Michael Stevenson

The Search for the Fountain of Prosperity

  • Abstract

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Keywords: A20, B23, B31, B41, C02

This is the story of a search for a quest - not the quest itself, but the search for what purports to be the only tangible object of the quest, «the fountain of prosperity». The story is as much mystery and fantasy as it is economics or history, or even sculpture for that matter. Like the quest itself, the search is steeped in superstition and magic. Forecasting economic growth is, after all, a form of divination or scientific fortune telling and, like all predictions, remains permeable to the irrational. While the quest involves looking into the future, my search involves divining the past. The story of the search for the past, the quest, is narrated in terms of the quest for the destiny of the Phillips Machine's brief life in the Central Bank of Guatemala and the enthusiasm for its powers shown by a famous «Keynesian», Abba Lerner.

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