Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Koch/Cato Sees the Misesian Light?

Matt Yglesias writes:
...until very recently support of activist monetary policy to support the economy in times of depressed output was deemed an acceptably libertarian approach by Cato types. Milton Friedman, back in those days, counted as a libertarian. The interesting thing, though, is that on the subject of monetary policy the Kock(sic)/Cato people have decided the Mises faction is right and have been loudly denouncing Ben Bernanke as a socialist bound to create ruinous inflation.
Yglesias, a left-winger, seems not sure 100% of what's behind the Koch/Cato move:
Part of the story here is partisan opportunism, and part is genuine economic conversion. The point, however, is that the combination of steep recession with Barack Obama becoming president has led to the mainstreaming of demand denialism in mainstream center-right circles. This is a big shift from where things were two years ago, when people debating the merits of different demand-bolstering instruments (fiscal vs monetary, tax-side vs spending side) but agreed on the overall theory
How much of a visible shift will the public see?

Lew Rockwell reports that Koch/Cato is reprinting Ron Paul’s very Misesian book,  The Case for Gold, from US Gold Commission days.


  1. God bless you, Wenzel, for reading and filtering Matt Yglesias so I don't have to. You deserve hazard pay for this task alone.

  2. It's hard for me to take Yglesias seriously because he's a propagandist of the worst kind. This post is a great example. He's commenting on Ron Paul's subcommittee meeting and while doing that, trying to paint anybody that disagrees with what I call "Keynesian myths" as a pro-slavery nutcase.

    The current debate on the nature of demand in economics is a good thing considering how the concept has been abused for years by a great many people. I don't think it's some nefarious strange thing that people are talking about it. However, I can't really consider any of this as a shift to Mises since that Cato post Yglesias mentions never mentions Mises or his theories.

    What I would consider strange is the reprinting of Ron Paul's Gold Commision report. The sometime enmity and general dismissal/lack of Cato/Koch support for Paul goes back decades. That report is almost 30 years old, why reprint it now? Considering the history, I think it makes sense to ask, what motivates this?