10 Greed is Good!

Keynesian thought formed the core orthodoxy of economic policy followed by western governments from the late 1940s up to the late 1970s. However, given the 'stagflation' of the 1970s, diverse thinkers turned to other frameworks of economic philosophy. In particular, those that might, very broadly, be labelled as 'neo-liberal' came to prominence. 'Neo-liberalism' had its roots in both the classical political-economy of Adam Smith and the development of 'neo-classical' economic thought by the 'Austrian' school - of whom Friedrich Hayek was, perhaps, the most prominent member. The key idea uniting all the various strands of 'neo-liberalism' is that the market is the best means for allocating resources and meeting consumer needs and that the state should be as little involved in economic affairs as is practically possible.

Useful Reading
Ch.5 of The Commanding Heights' (esp. pp. 123 - 133)

The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought: Entries on 'Hayek, Friedrich August von' ; and 'Liberalism'

Fifty Major Economists, entries on 'Friedrich Hayek', 'Milton Friedman', and James M. Buchanan