Lew Rockwell, Jr.

I can't remember the details, but a friend once said something along the lines that if you want to convince someone of the truth of your position it's best not to tell them they are an idiot before you explain your idea.

This is a PR problem for Austrian Economics. Lew Rockwell, founder of The Mises Institute, illustrates the problem well with this recent article:

Beating Back Obamanomics - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute:

"It's raining, pouring, economic fallacies by the hour, followed by a flood of horrible policy that is driving us ever further into economic depression. The regime in charge has really gone nuts, revealing itself as both deeply ignorant and horribly evil.

We find ourselves facing the horror of what has always been the Achilles heel of the left wing: its abysmal ignorance of economic science. The ideological tendency has gone from Keynesianism to outright socialism in a matter of a few weeks."

To be fair, many of the articles published by The Mises Institute sound rational. But if you listen to Lew's podcasts you'll see he can't help but call our government leaders words like "fascist" "criminals" and their behavior "looting."

I mean, I agree with him, but if he wants to get his point across, he's going to have to figure out a better way.

If you study Austrian Economics, as I have recently started to do, pretty soon you'll be calling Fed Chairman Bernanke an idiot, a nutjob, a lunatic, the worst Fed Chairman in history, and so on.

But while doing so (and this applies to me too) you yourself start to sound like a nutjob.

I think this is our basic problem: economics - specifically macro-economics - is so poorly understood by so many people, and the results of actions are so far into the future, that just about anyone sounds like a nutjob.

I'm encouraged by the many blog posts I read or people I meet who say, "Why does going further into debt help us get out of debt?" That's a good question, and it doesn't call anyone an idiot right at the start.

The simple fact is that no one person - or even a committee - should be controlling the money supply. Even if the people controlling the money supply were super-geniuses the fact is that the information they get is poorly collected and subject to political manipulation. The continuous redefinition of the money supply is a prime (heh) example.

The other problem with Austrian Economics - and get this - I agree with just about everything they say - is that whenever freedom has been tried it has devolved into central government and central planning. Can you point to an existing society of truly free individuals? I'd like to see it.

I agree that education helps and I'm encouraged that more and more people are becoming aware of how the government prints money and how that affects them.

But there must be some other solution that will stave off centralism. Or perhaps some kind of inoculation a person could take that would keep centralism from controlling them.

I mean, if I was completely self-sufficient, I wouldn't give a rat's ass how much money the government printed.

It's an interesting problem.

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