Keynes and the Classical Economists: The Early Debate on Policy Activism

Today, many Americans assume that it is the federal
government’s responsibility to reduce those costs by combating unemployment
and inflation when they occur. But the issue of government intervention to
combat macroeconomic problems provokes sharp disagreement among economists.
Economists known as “activists” support a significant role for government.
“Nonactivists” are economists who believe that government
intervention should be avoided. This controversy originated more than 50
years ago with a debate between John Maynard Keynes and the then-dominant
classical economists. The historical debate provides an important backdrop
for understanding the ongoing controversy about policy activism……Keynes and the Classical Economists: The Early Debate on Policy Activism

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