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Randians go from Mises to supply-side economics

February 3, 2005

As was noted by Roderick Long, Ayn Rand used to hold Mises to be the best economist and promote his work , as was reflected in her ideal curriculum of "Aristotle in philosophy, von Mises in economics, Montessori in education, Hugo in literature".

Today though, the orthodox randian movement represented by ARI has abandoned Mises, even though they otherwise hold every word of Rand to be the final truth. Rather typical that they would choose to deviate in one area where Rand was right.

Just look at the ARI-affiliated web magazine Capitalism magazine. It is true that they do actually have a link to a self-made web site called ludwigvonmises.com which presumably will advocate Mises's views on economics (They apparently do not want to link people to this web site)-although there is as of yet almost no information on the site. But if you look at their articles on economics (See also their other sub-categories under "Markets")you will not find any particularly Misesian articles. Apart from a few essays by Mises, you will find at best some broadly pro-free market articles by for example Walter Williams consistent with Mises' teachings. But often you find the pro-inflationist supply-side economics advocated there. For example. This is particularly true if you look at older articles from 1999 or 2000. There you'll find many articles strongly attacking Ayn Rand's former associate Alan Greenspan-but not because he has abandoned his former hard money stance. No quite to the contrary, in true supply-sider fashion he was attacked for not being inflationist enough. Of course, in true supply-sider fashion they profess to be anti-inflation only to go on to attack the Fed for not lowering interest rates and increasing the money supply.

Randian Andrew West even explicitly rejects the Austrian school in a double article from January 2000. In the first part he briefly describes ABCT only to reject it without explanation. In the second part he does offer a argument (sort of) , namely that "In my view, the Austrian school, at least in its current mainstream manifestation, is perpetually negative, forecasting since the '80s near-term ruin that has never materialized". This was written at the height of the tech stock bubble. Instead he endorses the supply-siders and praises their view that the stock market of early 2000 ( i.e. NASDAQ 5000 ) was not overvalued. And accordingly, they mainly feature supply-siders like West himself, Richard Salsman, Donald Luskin and James Glassman.

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