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MoneyWhence It Came, Where It Went$
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John Kenneth Galbraith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691171661

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691171661.001.0001

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War and the Next Lesson

War and the Next Lesson

(p.272) Chapter 17 War and the Next Lesson

John Kenneth Galbraith

James K. Galbraith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the lessons of World War II with respect to money and monetary policy. World War I exposed the fragility of the monetary structure that had gold as its foundation, the great boom of the 1920s showed how futile monetary policy was as an instrument of restraint, and the Great Depression highlighted the ineffectuality of monetary policy for rescuing the country from a slump—for breaking out of the underemployment equilibrium once this had been fully and firmly established. On the part of John Maynard Keynes, the lesson was that only fiscal policy ensured not just that money was available to be borrowed but that it would be borrowed and would be spent. The chapter considers the experiences of Britain, Germany, and the United States with a lesson of World War II: that general measures for restraining demand do not prevent inflation in an economy that is operating at or near capacity.

Keywords:   money, monetary policy, underemployment, John Maynard Keynes, fiscal policy, World War II, demand, inflation, Britain, United States

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