Matt and Sam and are joined by Marshall Steinbaum for a deep dive into the Chicago school of economics and the baleful influence of libertarian ideas. Matt and Sam are finally joined by the show’s longtime bête noire, Marshall Steinbaum, for a deep dive into the Chicago school of economics and the wreckage it’s supported—from welcoming the birth defects caused by deregulating the pharmaceutical industry to justifying massive resistance to desegregation to being put in the service of Coronavirus truther-ism. Where did this iteration of libertarianism come from, intellectually and institutionally? Who are the key figures in the Chicago school? How have their ideas infected the way we all think about economics and politics? It’s a sordid, depressing tale of rightwing money, intellectual dishonesty, and a gleeful desire to discipline the forces of democracy.
Sources and further reading:
Marshall Steinbaum, The Book That Explains Charlottesville, Boston Review, August 14, 2017
Marshall Steinbaum, Economics after Neoliberalism, Boston Review, February 28, 2019
Isaac Chotiner, The Contrarian Coronavirus Theory that Informed the Trump Administration, New Yorker, March 30, 2020
Nancy MacLean, Democracy in Chains (Penguin-Random House, June 2017)
Edward Nik-Khah, Neoliberal Pharmaceutical Science and the Chicago School of Economics (Social Studies of Science 2014, Vol. 44(4) 489–517)