Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Doctor Keynes And Doctor Hayek

Credit – public domain

I’ve written before about how our economies have become gangrenous, and how the central banking reaction has worsened the situation.

And I’ve also written about how the Left sees the Right as Demons, whereas the Right sees the Left as merely Morons.

We must tie those together, because to get macro you need micro – you can’t get the former without having a lot of the latter.

And for that, we need to look at how we actually treat gangrene in our hospitals, believe it or not.

So come with me to Ward D of the imaginary St Crispin’s General Hospital, and let me introduce you to Hayley.

Hayley is six years old and three weeks ago she was bitten by a snake.

Her parents are vegans and thought that the best course of action was to apply St. John’s Wort to the wound and move the healing crystal they keep in her bedroom a bit closer to the bed.

Against all the odds, it didn’t work, and once Hayley popped a fever they decided their beliefs were slightly less important than her life, and took her to hospital.

And now here she is, in Ward D, waiting to be seen by two doctors.

Dr. Keynes and Dr. Hayek.

Once they have discussed her paperwork and concluded she probably has gangrene, they go to see her and her parents.

And she is feverish and in pain – their hearts go out to her.

Dr. Keynes immediately suggests some strong painkillers, and Dr. Hayek proposes immediate amputation of her left hand.

It might be argued they are both trying to help her – Keynes is trying to take away her pain, and Hayek is trying to take away the cause of her pain.

But of course we now come to the Hippocratic Oath – first do no harm.

Keynes is on the right side of this – he is seemingly proposing no harm at all. But Hayek?

He is proposing quite significant harm. The parents are understandably not keen on his proposal. It’s admittedly creative, but seems so…………destructive.

Keynes may or may not be a moron, but Hayek seems ghoulish, even……..demonic.

They opt for the painkillers which Dr Keynes prescribes. Hayley is immediately more comfortable and falls into a deep and lovely sleep.

A week later the parents remain concerned. Hayley is reporting some additional discomfort and the gangrene appears to be advancing. Her whole arm now appears to be involved.

Dr. Keynes and Dr. Hayek are called once more, and they both examine the patient. Dr. Keynes proposes some stronger painkillers, whereas Dr. Hayek is now proposing that Hayley’s entire arm be amputated! What a psycho.

Unsurprisingly, the parents opt for the painkillers again.

And now here we are a few weeks later. Hayley is riddled with gangrene and even the strongest painkillers cannot keep her free from pain. She is no longer sleeping, and she writhes in agony as Doctors Keynes and Hayek examine her for the final time.

Beseeching the doctors to save her, the parents ask what must be done.

Dr. Keynes admits that Hayley is already on the largest dose of the strongest painkillers available – any more and she will stop breathing.

Turing to Dr. Hayek, they ask his opinion.

And he says “I’m afraid it’s too late. She is doomed”

Kindly Dr. Keynes tried his best but was unable to save her. Horrible Dr. Hayek was ignored, and now admits he is out of ideas.

A well-meaning moron, and a demon.

Let’s summarise how the well-meaning Neo-Keynesian economics of Paul Krugman et al have served us (yes Paul, debt is just “money we owe to ourselves”, but then so is tax):

Our economies have been gangrenous for a decade now, and every time they have awakened from their loose money-induced coma the central banks of the world have increased the dosage.

There are no longer any monetary opiates that can keep our deformed economies asleep and free from pain, and it is now too late for amputations.

The developed world economies are probably doomed.

Yes I know that’s rather a negative prognosis, but I’m afraid it’s finally time to emerge from the matrix in which we have been cocooned by our central bankers, politicians and financial media, and realise we are actually lying in a pot of goo with some hardware crammed up our arse.

Fasten your seatbelt Dorothy – Kansas is going bye-bye.

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Gavin Longmuir
Gavin Longmuir
4 years ago

Good analogy! There is an interesting book by Nicholas Wapshott, “Keynes Hayek”, which mentions that the two gentlemen once stood side-by-side on the roof of a college, joining forces to put out any incendiary fires which might be started by German bombers. Perhaps if young Hayley had been bitten by an extraterrestrial, the good doctors might have agreed on a treatment?

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
4 years ago

IRL, surprisingly few world economies can be described as doomed. They are all socialist. The North Atlantic economies are getting pinker and pinker, but they still have a long way to go before they enter the command economy stage. My country’s economy is ailing, but not doomed. Free enterprise still flourishes. People have an odd preference for not rolling over and playing dead. Somehow they will find a way. Our economy may shrink. The threat of expropriation without compensation has already reduced government bonds to junk status. There are price controls on petrol and labour. But the wheelers and dealers… Read more »

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