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Larry Summers Is a Dead Albatross Around Biden’s Neck

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tags: Democratic Party, Joe Biden, 2020 Election, Larry Summers



Joe Biden might be ready to bid adieu to the era of Milton Friedman, the right-wing economist who was one of the major architects of neoliberalism, but Larry Summers most definitely is not.

In a 2006 New York Times opinion piece written on the occasion of Friedman’s death, Summers wrote, “I feel that I have lost a hero—a man whose success demonstrates that great ideas convincingly advanced can change the lives of people around the world.” Making a small demurral over Friedman’s lack of concern for social justice, Summers aligned himself with the neoliberal thinker’s worldview. “Not so long ago, we were all Keynesians,” Summers wrote. “Equally, any honest Democrat will admit that we are now all Friedmanites.”

Summers was not merely being polite out of respect for a recently departed eminence. Rather, he was being candid in describing himself as a Friedmanite Democrat, someone who belongs to a left-of-center party but constantly tugs it to the right.

Summers’s Friedmanite politics can be seen in virtually everything he’s done in public life. During the Clinton administration, he opposed the efforts of Asian countries to impose capital controls during the economic crisis of 1997. He also pushed for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a deregulatory move that allowed commercial banks to run hog wild with risky investments, a major factor in the 2008 economic crash.

Read entire article at The Nation

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