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9 - Neoliberalism, the Virginia School, and the Geldard Report

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2019

David M. Levy
Affiliation:
George Mason University, Virginia
Sandra J. Peart
Affiliation:
University of Richmond
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Summary

The 1963 Geldard Report on the University of Virginia faculty described the early Virginia School economists as “neo-liberal” and asserted they failed to provide graduate students a modern education. Only an extract describing the economics department was known before so the evaluation could not be put into context. Had the authors of the report known modern economics, they would have remarked on Allais lectures at the TJC in 1957. Neo-liberal was then an unusual word. As it has come to be used, neo-liberalism supposes an idealization of efficiency and market activity. This differs from an earlier liberalism, which emphasized exchange and viewed democracy as government by discussion. Coase’s advice to the Fabian Society committee for broadcasting reform was to remove the BBC’s monopoly position by breaking it into competing services provided by the government, to allow taxpayers a wider choice of television and radio programs, with more points of view. Buchanan’s club theory is remarkable in this context because the distinction between market activity and public activity is fuzzy. The neo-liberal charge ignores the importance of the compensation brought about by logrolling.

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Towards an Economics of Natural Equals
A Documentary History of the Early Virginia School
, pp. 237 - 257
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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