OECD: More of the Last Thiry Years-that’s the Ticket

Someday some bright chap over at the OECD is going to draw a line between flexible labour markets (stagnant wages in the US), deregulation of finance and financial flows, free trade, global imbalances and this crisis. Until then we get more of the same. Interesting how the very same policies that created the crisis are its solution. Well, to be fair there is a nod to public infrastructure spending. Hardly a paradigm breaker. But then we know that the OECD is really PSA service for official policy. So there is no use howling at them for this ill-smelling wind.

OECD urges rich countries to strive for flexibility

By Chris Giles, Economics Editor

Published: March 3 2009 09:00 | Last updated: March 3 2009 09:00

Rich countries should redouble efforts to increase flexibility in labour markets and boost competition even though they are suffering the worst recession since the second world war, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Tuesday.

Arguing that liberalisation was the surest route to a speedy recovery, the Paris-based international organisation locked horns with a vocal group of European economists, who have been extolling the virtues of labour market rigidities as a way of preventing deflation and depression.
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Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, OECD chief economist argued: “More flexible product and labour markets are likely to strengthen country resilience to weather future downturns with less disruption to output and employment.”…
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It also identified higher spending on infrastructure, increased spending on training and reduction of personal income taxes for low earners as policies that gave a “double-dividend” of limiting the depth of the recession and boosting longer-term growth prospects.

The list will please the new US administration of Barack Obama since it reflects much of the thinking behind Washington’s stimulus plan.

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2 thoughts on “OECD: More of the Last Thiry Years-that’s the Ticket

  1. Could it be that the robots have rebelled and seized the OECD?

    In all seriousness, there is a non-sentient core to the economic growth imperative. And that non-sentience transcends whether the preferred method of stimulus is tax cuts for the wealthy or spending on infrastructure, which will, presumably, primarily benefit the expansion of industry and thus expanded accumulation.

    Back in the day, readers of Marx might have called such non-sentience a fetishism of commodities and might have turned to the ‘fragment on machines’ in the Grundrisse for some hint of where it was all headed to. But that was before the respectable, salaried, tenured left learned to stop worrying and love the national income accounts.

    Now the robots are everywhere, with their poisonous gases and cavalier jests about “massive spears aimed at the heart of capitalism.”

    God-damned fucking robots!

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