ever had the misfortune of reading one of my books knows I'm
not always the sharpest awl in the drawer. So don't take my word
for it. Listen to Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist.
This is excerpted from an interview yesterday on "Bloomberg
on the Economy with Tom Keene" (download
who were in favor of laissez faire, people in the financial markets,
are coming to the public sector, coming to the government, coming
to the taxpayers and asking for, literally, hundreds of billions
of dollars. So the people who were the previous defenders of
laissez faire have surrendered. What they want is a peculiar
form of capitalism -- what I call "ersatz capitalism"
-- where the private sector gets the gains, the public sector
bears the loss. That's a recipe for disaster, because that's
assymetric incentives, it leads to excessive risk-taking, it
creates an unjust society. It creates an inefficient society...
...This is really
"Corporate Welfarism"... And in fact, I think it's
in many ways the worst of all possible systems. Because it doesn't
have efficiency. It's a kind of redistribution, but going in
the wrong way, from ordinary Americans to rich Americans. So,
it's a system that I think will not be economically viable, and
in the long run will not be politically acceptable.
In the short
run, however, the People seem more or less fine with the 'worst
of all possible systems.'