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Views of the week - 15 December 2011

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LGC rounds up the best comment, analysis and opinion from the past week.

How I’d stop neoliberalism in its tracks

Neil Clark, the Guardian

So, we’re heading back to the 1970s.

Well, at least that what some respected economic pundits are saying. Of course, they’re speaking metaphorically but if it were possible to travel back in time to the decade of flared trousers, Opportunity Knocks and Fawlty Towers, I’d set the controls of my Tardis to 1 March 1973.

Here’s why. That year marked the high point of 20th-century progressive politics. In western Europe all main parties – of the left and the right – accepted the mixed economy postwar consensus. But it was also in 1973 that the forces of reaction – aka the 1% – began their fightback against economic systems that favoured the majority.

My mission on returning to the 1970s would be to try to abort that fightback. And I’d hopefully have some fun along the way. And, enjoying the much more convivial atmosphere which bars and clubs used to have before the introduction of the smoking ban, I’d look forward to the imminent return of a decent “Old” Labour government, led by Harold Wilson, Britain’s most underrated 20th-century prime minister.

It was a Labour government that extended public ownership, reduced inequalities to historically low levels and – just think – the only war they got us involved with was a cod war with Iceland. Happy days.

 

Pick of the Blogs

At the End of the Day

The Slog

The entire western world has fallen for a ludicrous idea suggesting that 1% must be billionaires if the other 99% are to stand any chance of being happy. That banks must create notional wealth 30 times greater than global gdp in order for the economy to function. And that big, faceless, unwieldy companies and countries are better than small, mutually-run outfits serving the community.

Did I ever imagine – as a student in the late 1960s – that such piffle would be given the time of day? Perhaps I should’ve done, because the Maoist and pro-Ho Chi Minh bollocks was equally prevalent. But back then, only a tiny minority of we spoiled bourgeois kids clung to such daft ideas….and only for a short time, before reality intervened.

Today, it seems that almost the entire Caucasian species has bought into a mad belief in production volume, shopping, restaurant cuisine, a 15-hour working day, loft conversions, leveraged bazookas, default swaps, multicultural Superstates, and the never-never-never-never nature of debt.

Full blog available on www.hat4uk.wordpress.com

 

Twitter

stickyfeet there is no correlation between cuts in top tax rates & average annual real GDP-per-capita growth since the 1970s  

Alec Sulkin: 1970s sunshine could barely be bothered to get to earth

Alex Kunawicz If you could go back to the 1970s what would you do? Abolish the Bay City Rollers

Garsidepotter: there were only two good things in the 70s, the BBC and cricket (and cricket on the BBC)

Globalpost: NASA has lost more than 500 moon rocks, meteorites and comet samples since 1970.

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