These are difficult times for liberals. The mood around the world is turning against them. Politicians find it easier to blame crazy economists and greedy managers for financial turmoil than to understand and fix their own mistakes. Free-marketers still have the evidence of economic history on their side, but they will have to make their case more forcefully from now on. They face a constant battle of ideas that can never be decisively won. But they can take consolation in the fact that today’s swing to the left will not spell the end of history, let alone of capitalism.
The conclusion of an op ed from a new face the the Centre for Independent Studies. Oliver Hartwich has arrived to work as a research fellow, replacing the (good /bad, according to taste) Peter Saunders.
Befor he arrived on these shores he responded to Kevin Rudd’s misleading critique of Hayek.
Rudd also seems to think that his insight that markets can fail makes him stand out from Hayek. Yet Hayek, the great theorist of limited knowledge, would have been the first to concede that markets can and do fail. At the same time, he would have warned that market failure alone does not give the state licence to correct it. There is a possibility that state intervention can make matters worse, and that accepting some market imperfections may be the better option. The possibility of state failure, though, is strangely absent from Rudds ideasas if he thought only markets could fail, and infallible politicians like him were then tasked with curing the disease.
He has appeared on Radio National, talking about housing policy and finance.