Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Has Jeffrey Sachs Changed His Stripes?

They must be having snowball fights in hell (excerpt):

Paul Ryan, American Values and Corporatocracy

My new book, The Price of Civilization, describes why America needs a "mixed economy," one where a more effective federal government regulates business and invests alongside the business sector. In his review of my book, Congressman Paul Ryan, an avowed libertarian, describes my book as anti-American in its values. ...

Ryan ignores the extensive evidence in the book showing that Americans support the values of a mixed economy, not of Ryan's free-market libertarianism. Americans today by large majorities support public education, Medicare, Social Security, help for the indigent, stronger regulation of the banks, and higher taxation of the rich. ...

On issue after issue, Washington is presently bucking the public's values, rather than respecting them. A majority of the public wants to preserve social programs, but they are being cut anyway. A majority wants higher taxes on the rich, but they are being cut rather than raised. A majority wants to end the wars, but they continue anyway.

The reason is the following. America is losing its democracy as our politicians trade their votes for campaign contributions from the corporate lobbies. We have a corporatocracy rather than a democracy, and Ryan stands at the center of it. The Wall Street Journal, which commissioned Ryan's review of my book, is the leading print mouthpiece for the corporatocracy.

I don’t know enough of Prof Sachs and his work to be too judgemental, and I’m probably guilty of slandering the man. But this is the very same Jeffery Sachs who helped preside over the free market “shock therapy” in port-communist Eastern Europe that resulted in a decade of de facto corporate kleptocracy and massive welfare loss for common citizens. The fact that he’s now advocating a mixed economy strategy a’la Dani Rodrik seems incredibly ironic, to put it mildly.

(via Mark Thoma)

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