I think that John Quiggin is voicing an opinion held by a lot of people on the
Left: the current financial crisis has somehow discredited American-style
capitalism, that the only way out of the mess we're in is to embrace a more
social democratic society.
I believe that many on the left believe this. I even believe that it may have some political salience, although not nearly as much as John Quiggin wishes. But as an
empirical matter, it is high-test hokum.
Especially odd is the notion that the only tenable position, unless we are to go Marxist, is social democracy. Would we not have had a financial crisis if we'd had really super single-payer health care?
I understand that the left finds it politically convenient to link the uninsured and the banking crisis, but this seems only very slightly less silly than blaming it on gay
marriage--indeed, looking at the countries worst effected, the latter's
correlation seems stronger.
I've got to admit that McArdle has a sweet gig here. All she has to do is make up some crazy shit about her opponents and then cleverly refute the imaginary theories, thereby proving--in her mind, at least--that she is so much more knowledgeable and clear-thinking and sane than her crazy rivals.
I believe certain extremely tall econobloggers on the right think that free market capitalism means we can take whatever we want from the weak without repercussion. They support the upper class rape of the taxpayer because in the free market there are no regulations, no laws governing behavior at all. Therefore, since all conservatives are greedy bastards who would take the candy out of a baby's mouth and free market capitalism leads to dictatorship through concentration of wealth, Megan is a Nazi.