Paul Mason, BBC Newsnight’s economics editor (and the guy who fronted that Keynes v Hayek radio show we’ve blogged about here), picks Detlev Schlichter’s Paper Money Collapse as one of his five economics books to give people for Christmas.
Mason begins his Guardian piece thus:
Two questions predominate in this year’s slew of books on economics. The first is the most obvious: how do we get out of this mess? It’s a question that has set authors along many roads but they all lead to the same destination: a bigger role for the state and the need for renewed international co-operation.
Which, alas, explains why Detlev Schlichter is so pessimistic about good sense prevailing in financial policy before ruin engulfs us all. The world’s rulers have pushed the world slowly but surely into a huge hole, and all that Mason’s authors (aside from Schlichter) can recommend is digging the hole ever deeper.
A “bigger role for the state” is not the solution to the world’s problems just now. That is the problem, and it has been for many decades.
At least Schlichter’s kind of thinking is getting around, and, as this piece by Mason proves, in some somewhat surprising places. Mason may not fully understand Austrian economics to the point of actually agreeing with it, but he does seem (as I said towards the end of this earlier posting) to respect it. He knows it is saying something important.
Schlichter has been unwavering in his pessimism about the world getting “out of this mess” and he is being proved more right with every week that passes. When total ruin does arrive, we can only hope that he and people with similar opinions to his will then be listened to rather more.