral values in our social philosophy .... Dangerous acts can be done safely in a community which thinks and feels rightly, which would be the way to hell if they were executed by those who think and feel wrongly. [22]
Keynes was exceedingly effective in persuading a broad groupㅡeconomists, policymakers, government officials, and interested citizensㅡof the two concepts implicit in his letter to Hayek: first, the public interest concept of government; second, the benevolent dictatorship concept that all will be well if only good men are in power. Clearly, Keynes's argument with "virtually the whole" of the Road to Serfdom did not extend to the chapter titled "Why the Worst Get on Top."

Keynes believed that economists (and others) could best contribute to the improvement of society by investigating how to manipulate the levers actually or potentially under control of the political authorities so as to achieve desirable ends, and then persuading benevolent civil servants and elected officials to follow their advice. The role of voters is to elect persons with the right moral values to office and then let them run the country.

From an alternative point of view, economists (and others) can best contribute to the improvement of society by investigating the framework of political institutions that will best assure that an individual government employee or elected official who, in Adam Simth's words, "intends only his own gain ... is ... led by an invisible hand to promote an end that was no part of his intention," and then persuading the voters that it is in their self-interest to adopt such a framework. The task, that is, is to do for the political market what Adam Smith so largely did for the economic market.

Keynes's view has been enormously influentialㅡif only by strongly reinforcing a pre-existing attitude. Many economists have devoted their efforts to social engineering of precisely the kind that Keynes engaged in an advised other to engage in. And it if far from clear that they have been wrong to do so. We must act within the system as it is. We may regret that government has the powers it does; we may try our best as citizens to persuade our fellow citizens to eliminate many of those powers; but so long as they exist, it is often, though by no means always, better that they be exercised efficiently than inefficiently. Moreover, given that the system is what it is, it is entirely proper for individuals to conform and promote their interests within it.

An approach that takes for granted that government employees and officials are acting as benevolent dictators to promote in a disinterested way what they regard as the public's conception of the "general interest" is bound to contribute to an expansion in government intervention in the economyㅡregardless of the economic theory employed. A monetarist no less than a Keynesian interpretation of economic fluctuations can lead to a fine-tuning approach to economic policy.

The persuasiveness of Keynes's view was greatly enhanced in Britain by historical experience, as well as by the example Keynes himself set. Britain retains an aristocratic structureㅡone in which noblesse oblige was more than a meaningless catchword. What has changed are the criteria for admission to the aristocracyif not to a complete meritocracry, at least some way in that direction. Moreover, Britain's 19th-century laissez-faire policy produced a largely incorruptible civil service, with limited scope for action, but with great powers of decision within those limits. It also produced a law-obedient citizenry that was responsive to the actions of the elected officials operating in turn under the influence of the civil service. The welfare state of the 20th-century has almost completely eroded both elements of this heritage. But that was not true when Keynes was forming his views, during most of his public activity.

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