27 February, 2021

Market Or Morality

Criticising the Washington Consensus, Left-wing dons say free-market capitalism doesn't work

Market Or Morality
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

THE Oxbridge or LSE-educated fathers of the Five Year Plans, the empiricist deities who guarded our hallowed mixed economy, were once seen as the demi-gods of national Reason. Sitting in lofty institutes they decreed that the economy should be centrally planned, the state should direct investment and protect infant industries from global competition.

And how wrong and Soviet-inspired they are now seen to be! At a time when the country is in deep economic recession, Jagdish Bhagwati, Arthur Lehman professor of Economics and Political Science at Columbia, recently condemned Indian economists (read Left economists) of not having a policy sense and of having failed over 50 years to create high rates of growth because of rigid ideological positions.

As the economy flounders, Bhagwati's views perhaps echo a popular backlash against the early planners whom it is now fashionable to view as loony-lefty intellectuals who got mostly everything wrong in the Patriotic '50s and landed us in the Feel Bad '90s. Indeed all over the world,...

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