John Maynard Keynes with his wife on his wedding day. Photo via Room With A View
I always wondered why we don’t build pyramids anymore. If I was President of Sri Lanka I would build the biggest motherfucking stupa ever. Then you could fire half the government or kick the monks out of Parliament and just be like, ‘So what? Have you seen that huge motherfucking stupa?’ And apparently that’s what Keynes would do. John Maynards Keynes is like the old-school Jay-Z of economics. In response to global economic clusterfucks like ours he had a suggestion. “For what itâ€™s worth, Keynes didnâ€™t know what to do in this situation, either. He suggested building pyramids and burying bank notes in deep mine shafts that had been filled in. As people tried to dig up the money, they would be forced to employ labor and purchase equipment that would raise spending and thereby growth.” That sounds like a bailout I can believe in.
If we’re going to build awesome shit I would suggest
2. Space Elevator
3. Flying Cars
Or we could buy mortgage backed securities and that would be… sweet. Keynes point is actually very sensible. which Bruce Bartlett explains in Forbes.
Keynes argued that the only thing that will really work is if the federal government uses its resources to purchase goods and services. It must buy “stuff”–concrete, computers, paper, glass, steel–anything as long as it is tangible. In other words, the government must spend the way households do, by buying things.
I think this makes so much sense, especially in the context of the alternative making no sense at all. Right now governments are buying CDOs and derivative assets and bullshit I don’t understand. But Obama is proposing a public works program, which would actually build stuff.
However, Keynes solution is still the most elegant. Bury money in pit. Dig money out. Got it.
PS. I was reading more about the man and I found some cool stories. He both financially mindfucked the Spanish and predicted World War II.
Keynesâ€™ â€œnerve and mastery became legendary,â€ in the words of economist Robert Lekachman, as in the case where he managed to put together â€” with difficulty â€” a small supply of Spanish pesetas. On hearing the news the secretary of the Treasury was delighted that Keynes had amassed enough to provide a temporary solution for the British Goverment. But Keynes did not hand the pesetas over, instead he sold them all to break the market: it worked, and pesetas became much less scarce and expensive…
Using statistics provided to him by the German delegation, he argued that the reparations which Germany was forced to pay to the victors in the war were too large, would lead to the ruin of the German economy and result in further conflict in Europe. These predictions were borne out when the German economy suffered in the hyperinflation of 1923. Only a fraction of reparations were ever paid.
Oh, and he kept a sex diary.
Between him and Turing Britain produced some real brilliance last century.