Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale
Chapter 18: Framing the debate: two alternative visions of the economy
. . . there really is no alternative. (Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister, Press Conference for American correspondents in London, 25 June 1980) There is no alternative to the monetary union. (Wolfgang Schäuble, German Finance Minister, Deutschland Financial Times, 12 March 2010). When considering the options that Europe faces, it is important to frame the debate in an acceptable economic framework. While poor political motivation cannot be ignored, a major part of the problem that currently besets the EMU nations arises from the application of a flawed macroeconomic framework that has been used by officials and their political masters since the 1980s. The gap between the 1970 Werner Report and the 1977 MacDougall Report, on the one hand, and the Delors Report (1989) on the other, reflected a fundamental shift in economic thinking towards Monetarism and its current neo-liberal manifestation. This shift reflects the re-emergence of the free market ideology rather than any superior appeal to evidential authority.
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