So a significant portion of the Keynesian / Non-Keynesian debate is taken up by mostly superfluous concerns about government. Non-Keynesians in particular I think – just calling a spade, a spade – are motivated in large part by antipathy towards government intervention.
So lets step back and see if we can get Keynes by private association. This is an important exercise for Keynesians as well, because if we can’t make private Keynesianism work then we have got to point to specific externalities involved.
So suppose that a group of private citizens got together and offered the following contract. In good times – as measured by the employment level of all club members – we will collect $1000 in taxes from each household.
If times turn bad we will take all the money collected so far and bury it on a private farm which only our members have access to. The members who geniunely cannot find jobs will see it in their best interest to spend their days digging up the the bury money.
Through this means we will ensure that no one in the club is ever unemployed.
Would people go for this?
If not why not?
If, so what explains the paucity of such clubs?
Perhaps we think digging up money is just too wasteful. How about then a club which hires only its own members to perform maintenance on club members homes? Will that work and if not why not?
Personally, I tend to think that money has to be involved somehow and the ultimate question whether the club has its own currency. However, we can probably think of good thought experiments there.
In any case analyzing Club Keynes can help us get around the “I hate government” / “I think government can help” difficulties in analyzing what should be a set of purely economic relationships.