Alan Greenspan gets Kleined

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I have to give Alan Greenspan props for doing this. The host is hostile, economically quasi-literate, allows the other guest to act as co-interrogator, interrupts him every time he says anything sensible in a desperate attempt to stop the flow of information, and beats Greenspan with weird & untrue "facts" (the Iraq war has cost trillions) that have nothing to do with his job as chairman of the Federal Reserve. My favorite moment is when Naomi Klein accuses Greenspan of having pursued a crisis of faith in capitalism through his income-inequality producing policies of privatisation, deregulation, and free trade, which is a terrific twofer: not only have none of these things been convincingly linked to income inequality; but also, none of them have anything to do with Alan Greenspan's job at the Federal Reserve Nonetheless, Greenspan a) doesn't point out that she's completely ignorant b) keeps his temper and c) tries to actually explain the problems of income inequality. I doubt I'd be so well behaved.

Update Now listening to Naomi Klein on Latin America. It is impossible to overstate how little she knows about Latin American economic history. One could glean a more accurate and comprehensive view of Latin American economic conditions by renting Evita.

Update II NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! She just defended import substitution!

Update III Then, when Greenspan says "What works better?" she claims she's just talking about not socialism, but mixed economies, which would be compelling if it were a good description of pre-Pinochet Chile, the original topic of conversation. Also very, very hard to get import substitution going without central planning.

Update IV Now he has to explain the difference between Indonesian-style crony capitalism, and America purchasing war planes from Lockheed Martin. She does not try to reconcile her view that America purchasing equipment from private suppliers=crony capitalism, with her previously stated faith in mixed economies.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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