- Elgar original reference
Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer
Sidney WEINTRAUB (1914–1983) Johan Deprez and William Milberg … authority has ever been the great opponent of truth. A despotic calm is usually the triumph of error. In the republic of the sciences sedition and even anarchy are beneﬁcial in the long run to the greatest happiness of the greatest number. – W.S. Jevons (1871, pp. 275–6) Sidney Weintraub once described himself as a ‘Jevonian seditionist’ who ‘often railed in mutiny at the Establishment … to enhance the economy bounty and to iron out its division’ (see 1985). Weintraub was a dissenting economist in the most appropriate sense – a person who sought truth and explanations independent of the prevailing intellectual and political winds. He combined a keen pragmatism towards economic theory and policy with an idealism aimed at making life better for all. Speaking about those believers in the Phillips curve who called for an increase in unemployment to reduce our inﬂation ills, Weintraub insisted that these economists be the ﬁrst to give up their jobs! Most important, Weintraub developed and promoted an interpretation of Keynes that had an explicit supply side, a variable price level and a macroeconomic theory of income distribution – all this at a time when classical Keynesianism lacked any meaningful discussion of these components. This line of thought has been labelled ‘Fundamentalist Keynesianism’ (Coddington, 1976); Weintraub’s almost solitary and unfashionable adherence to this view led Paul Samuelson (1964) to label him a ‘lone wolf’. Yet this approach provided the theoretical underpinnings for Weintraub’s wage-cost mark-up...
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