Friday, December 12, 2008

Chris Dillow Gets it Yet Again

In the discussion of the proposed auto industry bailouts, he makes a very solid point.

It’s awkward for the right because demands for a bail-out gain legitimacy from the fact that unemployment is a really nasty thing. But if unemployment benefits were (much?) higher, job loss would sting less and the bail-out would be easier to oppose.
This shows that redistributive policies, far from being the enemy of free markets, can in fact be their allies because they reduce support for ad hoc interventions.
It’s awkward for the left because so many have for so long identified “neo-liberal ideology” with the interests of big business. But sometimes - often? - these are not the same.

There are similar issues with respect to free trade - good unemployment benefits could mitigate the justifiable concerns about job loss.

And neo-liberal ideology, by which I assume he means on emphasis on free markets, has NEVER been in the interest of the current existing businesses. The whole point is that they should be susceptible to being undermined.


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