Steve Kates’ says: “Gitt[i]ns wrote about how original Keynesian ideas were when first put forward in 1936 and I pointed out that these supposedly original ideas were part of an ancient tradition in economic thought that had until then been universally rejected by the mainstream of the profession.” What Kates is responding to is this statement from Gittins:
There aren’t many new ideas in economics, just old ideas tarted up. Keynes’s ideas were new, however. The ”neo-classical” orthodoxy of his day said recessions couldn’t happen, so it couldn’t explain the Great Depression of the 1930s and had no policies to end it.
(The emphasis there is my own.) It is a pity that the newspaper did not print a correction or at least Kates’ letter to the editor. Evidently, there were insufficient mistakes in Kates’ letter to make it suitable for publication in The Age. For more see Kates at Quadrant Online here.