Friday, March 6, 2009

All this shows is that this kind of approach is a failure.

From Clusterstock:

NYT Bashes Economists For Not Giving Up On Free Markets Yet

We don't think it's possible or productive to blame the financial crisis on any particular ideology. Bush policy was far, far from the laissez-faire dogma his critics made it out to be. Conversely, we do have a market system in most areas, so to say we live in some kind of socialist state is wrong, too.

But Patricia Cohen at the New York Times is dismayed that the financial collapse hasn't prompted academic economists to get on their hands and knees and beg for forgiveness. As she puts it, the "Ivory Tower" elite, still haven't learned the lesson that they were wrong.

This exercise is silly. Not because they're right and she's wrong, but because she thinks it's so obvious that her view has been vindicated, and that their has been invalidated. Of course, we've read similar arguments in more conservative publications on how the crisis proves beyond a doubt that government regulation is a failure (we've even made some ourselves!).

All this shows is that this kind of approach is a failure.

For some reason Cohen's argument appears in the NYT Books section, so maybe that should tell you something.

(via Jeff Tucker)"


Don the libertarian Democrat (URL) said:
We have a welfare state. The only real question is the mix and balance between government and the private sector, and which interest groups are currently pulling the levers. I'm a very free market person and a Democrat. I follow Milton Friedman in at least three main ways:
1) I think that a guaranteed income would be a fairer and more efficient social safety net than what we have. In the meantime, I'm a strong supporter of a robust social safety net, and my party fits my position on that issue better than the GOP.
2) Like MF, I believe that, in health care, we should either have a government run program or a totally free market. Given where we are, I believe that a government run program is more viable. But the current hybrid is a total mess as far as costs are concerned, and far worse than the extremes.
3) I favor a return to narrow banks, as did Milton Friedman.
Finally, this is Milton Friedman about Socialism:

"MF: At the moment, opinion has shifted a great deal away from the idea of planning. Nobody anymore is a socialist in the dictionary sense, of the ownership and operation of the means of production. Nobody thinks that's the way a country should go. It is widely accepted that private property, private enterprise, and the market are more efficient."

I can't find an actual socialist. The current use is as a meaningless pejorative. The idea that our current investor class, after crying for more and more government support, defies belief. The real worry, from my point of view, is nationalism, and even more concentrated power and wealth. Those are free market concerns, in my view.

People might be interested in this essay:

Read "Did Reagan Rule In Vain? A Closer Look at True Expenditure Levels in the United States and Europe by Jacob Funk Kirkegaard " here:

I do expect more intrusive government in the short run, but that's a bother more than a serious worry.
Don the libertarian Democrat (URL) said:
The idea that our current investor class, after crying for more and more government support, are Cato Scholars, defies belief

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