Keynes, John Maynard

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Keynes is known primarily for his economic theory. What is less widely known is the ethical and social thinking behind his theory. In a sense he was the first holistic economist. He believed that economics was a means to an end: the end being everybody with an abundance of “wealth” .That is adequate material goods and services coupled with easy access to a broad range of culture . He believed this would result in happiness all round. He did not believe in endless economic growth but that growth in the economy would tail off as a level of “abundance” was reached. The happiness of the general population was, he believed, the goal of economics, not the accruing of money. He did believe in full employment and to this end he had a strong preference for in-country manufacture and supply as against importing from another country even at a cheaper price. He considered free trade as a potential catalyst for conflict through economic dominance of supply and acquisition of resources. Naturally he did recognize that free trade can be very useful adjunct to home grown supplies.