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Which of the following statements would you rather answer affirmatively?

1. A person has rights to own property and the results of their labour. The state must protect these rights.

2. There must be competition and meritocracy. It should not be that the state helps the oligarchs, preventing others from entering their market. But, of course, the state should regulate when it comes to security issues, protecting the environment and consumers, as well as overseeing all kinds of financial institutions.

3. Officials and bureaucrats do not understand business well enough to effectively manage enterprises. This breeds corruption and shortages. But they can regulate private traders, especially when it comes to issues from point 2.

4. We need foreign technology, production and management experience. Otherwise, learning by trial and error will take a long time.

5. We need competition in the banking sector – regulators are more likely to create conditions for the largest bank to squeeze out the rest. It is impossible to print money just like that, we will fan the fire of inflation and will not stop it.

6. It is better if the exchange rate reacts automatically to oil prices rather than if officials, lobbyists and commodity businessmen set it behind closed doors. At least we can prepare for the former and in the latter case we are guaranteed to lose money.

7. People should be able to choose cheaper and better products. This affects poverty, the well-being of families, the level of happiness. To do this, trade must be able to deliver what people want. In general, it is better to trade than to fight.

8. The priority of the state budget is education, healthcare and general infrastructure (public goods). Stop subsidising parasitic businesses that compete for money with children from poor families.

9️. Stop strangling honest business with taxes, threatening to raise rates. Instead of trying to pinch more of the cake, make sure it expands. Then everyone will benefit, including the state.

10. We must live within our means, this especially concerns the state. The debt it takes on inefficient programs is a burden on the children and grandchildren who will pay the price.

That is all. Now count the number of the statements you agreed with and divide that by 10.

This is how much you support the “Washington Consensus.” Yes, exactly this neo-liberalism and the “damned” capitalists, who want to bring developing countries to their knees.

The problem with the original wording of the “Washington Consensus” is the same as the Internet meme about 5 monkeys and a banana. They were written much later, divorced from the original arguments that changed politics in the US, UK and Germany. At the moment it seemed obvious, and the “technicians” wrote them as instructions.

Another problem is that doing all 10 points at the same time is difficult, and sometimes suicidal. They have their own priority and sequence. Wise states should understand this, taking into account their context and not looking back at international organisations.

The third problem is the surrounding neighbours. Collective acceptance so that no one gets screwed over by exposing others is one thing. Being honest among the dishonest is another. Therefore, foreign economic policy should be done more carefully, taking into account national interests. If we are being deceived, even Adam Smith encourages us to do the same for the sake of fair trade.


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