Wow. I never quite got that from Chapter 24.
I stopped reading Bill Mitchell's post at that point, and went back to Keynes. I re-read the whole of Chapter 24, with Mitchell's statement in mind. I found something relevant to Mitchell's opening. Turns out, it is the same that Bill Mitchell quoted. I shorten it and split it in two, here:
In other words, we have sometimes used taxation to reduce the inequality of income. But not often and not much, because we thought the economy needed the saving of the rich in order to grow.
We thought wrong, Keynes says.
In other words, Keynes says he has shown that the economy does not need the saving of the rich in order to grow. (Except in conditions of full employment, of course.)
Okay. So I think, when Bill Mitchell says "Governments do not need the savings of the rich" (in the title of his post) I think he means the economy does not need the savings of the rich. That makes sense to me.
From the full title of Bill Mitchell's post
Governments do not need the savings of the rich, nor their taxes!
I originally thought he meant that governments can just print the money they need; they don't have to get it by borrowing or by taxation. My impression of Mitchell is that he is liable to say that. Keynes, of course, most definitely did not say that.
Mitchell follows his Keynes quote with these remarks:
In other words, the high saving of the rich actually undermine the capacity of the economy to achieve full employment and if they spent more then the government would not have to spend as much to achieve that aim.
And these remarks:
But the idea that these savings were essential to fund government spending and could be accessed by taxing the rich was clearly understood by Keynes to be flawed reasoning.
Oh. Mitchell *is* thinking in terms of taxing the saving of the rich "to fund government spending", and how this is not necessary. And he is putting those words into the mouth of Keynes -- things Keynes did not say.