1 August 2016

Bas van Bavel: “The EU should revisit its unstable foundations”

Bas van Bavel - The Invisible Hand?

It would be sensible for politicians and policymakers to release the notion that the market economy can be used as a foundation for new policies. The idea that the market economy leads to growth, which then can be redistributed, is based on naïve hope. In the long run, the market economy does not reconcile with social welfare and freedom. Therefore, the EU is built on unstable foundations.

This short recap gives an impression of the opinion article economic historian Prof. Bas van Bavel wrote in the Dutch newspaper Finacieele Dagblad (July 26). In his new book The Invisible Hand? How Market Economies have Emerged and Declined Since AD 500, Van Bavel shows that, throughout the ages all market economies go through a cycle and decline or even disappear after a period of growth. Certain symptoms that always preceded the decline of market economies in the past can be seen in our time as well. This makes it plausible that the end of the Western market economy is near.

Multiple Dutch media outlets reported on The Invisible Hand, including the newspapers the Volkskrant, Nederlands Dagblad and Reformatorisch Dagblad. The book was listed as one of this month’s must-read publications in DeTelegraaf and Follow the Money.