by Jörg Guido Hülsmann
[Editor’s Note: this article is adapted from a 2003 essay in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics entitled “New Keynesian Monetary Views: A Comment.” As economists abandon theory in favor of makeshift plans to flood the economy with stimulus, Hülsmann here provides some helpful reminders of the fundamental problems behind the current economic consensus on money.]
The essential fallacy of John Maynard Keynes and his early disciples was to cultivate the monetary equivalent of alchemy. They believed that paper money was a suitable means to alleviate the fundamental economic problem of scarcity. The printing press was, at any rate, under certain plausible conditions of duress, a substitute for hard work, savings, and cutting prices (Hazlitt 1959, 1960).