Tuesday, December 20, 2011

20/12/2011: The end of Neo-Keynesianism

I have recently written about the lack of debt reductions under the 'austerity' packages in Europe (see link here). Now, Washington Post weighs in with an excellent note on the demise of the Neo-Keynesian doctrine of unlimited borrowing-based deficit financing - link here. It is, therefore, perhaps befitting to note that today's Le Monde quotes Professor Jean-Marc Daniel of ESCP saying that "without doubt we are living in the last hours of a European Social model". The article, cited in the eurointelligence.com briefing note, but not linked, also cites absurd abuses of the Social Contract in Greece and other PIIGS.

This, of course, is a logical conclusion to the economically illogical proposition that states with severe debt overhang (in excess of 80% of GDP or GNP for public debts) can borrow their way out of the debt crisis.

But the problem goes deeper than that. Europe 2020 - the only growth policy platform for the EU27 - relies extensively on the Social Model as the core driver for growth, both in terms of justifying subsidies and transfers that are represented as 'socially productive' even if they are economically dubious in nature, and in terms of justifying more significant role for public investment in driving future growth capacity.

Neo-Keynesian doctrine of continued and accelerating deficit financing in the face of public debt overhang is now pretty much dead. Next step - the idea of 'Social Economy' that is based on achieving equality of outcome by transfers of income and wealth, both intra- and inter-temporal. States do run out of borrowing capacity, folks. And it doesn't matter a bit whether this happens when you need to run a deficit or not.
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