We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Keynesians were initially mystified by this dramatic breakdown in the supposedly stable and manageable relationship between growth (or employment) and inflation. Their models said it couldn’t happen, so they looked for an explanation to deflect mounting criticism and soon found one: The economy had been hit by a ‘shock’, namely sharply higher oil prices! Never mind that the sharp rise in oil prices followed the breakdown of Bretton-Woods and devaluation of the dollar: This brazen reversal of cause and effect was too politically convenient to ignore. Politicians could blame OPEC for the stagflation, rather than their own policies. But an objective look at history tells a far different story, that the great stagflation was in fact the culmination of years of Keynesian economic policies. To generalise and to paraphrase Friedman, stagflation is, always and everywhere, a Keynesian phenomenon.

- John Butler, on the Cobden Centre website.

7 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Laird

    That last sentence is brilliant.

  • veryretired

    And finding a scapegoat is anywhere and everywhere the standard operating procedure of the collective when its policies inevitably fail.

    The greatest failure of the opponents of collectivism has been their inability to pin responsibility where it belongs—on collectivist theory and policy.

    The greatest challenge facing the proponents of individual rights and liberties is to deny the collective its usual path of avoiding responsibility and scapegoating the “Goldstein” du jour.

    No matter the difficulty, in every context, and at every level, the collective mythology must be confronted with clear facts, cogently presented.

    Prepare yourself. Stand ready.

    This is a fight for the soul of a great civilization, and the very lives of your children and grand-children.

  • Brad

    Unfortunately, history shows that scapegoats and often times end up on the wrong side of razor wire. Obviously it’s not so easy to much confrontation when the results of getting noticed can be fairly great.

  • Tedd

    Veryretired is right that we need to be prepared to make the arguments. But most people want to believe that governments throwing around tax dollars (real or fabricated) is good for the economy. It’s an adult version of the fantasy my sister and I used to have when we were children, where we’d find a magic tree in our yard that grew dollar bills for leaves. Facts and reasoned arguments are not as persuasive as a powerful mythology.

  • Tedd,
    When I was a little nipper I’d sometimes see my Mum or Dad write a cheque in a shop. I wanted a chequebook because it wasn’t real money, right? Well, I grew-up and the Midland Bank (as was – now HSBC) sent me one. By that point I’d realised but then I’d opened the a/c for starting university to study physics and not drivel. I mean you have to have a fairly hard head around numbers for physics. socio-economic parasitism – less so. I mean you can’t just invent money can you? Oh, wait…

    As to “Magic Money Trees” Didn’t Douglas Adams have something to say on them?

  • I have a simple response to Keynesians: Keynes was wrong then, his precepts are wrong today, and they’ll be wrong again in the future, forever.

  • CaptDMO

    “Never mind that the sharp rise in oil prices followed the breakdown of Bretton-Woods…”
    Wait WHAT? White didn’t keep his fliberty-idjits on a close enough leash.
    I guess that’s what happens when you let the intern loose for a couple of days after sending them for your dry cleaning for so long.

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