Al White: Keynesian

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Today’s edition of the Arizona Daily Sun contains a letter submitted by Matt Capalby praising Flagstaff Mayoral candidate (and current Flagstaff City Councilman) Al White for his record.  For the most part, the letter contains the same old tired rhetoric that we don’t need any change at City Hall and that our current council is making great choices. All stuff that you would expect from a supporter of an incumbent.

Usually a letter like this would be nothing to write about but Capalby takes the argument to the next level and really grabs my attention. He says that Al White is the only Keynesian running for Mayor and then compares White to FDR and President Obama.

Having debated local progressives for years on economic theory (especially Keynesianism vs. the Austrian School) this is a subject that I feel very strongly about and something I must weigh in on.

Keynesians argue that markets cannot be trusted to work correctly.  In a nutshell, Keynesianism promotes the idea that government knows what’s best and has the solutions. It teaches that government and the central bank must control and guide the private sector.

Keynesianism in practice props up failing businesses and banks (too big to fail), creates bubbles, and tramples market forces and the will of the people. It encourages corruption and lobbying and special interests looking for a monopoly.

Simply put, Keynesianism has been the cause of our economic problems. The cause of a problem is never the solution.

Capalby praises FDR and Obama for being Keynesians but he doesn’t paint the bigger picture. In 1971 Nixon proudly proclaimed that he was a Keynesian. George W. Bush, who progressives consider the cause of the current recession, was also a Keynesian (anybody remember TARP?). In fact, every president in recent history was a Keynesian!

Democrats love to blame Republicans for economic trouble and vice versa but the truth is that both parties embrace Keynesianism and both parties are at fault.

Capalby is blinded by his partisan agenda and unfortunately, progressives with no sense of history will follow his words.

I think we should take a look at a few well known examples of Al White’s “Keynesian” track record:


Horizon Airlines = FAILED EXPERIMENT

Aspen Place/ Sawmill = FAILED EXPERIMENT

As I have said before, the market knows more about what Flagstaff needs or doesn’t need than our council and mayor ever could. Keynesianism has never been and will never be the answer.

  1. March 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you for pointing out what is a very destructive way to run a city or Government of any kind.
    A thank you to Matt Capalby for pointing out what the rest of the City ought to know about a candidate.
    Lights are on folks…nowhere to hide now. There are way too many of us willing to share the knowledge we are gaining about what is REALLY going on in our local government.
    Be aware of what is going on around you and you really can make a difference.
    We the People have a Voice and We WILL be heard now.

  2. Joy Staveley
    March 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    There is nothing good about Keynesian Economics. I agree with the Austrian School of Economics myself. Keynesian is all about big government and redistribution of wealth!

    • SlimStrontem
      March 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Redistribution to the well-positioned at expense to the “commoner” and their offspring.

  3. C Daschete
    March 5, 2012 at 9:04 am

    A failed Keynesian track record does not matter to the big gov’t lovers. They want to feel good and be taken care of. But even they would be frightened if they actually spoke to White.

  4. SlimStrontem
    March 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Regardless of the in-applicability of Keynes in macro-economics, it has no applicability at the local level, in that locals cannot even pretend to control money supplies or other key market factors… well, except Debt and Taxes.
    Conversely, responsible and realistic (Austrian) policies benefit local communities either way.

  5. Joseph (AKA Bill Tippett)
    March 8, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Too many like minded people posting here so I’ll play the devil’s advocate. Keynesian driven policies help to keep the economy moving when the free market economy has for some reason become dysfunctional, usually an imbalance of resources and/or capital allocation. Government spending has a stimulative effect in that it helps getting those resources “unstuck” and moving again. Look how well in worked when FDR employed the same tactics. Sure there is some risk of currency devaluation and inflation but the improved economy can eventually outpace those problems. And don’t give me that crap that Ron Paul keeps saying that it wasn’t FDR but the lowering of taxes after WWII that actually led to the end of the great depression. Besides the WPA, what’s more stimulative than killing millions and destroying billions of dollars worth of capital investment?

  6. Joseph (AKA Bill Tippett)
    March 8, 2012 at 8:37 am

    So let’s attack Williams and then help them rebuild.

  7. March 8, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Perfect local solution LOL!

  8. Joseph (AKA Bill Tippett)
    March 8, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I know, I got off track there and went beyond Keynesian economics into supporting the military industrial complex. But they just seem to go hand in hand these days.

    • March 8, 2012 at 10:09 am

      It all goes hand in hand. Keynesians believe that WWII spending helped get us out of the depression.

  1. March 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm
  2. November 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm

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