David Frum on Austrian Economists

I like David Frum more and more. He’s a great example of a thinking conservative.

Why Conservatives Dumped Milton Friedman.

There are two big reasons today’s right loves the Austrians. One is that Austrian economists reject empirical analysis, and instead believe that you can reach conclusions about correct economic policies from a priori principles. It’s philosophy dressed up as economics; with the Austrians, there is never any risk that real-world events will interfere with your ideology.

In other words, if you adhere to Austrian experience-prone economic thinking, you’ll never be proven wrong and thus you’ll never have to defend your flawed theory, even when faced with the failure of free-market economics leading up to 2008 crisis.

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6 thoughts on “David Frum on Austrian Economists

  1. So that is basically an economic religion: an all-explaining concept, which discards the facts that don’t fit the concept as wrong or irrelevant. Makes complete sense – if the right apply religious principles to everything else, why should economics be exempt?

  2. This almost religious-like adherence could also explain why in the wake of the crisis we did not receive any hint of self-reflection from conservative economists, but in turn saw them intensify their calls to an even stricter enforcement of free market orthodoxy. “Markets weren’t free enough” – is the ubiquitous argument on the pages of WSJ editorials. When a religious person is confronted with evidence that his faith might be a sham, he usually intensifies his religious rituals, rather than admit that he was wrong.

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