I have decided to have a new segment in my log which highlights whacky blog posts.
If nothing else, it will feed the troll in me.
Jakartass is like the granddaddy of Indonesian expat bloggers. And like all grandparents, every so often he comes out with the most whacky old timer bull.
This time he says:
"I'm not an advocate of market forces."
OK, fair enough. But what are you an advocate of? Hippy astrological love forces?
In most cases being anti "neo-liberal" (I still don't understand what that means! I suppose put neo in front of any word and it becomes evil sounds, neo-hippy's anybody?) is like being anti anything, it's all well and good being against something, but what are you for? What is your plan for love, happiness and donuts?
I have read Das Kapital (in the original German) where Karl Marx lays out a plan for a global utopia. Spoiler alert! There's worryingly little religion or sex in this Marxist utopia. Actually, I reckon there's a gap in the meme market for Marxism with extra sex. How about this, Marxist manga with lots of hentai!
I shall coin it "neo-Marxism". A Marxism for cosmo readers and people that make their own fair trade hemp clothing.
Anyway, back to Jakartass, he tells us that Thatcherism is now global in the form of the IMF and ADB yada yada -- apart from North Korea! Good old Kim Jong Il, I bet he'd never contemplate a poll tax or borrowing from the evil IMF. Spoiler alert! It turns out the Kim Jong Il runs the IMF!
In any case, skepticism of neo-liberalism is healthy (I am sure neo-liberalism was coined by lefties in order to have something to worry about!) as is being sceptical of any ideology. We live in a less than ideal world after all.
There are many examples where free markets fail miserably at providing a reasonable standard of living to societies. In fact that is what economists busy themselves doing, fixing up markets to increase people's welfare (that and trying to relate moral hazard to everything).
Economics is a science not an ideology, because free market (e.g. libertarian) and interventionist (e.g. socialist) ideas are mixed and matched to come up pragmatic way to improve people's welfare.