On Bernie Sanders

Paul Kennelly writes:Rundle: sticky questions for the Dems in a hot and humid Philadelphia” (yesterday). Sanders joined the Democrats after he announced he would run. His whole point was to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming President. It seems to escaped people’s attention that he is an old white man. There are no prizes for guessing who was behind the leaking of the emails.

On populism

Ian Hunt writes: Re. “Morrison doubles down on dumbness in the face of populist attack” (yesterday). The “achievements” of the last thirty years include a growing gap between the top few and most Australians in terms of wealth and income. These “achievements” include a loony attempt to pretend that economies work better when they get closer to an imaginary economic world in which there is a market for every good and service that can possible be brought to market, there is competition that forces everyone to be price takers and there is perfect knowledge of the future for both buyers and sellers.

True, this ideological rubbish has gone along with some worthwhile reforms over the last thirty years. These worthwhile moves pale in comparison with the ideologically justified policy contraptions that have been inflicted on Australians and their children, like the phoney national electricity market, with privatisations to create imaginary competitors, phoney competition policy between hospitals and doctors, and phoney creation of education markets in which universities, who should aim at cutting edge research and practice and passing these on to new generations of researchers and professionals, are told to aim at imitating businesses bringing products and services to market.

If you ask why there is all this “populism” Bernard, it is because people are becoming disillusioned with the rubbish peddled as part of neo-liberal economics, which Bernard clearly refers to as “liberal economics,” which would be another fish if it ever managed to replace neo-liberal ideology. Let us look forward to a new era in which fake competition is recognised for what it is and people stop pretending that anything is improved by getting nearer to an imaginary world in which equal players all bring their products to market, leaving only security and social order to government.

Peter Fray

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