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Fritz Machlup on J.M. Keynes

Larry Glenn, who studied economics at NYU, sent to me earlier today an e-mail with this recollection of the late, great economist Fritz Machlup (who was my international-trade professor in the Spring of 1981). I share here with Larry’s kind permission.

When I was a grad student at NYU a young genius chose to argue with Professor Machlup.  The discussion had to do with imperfect competition.  The wizard, unhappy, with what he was told, rambled inanely about Keynes.  Eventually, Professor Machlup said (I am quoting exactly because his words were burned into my mind): “Enough, ach rubbish, the only thing Keynes ever accomplished was to put an intellectual veneer on the politics of Tammany Hall.”  The young wizard dropped the class.