Conservative Hero On Keynes

by Michael Sean Winters

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Today, conservatives like to dismiss the value of the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes and "keynesianism" has became a sort of Tea Party cuss word. These same conservatives also tend to be fans of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill - and, who isn't?
So, it was with relish that I just this afternoon was reacquainted with a letter from Churchill to Sir John Anderson, the Lord President of the Council, dated January 28, 1941. Churchill had assigned Anderson the task of "harnessing to our war-making machine the full economic resources of the nation." In the letter he writes: "You should summon economists like Keynes to give their views to you personally."

This is the second day for a direct score from Churchill's war memoirs. Earlier that same January, the Brits had one a resounding victory over the Italians in Bardia, a city in what is now Libya, even though the Italians vastly outnumbered the British forces. Foreign Minister Anthony Eden wrote to Churchill: "Salutations and congratulations upon the victory of Bardia. If I may debade a golden phrase, 'Never has so much been surrendered by so many to so few.'" So splendid. I don't expect to find any such literary brilliance in Dick Cheney's new memoir, do you?

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