In his editorial on inflation (May 18), he calls for “a reckoning for a free-market ideology that has come to dominate our political life.” I agree, except there is no such thing as a free market. All markets are structured to serve the interests of particular interest groups, and rarely for the common good.
Nor should ideologues like Boris Johnson be allowed to blame these crises on global systems. The systems did not appear suddenly; they have been constructed from a particular vision of global capitalism. Johnson and his ilk created the conditions from which low productivity, rising inequality, and inflation have sprung. Furthermore, there are plausible arguments that the global capitalist system is a good breeding ground for international pandemics, xenophobic nationalism, and economic and military imperialism.
The domestic contribution to inflation has the same ideological roots. Because the private sector is seen as omniscient, quantitative easing meant that the state created fiat money, but allowed the financial sector to allocate it. The financial sector did, but not productivity growth. Its best benefits lay in subsidizing asset prices, particularly housing; And what do you expect from static productivity and pocket money? It couldn’t be inflation, could it?
Behind all this is the old lie: that the sum of interested economic decisions is the common good. Johnson et al are not victims of circumstance. They are apologists and defenders of the global economic systems that are now wreaking widespread havoc. The chickens can go home to rest, but they are not going in the right direction.
doctor tony brauer