MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘free-markets’

Why the Left Isn’t Convinced by Your Economics Arguments | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 10, 2019

The Left has spent many decades putting their ideas into practice through classroom instruction at all levels of education, and by creating and writing songs, books, movies, and a host of other media for communicating their historical and moral views. It remains unclear if many advocates for free markets have much interest in putting a similar amount of effort into promoting their own views.

https://mises.org/wire/why-left-isnt-convinced-your-economics-arguments

Among advocates for free-markets, I’m often told that the unconverted will embrace free-markets if only we explain to them “good economics.”

But here’s the problem — many anti-capitalists  don’t think economics is a real thing, a real science, or anything other than corporate propaganda. They think it’s something invented by wealthy people to create a fake philosophical justification for why they should be allowed to keep their riches.

In other words, these leftists think that your appeals to “economic science” are just a ruse for pushing an ideology invented to keep poor people poor and powerless.

Economics as Corporate Propaganda

But don’t take my word for it.

In an essay on “corporate propaganda and global capitalism,”1 Sharon Beder explains how the promotion of “neoclassical orthodoxy” by “neoconservative economists” [by which she just means free-market economists] in the past was little more than a propaganda campaign to convince people that their own interests coincide with those of private businesses.2 These economic theories have a patina of real scholarship so as to look like:

An elegant body of microeconomic theory [which] shows that under certain circumstances the general good… will be promoted by a set of competitive markets and integration into the world economy.

But really, these theories exist to give “a public-interest rationale to liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation that provided cover for the self-interested motivations of corporations.”

This conspiratorial view is likely far more widely held than many economists would like to believe.

In his book Financial Literacy Education: Neoliberalism, the Consumer and the Citizen, Chris Arthur regards “economics education” as little more than a form of social conditioning, and relates how “the expansion of business propaganda” was made possible by organizations like “Junior Achievement founded in 1919 to teach American students the importance of learning to ‘work effectively and to become a useful, self-supporting, honorable member of society.'”

Needless to say, Arthur does not quote the mission statement from Junior Achievement with approval. Read the rest of this entry »

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