Existing markets are important parts of our mixed economies. The most socialist or communist economies in the world still use mixed markets, though they are more weighted towards central direction. Likewise the most capitalist economies are still weighted towards central direction within corporations.
- American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper (book)
- "The mixed economy was the most important social innovation of the twentieth century. It spread a previously unimaginable level of broad prosperity. It enabled steep increases in education, health, longevity, and economic security."
- Big Government (4 links)
- Isn't it strange that all first-world countries have big government? Maybe it's a good thing, and not the bogeyman of libertarians and the right.
- Hayek, the Mind, and Spontaneous Order: A Critique [More...]
- Richard Posner finds Hayek's refutation of universal central planning to be useless in real-world mixed economies. He points out Ronald Coase has shown that central planning works better than markets for some problems, hence firms (including governments.)
- I Pencil: A product of the mixed economy [More...]
- John Quiggan unpacks the propaganda from Leonard Read's I Pencil. Pencils are products of the mixed economy, not of mythical free markets.
- Is big government bad for freedom, civil society, and happiness? [More...]
- "Do the gains from government goods, services, and transfers come at the cost of reduced freedom, weakened civil society, and diminished happiness? The experience of the world’s affluent democratic countries suggests that, at least so far, the answer is no."
- Karl Polanyi Explains It All [More...]
- Robert Kuttner explains how Polanyi's The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time is more relevant now than ever. "Contrary to libertarian economists from Adam Smith to Hayek, Polanyi argued, there was nothing “natural” about the free market."
- Milton Friedmanâ€™s Magical Thinking [More...]
- Dani Rodrik explains how Milton Friedman "blinded us to the evident reality that all successful economies are, in fact, mixed."
- Mises on Mixed Economies and Socialism: He is Incoherent [More...]
- "On this subject, Mises was an ignorant and muddle-headed idiot, and it is not surprising that after 1945 he was ignored by serious economists."
- My Socialism [More...]
- An intriguing and sensible explanation of a socialism based on the values freedom, voice, and equality. Uses a Basic Income. "The general principle here is to empower people to reject exploitative capitalism (if they want)."
- My Take on the Seven Things We Need to Focus on for Equitable Growth in America [More...]
- Brad DeLong presents seven progressive ideas that promote growth and simultaneously reduce inequality.
- Nickel-and-dime socialism [More...]
- The shock doctrine adoption of capitalism in Russia resulted in millions of early deaths. Increasing the socialism in a mixed economy can be done gently and gradually with social wealth funds, retaining thriving capitalism. Social wealth funds are already common worldwide, and can be greatly increased, primarily at the expense of the top .01%.
- Norway’s gargantuan sovereign wealth fund, by the numbers [More...]
- This is how society should be run. Not to prop up billionaires, but to support everybody. "Since its founding in the late 1990s, the fund has amassed its vast wealth with the intention of paying for pensions in future generations, when Norway’s population ages and its oil wells run dry."
- Paul Ryan, American Values and Corporatocracy [More...]
- "Ryan calls the mixed economy anti-American. History, however, shows otherwise... My views in The Price of Civilization run to the very idea of America: a democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people, not a government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations."
- Public Housing (2 links)
- Long derided by conservatives and libertarians as programs that are worse than their alternatives, there is strong evidence that public housing is an effective approach to poverty. Cities such as Singapore have long used public housing to promote their economy.
- Social Democracy (10 links)
- Social democracy combines a universal welfare state and collective bargaining schemes with a capitalist economy. It usually refers to the highly successful social models and economic policies prominent in Western and Northern Europe, such as the Scandinavian nations.
- Social Wealth Funds (8 links)
- Also known as Sovereign Wealth Funds. An alternative for public ownership of wealth that has been widely used around the world.
- The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (book, online) (1 link)
- Explains the socially constructed nature of "free markets", as opposed to "spontaneous order". A major work of economic history.
- Venezuela (2 links)
- Often claimed as a failure of Socialism, even though it is a European-style Social Democracy with a Mixed Economy. Its failure is much better explained by kleptocracy, oil crisis, currency mismanagement, and US economic interference.
