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Monday, September 1, 2014

The personal is the political

Tyler Cowen is the only academic economist I follow, so maybe this is unique to him. But I do wonder if a lot of economic debate is fueled by "free market" (i.e., American) economists having their advice rebuffed by the particular objects of the economists' ire.

Putin, for example, famously rolled back the post-Soviet privatization schemes which were implemented under the tutelage of Jeffrey Sachs and others with whom Tyler is professionally and personally familiar. Consequently, Putin comes in for regular drubbing at Marginal Revolution.

There is a similar pre-occupation with New Zealand and its stubborn refusal to collapse into poverty despite not transforming itself into Hong Kong.

This is really more a matter of omission, as Austrian economists for example don't get around to explaining why Japan isn't re-doing the Weimar Republic right now, or why spontaneous, voluntarist order didn't break out in post-Katrina New Orleans, or in Libya and Syria.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Honest question: why isn't Japan redoing Weimar? I am trying to wrap my head around the issues and differences.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I don't know, just like I don't know why creditors the world over are still accepting dollars and sovereign debt at zero interest.

Toddy Cat said...

"Free Market" economics is becoming just as much of a dogmatic theory trap as Marxism was back in the 1970's. When facts don't fit the theory, the facts are ignored, and those countries who don't fit the theory are excoriated. It's almost as if there was more to economic development than economics...

Bob Wallace said...

Since the government interferes in everything we don't have the "free market."