Publisert av: Yngve Sætre | august 6, 2012

Studiebrev fra Harvard 20/12


Boston, Cambridge, 05.08.12.

Paa siste forelesning i komparativ politikk sist torsdag var ett av temaene finanskrisens paavirkning paa neoliberalismen. Nancy Birdsall og Francis Fukuyama har skrevet en artikkel om dette temaet med tittelen «The Post – Washington Consensus, Development After the Crisis». Artikkelen er etter mitt syn ikke et forsoek paa aa «begrave» neoliberalismen, men det er mer et bidrag til aa gi den en justering og supplering tilpasset nye utfordringer.

Jeg er ikke noedvendigvis enig i alt som staar i denne artikkelen, men den har et interessant og relevant politisk innhold.

Her er mitt innspill til diskusjonen i klassen om dette temaet:

«Birdsall and Fukuyama acknowledge the advantages with free trade but argues that free capital mobility has negative sides. The financial crisis shows that open capital markets combined with unregulated financial sectors is a disaster. They also argues that the crisis have emphasized the importance of a social policy in developing countries. This has for instance been shown by the way unemployment insurance in Europe has given a far less painful recovery.

They point out that the new industrial policy should be about addressing coordination problems and other barriers that discourage private investment, not about picking winners and losers.  Birdsall and Fukuyama also argue that the crisis shows that unregulated or poorly regulated markets can produce extraordinary costs, therefore there is a challenge in every country to reform and to promote an effective public sector.

The Washington consensus emphasizes a small state, deregulation, private ownership and low taxes. The consensus does not say that there should not be any state or that there should not be any regulation, but it points out a direction for both developed and backward countries. Basically Birdsall and Fukuyamas are adjusting and supplementing this consensus. For instance their view on the new industrial policy is in accordance with the framework and the goal of the Washington consensus, which is to stimulate growth and development.

Neither Adam Smith nor the Washington consensus is against all regulation or interference with the market. At the same time as the market itself is dynamic so is also the Washington consensus. Sometimes the markets must be adjusted, obstacles must be removed or businesses needs start – up help. As long as the goal with this is to help and supplement, and not to change the market, it is in line with the Washington consensus. Birdsall and Fukuyama has not discredited the Washington consensus, they have polished and refreshed it to new times.»

Yngve Saetre


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