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Money and Freedom

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06/01/1985Hans F. Sennholz

Hans Sennholz was a great champion of the Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and also the Misesian view of money. He was a proponent of the gold standard, and this is his aggressive defense of Austrian theory against monetarism and supply-sideism. In fact, this is the most systematic Austrian criticism of the supply siders available. He uncloaks their free-market rhetoric to expose an inflationist core that is really Keynesian in its heritage.

The core of his argument concerns the centrality of the money question to the future of freedom, and here he is at his most eloquent.

Most striking for Austrians is a subtle change in Sennholz's thinking on sound money itself. Instead of a centralized solution that would convert the very definition of the dollar—a solution he favors but regards as politically impossible—he proposes something very different and challenging: complete decontrol of laws concerning money production and use. With the repeal of coinage restrictions, legal tender laws, and decontrol of monetary contracts, he imagines new currencies circulating alongside the dollar.

The monograph is short and powerful—and his solution is worth taking a very careful look at. It might have more plausibility now than ever before.

 

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