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The 21st-Century Case for a Managed Economy: The role of disequilibrium, feedback loops and scientific method in post-crash economics by Sean Harkin

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2. From the Old to the New

The British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, in his 1994 book Age of Extremes, compared the economy of the 1980s to that of the 1930s by saying “those of us who lived through the years of the Great Slump still find it almost impossible to understand how the orthodoxies of the pure free market, then so obviously discredited, again came to preside over a global period of depression in the late 1980s and 1990s”.

At first glance, this comparison seems exaggerated. But, if we bear in mind that unemployment in the UK and a number of other OECD countries remained well above 10% for a significant period in the 1980s, and that the economy of the former Soviet Union underwent a 40% nose-dive in GDP following the failed reforms ...

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