There are no rich countries with small governments -- governments that spend and regulate little, governments that eschew public investment and keep the public sector’s reach to a minimum. (Okay, there are a few that are sitting on huge pools of oil.) A big government isn’t a guarantee of prosperity, but where we find prosperity, we find big government, too.
Jacob Hacker, "American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper"
Saying ‘governments can’t create wealth’ is a sweeping, largely vacuous statement based on a superficial zero sum view of taxation as being ‘extracted’ from the private sector. In fact, taxation is just one prong of a symbiotic relationship that exists between the private and public sectors. If we take the definition of wealth as the creation of valuable resources, it’s clear that, say, teaching and infrastructure ‘create wealth.’ We’ve already seen just how large a source of wealth the government can be through its funding of research and development. Furthermore, many state-backed institutions are historically a prerequisite for substantial wealth creation to take place at all.
UnlearningEcon, "An FAQ for Libertarians"
[Hayek] is not evaluating a mixed system, in which there is a degree of personal freedom but also a degree of imposed order. A mixed system is what we and our peer nations have, and I have not been able to figure out what help Hayek offers for evaluating such a system.
Richard Posner, "Hayek, the Mind, and Spontaneous Order: A Critique"
The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of ready-made answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.
Joan Robinson, in Marx, Marshall And Keynes
We are going to need a bigger and better government. The private unregulated market does not do well at health-care finance, at pensions, or at education finance. The private unregulated market does not do well at research and early-stage development. The private unregulated market does not do well with commodities that are non-rival, or non-excludible, or produced under conditions of greatly-increasing returns to scale. We are, in all likelihood, moving into a twenty-first century in which these sectors will all be larger slices of what we do. Thus in the twenty-first century a well-functioning economy will need a larger government share in the economy than was needed in the twentieth century.
Brad DeLong, "My Take on the Seven Things We Need to Focus on for Equitable Growth in America: Thursday Focus"
It seems to me that there are five areas in which government spending has a demonstrated superiority over the private sector -- health and disability insurance, education, old-age pensions, infrastructure spending, and military spending. It seemed to me that structural changes in our economy and society were driving the amount of money we ought to spend in sum on those five up, hence the enlargement of government.
Brad DeLong, "Nick Eberstadt and the "Takers" Once Again: More Reflections on the General Theory of the Moocher Class"
Large-scale government social-insurance programs are the best way we have found to achieve major and important public purposes. There has never been a private marketplace offering unemployment insurance. The unemployment insurance program works quite well: It gets money to people who have previously paid for it when they need it. Edward Filene’s welfare-capitalist notion that defined-benefit pensions offered by employers and more recent hopes that defined-contribution 401(k)s could provide old-age pensions more efficiently and effectively than Social Security have not covered themselves with glory over the past generation: Too many defined-benefit private pensions have not been paid out in full as promised, and too much wealth invested in 401(k)s has been skimmed off to enrich the princes of Wall Street. In health care, despite extraordinary administrative inefficiencies and little ability to improve quality and cost-effectiveness, the private insurance marketplace works—unless you are old, sick (and happen to be out of a job), or poor. Yet it is the old, the sick, and the poor who need health insurance most—hence, Medicare and Medicaid.
Brad DeLong, "Shrugging off Atlas"
If socialism is discredited by the failure of communist regimes in the real world, why isn’t libertarianism discredited by the absence of any libertarian regimes in the real world? Communism was tried and failed. Libertarianism has never even been tried on the scale of a modern nation-state, even a small one, anywhere in the world.
Michael Lind, "The Failure of Libertarianism: Why Economic Freedom Alone Cannot Deliver a Better Future"
The key economic story of the last 70 years is the triumph of the mixed economy in growing both economic output and living standards. Only an anti-empirical approach to economics could lead to the conclusion that ideological libertarians want: that drastically small governments are better for the human condition than mid-size ones of the sort that exist throughout the advanced world.
Josh Barro, "Where I Learned All About Austrian Economics"