Congratulations to Witold Gadomski, economics features writer for Gazeta Wyborcza who has just won a prize for fearlessly upholding the general right wing status quo in economics. No, really, I mean it. The prize is funded by the avowedly apolitical Polish National Bank, the assuredly neutral Association of Polish Journalists and the totally objective Reuters Press Agency. He was awarded the prize (a cheque for 10,000 euros – about two years’ pay for a non-economist) for “defending the principles of market economics independently of political circumstances” (“za obron? zasad gospodarki rynkowej niezale?nie od koniunktury politycznej”).
Polish has a useful distinction between “dziennikarz” (journalist) and “publicysta” (columnist, feature writer, opinons guy). Gadomski is referred to in the laudatory article in today’s GW as the latter. But should journalists – sorry, columnists – be getting prizes for defending a particular political position? Gadomski used to be an MP but, the article tells us, is no longer connected with any political grouping. I disagree with the none-too subtle implication that running an economy is apolitical. If economics is removed from the domain of politics, as GW, Reuters, the Polish National Bank and the Association of Polish Journalists seem to think it should be it means that the plebs cannot influence it. And they moan about low voter turn-out…
I look forward eagerly to an equally generous prize for a journalist in a major national newspaper defending state intervention in the marketplace to be awarded, naturally, by the avowedly apolitical Polish National Bank, the assuredly neutral Association of Polish Journalists and the totally objective Reuters Press Agency.
Afterthought: isn’t giving large cash prizes to pro-market economics writers interfering with the free market? Should Gadomski not be content with waiting for the invisible hand of the market to reward him?