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Hamilton’s Counterfeit Capitalism

December 17, 2008
Ludwig von Mises Institute

As we await Bush’s replacement to straighten our wayward lives, it’s crucial to understand how we got here and why policy makers are so determined to do the wrong thing. Austrian economics explains why their policies are flawed, but no one with a voice seems to care. When history confirms that hands-off is the only effective and humane approach to a bust, and to prosperity generally, while hands-on brings ruination, why do governments today consider every option but free markets?

You could blame it on the heavy influence of Keynesianism, but we could ask why Keynes is so popular. He got away with blaming the market for the Depression of the 1930s. How can his followers do the same today after 70 more years of intense interventionism? To read today’s mainstream commentaries, you would think the free market slipped in the back door when no one was looking.

We know governments have always meddled in their economies, but the United States was supposed to be appreciably different. Did we begin with unhampered markets, witness their failure, then switch to a more “progressive” approach? At what point in our history did we begin promoting interventionism as an ideal?

For the rest of the story …..

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