Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Fight to Come

Matt Welch sums it up:

When a Republican administration arbitrarily (and "temporarily") bans short selling just one decade after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir bin Mohamad was globally (and deservedly) mocked for blaming his country's self-inflicted woes on "speculators," when a Republican presidential nominee unleashes retrograde attacks against the "casino culture" of Wall Street "greed," and when a Democratic Congress holds nearly daily hearings suggesting any number of "windfall profits" taxes and forced reductions in private-sector CEO pay, that sound you hear is a fragile consensus shattering and a warning bell clanging in the night.

After the collapse of communism and the attendant discrediting of Marxian economic models, the industrialized world more or less settled on democratic capitalism as the best available option for countries to grow and prosper. Old Europe slashed government involvement in industry, New Europe rode mass privatization to massive growth, East Asian countries went from emergingmarket "tigers" to full-fledged market economies, and China used markets to yank hundreds of millions up from poverty. One could perhaps be forgiven for thinking the 20th century's great economic argument had been settled.

Well, no more.

Whole thing here.