"The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive"
Creative Commons Download (pdf) [Other formats available through link below]
By Dean Baker (2011)
Progressives need a fundamentally new approach to politics. They have been losing not just because conservatives have so much more money and power, but also because they have accepted the conservatives’ framing of political debates. They have accepted a framing where conservatives want market outcomes whereas liberals want the government to intervene to bring about outcomes that they consider fair.
This is not true. Conservatives rely on the government all the time, most importantly in structuring the market in ways that ensure that income flows upwards. The framing that conservatives like the market while liberals like the government puts liberals in the position of seeming to want to tax the winners to help the losers.
This "loser liberalism" is bad policy and horrible politics. Progressives would be better off fighting battles over the structure of markets so that they don't redistribute income upward. This book describes some of the key areas where progressives can focus their efforts in restructuring market so that more income flows to the bulk of the working population rather than just a small elite.
By releasing The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive under a Creative Commons license and as a free download, Baker walks the walk of one of his key arguments -- that copyrights are a form of government intervention in markets that leads to enormous inefficiency, in addition to redistributing income upward. (Hard copies will be available for purchase, at cost, in the near future.) Distributing the book for free not only enables it to reach a wider audience, but Baker hopes to drive home one of the book's main points via his own example. While the e-book is free, donations to the Center for Economic and Policy Research are welcomed.
Read the book (other formats coming soon)
PDF | Kindle (.AZW) | NOOK (.EPUB) | .MOBI
Professional Economics is dreary -- and mostly false. The fact that "progressive" economists -- even the most mild-mannered of them -- are sidelined and have been for many years while the Chicago Boys have been let loose to run wild is one of the principal shames of my generation (and yes, I do attribute it to the liberationist rhetoric and activism so fundamental to the upheavals of the '60's and what came afterwards). Economic "liberation" leads inevitably to the mess we're mired in now. It should not be.
The answers are simple and straightforward, but as every pundit agrees, "There is no political will to do what is necessary to turn this sucky situation around. None."
Dean Baker, like many who ply his trade, overcomplicates the issue and thesolution, but so what? These days, when only the Chicago School Neo-Liberals have their fingers on the economic trigger for everyone else, even convolution that points in another direction, the right direction, is a worthy exercise.
Read the book. Take action.
October can't come soon enough.