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Well to clarify, I'm talking about calling the fictional system being pushed as justification for all the "reforms" corporate capitalism. I'm aware that it doesn't apply to the UK economy at all and is of course a gross oversimplification of the US economy.  

However, I don't share your generally rosy view of economics and economists. Or rather I distinguish between economic propagandists and economic scientists. We don't tend to hear much from the latter.

I also don't agree with your rosy view of the market: I very strongly suspect that the less regulated the market the more it tends to reward the rich by making them richer as a consequence of how the system works.

 As for unions and the middle class: traditionally the middle class has been protected by both law and their own power to bargain individually. As those protections are whittled away something will have to be done.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 30th, 2005 at 02:43:49 PM EST
Or rather I distinguish between economic propagandists and economic scientists. We don't tend to hear much from the latter.

That's certainly true.  Some of that is due to the problem of serious economists being busy with important things like research.  They don't have time to go and waste time on news programs.  (Krugman is one exception.  He makes a fair number of appearances -- or at least did during the Social Security battle.)  Most economists on the news are not academics.  Almost all of them are Wall Streeters, and they all tend to serve one interest -- their own -- whereas academics are a little more constrained by their colleagues and can't get away with so much.

I'm not sure my view of the market is "rosy".  I'm sure it is, in some ways.  My view of the market is that it's a decent system, but one that requires smart people -- central bankers, macroeconomists, etc. -- to ensure that bad things, like depressions, don't happen, and that unfortunate facts of life, like recessions, are less severe (as they have been since the end of WWII).

The only way to prevent people from using their power to bargain -- individually or collectively -- is to ban it.  What's sad is that a lot of the erosion of labor rights has happened at the state levels, where no one will pay any attention.  When things happen in Washington, there's a pretty good chance (especially in the age of blogging) that someone will pick it up, and the attention it receives can lead the press to begin covering it.  (This happened countless times last year, as everybody knows.)  Not so at the state level.  It's not sexy enough to warrant attention.

Unless the story is Terri Schiavo, of course.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Dec 30th, 2005 at 07:14:23 PM EST
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