economic regression

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Economist Anatole Kaletsky writes about the crisis of market fundamentalism, suggesting that "The US may now be ready to abandon the monetarist dogmas of central-bank independence and inflation targeting, and to restore full employment as the top priority of demand management:"

By deregulating finance and trade, intensifying competition, and weakening unions, governments created the theoretical conditions that demanded redistribution from winners to losers. But advocates of market fundamentalism did not just forget redistribution; they forbade it.

The pretext was that taxes, welfare payments, and other government interventions impair incentives and distort competition, reducing economic growth for society as a whole. But, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, [...] "there's no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families." By focusing on the social benefits of competition while ignoring the costs to specific people, the market fundamentalists disregarded the principle of individualism at the heart of their own ideology.

Kaletsky continues:

Just as fiscal and monetary policy can be calibrated to minimize both unemployment and inflation, redistribution can be designed not merely to recycle taxes into welfare, but to help more directly when workers and communities suffer from globalization and technological change.

He then notes that "governments have mostly done the opposite:"

They have made tax systems less progressive and slashed spending on education, industrial policies and regional subsidies, pouring money instead into health care, pensions, and cash hand-outs that encourage early retirement and disability. The redistribution has been away from low-paid young workers, whose jobs and wages are genuinely threatened by trade and immigration, and toward the managerial and financial elites, who have gained the most from globalization, and elderly retirees, whose guaranteed pensions protect them from economic disruptions.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on December 23, 2016 2:30 PM.

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