This article is a response to The Rules, a forum on governments proper role in the market.
Eliot Spitzer makes an effective argument against much of the corruption that has taken root in our economy and society over the last three decades. However, he makes a fundamental error in portraying his agenda as a case for government intervention. Attributing a belief in free-market principles to those who have been setting economic policy these 30 years is far too generous. During that period the role of the government in the economy has changed, and in some cases grown, just not in ways that protect ordinary workers and consumers.
This article has become a book!
MIT Press / Cloth / $14.95 / April 2010
With all the technocratic talk about credit default swaps and bailouts, Americans still have not come to terms with what we really need: a market that delivers public benefit. Spitzer lays out a map of when and how government should intervene to ensure that the market works for everyone.
With responses from Dean Baker and Robert Johnson.
Dean Baker is Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy. His new book, Taking Economics Seriously, is forthcoming in April.