Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sorman on Stiglitz's Work of Fiction

Guy Sorman offers us a nice review of Stiglitz's "Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy" in the City Journal. Here's a passage:

Joseph Stiglitz should win a second Nobel Prize, this time for fiction. ...

Stiglitz feels compelled to remind the reader that he is not a socialist: he only advocates a better world. His utopia would replace the failed market fundamentalism by striking the right balance between market and state. What would such an arrangement look like? Stiglitz doesn’t elaborate, but he hints repeatedly that the world would be a better and more ethical place if he were in charge. For those who already fear the Obama administration’s anti-market bias, think how much worse it could be: Stiglitz could be working there! We better keep him writing fiction and basking in the cheers of Greek audiences, to whom he recommends that their country not repay its debt.

One receives the Nobel Prize in economics for research in a specific area, Milton Friedman used to say, but prize winners then tend to believe that they’ve been implicitly granted the right to express their personal, nonscientific opinions about everything. Stiglitz’s Nobel Prize on market asymmetry was well deserved. His opinions on everything else are just opinions and deserve to be treated as such.

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