Archive for May 18th, 2023

Here’s a mystery. How can the guy who wrote a few years ago that capitalism is “the most powerful tool for reducing global poverty and inequality” now decide that free markets are a bad thing?

To be technical, Branko Milanovic of the City University of New York did not say that free markets are bad. He didn’t even say that capitalism is bad. Or that classical liberalism is misguided.

But he did assert in a tweet that “neoliberalism” as an ideology has fallen apart. And since neoliberalism in most parts of the world is used as a (often hostile and denigrating) term for laissez-faire economics, he certainly seems to be condemning free enterprise.

But he did point out that communism has fallen apart, so he wins the award for the “most half-right tweet” of the year. And his prize for winning that award is that I’ve corrected his tweet.

I suppose it is possible that Milanovic is merely pointing out that support for neoliberalism/capitalism has declined.

If that’s the case, then I withdraw my criticism. He would only be guilty of careless wording.

I fear, however, that the intention is to be critical of free enterprise. In which case, I ask Milanovic to respond to my never-answered question or to counter my anti-convergence club.

Heck, I’ll be happy if he would simply indicate which direction policy should move if we want more prosperity.

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