Thursday, 9 October 2008

When the facts change, I change my mind

Thanks to Liberal International for the following quote from Radical Italiani:

“For Liberals it is not the best of times given the massive state interventions in the economy but better spend today than spend even more tomorrow...and it is a paradox to watch Gordon Brown calling for a European plan of action having fought for years against the UK joining the euro, or Bush reaching out to G8 partners after 8 years of unilateralism, and indeed our Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti who goes from euro-skepticism to euro-enthusiasm in a blink...the best position Liberals can have today is to insist on saying that this is not a market failure but a failure in setting up and implementing credible monitoring, control and sanction mechanisms...”

As Otto Lambsdorff, former treasurer of the Free Democratic Party and uncle of the FDP MEP, put it:
“The market economy is the most successful economic system which the world has seen. This historic fact has not changed [...] If your engine does not work properly you try to repair or replace it. You don’t throw away the car.”

4 comments:

Julian H said...

They're both spot on.

This article is quite a nice synopsis of similar arguments.

Frank H Little said...

Thanks for that, Julian. The historical background is especially interesting.

Tom Papworth said...

It was a shame to see Chris Huhne castigating “Market fundamentalism” repeatedly on Question Time last night.

Our economy, including our financial markets, have been more regulated over the past few years than they have been since the 1970. The problem has been too much regulation, too badly enforced.

What we need is less and better.

Frank H Little said...

I try to watch "Question Time", when there is a good panel like last night's, but I'm afraid I switch off when Dimbleby goes off on one of his ego-trips.

I didn't hear Huhne demanding more regulation, but did catch his spat with Ruth Lea over her cheer-leading for Thatcher. She was spokesman for the fat cats' union, the Institute of Directors, then, of course. She has recently become more interventionist much to the disgust of Guido Fawkes.

I agree that more regulation is not needed, but rather than reduce the rules I would reduce the number of supervisory bodies. It seems to me that the Treasury, FSA and the Bank of England have been playing "pass the parcel" with the dodgy credit issue.

Even this over-complicated regulatory régime might have worked with a stronger chancellor or a stronger head of the FSA.