Saturday 19 October, 1.30pm until 3.00pm, Cinema 1 Keynote Controversies
The free market has long been understood as a key aspect of freedom more generally. But critics also see the market as a place of exploitation, as a threat to, rather than an expression of, our freedom. And in the past 150 years there has grown up a counterbalance to the market in the form of the state: both the protector and regulator of the market. Should private businesses be compelled to obey the dictates of the public as personified by the state? Or, conversely, should they enjoy the same freedoms as private individuals – the freedom to buy what they want and sell what they want? Does that extend to discrimination in the labour market? Should employers be able to discriminate against employees they think are too old or customers they just don’t like?
Might it be that an increasingly top-heavy state is holding back the entrepreneurial dynamism of the market, or should we view it as vital life-support to a system far beyond the capabilities of private enterprise, however large? Is it right that the market should be involved in the traditional functions of the state like prisons, healthcare, even the army and the police? And must the state act as a prop to the market by subsidising industries that are failing or would never start up in the first place without a hand-out from the taxpayer? Can it, given the scale of public debt, even afford such largesse? Is it time to find a way past the opposition between state and market? Do the terms even make sense anymore, given the degree of mutual reliance and interpenetration they have now achieved?
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financial analyst and blogger, CooperCity.co.uk
Thomas Hylland Eriksen
professor of social anthropology, University of Oslo; novelist; author, Ethnicity and Nationalism and Globalization: the key concepts
economist and business manager; author, Creative Destruction: How to start an economic renaissance
Dr Andrew Sentance
Senior Economic Adviser to PwC (since 2011); formerly, external member, Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England
convenor, The Academy; author, Being Cultured: in defence of discrimination
Successful entrepreneurs who identify and exploit new ideas—thereby creating and expanding businesses—depend on a number of complementary agents, such as skilled labor, industrialists, support services, venture capitalists, and secondary markets. Focusing solely on entrepreneurship abstracts from other factors necessary for an economy to prosper. Still, entrepreneurship is crucial; a lack of entrepreneurs cannot be fully offset by an ample supply of skilled labor or an extensive capital market.Oxford Journals, 2013
This book, which builds on the author’s work for a high-impact DEMOS report (substantially developed and extended), debunks the myth of the State as a large bureaucratic organization that can at best facilitate the creative innovation which happens in the dynamic private sector.
Mariana Mazzucato, Anthem Press, 10 June 2013
Our approaching triple-dip recession was a direct result of the government’s flawed economic strategy. The case for austerity rests on two false premises: that the previous government had been spending excessively, and the government debt and deficit are the main threat to our economic stabilityJames Meadway, New Economics, 26 April 2013
If we want to succeed in the global race, we need to stop placing obstacles in the path of businessDavid Rutley, Telegraph, 2 April 2013
A fascinating exploration of the role of liberal intellectuals such as Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek in the rehabilitation of free-market ideology also exposes the crisis of liberalism in the modern era.Frank Furedi, spiked, 25 January 2013
The current economic crisis, involving the largest UK recession for over a century, is an appropriate time to question whether the UK is following the most appropriate economic model. In the short term it is clear to us, as Keynesian economists, that the policy of tax rises and public expenditure cuts is self-defeating. It damages employment and incomes without realising its stated policy aim of cutting the fiscal deficit. A better approach would be to increase public spending on infrastructure projects while the costs of government borrowing remain low.Ken Coutts and Graham Gudgin, University of Sheffeild, October 2011
Yes, capitalists are increasingly risk-averse and lethargic – but let's not fantasise that the state has the cojones to reinvigorate innovation.Rob Lyons, spiked, 26 August 2011
In the UK we have a mixed economy. Most decisions are made by the market - e.g. when you buy goods in supermarket you vote with your money for the goods that you want to buy. However, some decisions are made by the government e.g. those relating to road building, school and hospital construction, the supply of medicines in hospitals etc.Business Case Studies