Krugman: Kam je izginil Milton Friedman?

So what happened to Milton Friedman?

Think of it this way: Friedman was an avid free-market advocate, who insisted that the market, left to itself, could solve almost any problem. Yet he was also a macroeconomic realist, who recognized that the market definitely did not solve the problem of recessions and depressions. So he tried to wall off macroeconomics from everything else, and make it as inoffensive to laissez-faire sensibilities as possible. Yes, he in effect admitted, we do need stabilization policy — but we can minimize the government’s role by relying only on monetary policy, none of that nasty fiscal stuff, and then not even allowing the monetary authority any discretion.

At a fundamental level, however, this was an inconsistent position: if markets can go so wrong that they cause Great Depressions, how can you be a free-market true believer on everything except macro? And as American conservatism moved ever further right, it had no room for any kind of interventionism, not even the sterilized, clean-room interventionism of Friedman’s monetarism.

So Friedman has vanished from the policy scene — so much so that I suspect that a few decades from now, historians of economic thought will regard him as little more than an extended footnote.

Vir: Paul Krugman

2 responses

  1. Krugman malce zavaja, ko reče: ”At a fundamental level, however, this was an inconsistent position: if markets can go so wrong that they cause Great Depressions…”. Friedman ni nikoli verjel, da je bila velika depresija povzročena s strani prostega trga, ampak ravno obratno, da je bila povzročena s strani države. Poleg tega se mi tovrstno provociranje res ne zdi primerno s strani Krugmana, še posebej, če si nekdo prebere njegov esej o Friedmanu, kjer razlikuje med večimi vlogami Friedmana in na koncu zaključi: ”In the long run, great men are remembered for their strengths, not their weaknesses, and Milton Friedman was a very great man indeed—a man of intellectual courage who was one of the most important economic thinkers of all time, and possibly the most brilliant communicator of economic ideas to the general public that ever lived”. Link do povezave: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2007/feb/15/who-was-milton-friedman/?pagination=false

  2. Če nekako rekonstriuram logiko Friedmanovega monetarnega pravila, kot se predava v šoli: Prosto delovanje trgov na dolgi rok (*) vodi do empirične regularnosti, ki ji rečemo nevtralnost denarja. Prosto delovanje trgov pomeni, da je stabilizacijska vloga denarne politike(!*) minorna, ali je ni. Analiza blaginje gospodinjstev pokaže, da je ta maksimalna, ko so obrestne mere najnižje možne, slednje se doeže pri inflaciji, ki je še minimalna in konsistentna z enolično določljivim ravnovesjem. To lahko doseže denarna politika, ki sledi pravilu fiksne stopnje rasti količine denarja v obtoku. Državni intevencionizem? Če imamo sistem ene same centralne banke, in ne sistema konkurenčnega bančništva(*), potem je to to. Predvsem institucionalno dejstvo in ne državni intervencionizem.

    Krugman vse z zvezdico označene ključne elemente Friedmanove argumentacije ne omeni. Ne, da bi jih ne poznal, enostavno mu ne pašejo v tri-odstavčni obračun. Uporabi torej klasično finto. Skonstruira argument, ga po imenski asociaciji pripiše Friedmanu, in potem z njim polemizira. Vsebinsko pa je zadeva več ali manj prazna. Da je Friedman že od leta 2005 “izven medijskega prostora” seveda pomaga.

    Resnični problem Krugmana s tega vidika je naslednji. Tako kot Friedman je nobelovec. S tem ko enega nobelovca potiska na obrobje zgodovine, ga očitno v veliki meri skrbi lastna pozicija v zgodovini. Dokler si jo je tlakoval s svojim znanstvenim delom, je bil na dobri poti, da se Friedmanu postavi ob bok. Premetavanje idej na blogu pa je zaradi “pravega momenta” sedaj očitno primarna strategija. Nisem pa prepričan, da bo s tako prazno argumentacijo kaj kmalu bliže nesmrtnosti. Kvečjemu obratno.

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