It seems to be happy times for socialists and statists these days, since so many of them now laugh scornfully at us who advocate freedom, individualism, and market economy. Once again, they revive the myth of that the economy as we now know it will reach an end and develop in a new (socialist) direction. I remember last time when this happened. It was during the beginning of the new millennium when a huge crisis hit East Asia. I remember one lecture we had on pedagogy and Paolo Freire by a Danish Communist (sounds hilarious, doesn’t it?). He also mocked the Asian economies saying that this was a sign that they would NOT develop and that it is only the west that can benefit from capitalism. He was evidently wrong – the tiger economies of East Asia recuperated. I am a little bit confused of the eagerness to cheer over other people’s misery that the Left is wallowing in – over and over again. The Swedish leftist economist Lars Pålsson Syll contribute with his share here. It is especially interesting because he is one of the scholars that I’ve studied during my time at Uppsala University.
“Where are all the market liberals and their support for capitalism”, he jeers rhetorically. “Why are you all so quiet now when your Walt Disney- world proved not to be what you expected?”, he continues.
Oh jeez, I don’t even know where to start. First of all he seems to have blindfolded himself just like a lot of other leftist pundits on the field (e.g. Reza Javid, Bo Rothstein etc.) and refuses to recognize the fact that Johan Norberg seems to have extended his days with the double amount of hours in order to explain on national radio and TV why bailout plans are bad etc. WHY do you people completely ignore the fact that there IS a voice out there explaining the “other” side of the story? It is especially conspicuous due to their panegyric for democracy (especially over the economy) which this proves to be just a load of powdered BS.
Second, in order to debunk your accusations, our “Walt Disney”- world has never existed. Since I have read your book De ekonomiska teoriernas historia I am not surprised that you’ve missed out on the myth of the free market. Sure, some things have improved due to necessary deregulations (especially in former dictatorships like Nyerere’s Tanzania etc., countries that I assume that you only have positive opinions about?) but the economy is still under severe government supervision and control, especially since the Bush administration. As Norberg so delicately depicts it on his blog, we are also still suffering from old wrong-doings. You probably know this Professor Syll, but in 1938 President Roosevelt created the mortgage association Fannie Mae and in 1970 Congress created Freddie Mac. With their implicit government guarantees they could offer cheaper loans and expand until they dominated the American mortgage market. They were able to establish an unfair monopoly on the sc. free market thus creating a culture of short-sighted investment (because they knew they had friends up on Capitol Hill that could bail their asses out in times of a crisis).