1 de julio de 2010

Hayek está de regreso

Dado el fracaso de los gobiernos por estimular y hacer crecer artificialmente la economía, las ideas de Friedrich von Hayek, economista austriaco, en relación al poder del estado y el capitalismo de cuates (o crony capitalism) están siendo retomadas en círculos académicos y leídas por auditorios mucho más amplios.

Como dato, The Road to Serfdom (en español, El Camino a la Servidumbre) publicado en 1944 estuvo hace unas cuantas semanas en primer lugar en Amazon.

Russ Roberts, profesor en George Mason University, explica las razones que explican el interés por el trabajo de Hayek en esta columna en el Wall Street Journal.

Aquí los párrafos que más me interesaron:

... But now that the stimulus has barely dented the unemployment rate, and with government spending and deficits soaring, it's natural to turn to Hayek. He championed four important ideas worth thinking about in these troubled times...

... First, he and fellow Austrian School economists such as Ludwig Von Mises argued that the economy is more complicated than the simple Keynesian story...

... Second, Hayek highlighted the Fed's role in the business cycle. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's artificially low rates of 2002-2004 played a crucial role in inflating the housing bubble and distorting other investment decisions. Current monetary policy postpones the adjustments needed to heal the housing market.

... Third, as Hayek contended in "The Road to Serfdom," political freedom and economic freedom are inextricably intertwined. In a centrally planned economy, the state inevitably infringes on what we do, what we enjoy, and where we live.

... The fourth timely idea of Hayek's is that order can emerge not just from the top down but from the bottom up.

... Hayek understood that the opposite of top-down collectivism was not selfishness and egotism. A free modern society is all about cooperation. We join with others to produce the goods and services we enjoy, all without top-down direction. The same is true in every sphere of activity that makes life meaningful—when we sing and when we dance, when we play and when we pray. Leaving us free to join with others as we see fit—in our work and in our play—is the road to true and lasting prosperity. Hayek gave us that map.


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