The one indubitably great twentieth-century British writer on economic affairs, J M Keynes, gently expressed the hope that Adam Smith would remain in the obscurity to which the events of the nineteen thirties and forties apparently consigned him.
After Keynes’s untimely death a sequence of crass bowdlerisations under the nomenclature ‘Keynesianism’ sanctioned policies that ultimately led to the inflationary chaos of the nineteen-seventies. Critics of the failed policies postulated an alternative: and Adam Smith was hailed as the progenitor of ‘neoliberalism’. The dominant economists of the early twenty-first century claimed that their ideas were supported by fundamental economic ‘science’, derived from Smith. The result of the attempt to make policy on this basis has been chaos – not least, the crash of the banking system – and [for Britain, especially] catastrophic decline has been concealed behind misconceived economic statistics.
Taking the recent vote for ‘Brexit’ as a declaration of the nation’s lack of confidence in those who set its policies, this book offers a new starting point for building economic policy.
David Bland has had two careers, of equal duration. In the first he studied the evolution of economics, whilst partaking fully in academic life including terms as Dean of Social Sciences and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.
As Chief Executive of the Chartered Insurance Institute he introduced qualifications by examination for financial advisers [which were passed by over 100,000 people] and played a leading role in the introduction of market insurance principles in some twenty ex-communist countries. More recently, he has held various regulatory and consumer protection roles in financial services and utilities. He is a Past-Master of the Insurers and Firefighters Companies and was awarded the OBE for his services to insurance education.