Latest Issue

The real economy

The American business model is both unattractive and inaccurate. Market economies work only when embedded in social institutions

By John Kay   May 2003

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became British prime minister and a year later Ronald Reagan was elected US president. With these changes of government came a reversal of the trend to greater government economic intervention and higher state spending which had been characteristic of most of the 20th century and had continued uninterrupted since the second world war. This change of direction was reinforced by the fall of the Berlin wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. One of the most extraordinary episodes in the economic history of the world followed.

It was an American decade. The triumphalism expressed in…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect