Libertarian Economic Experiments.

Part of the "Critiques of Libertarianism" site.

Last updated 05/30/09.

Chile and New Zealand are often cited by libertarians as sites of successful libertarian economic reform. They tend to cite a few "benefits", but there are many downsides....

A Google search of "libertarian" and "somalia" also finds many libertarians praising the anarchy in Somalia. Go figure.


Tinker Bell, Pinochet and The Fairy Tale Miracle of Chile
Greg Palast points out that Chile's success was due to Keynesian policy and socialist measures such as the nationalized copper industry and agrarian reform, not neoliberalism.
Chile, capitalism and liberty for the rich.
Iain MacSaorsa debunks libertarian claims of great benefits to Chile.
New Zealand Today - An Alternative View
Life In The Economic Test-Tube: New Zealand "experiment" a colossal failure.
Two brief articles based on Jane Kelsey's books "Rolling Back the State: Privatisation of Power in Aotearoa/New Zealand" and "Economic Fundamentalism: The New Zealand Experiment - A World Model for Structural Adjustment?"
Old wine in new bottles: A bitter taste.
Noam Chomsky describes Jane Kelsey's "The New Zealand Experiment" (which was critical of privatizations) in its historical context. He discerns recurrent patterns of "reform" inflicted on the helpless for the private benefit of the "reformers", and classifies Kelsey as a fellow observer. Part of the Symposium on "The New Zealand Experiment" published in the Electronic Journal of Radical Organisation Theory.
New Zealand's Vaunted Privatization Push Devastated The Country, Rather Than Saving It.
New Zealand was the site of a neoliberal/libertarian policy triumph, which Murray Dobbin describes as catastrophic.
Lessons Of Chile's Voucher Reform Movement
Professor Martin Camoy of Stanford points out that real voucher reforms have failed to improve test scores, and have widened the gap between privileged and underprivileged. From Rethinking Schools.
Libertarianism and Poverty
Dennis Loo makes the case that libertarians claims about poverty fail on moral, econometric, and historical grounds. From The Ethical Spectacle .
Free market reform in New Zealand: an Australian perspective (PDF)
The foremost market liberalization experiment has failed badly. John Quiggin surveys the excuses and possible reasons.
The 'freest economies in the world'.
John Berthelsen of the Asia Times points out that the Cato Institute's 'economic freedom' index seems to have no idea of the reality of government intervention and market oligopoly in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Castles In The Sea: A Survey of Artificial Islands and Floating Utopias
James Lee surveys a number of historical and planned artificial utopias, including some libertarian ones.
Democracy For $ale: Libertarian Paradise
Jack Miller points out that Somalia has all the features a libertarian wants.
NEW 2/06: Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion?
Dani Rodrik, of Harvard University, points out that the neoliberal prescription of free markets, privatization, and non-interference has been a great failure for developing nations. India and China have done vastly better with their own prescriptions.

Print References

The links here are to, through their associates program, primarily because of the review information. Books without links are generally out of print, and can often be easily found at AddAll Used and Out Of Print Search. Good sites for bargain shopping for sometimes expensive new books are Online Bookstore Price Comparison and AddAll Book Search and Price Comparison. Both of those list applicable coupons. Another is

Jane Kelsey "Rolling Back the State: Privatisation of Power in Aotearoa/New Zealand"
Paul & Co Publishing Consortium 1996. And "Economic Fundamentalism: The New Zealand Experiment - A World Model for Structural Adjustment?"
Pluto Press 1996. Two books that detail the unhappy consequences of a real-world libertarian economic experiment.
Robert Kuttner "Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets"
Knopf, 1997. Why mixed economies would outperform pure markets. Essential for countering libertarian economic arguments.
Elton Rayack "Not So Free To Choose"
An extensive criticism of Milton Friedman's economic and social philosophy.

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Copyright 2007 by Mike Huben ( ).
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