Les Friedman se sont trompés

BERKELEY – J'ai deux livres sur mon bureau : celui tout récent du journaliste Timothy Noah, The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It [La grande divergence, non traduit en français]et le classique de Milton et Rose Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement [La liberté du choix].A considérer ce dernier, il est évident qu'aujourd'hui les Friedman auraient bien plus de mal qu'en 1979 à dénoncer l'interventionnisme de l'Etat dans l'économie.

A cette époque, les Friedman ont formulé trois hypothèses sur le fonctionnement de l'économie. Elles pouvaient sembler plus ou moins vrai à ce moment là, mais elles apparaissent maintenant carrément fausses. Leur choix en faveur d'une faible intervention étatique reposait essentiellement sur ces hypothèses maintenant largement invalidées, car l'économie ne s'y plie pas.

Première hypothèse : les difficultés macroéconomiques sont dues à l'Etat et non à l'instabilité des marchés, ou plus exactement la régulation macroéconomique nécessaire pour parvenir à la stabilité économique est simple et facile à appliquer.

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