The topic of discussion for this Freedom Friday is the connection between the economy and freedom. The economy must be free from governmental control in order to prosper. When the government controls the economy – as it does more and more today - freedoms are destroyed.
Friedrich August Hayek wrote and published a book in 1944, which has recently been re-discovered. His book, The Road to Serfdom, became a No. 1 best seller.
Mr. Hayek was a Nobel Prize-winning economist and a philosopher. He was a well-known scholar and one of the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century. He earned three doctorates – in law, the social sciences, and economics – and authored many books. As President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher restored free market economics in the United States and Britain, they called Hayek the “founding father of freedom-inspired economic policies.”
In a special abridged edition of The Road to Serfdom, Edwin J. Feulner, past president of The Heritage Foundation, claims that Hayek was not only an economist, philosopher, and scholar but a prophet also. “Hayek taught that socialism leads to slavery and that those who try to control an economy are guilty not only of a fatal conceit but also of factual errors – which inevitably doom planned economies.”
Included in this abridged edition is a list of “Ten (Mostly) Hayekian Insights for Trying Economic Times.” It was adapted from a Heritage First Principles Essay of the same title by Bruce Caldwell.
(1) “Recessions are bound to happen.”
(2) “Central planning and excessive regulation sure don’t work.”
(3) “Some regulation is necessary.”
(4) “A stimulus will only stimulate the deficit.”
(5) “The economy is too complex for precise forecasting.”
(6) “Remember the rule of unintended consequences.”
(7) “You won’t believe how much you’ll learn in Econ 101.”
(8) “Leave social justice out of it.”
(9) “Nothing beats the free market.”
(10) “As a rule of thumb, government cures are not only worse than the disease, but lead to further disease.”
The Road to Serfdom is often referred to and cited. It has much information for those of us who do not fully understand the connection between the economy and loss of freedom. I encourage you to read the book and learn more about this topic.
In the meantime, read this comic strip – converted into video. It was originally published in 1945 with the title “The Road to Serfdom in Cartoons” and contains the fundamentals of Hayek’s argument.