Although the post is more about politics than economics, from a political economy perspective, the two are more useful when analysed together. In modern capitalist economies, the role of the state is inseparable from other institutions such as the rule of law and the market.
The debate over economic policy should be thoroughly exercised in the public realm of a healthy democracy. This requires well-educated citizens open to engaging critically in such a debate, allowing space for diversity and pluralism without dictating their terms. Intolerance is present in elements of both left and right and is contrary to the liberal perspective. Continue reading →
Chris Edwards says the privatizations started by Thatcher “transformed the British economy” and boosted productivity. This raises an under-appreciated paradox.
The thing is that privatization isn’t the only thing to have happened since the 1980s which should have raised productivity, according to (what I’ll loosely call) neoliberal ideology. Trades unions have weakened, which should have reduced “restrictive practices”. Managers have become better paid, which should have attracted more skilful ones, and better incentivized them to increase productivity. And the workforce has more human capital: since the mid-80s, the proportion of workers with a degree has quadrupled from 8% to one-third […]
An interview from the Real News Network with Professor John Weeks of SOAS in London, which punctures some of the myths put forward by proponents of neo-liberalism. In short, he shows with a few examples that under capitalism markets and government need each other to function well. Some of the video is not the best quality, but stick with it. Weeks gave this interview in the wake of the publication of his book Economics of the 1%, a passionate rebuttal of modern mainstream economics, which he terms fakeconomics.
As a brief follow-on from my previous post, it is useful to note that in some ways there is not huge ground between the neo-liberal right and socialist left in their view of how the capitalist economy can be managed. Continue reading →