The economic crisis we are now facing is the legacy of Thatcher and Reagan because they introduced into government the idea that whatever a politician does, however well-intentioned that action might be, they will always make matters worse in the economy. This is because government is never able, according to neoliberal thinking, to outperform the market, which will always, it says, allocate resources better and so increase human well-being more than government can.
Start out with a straw man why don’t you!
I hadn’t (given that I’ve not read the Curajus State) realised quite how barking Murphy’s position actually is.
I think we can take it as read that I (and my confreres at the ASI etc) are the very embodiment of this neoliberalism. We’re certainly portrayed that way by the Murphmonster himself. And I have to just, gently, point out that absolutely none of us at all actually think that way.
There are indeed people who think that government is always worse than markets but we tend to call them anarcho-capitalists rather then neoliberals.
We neoliberals most certainly believe that the State, government, does some thing better than the market does. Our only disagreement with those further to the left of us, ranging from the social democrats (ie, Wet Tories leftwards) to the out and out loons like Richard Seymour, is which things are better done by which actor?
I am, for example, entirely delighted that the market does not govern military affairs. We tried that and the Wars of the Roses were not a fun time for anyone.
Or to take a more detailed argument, the very existence of patents and copyrights is an admission that all markets all the time markets does not always work. They are a direct intervention into the free market as a result of the agreement that the public goods of innovation and invention are not best promoted by a purely free market approach.
For fuck’s sake, it was we neoliberals at the ASI who nurtured the idea of the London Congestion Charge for decades: it was, recall, originally invented by Alan Walters, Maggie’s economic representative on Earth.
And if you start, as the Murph does, with that sort of misunderstanding of the world around you then clearly and obviously your analysis of what to do next is going to be seriously lacking with reference to reality.
And it is a state that wants to hand control of one of the UK’s greatest achievements – the National Health Service – to the market so that we can copy the US healthcare model and double the cost of provision in exchange for worse healthcare outcomes
There is absolutely no one at all, not even one single person in the entire country, who recommends changing the NHS into something like the US healthcare system. Us radical neoliberals might be interested in something like the Singapore system (half the price and better than the NHS) and the weaker willed argue for something like the German or French. But there ain’t no bugger arguing for the US system.
See what I mean? His analysis is simply divorced from any relationship to reality. And forgive me but I’d not actually noticed quite how badly it was.