Read it and weep – The Case Against Free-Market Capitalism

In Project Syndicate, Ngaire Woods presents the Case Against Free-Market Capitalism.

Ngaire is Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Founder of the Global Economic Governance Program at the University of Oxford.  This is the final paragraph from her article:

The orthodoxy established by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s – to roll back the state, after a decade of profligate and bloated government – is guilty as charged. A new consensus is emerging that more active and effective government is required to boost growth and expand opportunity. The jury is still out, however, on whether governments will be given the tools and support they need to rehabilitate the defendant.

Yep.  Overload the car.  Put chewing gum in the locks.  Throw sand in the fuel tank.  Let a bunch of idiots drive the car.  And when the car breaks it is the car’s fault.

Bring on Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders to fix the problem.

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41 Responses to Read it and weep – The Case Against Free-Market Capitalism

  1. Mak Siccar

    Why does Oxford give these ‘academics’ credibility? A global Venezuela awaits us all.

  2. RobK

    I think she’s been reading reneweconomy where you can draw graphs and things happen by magic.

  3. The pendulum has fully swung to the Left. We just have to wait until it starts it’s travels back the other way.

  4. Louis Hissink

    Ngaire ?????

    I wonder if it should be treated in the same manner of naming a boy Sue ? Or is it a generic un-name that one then needs to look at a picture to have the necessary information to be gender sensitive.

    Gary North made one pertinent point on the Lew Rockwell site recently – that Marxism, in all its variants, lacked a theory of how to run an economy. Much like killing the invisible hand and then looking at the severed, lifeless appendage hoping it will respond to commands to produce wealth.

    Socialism – the corpse-economy

    Mind you Thatcher and Reagan were not capitalists according to Sean Gabb in his PFS talk in 2016.

  5. Zatara

    ‘new consensus’

    Is that like a 97% consensus or just a random, everyday sort?

  6. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Ngaire is obviously an African name that only racists would object to. Any other questions?

  7. Sparkle Motion

    “The Blavatnik School of Government and Founder of the Global Economic Governance Program at the University of Oxford”

    Googled this several times because it seems straight out of The Onion. But it’s real.

  8. Zatara

    “The Blavatnik School of Government and Founder of the Global Economic Governance Program at the University of Oxford”

    Googled this several times because it seems straight out of The Onion. But it’s real.

    Better yet, they left out a word in describing her role there. She isn’t just the Dean, she is the Founding Dean.

    Hard to take her complaint about the free-market seriously when she invented a new philosophy, scammed someone into creating a college for it, and gets paid to be the Dean of it. A masterpiece of entrepreneurship. Create a demand then fill it.

  9. EvilElvis

    The pendulum has fully swung to the Left. We just have to wait until it starts it’s travels back the other way.

  10. Andrew

    So the person running the School of Govt thinks there’s a role for govt? Massive shock.

    That’s almost as surprising as learning that the UNSW School of Climatology Ship of Fools idiots are raging warmies. It’s almost like if they admitted that their idiotic policies had no positive effect and actually made everything worse, that they’d be out of a job.

  11. H B Bear

    The UK is overdue for a decent dose of socialism. Once they are back driving a Leyland Morris to queue for petrol and driving through rubbish strewn streets they’ll stop pining for the good old days.

  12. Baldrick

    The socialist experiment has never worked anywhere in the world, anywhere.

  13. Rafe Champion

    Ngaire is a name of New Zealand provenance, FWW.

  14. Boambee John

    Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray
    #2525794, posted on October 17, 2017 at 5:34 pm
    Ngaire is obviously an African name that only racists would object to. Any other questions?

    I understand that it is of Maori origin.

  15. Rob MW

    A new consensus is emerging that more active and effective government is required to boost growth and expand opportunity.

    This is encouraging. Getting a consensus from Bolsheviks and being left to breath normally with the aid of an intact windpipe will definitely improve growth and give a boost to expanded opportunity at living a short while longer is very encouraging indeed. Government sponsored agility and innovation can be best achieved from the opportunity that Gulags offer.

