This is slick. A reporter who has clearly been briefed by the Rothbard-hating Kochanaks is out with a column on Ron Paul and Austrian economics. The reporter is Matthew Yglesias and the writing in its presentation of Austrian economics is just slick enough that it should be reviewed in its entirety. Let us begin:
As he declared quasi-victory in Iowa following a third-place finish, Ron Paul puzzled cable news watchers across the country by proudly proclaiming, "We are all Austrians now." The average Republican presidential candidate would sooner officiate a gay marriage than praise Europe, yet here was Paul pledging allegiance to Vienna. What did he mean? Why would we all be Austrians?Cute mention of the third place finish, when it was merely 3 percentage points between first place and third place.
Buckle your seat belts, Yglesias is clearly a spinmeister.
Paul's statement was crystal clear to those familiar with the internecine controversies of the libertarian movement. He was referring to so-called "Austrian economics," an idiosyncratic passion of his and a set of beliefs that put him at odds with the vast majority of well-known economists of all ideological inclinations.Ah yes, the spinmeister at work. Notice the use of the word "belief", implying an almost religious non-scientific view, when in fact Austrian economics is a theoretical construction based on deductive theory. So "theory" rather than "set of beliefs" would be more accurate.
For starters, it's important to note that the term has something of a double meaning. The Austrian school originally referred to a set of classical liberal thinkers with diverse interests who came out of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many of these thinkers are obscure today, but the most distinguished member of the group, Friedrich Hayek, is anything but. By the same token, an appreciation for Hayek's work by no means makes you an "Austrian." Hayek, who died in 1992, won the Nobel Prize, and mainstream economists thoroughly embraced his important work explicating the role of the price system in conveying information. His ideas undergird everything from carbon taxes to wireless spectrum auctions and thoroughly permeate policy throughout the Western. world