It is important to understand Keynes, because everyone at the head of our government and banking system follows his precepts, and all the highest share his philosophies.
It is important to understand Hazlitt, because he was right.
John Maynard Keynes was born in 1883 and died in 1946. Henry Hazlitt was born in 1894, eleven years after Keynes, and lived much longer, until 1993. Their lives and loyalties are a study in contrast, and mostly of choices born of internal conviction, in Hazlitt’s case, or lack thereof, Keynes’s case.
Keynes became the most famous economist of the 20th century and the guru-crank whose work has inspired thousands of failed economic experiments and continues to inspire them today. He is the Svengali-like figure who implausibly convinced the world that saving is bad, inflation cures unemployment, investment can and should be socialized, consumers are fools whose interests should be dismissed, and capital can be made non-scarce by driving interest rates to zero – thereby turning the hard work of many hundreds of years by economists on its head.