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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Russell Roberts on The Agenda discussing the New Deal and the Great Depression

Russell Roberts, professor of economics at George Mason University and blogger at Cafe Hayek, appeared on Steve Paikin's The Agenda recently to talk about the Great Depression and whether or not the New Deal worked. Roberts, an Austrian economist and genuine free marketeer, is critical of the recent bailouts.

Watch the video:

With respect to the current economic mess we're embroiled in, Roberts thinks it's vital that free marketeers do what they can to ensure that the popular narrative and explanation for the mess does not include fictional accounts of George W. Bush's free market & deregulation policies. Apart from this sort of narrative doing damage to supporters of free and open markets, it is also false. Bush was hardly a free market president. That's obvious to those of us who were paying attention, and to libertarians and fiscal conservatives who have felt betrayed by the big government Bush years. But it's not obvious to those who barely tune in to policy issues and prefer, instead, to focus their attention on the soap operatic elements of politics.

Here's Roberts on Bush and free market policies:

As we prepare to partially nationalize the American automobile industry, it is a good time to remember that George Bush is not a free market ideologue and that he did not pursue free market policies. Please remember that in his last year in office he initiated and condoned measures that helped destroy the natural feedback loops that allow markets to recover from the inevitable mistakes that human beings make. And tell your children. I know. It seems obvious. But twenty and thirty years from now, there will be people writing about how George Bush's free market ideology caused the mess we're in.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on December 14, 2008 in Economic freedom | Permalink


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Roberts is spot on in his assessment of Bush's policies. Assuming that republican is supposed to equal conservative, Bush is no conservative. Having said that what things would have been like under the only other alternative should make Roberts shake in his boots. Actually the Americans will soon enough find out with Obama.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-12-14 4:47:40 PM

Notwithstanding the actual content, this is the kind of public affairs show that I wish I had access to and which I wish my social studies teacher friends watched. We might then have some objectivity in what is presented in the classroom.

Posted by: DML | 2008-12-14 8:54:59 PM

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