Blyth Unleashed

Mark Blyth is the butcher’s son from Dundee, now the American professor of political economics, still with the Sean Connery burr in his voice. Sounds like a working stiff; seems to think like one. Not for Professor Blyth the dismal science of markets and money, supply and demand. He stands for the gabby art of political economics: it’s about the pain and popular pushback that came (in our time) with globalization and pinched public spending; it gets to be about very human emotions like anger, frustration, fear, and shock. Here’s a typical Mark Blyth take: “When 80% of the people figure out that 80% of time the 20% are running the show for themselves, there’s trouble ahead.”  He said that before Brexit, before Trump, and he’s still saying things a lot like it.

Mark Blyth is our pal in the portable Scottish pub. The game is: stump the political economist from Brown University, at the end of Joe Biden’s first year. The basic question, of course: why are the Democrats so glum, with pretty low unemployment and good-enough growth? Why does the majestic command of Franklin Roosevelt seem such a distant memory? Are the Democrats doomed when they’re serving two masters or maybe three: the woke left, the working poor, and the low-tax capitalist class? You have to listen fast with Mark Blyth because he talks so fast—about the Great Resignation trend; about inflation; and, by the way: is hydrogen the fuel of the future?  He likes to say the answers are simple, but you have to check that he’s made them clear. Here we go with Mark Blyth; he’s in the pub just in time.

Guest List
Mark Blyth
Economist at Brown University.

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