Don’t know if you have been listening to the series Stephanomics on BBC Radio 4. Presented by Stephanie “Two Eds” Flanders, this mornings gem focused on whether or not we really need economic growth. On the programme was the the biographer of John Maynard Keynes, Lord Skidelsky; the environmental economist, Cameron Hepburn; and the leading advocate of free-markets, Patrick Minford. Skidelsky sees long term growth as undesirable.(If you follow Keynesian ideology, you needn’t worry about growth!) Hepburn sees it as necessary but ONLY if it deals with
global warming climate change. So Minford found himself in a minority when he argued for free markets and economic growth. For the debate to be structured in this way struck me as very odd and yet very BBC. The mainstream view – that economic growth is both desirable AND essential – is marginalised and instead the listener is presented with crank left wing views which are presented as if they are the mainstream. I am also fed up with the way the BBC misrepresents free markets. The sort of crony capitalism that has caused so much woe is NOT the free market but rather the opposite of it but in its desire to bury capitalism, the BBC chooses to blindfully blur the difference. Perhaps the fact that the BBC operates in glorious seclusion from the free market which makes it so unbalanced?
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