    I can see the IOC endorsing a new Olympic sport, Bolshevik Consensus.

  16. duncanm

    The orthodoxy established by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s – to roll back the state, after a decade of profligate and bloated government – is guilty as charged.

    how could anyone born in the early 60’s (as Ngaire was) think that the Thatcher influence was anything but Nation-saving for the cesspit that was the UK economy and industries in the 70’s (when Ngaire was hopefully beyond ‘young and naive’)?

  17. if i remember correctly it was a couple of Oxford eggheads that announced breathlessly the other day that they had actually managed to PROVE that we are not all living inside a computer simulation a la the Matrix…is it any wonder the graduate they are churning out these days are all living in la la land?

  18. Nerblnob

    how could anyone born in the early 60’s (as Ngaire was) think that the Thatcher influence was anything but Nation-saving for the cesspit that was the UK economy and industries in the 70’s (when Ngaire was hopefully beyond ‘young and naive’)?

    The persistent mantra of the UK left (which means all of the BBC and most other media) is that they had a wonderful manufacturing economy until Thatcher tore it all down in order to Destroy the Working Class for no apparent reason other than Evil Tory.

    Even those who concede publicly that reforms were necessary never explain why except in the vaguest terms, or the occasional reference to “uncollected rubbish in the streets” which just doesn’t resonate with under-50s (in the real world – under 70s are the equivalent in academia)

    I’ve only seen ever one crack in the BBC’s Wall of Confusion on Thatcherism – in a program called How German Cars Beat British Motors.

    The short summary in the link is really worth reading. I was quite shocked to hear it laid out so plainly on the BBC, albeit buried in a program hardly anyone was expected to watch.

    One simple statement that brings home the idiocy of nationalisation and the fantasy of command economies:

    And although the Mini was an enormous hit, there was a sting in the tail. BMC actually lost £30 for every car it sold.
    Far from being a symbol of Sixties cool, therefore, the Mini was really a symbol of something rotten at the heart of Britain’s economy. It was a brilliantly designed metaphor for an industry crippled by complacent leadership, dreadful salesmanship and a fatal culture of self-satisfaction.

    No prizes for seeing modern parallels.

  19. Leo G

    “So the person running the School of Govt thinks there’s a role for govt? Massive shock.”

    But who really runs the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford Uni?
    Len Blavatnik is a Putin-aligned Russian expat whose wealth fell into his hands with the “fall of the Soviet Union”. He was a major donor to the Donald Trump election campaign.

  20. Oh come on

    Shitty writing, for starters. How many other rubbish metaphors has this over-credentialed bint used to push this tired old trope?

  21. NB

    The speech by Gary Kasparov in this Fund for American Studies video, commencing at 33.20, is a useful salve to Ngaire Woods’ nonsense. Woods might benefit by a stint at a TFAS summer school.

  22. cynical1

    In 2017, few of the world’s fastest-growing economies (Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, India, Tanzania, Djibouti, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines) have free markets. And many free-market economies are suffering from growth slowdowns and rapidly rising inequality.

    What a lovely bunch of worker’s paradises.

    Not many Mcmansions for those workers.

    Still, on the bright side, the CFMEU is non existent in those economies.

  23. Up The Workers!

    The whole ludicrous argument sounds like a classic case of “Ngaire in the Woodpile” to me!

    Sounds to me like somebody is seriously ‘purloining the micturition’.

  24. Mother Lode

    Mediocre people used to go to Oxford hoping some of its reputation would rub off.

    Sadly their mediocrity rubbed off on Oxford.

    Does anyone really think Oxford alumni are special.

    Interestingly, Cambridge seems not to discharge the same socialistic effluent.

  25. Tel

    From the Heritage Freedom Index (overall score)

    Ethiopia: low point (1995) at 42.6, high point (2007) at 54.5, current at 52.7 trend mostly upwards.

