…what’s happened since 2009 involves not just one, but at least five new types of voodoo:
1. The claim that artificial attempts to force wages higher will boost employment, by boosting AD.
2. The claim that extended unemployment benefits—paying people not to work—will lead to more employment, by boosting AD.
3. The claim that more government spending can actually reduce the budget deficit, by boosting AD and growth. Note that in the simple Keynesian model, even with no crowding out, monetary offset, etc., this is impossible.
4. More aggregate demand will lead to higher productivity. In the old Keynesian model, more AD boosted growth by increasing employment, not productivity.
5. Fiscal stimulus can boost AD when not at the zero bound, because . . . ?
In all five cases there is almost no theoretical or empirical support for the new voodoo claims, and lots of evidence against. There were 5 attempts to push wages higher in the 1930s, and all 5 failed to spur recovery. Job creation sped up when the extended UI benefits ended at the beginning of 2014, contrary to the prediction of Keynesians. The austerity of 2013 failed to slow growth, contrary to the predictions of Keynesians. Britain had perhaps the biggest budget deficits of any major economy during the Great Recession, job growth has been robust, and yet productivity is now actually lower than in the 4th quarter of 2007.
There is more at the link. And here is Scott from the comments:
As I recall, productivity did well during the 1930s. Why? If falling AD hurts productivity, then shouldn’t productivity have done very poorly during the 1930s?
See also my earlier post “Not all complaints can be true at the same time.”
My current pet peeve is advocacy of fiscal stimulus without even bothering to consider whether the economy might be at or very close to full employment, much less considering whether the stimulus will target unemployed resources.
We do in fact need a good aggregate demand-based macroeconomics; the topic is far too important to allow it to become so politicized.