"Was Milton Friedman a Secret Admirer of Keynes?"
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August 05, 2012, 01:07 AM
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Asks Don Boudreau in the WSJ.

My impression was that Friedman was a public admirer of Keynes. (Here`s a brief video of Friedman saying nice things about Keynes.) John Maynard Keynes was, obviously, a genius. Bertrand Russell, who didn`t like Keynes, said of him:

Keynes`s intellect was the sharpest and clearest that I have ever known. When I argued with him, I felt that I took my own life in my hands, and I seldom emerged without feeling something of a fool. I was sometimes inclined to think that so much cleverness must be incompatible with depth, but I do not think this feeling was justified.

None of this means that Keynes was necessarily right in his macroeconomics or that Keynes` self-proclaimed followers are right about what to do in novel situations two-thirds of a century after his death, just that it`s silly to treat Keynes as less than a heavyweight.