Texas Liberal

All People Matter

John Maynard Keynes & Deadheads

Here is what the great economist John Maynard Keynes (above) said in favor of government intervention in the economy—

“….There was no expenditure…it was thought proper for the State to incur except for war. In the past, therefore, we have not infrequently had to wait for a war to terminate a major depression. I hope that in the future we will not adhere to this purist financial attitude, and that we shall be ready to spend on the enterprises of peace what the financial maxims of the past would only allow us to spend on the devastation of war.. At any rate, I predict with an assured confidence that the only way is for us to discover some object which is admitted even by the deadheads to be a legitimate excuse for largely increasing the expenditure of someone on something.”  

I like this for two reasons. One is that it allows me to help make the case for government involvement in our economy. It is good that we live in a time when government is taking an active role in our economy, and is seeking to regulate and guide the economy rather than just letting this current deep recession take its course on people’s prospects in life. 

If we’re all just left the private sector, we will not have the opportunities in life that collectivist initiatives can offer the struggling but hardworking person.  

Here is a profile of Keynes from the Time magazine list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Read about him and see what you think. Keynes lived from 1883 until 1946.

The excerpt above comes from the book Global Capitalism–Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century by Jeffry Frieden.  This is a solid book that fills you in on capitalism as practiced—for both good and ill—in all parts of the world for a span of more than 100 years.

The other reason I like what Keynes said is that it allows me to run a picture of some deadheads from a Grateful Dead concert. Below you see a  picture of many deadheads at a Grateful Dead show.

I once went to a Grateful Dead concert. I was curious to see what it was like. I went at some point in the early 90’s. The show was just outside Columbus, Ohio and I think the temperature was about 102.  The opening act was Bruce Hornsby and the Range. I have to admit it was one of the most boring concerts I’ve ever seen in my life. That said, I had some sympathy for the deadheads traveling around and following the Grateful Dead.

They were just bumming around and getting stoned and whatever else they were doing. They were not bothering anybody and they seemed good-natured enough. I remember some of them were selling food and other things in the parking lot at the show.  I bought some spaghetti with sauce a one guy.  Maybe my purchase bought him a gallon of gas to help him get to the next concert.  

Here are annotated Grateful Dead lyrics.

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May 7, 2009 Posted by | Books, History, Music, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments