Monday, April 21, 2008

Is Libertarianism in Crisis?

In the United States, the reconsideration of the Friedman doctrine came via the global financial crisis that has resulted from the collapse of American real estate. Many economists blame regulators for ignoring warning signs that banks and investors were growing reckless. One Friedman acolyte has taken the brunt of such criticisms — Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve.
A Fresh Look at the Apostle of Free Markets + Brad DeLong and Paul Krugman comments

Hailed three years ago as "the greatest central banker who ever lived," the retired chairman of the Federal Reserve now is being criticized for his management of the U.S. economy before he retired in 2006. The Fed's low rates and laissez-faire regulatory oversight during his final years are widely blamed for sowing the seeds of today's financial crisis -- one that began in the U.S. housing market and is now battering banks, stock markets, borrowers and consumers around the world.
His Legacy Tarnished, Greenspan Goes on Defensive

Marginal Revolution's Tyler Cowen talks about "the intellectual crisis in libertarianism" + Bryan Caplan disagrees Tyler Cowen + Arnold Klin disagrees Bryan Caplan

Addendum: Stiglitz on Shock Therapy etc.


Achka said...

Thanks for those links. I was really disturbed by Tyler's talk of "positive freedom." Wanting to give people "positive freedom" is such an innocent goal. But it's very dangerous, as positive freedom is just a nice word for POWER. Positive freedom is about giving people the CAPACITY or the POWER to do things.

Surely Tyler is not a libertarian because I think the fundamental disagreement between libertarians and the left is the disagreement over the definition of freedom. I think you can trace almost all policy disagreements to this disagreement of whether we should try to achieve positive freedom or negative freedom. And Tyler has sided with the left on this crucial point.