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For a greater economic understanding, go Austrian

BY JEFF SHIPLEY - GUEST OPINION | DECEMBER 10, 2009 7:30 AM

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It pleases me to no end that the University of Iowa has continued to live up to its mission statement and is once again offering a course in Austrian economics (06E:169:SCA). I urge every student to enroll in this course, as it is a riveting yet very simple crash course in free-market economics.

It is imperative that people understand the ideas presented by this school of economics. You see, it has been the Austrian economists that have correctly predicted the many economic catastrophes we are now facing.

Peter Schiff was laughed at when he warned of the collapse of the real-estate market and the implosion of the mortgage bubble, although it is hardly a laughing matter when perilous economic events unfolded almost exactly as Mr. Schiff said they would. Upon further examination, Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises was nearly alone in the 1920s when he was warning that permanent prosperity had not arrived and that a serious economic downturn was inevitable. Of course he was vindicated by the Great Depression.

Mises was also able to correctly predict the Weimar hyperinflation of the 1920s 12 years prior, which also, unfortunately, occurred just as he said it would. These men are not extraordinary geniuses, they merely have a solid understanding of money and banking and how markets and governments operate. With an impeccable and stunningly accurate track record of foresight, the Austrian School demands your attention.

In fact, I do not even prefer to call it Austrian economics, which is a reference to the Austrian scholars who clashed with the German Historicism School of Economics over value theories in the late 19th century. I refer to it simply as ‘sound economics’ or “How to avoid massive bubbles, colossal bank failures and a chaotic currency crisis economics.” I think the latter name really gets the point across.

If you decide to enroll in sound economics, you will have the privilege of doing intellectual battle with the likes of Timothy Geithner, Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, and the rest of the central planners — particularly John Maynard Keynes — who believe they alone can plot the economic fate for billions of people worldwide. John Maynard Keynes was the prominent economist who is most responsible for crafting the world economic order after World War II. His novel ideas include massive debt and deficit spending to finance “recovery” and war efforts and world banking agencies, including a global fiat world currency which he would call the “Bancor.”

No amount of taxpayer-funded bailout or stimulus can prevent the inevitable economic downturn, yet we are spending trillions trying to anyway.

This may sound like a “conservative” class, but studying economics is strictly nonpartisan. Each president tends to be criticized equally. However, the Austrian economists hold nothing back when it comes to scathing condemnation of the Federal Reserve, the very secretive central bank which plans our entire economy.

As you see, these are very important debates and discussions that must be had, and I am delighted the university will satisfy my desire to candidly discuss such vital and thought-provoking matters.

Jeff Shipley is a UI senior and the UI Student Government liaison to the Iowa City City Council.


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