The Neoliberal Revolution That Wasn’t

Critics of neoliberalism often claim that because the affluent market democracies flourished during the economic Golden Age of the 1950s and 1960s, we would have been better served in the post-1973 era by pursuing the dirigiste economic policies that prevailed in the postwar era. Scott Sumner has replied by noting that while growth slowed down across the affluent market democracies in the post-1973 era, states that embraced neoliberal reform fared better than others. And now Kindred Winecoff has introduced a new argument – that to understand the alternative to embracing neoliberalism, it is instructive to consider the economic experience of Japan, which has resisted the market-oriented reforms of labor markets, the retail sector, and financial services that were so central to the neoliberal revolution.

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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