I don’t know how to title this post

Via Mark Thoma, Joseph Stiglitz makes lots of claims.  Here is one of them:

For a quarter-century, there has
been a contest among developing countries, and the losers are clear:
countries that pursued neo-liberal policies not only lost the growth
sweepstakes; when they did grow, the benefits accrued
disproportionately to those at the top.

He does not name the countries.  Is Chile supposed to be a loser?  Or does he have the more corrupt Latin American states in mind?  How about Ireland or for that matter the economic policies of Mrs. Thatcher?  Was it a mistake for so many states to drop communism?  How many African nations — the real losers — have adopted neo-liberal policies?  Do Singapore and Hong Kong count?

Presumably China counts as a winner and of course it has a relatively strong state.  Oddly some of the communists saw capitalism as building the economic superstructure for socialism and then communism.  In reality the nominally socialist and communist government of China built the public sector superstructure to support a later capitalism.

Here’s another claim Stiglitz makes:

One senior Chinese official was
quoted as saying that the problem was that the US government should
have done more to help low-income Americans with their housing. I

In my view, while the private sector is largely to blame for what happened, the U.S. government has, over the years, done far too much to encourage the housing sector.  I guess Stiglitz thinks it should have done even more.

I find the content of his essay difficult to understand, on a number of levels.


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