10 economic myths we need to junk

Economics
economic myths wordle

© Juha Sorsa

Never underestimate the power of cherished ideas. They are clung to ever tighter when we are suffering reality’s harshest knocks.

When it comes to economics, today’s over-riding article of faith is of the rule of the market. If only it were completely free and global, with notions of governance and workers’ rights out of the way, then the good capitalists would usher in an era of plenty with pickings for everyone, from top to bottom. Regulation, social provision, public ownership are all getting in the way, believers claim. Down with the public good, up with individual responsibility. You get what you deserve.

This economic orthodoxy is called neoliberalism – ‘neo’ because it is a 20th/21st-century revival of the 18th-century school of liberal economics which called for the abolition of government intervention in manufacturing and trade.

It finds particular favour when elites govern. But it has no solutions for the economic crashes we have seen in recent years.

We need a more social, ‘real world’ vision of the economic sphere. Demands for this change are on the street and also in the academy with students protesting against the orthodoxy they are taught. It’s in this spirit that we present 10 of the most damaging economic myths that we urgently need to ditch.

The 10 economic myths will be published online over the course of December. The full list is here.

mag cover This article is from the December 2015 issue of New Internationalist.
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