Ignoramus in the Áras
October 31, 2011 7 Comments
Did Michael D. Higgins seriously claim that the heterodox Austrian School of Economics was responsible for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and the fact that credit was too cheap during Ireland’s boom period? This is not only a massive factual error, but to my mind a great sign of who people like Higgins are really afraid of.
At a recent debate at the LSE, one of the world’s most renowned Keynesians, Lord Skidelsky, was able to say with a lot of accuracy (unfortunately) that Austrians have virtually no influence on public policy. If Michael D. Higgins were anything but a pretensions and disgraceful ignoramus, he would know that the Austrian School has made rapid gains in recent years, especially among young people, precisely because the Austrian theory of the business cycle is a perfect explanation for the crash of 2008 and our ongoing recession. In fact, I have made acquaintances with several Marxists and socialists who will concede this point.
Michael D. Higgins should be forced to explain what exactly he believes the Austrian School of Economics is about, as he showed no signs that he knew this during his interview on RTE Radio. As Murray Rothbard, often regarded as the ‘Dean’ of the Austrian School said:
“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”
UPDATE: Just to remind everyone, the only advocate of Austrian Economics in the US Congress at the time, Ron Paul, actually voted against the repeal of Glass-Steagall.