Friday, April 19, 2019

TRNN - Clinton-Era Official Says Left Should Lead Following Center-Right Failures

Brad DeLong says left-neoliberalism has failed and so it's time for the liberals to stand aside and let the socialists take over. Brad DeLong says that the Left have the most accurate description of the world, not the liberals.

The left neoliberals were conned by the right, says Bill Black,  when the conservatives said that free markets would mean that those business people with integrity and honesty wound win in the market place because consumers would soon know who the con- men were and would avoid them, but this didn't happen, the bad actors cleaned up.

Laissez-faire might work when it comes to the local high-street with its baker shop, the coffee bar, or the small business, with people you know, but not when it comes to the wider economy. In other words, libertarianism and laissez -faire capitalism is a fantasy. 

BILL BLACK: Well, he actually says what it means. He says we are discredited. Our policies have failed. And they’ve failed because we’ve been conned by the Republicans. Our whole strategy was to form a consensus with some reasonable, moderately conservative Republicans. And there is no such thing. And as a result we kept on pushing farther and farther and farther to the right with our policies, so that we’re actually to the right of the Republican Party’s own representatives in Congress. And again, we’ve just basically been played by these folks. We have to stop doing that. The only legitimate entity in town is the left, the progressives. The progressives, he says, are wonderful people, whereas basically, he says, there isn’t a single elected Republican that has any integrity at the federal level. And we have to start anew.
He also says that the progressive view of the world poved to be much more true than the neoliberal. He calls himself the neoliberal shill. And in his column, he says the left’s view of the world is much more accurate than our view of the world proved to be.
MARC STEINER: So is he saying that his whole thinking about politics and the economy have changed? Or is he saying that we don’t have the answers, and we should give them a shot at the answers, and back them up with our thinking? What do you think he’s saying?
BILL BLACK: So, he’s saying two things. One, he says–and he says this flat-out–politically, we failed. We were a disaster. Everything we did was a disaster politically. Economically, he says, again, the left’s view of the world is a lot more accurate than ours was. So a number of our policies, presumably, really need to be changed, even just in terms of the economics.
Let me give you the key point. He says our view, the neoliberal, was the markets would regulate themselves. Our view, which we–you know, I’ve been arguing with him for years–is no; markets, when there’s a Gresham’s dynamic–in other words, the kind of frauds that I write and warn people about–market forces become perverse. Cheaters gain a competitive advantage, and bad ethics drives good ethics out of really any form of competition, whether that’s markets, professions, or sports. The steroids era, for example, in baseball, where you had to cheat to be able to do. Or the Tour de France, where all the winners for 20 years were cheats, doing blood doping and other drugs.
MARC STEINER: So I mean, there’s one quote that kind of sums up for me. When he wrote: “Barack Obama rolls into office with Mitt Romney’s healthcare policy, with John McCain’s climate policy, with Bill Clinton’s tax policy, and George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy. And did George H.W. Bush, did Mitt Romney, did John McCain say a single good word about anything Barack Obama ever did over the course of eight solid years? No f’n way he did not,” is what he said. Cleaned it up just a little bit. But that kind of sums up, in many ways, exactly what he was saying.
BILL BLACK: Brad DeLong is brilliant. And he writes really well. And he has, in a super short form, captured it exactly. All of Obama’s key policies were the product of very conservative views that are, on many economic fronts, literally to the right of these crazies that are the Republicans who constitute the House and the Senate. And even when they’re not to the right of the crazies, they’re way, way right, and they’re inferior. Right? The progressive policies are fundamentally superior. Market regulation is a terrible failure. It is criminogenic.
I’ll give you one example. He ends by saying wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if we could use cap and trade to create an incentive for, you know, 20-plus million people to do the right thing? Because again, the neoliberal view is if they do the right thing they will get a profit. See? It’ll all be wonderful. They’ll all do the right thing. Except that it’s vastly easier on something like cap and trade to do the wrong thing. To lie, to commit fraud about whether you’re actually reducing the pollution, and collect the fees. And so he doesn’t realize, still, I think, that we are incentivizing not 20 million people to do the right thing, but literally 2 billion people to do the wrong thing. And you know, often that will be the result, the wrong thing.
Naked Capitalism

TRNN - Clinton-Era Official Says Left Should Lead Following Center-Right Failures

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