"There are good reasons to think that it would have done the same today had open and informed public dialogue been given a proper chance, rather than being ruled out by the alleged superiority of the judgements of financial leaders, with their breathtakingly narrow view of human society and a basic lack of interest in the demands of a deliberative democracy."
While I appreciate Mr. Sen's history lesson particularly in comparing the economics of post W.W.I with what is underway now... in Europe; there are some naïve statements made.
Regarding the quote above, it occurs mid-way through the article and finally gets at the crux of the matter. U.S. former Supreme Court Justice Brandeis offered a statement of merit and relevance: That a society could have Democracy OR vast concentrations of wealth; but it could not have both.
Given the obvious direction that maneuvered the deregulation of speculative banking to send massive sums of money to the top of the "fiduciary food chain," it should be evident that those orchestrating this newest system of graft knew it would collapse the equity of working peoples' assets while bloating the coffers of the 1% "owner caste."
Turning the matter of a deliberate destruction of the middle class (added to that of pushing labor's bargaining power to that of a groveling 3rd world nation) into a problem based on stubborn adherence to a particular economic theory is a form of analysis that's quite similar to the way that media pundits discuss the relative failures emanating from Middle East wars as if these were also mere accidents.
Those in power fund and prop up the experts their think tanks and academic institutions (through "contributions" that do to academia what campaign bribes do to set particular political agendas into place) christen; and then through these channels--deferential to those that sponsored them, ideology is put in place to JUSTIFY agendas that are designed to benefit the 1%.
It's interesting to debate Keynes and the recurring "Austerity Chorus," but it's more important to recognize that philosophies--moral, economic, and otherwise--tend to be assigned AFTER the fact to justify goals and policies desired by those with the power to enact them.
And when elections divide the polity so that a Conservative "wins" on the basis of divided spoils, (or in the case of the U.S., a decision reached by either The Supreme Court's conservative majority or the Billionaire Boys' clubs that fund today's pre-vetted presidential candidates), it can hardly be seriously termed a majority mandate or a reflection of genuine Democratic interests or fair play.
Austerity is an economic outgrowth of Calvinism--a particularly vicious religious principle that alleges that God shows his favor on those who ARE doing well, and punishes (for their alleged sins) those who are struggling. This premise, an outgrowth of "Divine right of king" is used to enact punitive measures and has its roots in patriarchal religions.
It is this sickening concept--the antithesis of Jesus's compassion-based teachings that is behind the incarceration rates in the U.S., and many other martial policies that grant to the dominator the alleged right to dominate others while destroying their homes, cultures, habitats, livelihoods, and where possible--their indwelling Spirits.