Jamie Galbraith on Europe and the United States

Yannis Varoufakis posted a translation of an interview given by Jamie Galbraith here. Among other things Jamie suggests that:
"the dominant European narrative of the United States now as then is utterly misleading. It’s the notion that we have somehow in the thirty years since Ronald Reagan transformed ourselves into a free-market, deregulated, privatized, flexible labor market, weak-welfare-state country, which, if you just cast your memory back to the 60′s and 70′s, a totally unrecognizable view of the country, a country that was built by Roosevelt and Kennedy and Johnson, especially Roosevelt and Johnson, and which had extended even into the Nixon administration, which had and has a very substantial social insurance, public investment and regulatory framework. Many things about this have been under assault, some of them have failed entirely, including the regulation of finance, but this is not a Hayekian vision that has triumphed, but rather the one I described in my book, The Predator State. The real politics of the country controls these apparatuses and how much of the benefits are diverted to cronies and oligarchs and political constituents, which captures what happened in the Clinton and the Bush years – and ongoing, of course."
This was first discussed by Jamie in his paper "What is the American Model Really About," which argues that the public sector supports more than half of the economic activity in the US, and in so doing is the main force behind the growth of the economy as a whole.


  1. In an article 'The real American model' posted on OpenDemocracy on 21 July 2003 [ http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article-3-77-1370.jsp# ] Galbraith was saying pretty much the same thing. And indeed, Europeans need reminding!


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