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The purpose of this series is to look at the main economic problems Britain faced in the first half of the 20th Century and to see how theory and policy have changed in response to them. In this pr...ogramme the problem is the unemployment of the 1930s, and the theory is the one put forward by John Maynard Keynes. The programme considers unemployment statistics over the preceding decades and then compares orthodox and Keynesian explanations of it, using both animated graphics and archive film sequences. Both Lloyd George and Oswald Moseley were prescribing public spending programmes in 1930. But Chancellor Snowden was a stickler for financial orthodoxy. Professor Brooman shows how Keynes reversed the basic text of this orthodoxy, that supply creates its own demand (Say's Law). Deficit spending would not crowd out private investments. The Keynesian cross diagram is used to analyse several hypothetical investment levels and their effect on employment. Film illustrates the effect of government spending in the U.S. and Germany. A return to the diagram explanation foreshadows the problem of creating ever-expanding investment to maintain full employment: stagflation.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D284, National income and economic policy
Item code: D284; 01
First transmission date: 14-03-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:30
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Producer: Susan Boyd-Bowman
Contributor: F. S. Brooman
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Depression; Keynesianism; Macro economics; Unemployment
Footage description: The programme begins with archive film of events from the 1930s. Derrick Brooman introduces the programme by talking about Britain's unemployment problem through the twenties and thirties. This is compared with the U.S.A. and Germany. Film of Wall Street, bread queues, hunger marchers. Derrick Brooman describes the attitudes of politicians to the problem and some of the remedies proposed. Film of Oswald Moseley speaking at an outdoor meeting. Brooman now explains the official Treasury view, which precluded any increase in government expenditure in order to increase employment. Similarly the Treasury was opposed to simply printing more money because of the danger of inflation. Film of queues of men outside the labour exchange; Ramsey Macdonald's government of 1931; ordinary people outside their houses. Brooman goes into more detail about the government's views that it should maintain a balanced budget. This belief was based on Say's Law which states that supply creates its own demand. Brooman describes how Keynes' General Theory attacked current economic opinion. He reversed Say's Law to read; demand creates its own supply. Keynes view of the relationship between national income/product and demand is shown using a series of graphs. The differences between the Treasury view and Keynes' interpretation are explained using graphs. Keynes sees saving and investment as being different; he does not accept the idea of a self-regulating economy and advocates government spending to promote employment. Archive film shows public works in progress in Germany, U.S.A. and Britain. Brooman describes how rearmament ended severe unemployment in many countries. Keynes' views however were increasingly accepted as being the way to prevent a repetition of mass unemployment and the war created an atmosphere which would allow them to be tested once peace was restored.
Master spool number: 6HT/72833
Production number: 00525_2424
Videofinder number: 152
Available to public: no