Sadly, no

Gary Younge paints a portrait of an ideology.

Greenspan\’s ideology was unfettered, free-market capitalism. Its understanding of how the world works was rooted in self-interest. It was a value system that placed the private before the public, the individual before the collective, and the wealth of the few before the welfare of the many.

Given that Greenspan was one of the bureaucrats overlooking the system of regulation of the economy, we can hardly say that he was arguing for "unfettered" anything.

But there\’s something else here. We ghastly neo-liberals, we few, we band of brothers, do not argue that we should place the wealth of the few before the welfare of the many. Not at all. Rather, we argue that if we work with the grain of (enlightened) self-interest, if we place the private before the public, the individual before the collective, that this promotes the welfare of the many over the wealth of the few.

Just look around the world would you? Those places which have, roughly, crudely, followed the liberal capitalist rule book have vastly higher welfare of the many than those places which have not.

Those places which have elevated the collective over the individual, the public before the private are, to put it mildly, shitholes.

The monument to this free-market capitalism shtick is that the lucky billion or two of us human beings that live in societies which have followed this path are living higher on the hog than any other human has ever done. Those countries which have not historically but have adopted it in recent decades are seeing welfare increase for the many faster than has ever happened before in human history. Those countries that have never had it and aren\’t getting it now are mired in the destitution which was the lot of all humanity until liberal capitalism was first tried.

Jebus people, what the fuck do you want from an economic system other than that we all get fat, rich and happy?

4 comments on “Sadly, no

  1. Those places which have elevated the collective over the individual, the public before the private are, to put it mildly, shitholes.

    Yup: France, Germany, Sweden; shitholes the lot of them.

    (i.e. “not having unfettered Reagan-Thatcher-ness doesn’t mean you have to have Kim Jong-Il and Fidel”…)

    Tim adds: “Those places which have, roughly, crudely, followed the liberal capitalist rule book ” covers that point I think?

  2. Can I play John?

    Just look around the world would you? Those places which have, roughly, crudely, followed the liberal capitalist rule book have vastly higher welfare of the many than those places which have not.

    I call Russia under Boris Yeltsin.

    Tim adds: As someone who lived and worked in Russia from 91 through to 97 (and I still have an ongoing interest and visit occasionally) I hae to tell you that despite the drunkeness of Boris and the subsequent authoritarianism, the place is indeed vastly better off than it was in 1990.

  3. John B. are you really suggesting that Germany France and Sweden have “elevated the collective over the individual”?

    G, F & S have mildly, very mildly, restricted individual rights and elevated collective rights. To suggest that they have made collective rights superior to individual ones seems an exaggeration.

    Last time I was in Germany to visit my Hunnish cousins, they seemed pretty uncollectivized to me. But perhaps I drank too many glasses of Pils vom Fass.

  4. Back to the issue at hand…

    The credit crunch was caused by the government mal-regulating their own currency monopoly.

    They lowered the reserve requirement, and thus through Fractional Reserve banking vastly increased CREDIT.
    (Banks have made enormous mistakes paying CASH bonuses for CREDIT creation. This should probably be banned.)
    Now the tsunami of credit distorted vast areas of the economy and caused unnatural profits for rent seekers. People started buying even though the yield was falling. Ignorant people bought even though the yield fell below the borrowing costs hoping to sell to a greater sucker. Now these assets are not paying off it causes a collapse in credit and money destruction (the flip side of FRB).

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