Saturday, June 21, 2008

Economics of the pendulum swing

The political cycle is something I talk about from time to time, with the latest posts on the issue being:

The political pendulum is still swinging February 26, 2008

Swing your partner to the left then dosado December 27, 2007

However part of the unknown was just what sort of economics would be involved in a swing away from the creeping national socialist model we were/are being subjected to. Certainly there was never going to be a wholesale repudiation of market economics, but there were signs that a social agenda would need to be part of the new model.

It seems the new model is emerging, but it doesn’t promise any sort of instant fix, in fact the main gains would seem to be at least a generation away and on into the future. I guess given the healing process we now face globally the quick fix is a pipe dream anyway.

Market Democracy is flagged as the future, for the Rudd government at least. The only “professional economist” in Rudd’s line-up, Minister for Small Business Craig Emerson, has “proposed a ‘unifying political philosophy’ that embraced the universal values reaffirmed in the Millennium Declaration - freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility

For those with a little curiosity Market Democracy is well worth a look. I’ve been doing a mental sidetrack however, given that name Emerson. In Canada, apart from PM Harper his only experienced economist is another Emerson, David . I met David Emerson briefly when he was first standing for a Canadian Federal seat in 2004, as a Liberal. He later jumped to the Conservatives when they gained power.

The name is no doubt coincidental, and neither will become party leader, but both seem to be winning respect in the right places. According to a recent score card of Canadian leadership in the National Post - Who makes the grade? A report card on senior Conservatives:

Stephen Harper… Loyalty in his caucus is wafer thin because their respect is commanded not earned and thus vulnerable to backstabbing the minute he goes from asset to liability.

David Emerson: (interim Foreign Affairs Minister) The only one minister who will stand toe-to-toe against Mr. Harper in a showdown and live to declare victory.

I will be watching the developments of this Market Democracy proposal with interest. I have a feeling that the politically pragmatic David Emerson would find the concept of immense interest as well.


D.K. Raed said...

Line from your linked article: "Market democrats harness the power of the market for the public good. They dedicate themselves to remedying social disadvantage."

Hey, I think I might a "Market Democrat" .... at least some of the time.

Cart said...

DK, thank you for going there. I want to see the rest of what Gittins has to say, but the summary is impressive. If this is a glimpse into the future it has my support too.