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Deregulation isn't exploitation

January 31, 2008

Re "Capitalizing on disaster," Opinion, Jan. 27

Naomi Klein urges progressives to reinstate the populist movement to combat right-wing ideologues, who she believes have exploited desperate countries into accepting capitalism as the solution to their social ills -- a theory she refers to as "disaster capitalism." But just because countries deregulate their economies does not mean they have been exploited. It does not take years of research to realize why Russia and other countries chose to deregulate: without deregulation, they had less freedom to innovate, they were less productive and as a result their economies failed.

Perhaps if left-wing ideologues such as Klein realized that the "economic meltdowns" were caused by statist policies, they would not have to preoccupy themselves with reviving "disaster populism."

Brady Cuthbert

Irvine

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A problem with Klein's notion of so-called disaster capitalism is that its critique of crisis exploitation offers little analysis of many of the original crises in question. Thus, she does not explain why Keynesianism failed to respond to the global downturn of the early 1970s.

To reject Keynesianism, however, is less to defend laissez-faire than to challenge the perpetual loop of crisis and reform that has characterized and sustained capitalism for more than 100 years. In terms of its crises, there is not a good and bad capitalism, just capitalism. It is this that needs to be eliminated for the sake of a livable world.

Joshua Sperber

New York

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