Due to an ongoing health crisis in the family, blogging will be 'on and off' as time and circumstances permit for the foreseeable future. I also beg your indulgence if I am slow in responding to emails. New posts will appear below this notice.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Why Ron Paul is winning the GOP primary

Just 15 seconds into a question-and-answer session with reporters Wednesday morning, Ron Paul found a way to work in a mention of the Austrian School of economics.

From there, he moved inexorably through the Paul oeuvre: the need for the gold standard, the problem with energy-efficient light bulbs, why Greece should declare bankruptcy, why Grover Cleveland was his favorite president, and how our economy is collapsing “just like the Soviet system.”

“I mean, how many people have read ‘Human Action’?” the Republican presidential candidate asked, referring to an economic treatise from the 1940s by one Ludwig von Mises. “How many people have studied Mises and Hayek and Rothbard and Sennholz? … A lot of people just flat out don’t understand what I’m talking about.”

He’s right about that. Rarely does a man go far in public life hawking the sort of oddities that the gadfly from Texas does. And yet, in a sense, Ron Paul is winning the 2012 Republican presidential primary.

Paul won’t be the president, or even the party nominee, but that was never his goal. He aimed to shift the debate toward his exotic economic theories, and by that standard he has prevailed.

The former obstetrician fathered the Tea Party. His son won election to the Senate. Republican leaders in Congress have joined Paul’s crusade against the Federal Reserve. And his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination are stealing his ideas.
Read the rest here.


Anonymous said...

His approach to health care is refreshingly archaic.

Anonymous said...

Old staple of the John Birch circuit. What do you expect? Austrian economics is not real - its a strange, inconsistent melange of 19th century business class apologetics and deductive arguments. The best way to cure folks who manifest symptoms of sympathy with the "Austrian School" is to have them read Human Action. Then just ask "Really?".

The Anti-Gnostic said...

On the contrary, the Austrian school appears to be the only branch of economics moored in reality instead of bankrupt (literally) mathematical models.

Anonymous said...

the Austrian school appears to be the only branch of economics moored in reality instead of bankrupt (literally) mathematical models.

Not really given the fact that their amthropology is completely mistaken. They are just as delusional as the mathematically inclined theo...ooops economists.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

What of their anthropology is completely mistaken?

Eurasleep said...

I'm beginning to think that Ron Paul himself doesn't think he can actually win the election or even hopes to win the election. Maybe that's his whole strategy. What I see happening is that his uberintellectualizing is actually moving the topics of political debate and public discourse into his corner, whether he wins or not. Perhaps his value is in just getting the other candidates to focus on what the American people want to talk about instead of the politicians just listening to their own echo chambers of soundbites, as usual.

Anonymous said...

What of their anthropology is completely mistaken?




The Anti-Gnostic said...

That's your refutation of the Austrian school? Woods's position is that the State's existence inevitably results in malinvestment and coercive transfer payments. Does anybody deny this? His ethical conclusion is that the State should be abolished in favor of a voluntary society. Disagreement with that conclusion is a normative matter, and is not a refutation of the Austrians' economic analysis.

Not all Austrian economists are libertarian. Gene Callahan, for example, regards the State as a permanent fixture in human existence. Hans-Herman Hoppe, cited favorably by Ferrara, envisions numerous, meritocratic micro-states, similar to the web of private property regimes that spanned the civilized world before the legal formalization of nation-states.

I'm not Roman rite, so handwringing Catholic hierarchs with their ambiguous "social teachings" don't impress me. If they are going to wade into economic debates, then they need to learn economics.