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miércoles, agosto 10, 2011

Economics & Prosperity

In this note I want to share a quotation taken from the introductory remarks of the book Human Action by Ludwig von Mises, Scholar Edition, pages 8 and 9. In this quotation he stresses the importance that economic thought has had as a key determinant of prosperity [technological progress and the resulting increase of wealth and welfare] in our capitalist era. He highlights how libertarian economic ideas has released forces that made possible a sustained period of prosperity, but he also warns of the risk of to halt this progress if pre-capitalistic ideas return as a predominant into the political arena.

"These grumblers do not realize that the tremendous progress of technological methods of production and the resulting increase in wealth and welfare were feasible only through the pursuit of those liberal policies which were the practical application of the teachings of economics. It was the ideas of the classical economists that removed the checks imposed by age-old laws, customs, and prejudices upon technological improvement and freed the genius of reformers and innovators from the straitjackets of the guilds, government tutelage, and social pressure of various kinds. It was they that reduced the prestige of conquerors and expropriators and demonstrated the social benefits derived from business activity. None of the great modern inventions would have been put to use if the mentality of the pre-capitalistic era had not been thoroughly demolished by the economists."

"What is commonly called the "industrial revolution" was an offspring of the ideological revolution brought about by the doctrines of the economists. The economists exploded the old tenets: that it is unfair and unjust to outdo a competitor by producing better and cheaper goods; that it is iniquitous to deviate from the traditional methods of production; that machines are an evil because they bring about unemployment; that it is one of the tasks of civil government to prevent efficient businessmen from getting rich and to protect the less efficient against the competition of the more efficient; that to restrict the freedom of entrepreneurs by government compulsion or by coercion on the part of other social powers is an appropriate means to promote a nation's well-being. British political economy and French Physiocracy were the pacemakers of modern capitalism. It is they that made possible the progress of the natural sciences that has heaped benefits upon the masses."
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sábado, agosto 06, 2011

U.S. Government: Downgraded....

On Friday August 5, 2011, S&P just downgraded, for first time in 70 years, the long-term debt of the U.S. Treasury from AAA to AA+, with negative outlook. Here, I leave my comment I have made on a desperate cry made by a commentator at cafehayek blog.

I think it is right to degrade the creditworthiness of a government that has used easy money to rescue bankrupt companies (Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, General Motors, and others) and create and fund unsustainable interventionist programs (Medicare, Medicaid, permanent wars, trade restrictions, and others). All this puts the U.S. government in a way of bankruptcy. The same thing is happening to European countries with their states' welfare economics. Eventually the general collapse becomes inevitable. Now is the time of such great global Keynesian collapse. The inevitable is about to happen...
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