Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chris Dillow — Neoliberalism's Unintended Consequences

One of the oldest rhetorical tricks of free-marketeers has been the appeal to unintended consequences; state interventions, they claim - often reasonably - don't work out as intended. But it's not just statist policies that are vulnerable to unintended consequences. So too is neoliberalism, as Ed Miliband's speech yesterday made clear.
That speech was an echo of Karl Polanyi. Back in 1944 hepointed out that pretty much all industrial societies had seen a retreat from laisser-faire and rise of statism since the late 19th century: 
"If [the] market economy was a threat to the human and natural components of the social fabric...what else would one expect than an urge on the part of a great variety of people to press for some sort of protection?" (The Great Transformation, p150)
Stumbling and Mumbling
Neoliberalism's Unintended Consequences
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle (UK)

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