An ITT I Cannot Pass
By Bryan Caplan
I pride myself on my ability to fairly and accurately explain views with which I disagree. I’ve tried to enshrine this skill in what I call the Ideological Turing Test – the ability of non-believers to mimic believers in a blind trial. But when I read these passages in Noah Smith’s recent column, I realized I’d met my match.
The tendency toward ideological commitment is now being tested in the
U.S., as free-market dogma — sometimes known as neoliberalism — is
coming under increasing attack.
Certainly, free markets haven’t produced dramatic failures on the level
of the USSR or Venezuela, but “not as bad as communism” is a fairly low
bar to clear, and there’s a definite sense that the reigning economic
policies have run out of steam.
The claim that “free-market dogma” is the “reigning economic policy” of the United States or any major country seems so absurd, so contrary to big blatant facts (like government spending as a share of GDP, for starters), that I’m dumb-founded. Sure, I could defend this position with demagoguery. But if I wanted to intelligently argue in favor of the claim that neoliberalism actually guides economic policy in any major country, I literally wouldn’t know where to start.
A little help?
Or a lot of help?
P.S. Here’s David’s complementary take on Noah’s piece.