Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ben Norton — Koch-Funded Economist Wants “Less Democracy”

Dr. Garett Jones is wary of democracy. He is Associate Professor of Economics and BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at the Mercatus Center, “the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas,” at George Mason University, you see. He wants “less democracy.” He, like so many of his academic colleagues, writes scholarly articles in prestigious economics journals, extolling the virtues of moralless, unmitigated greed and absolute plutocratic tyranny. And it just so happens that that inconvenient “democracy” thing is an “inefficient” burden on the path toward a society based on these principles.
In “10% Less Democracy: How Less Voting Could Mean Better Governance,” a 24 February 2015 presentation at George Mason University’s Center for Study of Public Choice, Jones bemoans the “anti-market bias” inherent in democracy. He laments that protectionism is “encouraged by voters,” and that, “around the world, looming elections mean less labor market liberalization.” Jones also is distraught that elected electricity commissioners “shift costs to the … industrial sector.” The burden should always be on the worker, naturally.
A good macroeconomist maintains “skepticism toward maximum democracy,” the professor says, as “less democratic monetary policy” leads to “lower, more stable inflation, with no apparent change in the unemployment rate or real GDP growth.” He cites Alan Blinder, a former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Princeton professor of economics who served on President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, who candidly admits that “events since 1997 have pushed me more and more toward the conclusion that society would indeed be better off if politicians confined themselves to broad decisions about tax policy and left the details to a group of technocrats analogous to the Fed’s Board of Governors.” This is the kind of thing economists say to each other behind closed doors: Democracy is bad, and society would be much better if ruled under the silicon fist of a technocratic oligarchy.....


Anonymous said...

Wow! So then it's ok for me to sell his organs on Craigslist?

That was easy!

NeilW said...

You may mock, but this is actually what most economists believe. Can't get those nasty irrational humans get in the way of their perfect clockwork model.

This guy is just being excessively honest. He should attend the PR and marketing courses his colleagues have and learn to be more democratic.

Of course taking a slightly more cynical line this sort of thing is quite clever since it shifts the boundaries of polite discourse even more to the right.

That way when you beg an unelected institution such as the ECB to hand out a few Euros directly to the disadvantaged poor it sounds ever so reasonable. Even though it directly undermines the effectiveness of democracy.

When you create a treaty that allows corporations to veto the decisions of the elected body, it feels so much less threatening than the alternative. Even though it directly undermines the effectiveness of democracy.

And when the parties all turn up spouting precisely the same neo-liberal line and are so indistinguishable you can barely get a cigarette paper between them you trot out and vote for your favourite colour because of course good people vote for something. Even though that totally defeats the point of democracy.

Tom Hickey said...

Liberalism is bourgeois through and through, and democracy is the enemy of the bourgeoisie (acquisitive or ownership class) once the hereditary aristocracy of feudalism is dispensed with and capitalism established as the ruling paradigm under the guise of "liberal democracy," which is really plutonomy.

Then the problem becomes"proletarians (workers devoid of significant ownership) uniting against acquisitive ownership class and their cronies and minions in the military staff, clandestine services and upper echelon of the bureaucracy, which includes that level of academia that passes through the revolving door or has designs on it. Eventually, it also comes to include the top echelon of the trade unions that are supposed to be representing workers' interests by the ownership class cutting them in on the loot or else criminal usurpation. The Mercatus Center is a wholly owned subsidiary of the plutocrats. (haute bourgeoisie).

Now things are coming to a head with even most of the 1% being eclipsed by the .01%, and dynasties of hereditary wealth and power are proliferating, suggesting neb-feudalism as the outcome of liberalism become neoliberalism as a social and political theory based on economic liberalism. This is the model of neoliberal globalization that the US Establishment is spearheading, e.g., with trade agreements and treaties that install transnational corporations and owners of intellectual property above national sovereignty.

So I view the work coming out of the Mercatus Center and other such institutions as paving the way for the submersion of sovereignty based on democracy and the rise of anti-democratic technocracy controlled by plutocrats.

NeilW said...

There has never been a more effective Soma invented than the Smartphone.

Anonymous said...

".... and it makes you sound like Donald Duck!"