Keynes essay economic possibilities for our grandchildren

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In his vision for the year Keynes considered the economic problem largely solved for the developed Western world in the long run. However, with his estimation of a hour working week Keynes regarded technological unemployment as a new major disease, a temporary problem owing to a phase of maladjustment. Keynes also analysed the social and moral consequences in a materially satiated world, that is, in the age of leisure and abundance. You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article. Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
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Economic possibilities for our grandchildren

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Revisiting Keynes: Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren

This essay was first presented in as a talk and then it was expanded into a lecture given in Madrid in June The striking difference between these two economic recipes should make all of us ponder whether economics is a science or it is just an instrument in the hand of people that call themselves economists, in order to give a justification and a mantel of respectability to the decisions taken by politicians for the defence and maintenance of the state. In fact, while free time for the workers can have the effect of expanding their autonomy, employing them to dig and fill holes, courtesy of state welfare provisions, has the opposite effect of making them more and more dependant on the patronage of the state. And this is exactly what state rulers and state high officers of which Mr. Keynes was an important figure wanted and still want. We are suffering just now from a bad attack of economic pessimism.
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Revisiting Keynes : Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren by Gustavo Piga (2008, Hardcover)

I would predict that the standard of life in progressive countries one hundred years hence will be between four and eight times as high as it is. There would be nothing surprising in this even in the light of our present knowledge. It would not be foolish to contemplate the possibility of a far greater progress still. Just as Keynes was able to look decades forward from the economic depression that was beginning to grip the West when he penned his essay, we can follow his example and gaze with optimism at the long-run future of higher education.
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I read this essay years ago and have referred to it many times, thus I had wanted to write here about it and leave some of the extracts and a few related graphics for future reference. In a nutshell: Keynes forecast that, at some point in the future, productivity growth will reach a level such that we humans will not have to work more than 15 hours per week if we spread the available work to be done as widely as possible. The problem that humans will then face will be how to employ their time in leisure activities. Keynes included at the end of the paper some conditions that will set the pace of the progress to reach the moment in which the economic problem will be solved:.
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