Conservative firebrand, and Harvard professor, Niall Ferguson stepped into a bit of a firestorm the other day when he tried to explain why famed economist John Maynard Keynes’ theories are, at their core, wrong.
You see, Ferguson explained, Keynes was gay, and everyone knows that gays are selfish.
Even worse, Ferguson appeared to suggest that the financial meltdown was the gays’ fault.
UPDATE: Ferguson has apologized. That’s nice. I’d like to see the video/audio of what he said first, then we can discuss the sincerity of his apology.
Tom Kostigen at Financial Adviser has the details:
Speaking at the Tenth Annual Altegris Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., in front of a group of more than 500 financial advisors and investors, Ferguson responded to a question about Keynes’ famous philosophy of self-interest versus the economic philosophy of Edmund Burke, who believed there was a social contract among the living, as well as the dead. Ferguson asked the audience how many children Keynes had. He explained that Keynes had none because he was a homosexual and was married to a ballerina, with whom he likely talked of “poetry” rather than procreated. The audience went quiet at the remark. Some attendees later said they found the remarks offensive.
It gets worse.
Ferguson, who is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, and author of The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die, says it’s only logical that Keynes would take this selfish worldview because he was an “effete” member of society. Apparently, in Ferguson’s world, if you are gay or childless, you cannot care about future generations nor society.
So to recap: Keynes was gay, married to a ballerina, liked to talk about poetry, and didn’t have kids. So that made him selfish, which made his economic theories worthless.
Kostigen says that it’s even worse than this. He says Ferguson is in fact blaming the entire financial meltdown on the gays.
There’s another possible angle to Ferguson’s offensive comments. You see, Ferguson rather-famously has had a long-going feud with liberal economist Paul Krugman. Krugman has been married twice, the first time to an artist, and has no children:
— Tom Doran (@portraitinflesh) May 4, 2013
Ferguson was a McCain adviser for the 2008 presidential campaign. You might remember him as the author of an error-riddled piece in Newsweek attacking the President a while back.