Along with Doug Henwood, Brad DeLong is my favourite writer on economics. This is rather odd because DeLong belongs to the neoliberals, a tribe I otherwise distrust. But he writes clearly, has a strong grasp on history and good political instincts, and knows the limits of markets. His new essay “The End of the Age of Friedman” is a fine display of all his virtues. I particularly liked this passage:
Indeed, there is a conservative argument for social-democratic principles. Post-World War II social democracy produced the wealthiest and most just societies the world has ever seen. You can complain that redistribution and industrial policy were economically inefficient, but not that they were unpopular. It seems a safe bet that the stable politics of the post-war era owe a great deal to the coexistence of rapidly growing, dynamic market economies and social-democratic policies.