So says a Washington Post liberal. Oh, how I wish it were true.
But it’s nice to get credit even when credit isn’t due. (It’s like the federal government.)
To a remarkable degree, our politics are haunted by the principles of Austrian economics and their sweeping hostility to any actions by government to keep downturns from becoming catastrophes or to promote greater economic fairness.
This is, indeed, an enormous change. When Nixon declared his allegiance to Keynesianism, he was reflecting an insight embraced across partisan lines. Government’s exertions, both during the New Deal and more completely during World War II, helped rescue the U.S. economy from depression. . . .
Yet today’s conservatives are in thrall to Austrian thinking, and this explains a lot of what is going on in Washington. Broadly popular measures such as raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment insurance — normal, bipartisan legislation during the Keynesian heyday — are blocked on the assumption that people are better off if the government simply keeps its mitts off the market.
It is now difficult for Congress to pass even the kind of spending that all sides once saw as necessary public investment in transportation, research and education. It’s that “road to serfdom” again: Anything government does beyond enforcing contracts and stopping violence is denounced as the first step of a fox trot toward dictatorship.
So let’s give Ron Paul credit for unmasking the true source of gridlock in Washington: Too many conservatives are operating on the basis of theories that history and practice have discredited. And liberals have been more reluctant than they should be to call the ideological right on this, partly because they never fully got over the shell shock of the Reagan years and also because they have a strange aversion to arguing about theory. When it comes to government policy, the Austrian economists paved the road to paralysis.
Click the link to read the rest of the article: to see one more Keynesian non-economist praise gigantic federal deficits forever and ever, Amen.