A policy of keeping warm by setting your furniture on fire also has a certain effectiveness for a little while.
Yep, it is the Communists’ way! — jtl, 419
Received from Tom Woods via THE WESTERNER
You foolish libertarians: Venezuela is doing great, contrary to your doom-and-gloom predictions!
So said economist (yes, economist!) Mark Weisbrot in 2013.
Here’s Weisbrot, who couldn’t have been happier to rub this alleged socialist success story in our faces:
For more than a decade people opposed to the government of Venezuela have argued that its economy would implode. Like communists in the 1930s rooting for the final crisis of capitalism, they saw economic collapse just around the corner. How frustrating it has been for them to witness only two recessions: one directly caused by the opposition’s oil strike (December 2002-May 2003) and one brought on by the world recession (2009 and the first half of 2010). However, the government got control of the national oil company in 2003, and the whole decade’s economic performance turned out quite well, with average annual growth of real income per person of 2.7% and poverty reduced by over half, and large gains for the majority in employment, access to health care, pensions and education.
We then read that a brief burst of inflation was caused by an odd set of circumstances, and that Venezuela has no serious problems that it lacks the policy tools to handle.
Meanwhile, the poverty rate dropped by 20% in Venezuela last year – almost certainly the largest decline in poverty in the Americas for 2012, and one of the largest – if not the largest – in the world.
A national survey in 2017 found that nearly two-thirds of Venezuelans had lost about 25 pounds each over the course of the previous year.
Not to mention the monetary inflation, the shortages, the chaos, and the suffering.
Weisbrot has tried to salvage all this by claiming that, after all, leftist policy “did pretty well until 2014.” (A policy of keeping warm by setting your furniture on fire also has a certain effectiveness for a little while.)
It’s really the fault of exchange rate system, oil prices — whatever, anything except left-wing economics.
When Bernie Sanders was asked during the 2016 campaign about Venezuela and whether its fate gave him pause about his own proposals, he replied: “No comment.”
He was smarter than Mark Weisbrot.
Murray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”
This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.
The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.
As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.
However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.
The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.
The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.