Daily Archives: September 15, 2019

How Liberals Normalized Conservative Ideas

Andreas Bimba posted How Liberals Normalized Conservative Ideas on Facebook. He included this introduction whose source I have not determined yet.

THE ECONOMIST’S HOUR – False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society

The author of this newly released book – Binyamin Appelbaum, who is an editorial board member of the New York Times, reveals many interesting observations about the rise of the Keynesian era, its supplanting by the free market monetarists starting in the late 1960’s and where to now for the world given the clear failure of the neoliberal era, especially of the last few decades.

One interesting comment was that the Rockefeller Foundation funded the rise of neoliberal thought at the Chicago school of economics that proved to have such a decisive influence on the economic policies of conservative and the nominally progressive political parties and governments throughout the world. The Chicago School’s most prominent alumni was Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman.

The Chicago school became one of the most influential schools of thought after Friedman joined the economics faculty in 1946 and then was joined by his long time friend George J. Stigler in 1958.

Friedman altered the direction of macroeconomics, while Stigler helped to do the same in microeconomics. Friedman challenged the dominance of Keynesian economics in the postwar period, and Stigler’s writings undermined many of the rationales for government regulation of business.

The ‘salesmen’ of neoliberalism may have had something to sell for a decade or two and then only under the right circumstances but the neoliberal world has over the last few decades become even more greedy, arrogant and desperate and has degenerated into crony and predatory capitalism that no longer even pretends to deliver for the majority.

It is now clear that the neoliberal carcass will be cut down at some point. The question is will it be soon enough to save ourselves from environmental catastrophe, further social trauma and dislocation and even from some form of increasingly authoritarian global corporate oligarchic rule that acts through a co-opted militarised state, that supplants the last vestiges of post war liberal democracy?

The post has a link to the interview from the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Finally, in the post is a link to the book The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society by Binyamin Appelbaum