Obama Deserves the Nobel—or Two!

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Manuel, Lew, David—Yes, we should not be surprised at this. Hans Hoppe once noted that if you want to win the Nobel peace prize, it helps if you are a mass murderer; if you want to win the economics Nobel prize, it is always of advantage if you have contributed to ruining various countries’ economies or you have written completely irrelevant mathematical treatises that are of no concern to anyone whatsoever (he also notes that the economics prize is donated by the Swedish central bank and the committee members are life-long appointees and except for two years social democrats have run the show so that it is roughly predictable who can possibly win the prize; thus, James Buchanan has advocated a 100% inheritance tax and is hailed as a free marketeer, so he can win; Milton Friedman, a free marketeer who fought for paper money all his life, endorsed the negative income tax (guaranteed income), educational vouchers (like food stamps for education), can of course win. I.e., socialists can win and be presented to the public as free marketeers. See Hoppe’s Mises University 2001 lecture “Mises and the Foundation of Austrian Economics,” at about 1:10:20. See also Hoppe’s ruminations on the Nobel in economics here.)

I can’t say I relish confronting even more smug, preening Obamaites, though. One solution would be to just award Obama the Nobel prize in economics too—hat would help smash the credibility of both prizes.

UPDATE: See Roderick Long’s post from 2003:

A lot of people were outraged when Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994—a choice which people are still protesting.

I’m no fan of Arafat, but look at the list of folks he shares that dubious honour with. There are certainly some good people on that list (including, I believe, the only libertarian: French economist Frédéric Passy, recipient of the very first prize in 1901, and perhaps the only person ever to accuse Gustave de Molinari of not being sufficiently libertarian!), but it also includes such pestilent warmongers as:

Theodore Roosevelt — 1906
Woodrow Wilson — 1919
Henry Kissinger — 1973
Mikhail Gorbachev — 1990

As far as I’m concerned, the Nobel Peace Prize became meaningless as of 1906. Arafat is welcome to it.

8:15 am on October 9, 2009
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