Missing Henry Hazlitt Editorials Recovered for Mises Institute
By: John Russell

The UNR Students for Liberty are happy to have found the missing editorials that Henry Hazlitt wrote in Newsweek the Mises Institute was looking for.  After spending a good 20 minutes figuring out how to use a microfilm machine, all but one article was recovered: Why ‘Tight Money’ July 22, 1957.  I think the date might be wrong (or I may have gone to the wrong edition - this was my first time using microfilm).  I printed his article from that issue anyway.  So, click on the following links to download the articles!

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  • Aubreyherbert


  • http://twitter.com/russnelson Russ Nelson

    Arthur F. Burns, now chairman of
    the Council of Economic Advisers.
    is one of the country’s outstanding
    statisticians. Yet there is in his implied economic philosophy much to
    cause misgivings.

    He has, it is true, several times
    criticized “Keynesian thinking” (see
    The Frontiers of Economic
    Knowledge.” Princeton University Press). Yet in this
    very criticism he seems to
    me to accept the four
    principal assumptions, so
    far as practical policy is
    concemed, of Keynesian
    doctrine: (1) That “full
    employment” is the paramount economic goal; (2)
    that a private competitive
    economy, left to itself, tends to generate from mysterious inner forces a
    perpetual cycle of boom and bust;
    (3) that it is the “responsibility” of
    govemment—tacitly assumed to be
    wise, disinterested, and benevolent-
    to pursue “contracyclical” policies to
    eliminate or mitigate these otherwise
    inherent booms and slumps; and (4)
    that the basic contracyclical policy is
    deficit spending. Let us look at these
    assumptions more closely.

    I—In “The Frontiers of Economic
    Knowledge,” Dr. Burns declares:
    “The principal practical problem of
    our own generation is the maintenance of employment, and it has now
    become—as it long should have been-
    the principal problem of economic
    theory. This transformation of economic theory is due in large part
    to the writings of john Maynard
    Keynes.” This surely sums up present
    fashionable doctrine. But is it true?
    The principal practical economic
    problem of our own, as of preceding
    generations, is the creation of the
    maximum material welfare for the
    great body of the people. This can be
    mainly achieved through maximizing
    the production and consumption of
    the right things (including leisure).
    Maintaining employment is, of course,
    one of the necessary means to this
    end. But to erect _it into the “principal”
    end itself is a hopeless confusi And
    as I wrote in “Economics in One Lesson” eight years ago: “Nothing is
    easier to achieve than full mploy-
    ment, once it is. . .taken as in
    itself. Hitler provided full employment with a huge armament program.
    The war provided full employment
    for every nation involved.” The slave-
    labor camps in Russia today provide
    full employment.

    2-Now in a speech in Detroit an
    couple of weeks ago—on Oct. 18-
    Dr. Burns made what seems to me
    another disturbing statement. “Since our system of
    free and competitive enterprise is on trial,” he said,
    “the government cannot
    stand aloof from the private
    economy but must be ready
    to take vigorous steps to
    help maintain a stable prosperity.” In the last two centuries the system of free
    and competitive enterprise
    has shown itself to be the most productive ever known to man. In what
    sense is it still “on trial”—except in
    the sense in which every human institution and every human being may
    be said to be on trial? Is it more on
    trial than socialism? Or state planning?
    Or Dr. Burns’ “beloved acyclical
    policy”? The tacit assumptions in Dr.
    Burns’ statement are not only that
    a free and competitive private econ-
    omy cannot be trusted to be reason-
    ably stable, but that the government
    —i.e., the politicians in power—can be
    trusted to know and to do exactly
    what is needed to keep it stable.
    Both assumptions are debatable.

    3—“Contracyclical policies” is a
    fancy and flattering phrase, but I
    cannot recall any example, historical
    or contemporary, of their consistently
    intelligent, disinterested, and successful application. On the contrary, the
    record of nearly every govemrnent
    in the world, in our time, is one of
    recurrent or continuous monetary inflation. It is to this monetary inflation
    that the apparent “successes” of fullemployment policies are due.

    4—Dr. Burns seems at one with
    the Keynesians, in spite of his reservations, in regarding deficit financ-
    ing as one of the chief “weapons”
    of “contracyclical p0licy.” But this
    modern superstition, if persisted in,
    must lead toward economic and political catastrophe. Largely as a re-
    sult of its dominance, we have had
    budget deficits for 22 out of
    last 25 years; and the end of the
    deficit orgy is not in sight.

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