Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Truth About Obama, Trump and Ludwig von Mises

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

I recently was interviewed on Bloomberg TV in Bulgaria on “Obama’s Legacy, Trump and Ludwig von Mises.” (The interview is in English; for the Bulgarian airing of the interview, subtitles were added.)

I explained that the eight years of Barack Obama represented a significant continuation of America’s move in an interventionist and statist direction that had delayed and slowed down what might have been a far faster and better balanced recovery from the 2008-2009 financial crisis, imposed a harmful more nationalized healthcare system on the United States – ObamaCare – and generally further moved American society away from its more traditional individualist moorings.

I also suggested that whatever dramatic policy changes Donald Trump might introduce, his is a political and economic ideology of nationalism with government controls and regulations meant to redirect private enterprise into those avenues that he considers to be in the “national interest,” which has little or nothing to do with a philosophy and policy of individual freedom.

And, finally, the interviewers asked what I thought might the relevance of the ideas of Ludwig von Mises for the world in our time, especially in Europe right now. I explained that during the war years (1940-1945), after Mises came to the United States, he had written a series of monographs and articles specifying what he considered to be the set of policies essential for a restoration of freedom and prosperity to a war-torn Europe.

While Europe, today, is not recovering from a devastating war, Mises policy prescriptions are still applicable at the present time:

The need to move society away from an underlying philosophy of collectivism and economic planning and interventionism. The essentiality of restoring an institutional order recognizing private property rights; a free and open competitive market system; a low and stable fiscal policy that leaves income and wealth in the hands of those who have produced and earned it; a monetary arrangement that prevents government and political manipulation of money and credit, with its inflationary and disruptive consequences; and most importantly a positive philosophy respective of the individual’s liberty that allows the entrepreneurial innovation and creation out of which consumer-oriented prosperity comes.

The interview runs for about 22 minutes.


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