Friday, December 12, 2008

The United States Could Use an Angela Merkel and Swabian Housewives

Last week, I referenced a passage in a speech by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that makes her sound as though she is an Austrian when it comes to economics.

Leonard Liggio takes the story deeper and writes:

Last week at the Christian Democratic Union convention in Stuttgart, German Federal Republic Chancellor Angela Merkel said that German financial policy would be based on the habits of the traditional Swabian House-Wife: Not to spend money one did not have. As Merkel’s sound speech seemed to echo Wilhelm Roepke, one of the founders of the Mont Pelerin Society, it is worth noting that Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Roepke and the others agreed on this as well as on most other issues.

Germany’s post-1945 Economic Miracle resulted from the thinking of the traditional Swabian House-Wife, as any one who visited West Germany then and noted the determination of the Germans to restore the honor of sound money can testify.

Since until recently, German descendants represented the largest ethnic group in America, one can find the inheritance of the Swabian thinking in America. One recalls that historically the majority German population of St. Louis were called the “Scrubby Dutch” because the house-wives cleaned the front walks and streets every morning. It would have been dishonorable not to do so. This was repeated in cities all over America by other European ethnic groups.
Liggio's full comment is worthwhile reading and is here.

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