Friday, November 5, 2010

An Open Letter to the President

This letter was sent to the President, who failed to heed the warning, which turned out to be correct.

"You have made yourself the Trustee for those in every country who seek to mend the evils of our condition by reasoned experiment within the framework of the existing social system. If you fail, rational change will be gravely prejudiced throughout the world, leaving orthodoxy and revolution to fight it out. But if you succeed, new and bolder methods will be tried everywhere, and we may date the first chapter of a new economic era from your accession to office."

I wish I had the foresight to have written this letter, but it was sent to the new president in 1933. The author was John Maynard Keynes. Although the letter is old, it is absolutely on target in predicting, "If you fail, rational change will be gravely prejudiced throughout the world."

Wake up Obama before you do more damage by imagining that cooperation with the Right rather than leadership is the way forward.

By the way, in 1938 Keynes also warned the president that because of the 1937 austerity, "the present slump could have been predicted with absolute certainty."

Brad DeLong reprinted that letter.

1 comment:

Henry said...

By failing, the President does far worse than damage the Democrats. He will discourage efforts to reform systems from within for an entire generation, and embolden fascists. Haunting revelation.