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Keynes in 1939: The Coming War Will Solve our Unemployment Problem

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Tags War and Foreign PolicyMonetary Theory

On the eve of World War II, Keynes delivered the following chilling address on the BBC, talking about the "great experiment" of curing unemployment through war expenditure:

J. M. Keynes, When the Day of Peace Comes

Two years later to the day, in a lecture delivered shortly after his arrival in the U.S., Mises described how the great experiment really looked like: 

We are witnesses to the most frightful and phenomenal occurrence in human history: the decay of Western civilization. London, one of the centers of this civilization... is almost completely destroyed. The buildings of the Parliament of Westminster are in ruins; the House of Commons holds its assemblies in the catacombs. [...] The theater of war is spreading, and the day seems not distant when peace will have lost its last refuge. It is a moral and material collapse without precedent.

Dr. Carmen Elena Dorobăț is a Fellow of the Mises Institute and assistant professor of business and economics at Leeds Trinity University in the United Kingdom. She has a PhD in economics from the University of Angers, and is the recipient of the 2015 O.P. Alford III Prize in Political Economy and the 2017 Gary G. Schlarbaum Prize for Excellence in Research and Teaching. Her research interests include international trade, monetary theory and policy, and the history of economic thought.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
Image source:
Abandoned boy during London Blitz, via Wikimedia
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