PLEDGE NOW
Has Capitalism Failed?
The cartoon of a dollar note is seen sticked to computer screens at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, central Germany, on Friday, Oct. 10, 2008. European stock markets slumped further on Friday following massive losses on Wall Street and Asia on mounting fears that this week's efforts by central banks and governments to break the logjam in credit markets have failed to ease lending rates between banks. (AP)

The cartoon of a dollar note is seen stuck to computer screens at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, on Oct. 10, 2008. (AP)

Judge Richard Posner is one of the nation’s most prolific legal defenders of free-market economics. Appointed by Ronald Reagan, he’s a “Chicago school” laissez-faire man from way back — a creator and defender of the free-market theory that has guided American thinking and deregulation for thirty years.

And now, Judge Posner is talking about a “failure of capitalism.” About “re-regulating.” This isn’t a recession, he says. It’s a depression. And we have to change.

This hour, On Point: Richard Posner, and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, on capitalism and the U.S. economy now.

Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Richard Posner joins us from Chicago. He has been one of the leading lights in the conservative “Chicago School” of economics and of the so-called “Law and Economics” school of thought. He is a prolific author of the law and the marketplace, and his most recent book is called “A Failure of Capitalism: The Crisis of ’08 and the Descent into Depression.”

Judge Posner is posting updates on the economic situation and policy responses on a new blog at TheAtlantic.com.

Robert Reich joins us from Berkeley, Calif. He was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and is now a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His most recent book is “Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life.”

More links:

Nobel economist Robert Solow reviews “A Failure of Capitalism” in The New York Review of Books. He says the book is “an event,” and notes that if he had made these arguments it wouldn’t be news. But “from Richard Posner, it is.”

Robert Kuttner reviews Posner’s book, along with several others, in The American Prospect. He writes: “conversions would be a little easier to take if the convert had the decency to concede that his earlier mistaken theories had collided with reality. Posner, however, doesn’t look back.” Still, “one should welcome Posner’s book even if it is a reversal without a recantation.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 31, 2016
This 2006 colorized scanning electron micrograph image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the O157:H7 strain of the E. coli bacteria. On Wednesday, May 26, 2016, U.S. military officials reported the first U.S. human case of bacteria resistant to an antibiotic used as a last resort drug. The 49-year-old woman has recovered from an infection of E. coli resistant to colistin. But officials fear that if the resistance spreads to other bacteria, the country may soon see germs impervious to all antibiotics. (Janice Carr/CDC via AP)

A new superbug resistant to every antibiotic has shown up in the U.S. We look at the threat, and our dwindling antibiotic options.

May 31, 2016
In this July 31, 2015, file photo, an orca or killer whale breaches in view of Mount Baker, some 60 miles distant, in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. ( (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

The end of orcas at SeaWorld, McDonald’s using cage-free eggs — should animal lovers be optimistic about a new “humane economy”?

RECENT
SHOWS
May 30, 2016
Rock icon Donald Fagen looks back on a lengthy and ongoing career in his new memoir 'Eminent Hipsters.' He co-founded the classic rock group Steely Dan with Walter Becker in 1972. (Penguin Books USA)

Steely Dan frontman Donald Fagen talks “eminent hipsters” and the cultural outliers that shaped his sound. He joins us.

 
May 30, 2016
Author and Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy. (Photo by Bob O'Connor / Courtesy The Author)

Strike a power pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy on the power of presence when you’re ready to act and win.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
In The Garden, Mother Nature Makes The Rules
Friday, May 27, 2016

Executive producer Karen Shiffman explains why she turns to her garden for food, friends and natrual comfort.

More »
Comment
 
WWII Vet Larry Kirby Reflects On American Values
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Looking ahead to Memorial Day, a World War II veteran looks back at the experiences that mattered to him, both in and out of war.

More »
Comment
 
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment