Outrageous Smear of Jefferson

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An emailer reminded me of what an outrageous smear of Jefferson it was of John Steele Gordon to write in the Wall Street Journal last week that Thomas Jefferson was some sort of economic ignoramus who “hated commerce” and did not understand central banking. This was compared to Gordon’s hero, Hamilton, who supposedly had a sophisticated understanding of economics. I showed why this assertion of Gordon’s is exactly the oppostite of the truth in my critique of his invocation of false history in defense of the current bank bailout.

The emailer reminded me that Jefferson who, as I mentioned, was very well educated in the work of Adam Smith and the great French laissez-faire economists, such as John Baptiste Say, had a bust of the great French laissez-faire economist and finance minister Turgot in the entrance way to Monticello. It’s still there today. It sits there with another bust of Voltaire. Jefferson thought so much of Turgot, who Murray Rothbard considered to be one of the early founders of the Austrian School of Economics, that he considered him, along with Voltaire, to be one of the great defenders of civilization. Hamilton, on the other hand, ignored almost all of this great scholarship while espousing mercantilist myths and superstititons.

7:59 pm on October 14, 2008