Saturday, September 4, 2010

By hoarding cash, Americans are planting the seeds of recovery

Common sense is the crux of Austrian theory economics. Austrians look at how individuals act, not how "economies" or "nations" act or behave. Ludwig von Mises, the greatest Austrian thinker, and in my opinion the greatest economist, entitled his great work, Human Action not National Action. The Austrian School was referred to by the Germans as the Psychological School because its analysis started with individual action and how those actions would either attain or fail to attain the goals sought by individuals. In other words, it involves a lot of the "common sense" that guides human behavior most of the time. It's comforting to know there's a philosophy of economics that conforms to what human beings actually do rather than how some economist thinks we ought to behave.

Examples of economic Newspeak flourish, especially if you listen to President Obama’s economic team. My favorite example is the present conflict between consumer spending and consumer saving. Since the crash, consumers have cut back on spending and are increasing their savings. Most economists are saying this is bad for the economy; they urge us to spend, spend, spend to save the economy.

Actually, it's just the opposite: Saving is the road to recovery.

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