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In today's irrational world of fake news and bad-faith politics, a new mantra has emerged: It's all about narratives. Power today lies in one's ability to tell a story. In both cases, there was a simple causal mechanism, embodied in the Phillips curve, for controlling unemployment and prices.Though the 2008 financial crisis occasioned what Keynes' biographer, Robert Skidelsky, described as a "return of the master," momentum toward a new Keynesianism proved short-lived.A deeply complex event with many causes, the only way to explain it was to tell a straightforward story.Humans are wired to be influenced by stories. Historians, of course, have always understood the power of narrative. Unfortunately, this is one of the consequences of the financial crisis. The sheer depth of political and economic uncertainty turned historians into pundits whose critiques of conventional social science are overly biased toward random pet narratives.
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