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August 25, 2007



Maybe we should ask some of the economists at GMU why their philosophy did not work so well in this critical case study.


Maybe we should ask some of the economists at GMU why their philosophy did not work so well in this critical case study.


Spencer: I know you are being facetious, but the answer to why GMU takes the positions it does is simple.

The entire department was set up and paid for by libertarian billionaire Charles Koch. Only those that dance to his tune get hired and stay employed.

Here's a link on Koch's activities:

People find it hard to believe that an entire political philosophy could be kept alive by the largess of just a handful of super wealthy people, but its true. This is one of the reasons why wealth inequality is so dangerous to a democracy. It gives undue influence to a small group.


Even the GMU guys might be sympathetic to the use industrial policy to provide short term stability to Iraq.

No one argues that you can't achieve high employment rates using state-run businesses.

In addition, most would recognize that protectionism has many short term benefits, first and foremost keeping local business in the green and providing societal stability Everyone pays more for goods, but we don't have to deal with people going losing their jobs all at once and waiting for more competitive business to pick up the slack.

The spectrum of freer market types are only interested in the long term consequences: will those protected industries be able to compete as the rest of the world moves on without them. Will state-run jobs run efficiently enough to provide everyone with long term employment.

Industrial policy is likely to be the best short term solution for any country, especially those where stability is more important that wealth accumulation. With all that oil, I'm surprised the Bush Administration didn't look to the governments of other energy rich countries.

Will Bond

The comments in this post are disturbingly close to a good Onion (satirical newspaper) article: "U.S. To Give Every Iraqi $3,544.91, Let Free-Market Capitalism Do The Rest".

See the link below:

So true...

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As the saying goes, you can fit an awful lot of Harberger triangles into an Okun gap. Allocative efficency should not have been an immediate priority - getting young ex-soldiers into work should have been.

But then if commonsense had prevailed we wouldn't have gone into Iraq in the first place ...

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Industrial policy is likely to be the best short term solution for any country, which I agree with.
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I am looking for a complete list of high school philosophy textbooks.
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