Sunday, 29 March 2009

PIGs' solutions unpopular - except perhaps in Australia?

Last night, after seeing for the first time the cover of Robert P. Murphy's new PIG (hastily written because of the economic climate) my mother told me that she was watching a documentary about the Great Depression from an expert on the topic.

The evidence the PIGs give that government spending cannot get a country out of a depression is so convincing I was very curious to find out whether the person, described today by my mother as an expert on the Great Depression, really known about the Austrian School and the major Austrian economists like Mises, Hayek, Rothbard and their modern successors.

I had no evidence on this topic from my mother, but what I did find is that the person interviewed on the ABC last night did firmly say one thing. this was that, at least in Britain and the US, depressions have tended on the one hand to encourage people to help support each other via charity, but on the other hand - and more importantly according to my mother - they have tended to increase support for the big government that Austrian economists and the Politically Incorrect Guides describe as destructive. The man illustrated this to my mother very well with the support for FDR and the present riots planned for Britain soon.

However, as it seems with many other things, Australia appears very different. In the 1930s, Australia's government stuck far more strongly to the old classical formula of cutting spending to relieve a depression - with considerable success according to Wikipedia. The way in which even a Labor government is doing nothing like Obama plans lends further support to my suspicion that Australia really is the only society to retain the traditional free-market liberalism of pre-World War I Europe as described by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

One can easily imagine, then, that this coming Depression, if real, will turn Australia into the global superpower, though that is something its vast mineral and usable land resources have made likely ever since the Industrial Revolution. Failing to emphasise the ecological cost - as I have done on this blog - is, however, a major mistake and one people both here and abroad should never make..

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