    Uzbekistan: low point (1998) at 31.5, high point (2017) at 52.3, trend firmly upwards.

    Nepal: low point (2011) at 50.1, high point (2017) at 55.1, trend variable, slightly up.

    India: low point (1995) at 45.1, high point (2016) at 56.2, trend mostly upwards.

    Tanzania: high point (1999) at 60.0, low point (2005) at 56.3, current at 58.6, trend slightly down.

    Djibouti: high point (2001) at 58.3, low point (2017) at 46.7, trend flattish then nosedive.

    Laos: low point (1997) at 35.1, high point (2017) at 54.0, trend firmly upwards.

    Cambodia: low point (1997) at 52.8, high point (2003) at 63.7, current at 59.5, trend slightly up.

    Myanmar (Burma): high point (1998) at 30.0, low point (2010) at 5.0 !!, current at 23.0 getting over a bad patch.

    Philippines: low point (1995) at 55.0, high point (2017) at 65.6, trend variable, upwards.

    Reference: http://www.heritage.org/index/explore?view=by-region-country-year

  26. Eyrie

    Saw a video on a plane once about the Mini and how it lost money on every car sold. Ford at Dagenham who reckoned they had the lowest production costs bought one and figured what it cost Leyland to build and came to the conclusion that it was losing money. Funny part was Minis could have been sold for 50 pounds more and it wouldn’t have diminished demand and made heaps of money..

  27. Barry 1963

    It works in the Scandinavian countries!

  28. Louis Hissink

    Pronounced ny-ree?

    So much for phonetics! Kiwis have a lot to answer for, especially linguistically.

  29. Nerblnob

    India’s been freeing up its economy for at least 15 years.

    I started doing business there in late 90s, or trying to.

    Up until about 2002 there was 60% tariff on foreign technology.

  30. Shine a Light

    I have been under the impression that countries that which have tax systems were called mixed economies , not free market economy economies
    Clearly, redistribution of wealth is endemic in our system, which I think is reasonsbly fair.
    Anyway, command economies dont impress me

  31. Mother Lode

    Anyway, command economies dont impress me

    Command economies will impress* you into whatever activities they decide.

    *A less common use of the word, but sufficient for punning purposes.

  32. Shine a Light

    If I can lighten things a little.

    There is a sing title along the lines
    “Dont supress me much”

  33. Zatara

    Len Blavatnik is a Putin-aligned Russian expat whose wealth fell into his hands with the “fall of the Soviet Union”. He was a major donor to the Donald Trump election campaign.

    Got a link to back that one up Leo?

    Because the “major donors” to the 2016 Trump campaign are listed here and I don’t see him or his company listed.

  34. tgs

    In 2017, few of the world’s fastest-growing economies (Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, India, Tanzania, Djibouti, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines) have free markets.

    High economic growth off an extremely low base is not much of an achievement.

    For someone supposedly qualified to run a global economic governance program she doesn’t appear to have come across the macro 101 concept of convergence.

  35. Leo G

    Got a link to back that one up Leo? … the “major donors” to the 2016 Trump campaign are listed here and I don’t see him or his company listed.

    From Quartz April 19, 2017 by Max de Haldevang
    SECOND TIME’S THE CHARM
    Trump’s inaugural committee took $1 million from a Russian-American whose money the GOP rejected

    From Dallas News August 3 2017
    GOP campaigns took $7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia

    I note from the latter that Mitch McConnell’s political action committee received its Blavatnik contribution through two holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings.

  36. True Aussie

    So government funded parasites whine about capitalism being bad. In other news water is wet

  37. Tator

    Barry 1963,
    Scandinavian nations are not socialist countries, They are welfare states with high rates of taxation. Totally different.
    Socialism is the state owning the means of production and the state distributing the proceeds as it sees fit. The welfare state means the government uses high levels of taxation to redistribute wealth via high levels of welfare but still having privately owned means of production.

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