We need a critique of economic thinking that also accepts the necessity of markets, says Roger Scrutonby Roger Scruton / January 23, 2014 / Leave a comment
The last decades of the 20th century saw the triumph of market economics. The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the weakness of socialist economies elsewhere gave added credibility to the economic policies of the “new right,” and even Labour climbed onto the bandwagon, dropping Clause IV from its Constitution and accepting that industry is no longer the direct responsibility of government. Then came the 2008 financial crisis, with people all around the world thrown into poverty while the apparent culprits—the bankers, financiers and speculators—escaped with their bonuses intact. As a result books critical of market economics are enjoying a new popularity, whether reminding us of the limits of economic thinking (Michael Sandel’s What Money Can’t Buy) or arguing that markets, in current conditions, cause a massive transfer of wealth from the poorest to the richest (Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality).