Plug from Caleb Crain!
My Keynesian hunch about the current economic troubles is that when wealth is too much concentrated in the hands of people who don’t need to spend it, it stops circulating. I suspect that America spent its way out of the structurally similar Great Depression of the nineteen-thirties through a campaign of wealth redistribution that lasted decades—the government hired soldiers, gave college educations to veterans, granted pensions to senior citizens, and went to war on poverty—and that the transfer laid the groundwork for the longest period of uninterrupted prosperity in American history. Unfortunately, it’s become difficult to talk about hunches and suspicions like these outside the pages of, say, Doug Henwood’s Left Business Observer. A politician who tries is likely to be attacked as a partisan of class warfare.