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The issue was never one of needing to switch from stimulus spending to tax cuts for the rich, or of needing to care exclusively about inflation and ignore unemployment. People who interpreted the seventies in that fashion misunderstood fatally what was going on. That misunderstanding fuels and feeds their misunderstanding of the present problems.

The use of the words 'misunderstood' and 'misunderstanding' is to me the most problematic aspect of the above quote. I am sure there was a lot of misunderstanding. I have to wonder at the thought that it was all just a big misunderstanding.

I would apply the principle that the law used in the case of 'erroneous' pricing of items in the data from which barcode readers obtained prices at the check stands in California supermarkets in the '90s. The fact was that the errors were always in the direction of the store chains and the chains were required to refund a condiderable amount of money.

Of course my knowledge and memory are far from complete or perfect, so perhaps others can remind me of the times when 'misunderstandings' in economic theory have redounded to the benefit of the average citizen. For the life of me I cannot think of any.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jan 8th, 2013 at 10:23:12 PM EST
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