I should have been posting a little more than I have over the past week or so, but I’ve been murderously busy with the UK publicity tour for The Value of Nothing which ended gloriously this morning with a five minute crossing of swords on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. I’m heading to Malawi today, which means being offline for a week or two, but when I come back, expect thoughts on Copenhagen, economic recovery, and how much you can eat for $1 a day.

One Reply to “Awologies”

  1. Nice chat on the Today programme. I love Mark Littlewood –

    “The free market operates like a perfect rolling referendum, with the prices representing the outcome of millions of individual decisions.”

    The Adam Smith Institute said something similar a few years back:

    “Independent providers are nearer to public demand than public authorities can ever be. Their perpetual search for profitability stimulates them to discover and produce what the consumer wants. In that sense the market sector is more genuinely democratic than the public sector. It involves the decisions of many more individuals at much more frequent intervals.”

    (Oddly, I found that quote in New Zealand’s Hansard, spoken verbatim by ex-NZ-MP John Luxton. He didn’t cite, naughty man.)

    I can see what they’re saying, but this comparison to democracy carries risks for them. After all, hasn’t the history of the past 200 years been in large part about fighting for the principle of an equal vote? If that’s so, the system they’re arguing for here consists of rotten boroughs walking about in human form. If the market is the ultimate liquid democracy, democratic equality would seem to require economic equality.

    One man one pound! Hmm, doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…

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