OECD discusses capitalism

In: Uncategorized

1 Jun 2010

Gideon Rachman discusses growth scepticism (although he does not use the term) in an op-ed article in today’s Financial Times.

His peg for the article is a seminar organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the “future of capitalism” (PDF).  Lord Robert Skidelsky, the biographer of Keynes, was the star speaker.

Evidently Skidelsky has started work on a book entitled How Much is Enough: the economics of the good life. Given his record there can be little doubt it will be highly critical of growth (see posts of 8 January 2009, 24 November 2009, 26 November 2009 and 15 April 2010).

Rachman goes on in his column to talk about the work on happiness by Richard Layard – another ennobled British growth sceptic – as well as The Spirit Level.

The Sarkozy / Stigltz report on well-being is also mentioned (see my recent spiked review). There is also one nice touch I had not realised but it does not surprise me:

“Sarkozy may argue that there is more to life than economic growth – but, on a personal level, he seems to be quite fond of flashy watches and holidays on millionaires’ yachts.”

Rachman captures the ambivalance of growth scepticism well. He ends by saying he finds Skidelsky’s arguments “fairly persuasive” – but would still like a 42-inch plasma television to watch the World Cup.