Friday, 17 October 2008

Who is old fashioned in economics now?

The crashing collapse of Thatcherism and Reganism that is taking place around us is not only bringing down financial institutions but totally changing who is in ‘fashion’ in economics.
Paul Krugman, fierce opponent of George W Bush’s economic policies, and author of The conscience of a liberal ’ column in the New York Times has just won the Nobel Prize for Economics.
It is scarcely possible to turn on the television without seeing Will Hutton.
Joseph Stiglitz, former enfant terrible of the economics profession for his attacks on the orthodoxy of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank has become totally mainstream – even moderately conservative.
Larry Elliot who toiled away for years on the Guardian explaining that Thatcherism was going to end in tears, and was ostracised by most other sections of the mainline media for telling the truth, must be remembering the old adage about he who laughs last...
The report from Germany is that Karl Marx’s economic works are now flying off the shelves.
Where are all the monetarists gone who used to sagely opine about the ‘rationality of the market’ and that the unemployed might have ‘leisure preference’? But they never were very interested in facts anyway so perhaps they haven’t noticed what’s going on – the world had to correspond to their model it wasn’t necessary for their model to correspond to the world.
The problem is that the world turned out to be much more powerful than their 'model'.

2 comments:

Alun Griffiths said...

What's Will Hutton doing there?

Bemused Economist said...

Will Hutton is hardly Karl Marx born again, but he is to the left of the neo-liberals. His recent prominence is significant because previously you never saw him consulted by the media. That the media feel a need to consult him now implies a leftward shift, however modest.