Re-Capturando os Friedman

BERKELEY – Sobre a minha secretária estão agora mesmo o novo livro do repórter Timothy Noah The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It (A Grande Divergência: a Crescente Crise de Desigualdade da América e o Que Podemos Fazer Sobre Ela – NdT) e o clássico de Milton e Rose Friedman Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (Livre para Escolher: um Depoimento Pessoal – NdT). Considerando-os em conjunto, a minha conclusão esmagadora é que os Friedman achariam hoje muito mais difícil a sua tarefa de justificar e defender o libertarismo do governo limitado, como aconteceu em 1979.

Nessa altura, os Friedman fizeram três poderosas afirmações factuais sobre como o mundo funciona – afirmações que pareciam verdadeiras ou talvez verdadeiras ou pelo menos discutivelmente verdadeiras na altura, mas que parecem agora ser claramente falsas. O seu caso para um libertarismo de governo limitado baseava-se grandemente nessas afirmações, e agora esse caso ruíu grandemente, porque o mundo, afinal, discordou deles relativamente ao modo como funciona.

A primeira afirmação era que as dificuldades macroeconómicas são causadas pelo governo, e não pelo instável mercado privado, ou, melhor, que a forma de regulação macroeconómica requerida para produzir estabilidade económica é directa e facilmente conseguida.

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