Keynes vs. Hayek, Round 2

I like how at the end Keynes is pulled up to his feet and declared the victor (no matter how obvious a failure, the corrupt system keeps applying his theories). Then the Washington mandarins, Wall Street bigwigs and press all gather around him while the nerds come to congratulate Hayek. The press often implies that the Wall Street crowd loves Hayek and laissez-faire (“unrestrained markets” and all that), when in reality the moneyed political players support intervention since they are successful rent seekers and bailout recipients.

The key point that well-intentioned supporters of government (like most everyone in Europe) often miss is summed up in this phrase from Hayek:

“With political incentives, discretion’s a joke.
Those dials they’re twisting, just mirrors and smoke.”


For those who haven’t seen it, this is the first video:


And the real Hayek on Keynes:

Want to fight the bailout? Check in with Mish.

Not all libertarians are as cynical* as I am. Like giving money to Ron Paul’s campaign (which I did, because it was always about the message, not winning), fighting the bailout may be futile in the end, but at least you can look back and say that you made the effort.

Mish is on top of a massive campaign to do the right thing, with resources and guidance for contacting congresscritters, many of whom are reporting that this is the biggest public response that they have ever seen. If you are of a mind to make some noise, head over there.

Mish has drawn up an open letter to Congress with suggestions for removing some of the road blocks that government has placed in way of the market, which would allow our financial system to right itself with no handouts. Passing such a bill would be the most sensible thing Congress has ever done.

Also consider pointing your Congressional ‘representatives’ to Fund manager John Hussman’s plan, which involves more government involvement (so it stands a better chance with Congress than Mish’s, since it gives them something to do, not undo), but is far more sensible than the Paulson plan.


*My own belief is that educating yourself and others about fractional reserve banking and other scams, while protecting your own assets or even making money on the short side, is good for everyone. It leaves more capital in sane hands and preserves knowledge that can be redeployed at home or elsewhere, whether in the coming years or many decades from now. That’s not cynicism, but realistic hope. Civilization will flourish again, sometime, somewhere, hopefully on earth, hopefully among humans, and hopefully in my lifetime.