The Rethinking Economics conference this weekend went very well. I think that this movement is only getting bigger. The level of organisation at the conference was extremely impressive. Something tells me that this will not be going away any time soon.
I’m still a bit busy writing my book. But in the meantime here is an interview with Philip Mirowki who appeared on the Sam Seder show last week.
You can also find a similar interview on This is Hell here.
Both these interviews are great. Mirowski says that neoliberals see the market as a huge “information processor,” do they ever expressly refer to it as that? Advertising, news, and entertainment are saturated with neoliberal messaging – in insidiously disguised ways – but I’ve never seen or heard markets described as such.
Also, Mirowski couldn’t be more right about neoliberal thinking “percolating down” to the individual. When the so called financial crisis hit in 2007, the public (at least the public I come most in contact with ) not only did they not know what hit them, they still – to a great degree – don’t really know what happened. If you ask them, they would never suggest the Housing Bubble and how its collapse left a depression size gap in aggregate demand. Yet when the press and mainstream economists recited the “nobody-could’ve seen-this-coming” chant the segment of the population I’m referring to somehow knew – right away – who to blame for it, i.e. government, immigrants, minorities (the Community Reinvestment Act), taxes, tenured school teachers, even Social Security seemed culpable. It was odd; they didn’t know what had happened but they knew who was at fault. They somehow seemed prepared for a crisis they couldn’t understand and didn’t see coming.
I really think the left could do a lot to develop the same reach as the neoliberals by instilling in the public mind the most basic tenants of Keynesian Economics and how these principles interact with and support truly democratic processes in a democratic state. If they only knew that aggregate demand is the work of the people; it’s everyone’s work; and that everyone benefits, including the economy.
typo fix: … most basic tenets of Keynesian…