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The Great Economics Smack Down

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Barron’s notes the growing intensification of the great debate of our time between the Austrians and Keynesians. Randall W. Forsyth calls it “the great economics smackdown.”

IT MAY NOT RANK with the Hatfields and the McCoys, but there’s a battle raging. It’s the Austerians vs. the Keynesians.

In one corner are the advocates of fiscal austerity, many of whom are adherents of the Austrian School of economics. Hence, the contraction into “Austerian.” Their motto is to rip off the band-aid and get the pain over with.

Opposing them are the Keynesians, who contend it’s counterproductive to tighten belts when people are hungry. Over the years, their prescription has evolved to Bloody Marys after every binge and bust instead of sweating out the previous excesses. So, each binge and hangover gets worse, requiring more relief the next day, which only encourages another bender.

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