Sunday, January 03, 2010


I’m on the final chapter of my long-promised Zombie Economics, dealing with ideas refuted by the Global Financial Crisis. My target this time is privatisation – more precisely, the idea that privatisation will always yield an improvement over public ownership, and, therefore that market liberalism is an advance on the mixed economy that developed in the during the post-1945 long boom. 
As always, comments, criticism and suggestions much appreciated.
comments removed, or will be I assume. [they left most of them up. others in moderation didn't make it]
Joaquin Tamiroff 01.03.10 at 5:23 pm
An important question to ask is less about economics, and less about regulation and law, than about culture. Question to ask the people of any country:
“What if any general obligations above and beyond those mandated by law do you feel towards anyone outside of your immediate family?”
“How far for you do those obligations extend?”
Obligation is the dark matter of political economy

And in relation to the Soviet Union we have the model of China and Singapore, of Microsoft and Google. And the “coalition of mixed economies” had a leader more than willing to undermine decision-making in its junior partners and democracy itself in those countries who supplied its raw materials. 
bianca steele 01.03.10 at 6:19 pm
I don’t think asking “Do you have ethics or not?” is enough.

Joaquin Tamiroff 01.03.10 at 6:57 pm

bianca @#26
There’s an argument that says the obligations of a board of directors are to the shareholders and no one else. But the Scandinavian anomaly is cultural before its economic, and a level of socialism is rational to those who think it is, as much as unalloyed self-interest is to those with different assumptions about their own behavior.

The cold war obsession with “freedom” rendered any interest in culturalism and behaviorism untoward. Unfortunately it also gave license for people to claim that freedom was what they represented even as they declared others unworthy of enjoying it. Methodological and cultural individualism are related to one another more than many still want to admit. That’s for historians to examine; but since we’re still in an age when many are still trying to imagine themselves as an end to history such efforts are unpopular. Empiricism built on old rationalist assumptions is of limited use.

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