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    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    I'm getting into Naomi Klein's latest, 'The Shock Doctrine'. It's got a lot of damning information about the Chicago Scool of Economics and Milton Friedman's ideas about how economies and markets should operate. It holds up American and international Developmentalist policies as a successful and healthy alternative to the Chicago School's free market ideologies.

    I've also just finished reading 'The Plot Against America' by Phillip Roth (which is a slow burner but very, very good) which talks about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deals which dragged America out of the Depression. It cemented in my mind the idea that Developmentalism is a Good Thing and made me question my increasingly free market tendencies.

    I can't help but feel that both the Shock Doctrine and The Plot Against America are very one-sided. Has anyone read any good books about the New Deal and some easy to understand critiques of Keynesian economics? Bearing in mind that my knowledge of economics consists on what can be found in Freakonomics and The Undercover Economist.
  1.  (65.2)
    I seem to remember Greg Palast had something to do with the Chicago School...? Will check later.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    I actually created for a game i was running, a secret society, called the "Brotherhood of Opportunities"
    Their basic premise was that to be prepared in the face of disaster was to profit from it. Therefore it was their intention to always be on the scene of any major disaster and find a way to profit from it.
    Well. Of course, that wasn't good enough. So they ended up creating disasters to profit from.
    They spread their tendrils throughout the business world by feeling out various like-minded people and from occasionally blackmailing people with threats of exposing film taken from their sexual exploits. (This game was set in the 1920's)

    I am a little surprised that no investment group has been caught doing this yet.

    Although one could make a case that the World Bank is doing just exactly this. You'll notice that the economies of countries that have told the world bank to go take a running jump have flourished. While countries that have followed their policies have suffered mightily.
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    can anyone recommend a decent intro to economic theory book which isn't utterly biased towards one school?
    neoliberalism = this.
    the chicago school = this with a splash of _____.
    and so forth...
    also, such a book would preferably be understandable by someone who graduated without a business or statistics-laden degree.
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    This is not the side of the fence you are looking for, but one book I liked on this subject was E. F. Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful', I would advise it to anyone. It is humanist in approach, and filled with humour. I actually gave my copy away. I'll have to get another copy and read it again because It has been a few years.

    I would also be interested in reading some conflicting book on the theory. The one book that springs to mind, though I doubt it has any economic theory in it, but on more of a philosophical basis, is NeoConservatism by Douglas Murray, I remember seeing him on Question Time, I thought he was an ass.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    This thread reminded me that I wanted to read about Keynesian economics, and reading about that reminded me that Economics is complete babble to me. Ugh.
      CommentAuthorDoc Ocassi
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007 edited
    Same for me I understand none of the jargon. My brother is an accounts tutor at Aberdeen Univertisty, actually his thesis was 'The Social Construction of Accounting', which in writing made him not want to be an accountant, that could be educating yourself out of a job. I did read it and he explained the bits I didn't understand.

    side note: am I listening to you on hollowearth JaredRules?
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    Friedman wrote a pretty good book himself called Capitalism and Freedom that is apparently available online. I read it years ago when I was a lad of sixteen listening to the Subhumans and espousing socialist rhetoric in my high school classes and it totally changed the way I viewed capitalism. It's probably worth a read (though things I remember being awesome at sixteen haven't always stood the test of time, so bear that in mind when taking this endorsement). I don't know how much work Emily Ost has out there that isn't pure economic theory, but she's a really brilliant economist, and, typically, of the Chicago School.
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
    Doc....very possibly! I always forget that my show re-airs on fridays. Records Schmecords Radio Show with DJ Knuckle Supper? Was there a part where I forgot what I was gonna say?

    (sorry for the hi-jack)
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    "The Plot Against America" was quite good, but "The Plot to Seize the White House" (by Jules Archer) was a much better read, being the true story I would guess Roth's novel probably was based on. It really is a shame so few Americans actually know how close we came to being a fascist state back then. Perhaps they'd appreciate the shenanigans going on the past few years in a whole different way. But we are so good at ignoring uncomfortable truths over here.

    And ... You're right, Warren. Palast studied with Wolfowitz and the rest of the Neo-Con Chicago Boys under Milton Friedman. He'd be the one that got away.
  2.  (65.11)
    "A Brief History of Neoliberalism" by David Harvey is a must read on this subject. I was also recently recommended "The World Is Flat" but haven't gotten to it yet.

    Man, do I love this site already. I've been obsessing over this stuff for months now and it was an incredible surprise to quickly scan the threads for some comic news and come across this one. To go from Grant Morrisson to Milton Friedman is priceless.
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
    So what's the difference between the so-called "Developmentalist Policies" and Free Market policies? I'm afraid I don't know a whole lot about economics.

    On a side note, I shudder when I hear/read the name Greg Palast. *shudders*

    ..and Wolfowitz.
  3.  (65.13)
    Developmentalist economic policies are essentially those taken by some third world countries after World War II to internalize industry, nationalizing major resources instead of exporting them to North America, etc to try to get out of poverty.

    A free market approach would be pretty much the opposite (globalization, the accumulation of capital through trade and investment, reducing barriers to trade through tariffs). Keynesian economic policies after World War II is a compromise between socialism and capitalism. It believes in the market with social programs to protect the people. The Chicago School policies is capitalism that would be dead set against Keynesian policies because the government in that model interferes with market signals when they try to get involved (breaking up monopolies, setting import restrictions to protect national industry, programs like the Environmental Protection Agency). Chicago School policies are the purest sense of a free market approach.