Letter to The Guardian
1 October 2019
Grace Blakeley makes a compelling case for reform of capitalism (No alternative to capitalism? Now workers can take control, 30 September). But I hope she sees that national assets cannot just be transferred to state, worker and community ownership. This overlooks the other indispensable ingredients if our collective bid to move from casino capitalism to a sustainable social market economy is to be realised.
As so often is the case there is regrettably little attention paid to the great achievements within the European Union in promoting better and more effective governance at every level, an inclusive corporate culture and capital markets that support long-term development. This lies at the heart of the significant social, political and economic achievements of the Rhineland economies when compared with British and American socioeconomic outturns.
We need to look beyond Britain and the US – blighted as both countries are – in our search for practical tried and tested ways of moving things forward. But most of all we need to see this as a long-term transformation in the culture of ownership and control. There is no simple on/off switch that will allow us to get rid of the champions of neoliberal capitalism and replace them with well-intentioned workers and other public figures. The transformation demands fundamental cultural change at many levels in our society and the political will to bring this about.
The Centre for International Economics