Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blond on Practical Economic Policy

Shattered Society | ResPublica

While agreeing with much of the critique of neo-liberalism found among distributist writers, I have been less clear about the specific public and economic policies that such writers would wish to see, particularly in a British context. In the United States, for instance, one wing of the movement against perceived statism seems to have evolved into a Libertarian form through the Tea Party movement, which, I must confess, is not one that I am indistinctly drawn to.

I'm not sure whether Philip Blond would describe himself as a distributist, but some of the ideas in this essay are consistent with the economic theory espoused by Belloc and Chesterton.

In any event, Blond does set out several practical policy directions that he believes would provide workable solutions to the failures of both statism and developed capitalism. If I've understood the article correctly, these include:

1. Turning public services into employee-owned co-operatives without the current layers of management characteristic of existing public services.

2. Empowering "citizen's groups" to take over the budget of central government, in areas such as welfare/social service payments and to use it for their own economic empowering rather than subsidizing their existence - giving capital rather than income.

3. A "doctrine of radical democratic subsidiarity" would see political decision making radically devolved. Blond is short of specifics on this one, unfortunately!

Much to ponder.

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