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John Maynard Keynes, in "The Great Slump of 1930", wrote about the period of deflation which was the great depression at a time when it had really just started and there were more questions than answers about what was happening. At the time of his writing, Keynes could not have known how events would have turned out and finally overcome. However, he very accurately made an assessment on the seriousness and length of the economic and political problems, being very prescient, even in 1930. He understood that "the fundamental cause of the trouble is the lack of new enterprise due to an unsatisfactory market for capital investment."
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The Great Slump of 1930
by John Maynard Keynes
Copyright 1930 John Maynard Keynes.
This edition published by Reading Essentials.
All Rights Reserved.
The world has been slow to realize that we are living this year in the shadow of one of the greatest economic catastrophes of modern history. But now that the man in the street has become aware of what is happening, he, not knowing the why and wherefore, is as full to-day of what may prove excessive fears as, previously, when the trouble was first coming on, he was lacking in what would have been a reasonable anxiety. He begins to doubt the future. Is he now awakening from a pleasant dream to face the darkness of facts? Or dropping off into a nightmare which will pass away?
He need not be doubtful. The other was not a dream. This is a nightmare, which will pass away with the morning. For the resources of nature and men's devices are just as fertile and productive as they were. The rate of our progress towards solving the material problems of life is not less rapid. We are as capable as before of affording for everyone a high standard of life—high, I mean, compared with, say, twenty years ago—and will soon learn to afford a standard higher still. We were not previously deceived. But to-day we have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand. The result is that our possibilities of wealth may run to waste for a time—perhaps for a long time.
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