How the Chicago School's extremist ideology destroyed the American economy with unchecked monopolies

Originally published at:


I should be able to give this more than one like Bob damn it.


Is there a lag between posting stories on the main site and setting them into the blog-style site? This post on the BBS was 10 minutes old and had the first comment before I saw it on

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The title seems a little click-baity.

From the portion you quoted:

which result in a more poorly performing economy

There’s a big difference between a more poorly performing economy and a destroyed economy.

Would you consider changing your title?

Would you consider reading the linked article and reporting back whether you still think the title is misleading? :slight_smile:


But…but… the magical Invisible Hand of the market, combined with the natural benevolence of the corporate “person” and the lack of greed on the part of C-level executives should be preventing the rise of monopolies and greater inequality (both of which aren’t destroying the American economy).

Obviously the real culprit here is government interference, so we’re fortunate that we have brave defenders of the free* market stripping the CFPB of the rule allowing Americans to file class-action suits against banks and letting them settle things through the totally fair process of arbitration (the bank taking on the onus of selecting the arbitrator).

[* Disclaimer: “free” is a trademarked brand name that should not necessarily be associated with concepts like “open” and “accessible” and "no cronyism’]


You might want to broaden your perspective a little. Syria has a destroyed economy. America has slower growth than it could have with inequitable distribution problems.


Speaking of neoclassical economics, I should probably get my copy of The Road to Serfdom and see just how much my mind has changed about it since I last touched it.

(Spoilers: the only economists who don’t have their heads up their own or someone else’s ass are the experimental economists, because they’re actually trying to do science.)


Very true, although there may be a character limit on the title. Really, the headline should read “How the Chicago School’s Extremist Ideology has Been Destroying the American Economy since 1980 and Continues to Do So.” Better?


I Have often lamented the failure of the economics profession to be anything other than cheerleaders for our currently dysfunctional system.

Like other social “sciences”, they seem to lack empirical rigor and take the bass-ackwards approach of framing their discussion along ideological and unprovable arguments. Tax cuts and trickle down economics have not had the the broad based success that many economists claim.

They are great at obfuscating the truth with complex mathematics and arcane lingo. More often than not they exist to provide a fig leaf to cover the excesses of the greedy.


No. It should be from 1974 when Laffer pitched ‘Supply Side’ to Cheney and Rumsfeld.(even though Laffer wasn’t technically a Chicago U economist)


That wasn’t my point.

What you just did is deciding that the state of the US economy in your view doesn’t merit the term “destroyed”.

What you originally criticised was that the title was apparently ‘click-baity’ for using the term “destroyed”.

Given that the purpose of a headline is to give enough overview of the thrust of the actual article to make you want to read it, calling it ‘click-baity’ seems to miss the point.

The only legitimate criticism one can make of a headline is that it doesn’t accurately reflect the article’s content.

A headline reading “The 10 things that will stop your lover leaving you” which when clicked on actually provides a searing critique of the tax reforms in Upper Silesia between 1922-1925 is clickbait.

A headline stating “How the Chicago School’s extremist ideology destroyed the American economy” which leads to an article soundly criticising the Chicago School’s extremist ideology and setting out the numerous serious detrimental effects the author believes it has had on the US economy hardly looks like ‘click-bait’ to me.

Given that you chose to say it was based apparently only on the brief excerpt which Cory included, it seemed likely to me that you hadn’t bothered to read the article but decided you still knew enough to be able to make your comment.

That kind of thing irks me.


Or from 1973 when the Chicago Boys began the destruction of the Chilean economy contemporaneously with Pinochet’s destruction of Chilean civil society. Beautiful harmonies.


I don’t think it’s the only legitimate criticism but it is certainly the big one. I think Cory’s title is hyperbolic and doesn’t accurately reflect the more reasonable tone of the article.

Keep going, your diversionary pedantry may well just derail this thread!


In my case, I was assigned to read BOTH John Keynes AND Milton Friedman when I studied economics at the undergraduate level in college. Fortunately, I read Keynes first, and when I got to Friedman I was already thinking like the socialist I remain to this day! Kill all the rentiers and eat the rich!


While the influence of economists can’t be ignored, there were and are other facets to this (attack) problem that have little to do with economic ideology.

When the fairness doctrine was abolished by Reagan, it created an intellectual alibi for those who didn’t want to honestly compare their ideas with competitor’s ideas. Anymore, there is no longer any single best policy for the nation, there’s a red team answer and a blue team answer, and a bunch of nattering about why the other sides policy is wrong.

Without some kind of crisis, some searching of conscience, there doesn’t seem to be any way to bring journalism back into the service of democracy.


I agree with this! Would @David_Friedman care to weigh in?

Actually, I don’t know if the BBS David Friedman is Chicago School economist David D. Friedman in meatspace, it’s a totally unwarranted assumption. I’m sure it’s a common name. And even if those are one and the same person I’d understand him not wanting to get into a tussle on this particular ground!

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David Friedman is the John Smith of Jewish names. Never studied at Northwestern and the only economics I understand is that I don’t have enough money to live on.