April 20, 2004

Economic Consistency

There's a delightful post over at Cafe Hayek regarding Keynes' oft repeated barb "in the long run, we're all dead." I hadn't thought it through much but he's absolutely right that environmental policy, deficit reduction, and pensions in general are all instances where nobody seriously thinks this is a good idea. But it's not just these three that are out there, education is a long-term benefit with short-term costs (opportunity costs, tuition costs). In fact pretty much all basic sciences research can also be dismissed. Transistors, the Internet, who needs those? Remember it was 1957 when the Internet was conceived but the public at large didn't really see much benefit until the 90s.

No, no, no, this won't do at all. Either Keynes' utterance should be tossed over the side or you should disconnect your modem and back away from your computer. It's the only consistent thing to do.

HT: Marginal Revolutions

Posted by TMLutas at April 20, 2004 10:07 AM