For the utopian free-market crusaders with their obsession with privatization, one key way to debunk their alleged economic science is to merely ask an important question:
Name one nation that got to be a world economic power via laissez-faire?
The answer is simply, 'none'.
Pure free-market economics is not designed to be a nation builder from the onset. Excessive privatization and its companion, *Free Trade*, if anything tears down a country's economic infrastructure as it has been historically seen. Many conservatives have been trying to point to post World War 2 West Germany as an economic miracle because of free-market economics when the evidence is that the BRD achieved it's dynamic recovery with much statist interference in collusion with Business and Labor. The West Germans heeded the principles of ordoliberalism which sets the rules of play for both the Public and Private sphere in the economy, theorhetorically a check on one another and never abandoned the Welfare State . One of the planners of this miracle, Wilhelm Roepke, stated what the Vienna School deemed as heresy, and that is that the Market is not everything. Roepke and Alexander Ruestow, though both were critics of socialism, fully well knew that there were people who are outside the Market, and deserved a social safety net. This was and is the *Third Way* - one of the economic ones - that slaps the globalizing strumpet TINA directly in the face.
I read once an article from the conservative economic predator think tank, The Heritage Foundation, that asserted that the German economic miracle was by and large due to reavualting the currency and lifting wage and price controls. The said article also claimed that the Marshall Plan was insignificant. These assertions are half-truths and like the laissez-faire disciples always do, they never present the big picture. One, the new Deutsche Mark created in 1948 was under the Bretton Woods international agreement that the US Dollar would be the hegemonistic fixed-rate currency backed by a percentage of gold reserve that gave the DM the security it needed. Two, though it is true that West Germany recieved little funds from the Marshall Plan, it did help. The Marshall Plan only lasted for a few years anyway, so it is superflous to state that it "failed" as the laissez-fairest insinuate. Plus, the 'Miracle' was plain circumstance given that a nation building up from World War Two's devastation will experience high growth rates in recovery. Even the centralized-planned economies of the Eastern European Leninist States experienced their own post-war recoveries with high growth rates. GNP growth is not always a 100% statistic that prooves a healthy economy either. China has stupendous growth yet the majority of its population still lives in hovels , for example.
Another post-war Economic Miracle was going on in France at the same time W. Germany was experiencing theirs. The French Way was even more statist planned than the German one was through their philosophy of dirgisme; France had many public owned heavy industries , transportation, and utilities. Nationalization and long term Plans weren't a dirty words to them, and the French had decades long growth and general prosperity. The unfettered*Free Market* wasn't for them, and they'd be damned if thinking that any hidden hand could do the job for them. Both the French and German recoveries were within their respective National System tradition, not the Manchester-British globalist one.
Sadly for the French, now that the neocon(?) Sarkozy is at the helm, their Third Way exceptionalism may be coming to a close. Sarkozy is horny for privatization and he also claims that the French 35 hour workweek is "absurd". Sarkozy just rode the anti-immigrant consensus to power and the French middle class will rue the day that they didn't vote for Royal.
Tito's Yugoslavia was another model. Though Tito was a Marxist, he didn't set up a Leninist State and pursued market-socialism in the former Federated Republics of Yugoslavia. It was a failure, some will say? It was only after Tito's death and privatization conditional loans via the IMF to Yugoslavia when it unraveled. 'Tis another chalk-up that Free Market 'solutions 'tear down a nation/state when let to run wild. One will not hear the Heritage Foundation talk about Tito largely because his success employing Market Socialism is a direct contradiction to their dogma of free-market capitalism, that only their way "works". It does work for the affluent, which is, again, a form of socialism for the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. I thought that capitalism was supposed to be competitive?? Well, it is not, and left unfettered it will only evolve into corporate monopolies. And in direct contradiction to capitalist ideologues, business-people, especially Big Businessmen, they are not capitalists themselves. Not one free-market economist has ever realized this. A CEO would just as soon be headquartered in North Korea if the state would guarantee his or her corporation zero competition and keep the unions beat down and extinct.The wealthy , the Predator elite,only pays lip-service (and fund free-market think tanks and politicians) to preserve their own power and increase it. The reality it that they would operate for anyone regardless of ideology. They have no problems with statist interference such as corporate welfare, if one has ever noticed. Corporations love regulations from the government when it benefits them exclusively. They applaud when government uses tax money from working Americans to bail out failing corporations. There is not a CEO one who is a true believer in laissez-faire - they just fund egghead economists and pundits as their useful idiots and they are laughing their asses off.