Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stocks Of Socialized Countries Have Outperformed U.S. Since Reagan Era

From the Huffington Post:

That said, Kirkegaard also dismissed the traditional American capitalist contention that socialism is bad for market growth: "A lot of the finger-pointing we do at these countries is totally misleading. It's a myth."

Kirkegaard says that many socialized governments provide critical support for business growth, including first class infrastructure built by the public sector, retraining of workers and public education systems that result in better-prepared workforces, comparative to the US. "There are a lot of areas where the role of government is a benefit for the businesses in these countries."

"The idea that they are socialists and condemned to living in these bread bin-style housing complexes is illusional," he said. "It's ideological slander."

More here.

For me it all goes back to the day, maybe in 1993, that my economics of the cable industry class had a guest speaker from the local cable company: "any time the government gets involved in the economy it makes things worse," he told us all, very matter-of-factly. I didn't try to argue with him, but I remember thinking to myself, "Really? Any time? How about building roads? That's the government involving itself in the economy."

And there you have it. The cornerstone of conservative economic philosophy, that government intervention in the economy is always bad, is just plain wrong. I mean, my road building example above is generally an exception that most pro-capitalists will grant, but it's the exception that proves the rule. If building roads is good, isn't education good, too? Aren't poverty prevention, health care, housing, and a whole host of social programs that put people in a position to be able to be good workers, aren't these things good for the economy, too?

Of course, it depends on how you design and manage such programs, but apparently the Europeans have this all figured out. And we could, too, if we weren't mired in bullshit pro-capitalist propaganda that makes most Americans believe things that just aren't true.

If we lived in sane nation, I would expect such news to affect the public discourse in a decisive way. Sadly, our nation is not sane.