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View Diary: Quick note on Krugman's neoliberalism (47 comments)

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  •  Krugman is neoliberal but not in the way you think (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, Urban Owl, Meteor Blades

    Krugman could be described as a "neoliberal" economist in the original sense of the term. Neoliberal when it was coined in the 1930s described an economic "third way" between communism and capitalism, essentially what later became described as a "social market economy," where there is private property and ownership and a free exchange of most goods and services, but a strong regulatory government and some "social services" such as health care provided such by government. Also this economy had a strong voice for unions, which were encouraged to have a bigger role in private enterprise. West Germany after World War II was very much a classic "neoliberal" economy.

    Krugman certainly is a believer in capitalism and free (but somewhat regulated) markets.

    It was Austrian economist Frederik Hayek, originally a "neoliberal" in the traditional camp who then decided to rid the term of its original social justice ideas. In the 1970s, South American countries such as Chile under Pinochet began to use the term "neoliberal" to describe the huge privatization and deregulation of his government and it became a term used to describe that kind of economy ever sense.

    A bit of history on the term "neoliberal," which I think is unfairly used pejoratively for people like Krugman and myself who believe in a well-regulated and socially conscious form of capitalism.

    •  Matt Taibbi believes in well regulated (0+ / 0-)

      I have not seen that kind of belief showing much in Krugman's writing. I am using the term neoliberal in, I think, the current sense of the term - those that espouse progress but are mostly willing to ignore American oligarchy.

      •  you must not read Krugman much then (0+ / 0-)

        what are you reading exactly?

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:30:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm confused (0+ / 0-)

        I don't really see how Krugman "ignores American oligarchy" in anything that you've posted in your diary. You say that "stimulus" is being sucked up by banks, which may be sort-of true (some of that monetary stimulus is going towards keeping loan rates low which is helping lower rates for home loans for many people).

        But actually fiscal stimulus isn't really monetary stimulus. Fiscal stimulus is the government directly spending money in a way to help the economy and could honestly be just giving a check to every American, or could be lowering payroll taxes which disproportionately affect the poor and middle class or it could be building a massive rail project that would employ millions. It's not "monetary stimulus" which is more controlled by the Fed and is more related to money given to banks.

        Krugman is a Keynseyan, which means he supports strong government intervention in a free-market economy, mostly on the demand (consumers/workers) side instead of the  supply (business/banks). He has been a strong voice in advocating the government do more to help the economy grow by helping the unemployed, increasing the safety-net and simply spending (on infrastructure or whatever) so that more people would be working.

        In a capitalistic economy, helping workers/consumers also helps business because people spending money means businesses make money. But I've always felt Krugman's focus has been on the worker/consumer and his work hass even focused on the need to help workers as a moral imperative instead of simply an economic one. A lot of his work can be seen as a critique of the huge and growing divides between the super-wealthy (oligarchs) and the rest of us, both as being problematic economically and as horrible in a moral and democratic sense.

        I guess you're definition could mean neoliberal=anyone who isn't a socialist, but if so that is an extremely broad definition.

        •  Certainly we can agree that (0+ / 0-)

          banana republics can't run free market economies?

          At a certain point all Keyneseyan's must drop traditional economics altogether and Krugman does not seem willing to draw that line in the sand. He spends a lot of time attacking the "serious people" as if this were a high school debate and not the takeover of the US government by a financially criminal element.

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