16 December 2012

CT and EifD on an anti-neoliberal roll!

John hasn’t been particularly active recently over at Economics is for Donkeys, much to my chagrin, but when he came back he came back with both barrels fully loaded: he links to a piece by Peter Radford about the destruction of the economy of the vital centre, and to a brief by Gavin Rae which finds that mass privatisation is statistically linked to a rise in the death rate, producing what might be over 13 million excess deaths. Yet somehow, neoliberalism is given a Get Out Of Gaol Free card where communism has been routinely (and justly) reviled for similarly destructive famines.

In another corner of the blogosphere, Crooked Timber plays upon the same theme, describing the ways in which the Economist both acknowledges, and then tries to weasel out of its support for, the role of free trade policies in creating and then perpetuating the Irish potato famine, which was responsible for at least one million Irish deaths. The verdant island was a net exporter of food throughout the early years of the famine, whilst people who could not buy food locally were starving to death.

Not the lightest of reading, true. But important reading, all the same.

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