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Dead Economists as Inspirators of Living Social Economists

Hans Jensen

Review of Social Economy, 1998, vol. 56, issue 2, 119-135

Abstract: An attempt is made in this article to demonstrate that Alfred Marshall and John Maynard Keynes erected a number of signposts that point in the direction of a normative, institutional and policy-oriented social economics of labor. They opined that dysfunctioning institutions had thrown most members of the working class into an abyss of poverty. According to Marshall, poverty was caused by institutional neglect of education for the masses. Hence he recommended a drastic overhaul of those institutions that impinged on education. Keynes argued that the rentiers were the villains because they had intentionally reduced their funding of entrepreneurial investments. Consequently, investments dwindled and unemployment caused working-class poverty to rise above its customary levels. Keynes's solution was public investment in private enterprises, which he called socialization of investment. This would cause euthanasia of the anti-social rentiers. Because of their recommendations, Marshall and Keynes called themselves socialists.

Keywords: Keynes; Marshall; signposts; superentrepreneurs; extended state; nuclear state (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1998
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DOI: 10.1080/00346769800000015

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