What Do John Maynard Keynes, Richard Norgaard, And Fred Block And Margaret Somers Essay

1232 WordsSep 30, 20165 Pages
What do John Maynard Keynes, Richard Norgaard, and Fred Block and Margaret Somers have in common? They all challenge widely accepted economic thinking and support thoughtful, progressive government action in the midst of social crises. In the 1930s, Keynes debunks a rationale for a laissez-faire system that was perpetuating large-scale human suffering and made a strong recommendation for government intervention. Norgaard then broadens Keynes’s critique of assumptions underlying free-market ideology to include all widely unquestioned and accepted economic beliefs-- which he terms economism-- and urges a transformation of this belief system toward discursive democracy to enable effective environmental regulation and economic redistribution (lecture). Adopting Keynes’s focus on empirics while using a similar explanation as Norgaard, Block and Somers criticize a study of late eighteenth-century British poor laws that is commonly used to oppose welfare policy while explaining that its widespread, unquestioning citation in academia and policy analysis points to the pervasiveness of conservative assumptions about the poor and what is natural. Altogether, these authors urge us to reconsider dominant economic stories that lack a circumspect, factual basis as we consider various social, environmental, and economic policy alternatives. John Maynard Keynes is the first economic maverick here who calls attention to the flaws in common economic assumptions while also expanding the

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