Keynes e Friedman

A disputa económica do século XX, que está a ter repercussões na forma como se está a tentar debelar os efeitos da actual crise, está bem documentada e explanada neste texto de Martin Wolf, publicado pelo Financial Times em 2006:

[…] Keynes concluded from the great depression that the free market had failed; Friedman decided, instead, that the Federal Reserve had failed. Keynes trusted in discretion for sophisticated mandarins like himself; Friedman believed the only safe government was one bound by tight rules. Keynes thought that capitalism needed to be in fetters; Friedman thought it would behave if left alone. […] Both saw the great depression as, at bottom, a crisis of inadequate aggregate demand; both wrote in favour of floating exchange rates and so of fiat (or government-made) money; and both were on the side of freedom in the great ideological struggle of the 20th century.

[…] Keynes, though temperamentally a liberal, was also a pessimistic member of the upper middle classes of a declining country: he thought the survival of a measure of freedom required jettisoning large elements of 19th century orthodoxy. Friedman, a child of poor Jewish immigrants and thoroughly American, was optimistic: he hoped to restore free markets and limited government. To achieve this end, Friedman sought to demolish what he saw as the mistakes made by Keynes and his successors: the assumption that a fixed propensity to consume out of current income drove aggregate demand; the trust in fiscal policy as the most potent instrument in the policy armoury; the belief that changes in nominal demand would secure durable changes in real output; and confidence in the exercise of discretion by governments. […]

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