Critical Essays on the Political Economy of Neo-Liberalism
Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer
Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer The past two decades or so have witnessed the coming to dominance of neoliberalism, its inﬂuence on economic policy and the promotion of the expansion of the market into new areas of the economy. The essays in this volume, written from the perspective of political economy, address many issues raised by the rise of neo-liberalism. In Chapter 2 Euclid Tsakalotos focuses on the political economy of the expansion of the market. As he notes, sceptics of the market and the use of the market mechanism have, in recent years, been on the defensive: the argument has been put forward and advanced in many areas that markets will bring about signiﬁcant efﬁciency gains. Tsakalotos is concerned with what kinds of argument should carry weight in any discussion about the scope of the market. He argues that, in most cases for both proponents and opponents of an expansion of the scope of the market, there are important ethical and political economy issues that need to be engaged with and which are all too often ignored. The use of the market (or market-type processes within the public sector) is often justiﬁed along the following lines: expansion of the use of the market will increase efﬁciency, and then any issues of distribution (of income and so on) – or other ethical considerations – can be dealt with separately with other appropriate policy measures. Indeed, since efﬁciency gains imply that more preferences are satisﬁed, the...