Friday, May 17, 2013

Harvard's Niall Ferguson Apologizes for 'Stupid' Keynes Remarks

Harvard's Niall Ferguson Apologizes for 'Stupid' Keynes Remarks

This fall, I will be teaching a class on communication for future economists. One of the exemplars of public economists I plan to include in the course materials is Niall Ferguson, author of several texts on economics for general audiences.

And, yet, like many scholars I respect, he says some dumb things. Trying to explains Keynes via his sexuality or lack of a family is pretty stupid. At least Ferguson admits his mistake. Maybe a long list of economists could learn from this example.

However (you knew that was coming), cultures and experiences do shape our political views and our economic biases. At the time of Keynes, government was solidly anti-gay rights. Consider the fate of Alan Turing, sadly. But, Keynes did have faith in government. I wonder why…

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