W. A. Mackintosh: Great Canadian Economist of the 20th Century
There were two great Canadian economists of the last century: H.A. Innis and W.A. Mackintosh. Innis had been much written about but not Mackintosh. This is now corrected by a thoroughly researched biography by Hugh Grant of the University of Winnipeg with the straightforward title W.A. Mackintosh: The Life of a Canadian economist.
Mackintosh was both a distinguished scholar and a policy activist. He co-founded tne staples theory with Innis and wrote a brilliant book on wheat as a staple. He played a key role in bringing Keynes to Canada in the late 1930s. He was a member of the Canadian delegation to Bretton Woods and rubbed shoulders with Keynes. All the while the editor of the Canadian Banker. Unlike Innis, he resonded to circumstaners, like the Great Depression.
After our last election Paul Krugman wrote a column on how the Liberals had abandoned a commitment to balanced budgets and thereby brought Keynes to Canada. He was off by 75 years. Mackenzie King with the expertise of Mackintosh had made Canada one of the first countries in the world to implement Keynes.
Mackitosh was a progressive economist years ago and he should be honoured by us today. The mainstream profession won`t because it has slight interest in history. WhMackintosh did should be known and Grant has given us the opportunity to know.