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Roosevelt and Keynesian Economics

Roosevelt’s New Deal is most peoples’ idea of Keynesian economics in action. Sir Vince Cable describes how this is and is not the whole story.

The New Deal cemented Franklin D. Roosevelt’s political reputation as one of the ‘greats’ along with Washington and Lincoln. It built a powerful coalition around the Democratic Party which lasted for decades. Further, the New Deal is also most peoples’ idea of Keynesian economics in action.

Sir Vince Cable tells the story of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts to stimulate the economy and help millions of struggling Americans in this film. While near synonymous today in most people’s minds, Vince shows the only limited ways in which Keynes influenced President Roosevelt and his economic thinking.

Recovery from the Great Depression is attributed to many factors including President Roosevelt’s implementation of some Keynesian economic ideas. Please read Keynes’ Open Letter to President Roosevelt and pay particular attention to what advice Keynes shares with the President. Discuss in the comments below whether you think President Roosevelt followed Keynes’ advice and whether we should attribute the success of the recovery to Keynesian economics.

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The Politics of Economics and the Economics of Politicians

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