The Chicago School–why does anybody still listen to it

by Linda Beale

The Chicago School–why does anybody still listen to it?
I have frequently written here about the problems of “freshwater” economics–the school personified by Milt Friedman and the extremist “free market” ideology that views government as the enemy, the “markets” as always right, and any public role in economic development as “socialism”. As I’ve noted, this ideology misses many points about the role of government in creating a space where markets can function as they should and where individuals can have maximal personal liberty while pursuing better lives and respecting a societal decision that valuing each individual means allocating society’s resources in ways that support, rather than brutalize, those at the bottom.

The Nieman Foundation, connected with Harvard’s journalism school, has an interesting watchdog website that includes a number of controversial articles raising questions about the way today’s media tend to accept without questioning the “received wisdom” of the past (including the ideological views of the “free market” right). As part of a series on the economic collapse, the site includes an article by Henry Banta (a partner at Lobel, Novins & Lamont) noting the consensus developing among a small but diverse group of economists, professors, and those interested in how the economy works about the failure of efficient market theory. That’s a post worth reading, since it focuses on this issue. (My posts, perhaps to readers’ chagrin, tend to throw these criticisms in as asides in the course of analyzing one position or another being put forrward unthinkingly by proponents of that theory.). Enjoy. Henry Banta, Republicans are locked in a passionate embrace with a corpse and won’t let go, Nieman Watchdog, Feb. 11, 2010.

crossposted with ataxingmatter