El reloj, el gato y Madagascar
Non-fiction , 2017
“That’s the poor person’s freedom on the market: to choose the apple of poverty”
When this text was published for the first time in 1983, globalisation of the markets was being celebrated by most economists, led by Milton Friedman, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics. However, Sampedro’s humanistic views prevented him from joining in the generalised optimism.
“Pinochet’s economic programme is excellent,” “In order to reduce inflation, unemployment will have to be increased,” said Friedman in 1982. The growing dehumanisation of economic studies seemed obvious, and Sampedro warned that by following the rules of methodological instrumentalism, the most famous economists might forget something as basic as the fact that economics is a social science. History has proven him right, as the economic crisis that began in the summer of 2007 can be largely explained by the cult of liberalism and the free market.
If the economy becomes dehumanised and everything is governed by mathematical models, the economist could be a mathematician or a clockmaker. But can a clockmaker predict the behaviour of a cat? Or that of an entire country, such as Madagascar? As Sampedro makes clear in these pages, a new economic theory needs to be laid out, and its basis explained. This illustrated edition revisits Sampedro’s ideas in a very timely manner.