John McCain often has admitted he knows nothing about economics, and for the first time in history, it seems that a presidential candidate (other than Ron Paul, of course) actually has told the truth. I waited to see if the earth would shake under my feet but, alas, the ground has not shaken.
Actually, there is a reason the ground did not shake. It seems that McCain, in making public comments about the Usual Suspects of Greed and More Greed, has exposed his ignorance about financial markets, wanting us to believe that the Valiant Commander-in-Chief of Everyone can lead the markets into righteousness via command-and-control. (“Be honest. That’s an order from your commander-in-chief.”)
At the same time, the War Street Journal has given readers a glimpse that someone on the editorial staff actually understands at least some aspects of the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle, even if the theory itself is not identified as such:
Agree with it or not, Senator Obama is identifying a problem and a path toward solution. Mr. McCain needs his own narrative for how we arrived at this point. If he wants to run as the populist protector of the middle class, he has ample targets.
He could start with the perils of “easy money.” The Federal Reserve’s low interest-rate policies — virtually free money — created excesses in credit expansion that led to what all now call a credit bubble. That bubble has been bursting, from Main Street to Wall Street. (Emphasis mine)
Those familiar with Murray Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression might recall that Herbert Hoover blasted the markets for “greed” and the like, even while his policies were making the economy tank. So far, in my opinion, the Bush Administration has been acting like the Hoover Administration, while the Democrats are promising another rendition of the New Deal, with all of its cartelization and nationalization of business and finance.
All this tells me that seven decades of teaching Keynesian “Economics” (sic) in America’s universities finally is reaching that point of critical mass. People really have come to believe that the REAL problem is lack of “aggregate demand.” These times cry out for some decent explanations, but from what I can tell, only the Austrians have any kind of answer.6:02 am on September 17, 2008 Email Bill Anderson