Reason Revisits 1974: Murray Rothbard on the moment Greenspan became a crony

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Rothbard is someone who deserves more attention. Outside of “free market” circles he is little known, though his stature seems to grow with each year.

His was an unbridled intellect. He was uncompromising in his advocacy of free prices, free markets, and freedom generally.

He was also rabidly against crony capitalism. One of the reasons I like the guy.

He’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Because he is uncompromising in his analysis, his thinking is really revolutionary in comparison to established political and economic norms. Though such norms appear to be changing rapidly.

In this short essay Rothbard examines the Trojan horse which was and is Alan Greenspan. Nixon brought Greenspan in to save his hide during Watergate because many conservatives believed Greenspan would prove a reliable free marketeer. Rothbard from the beginning had is doubts about the one day Fed Chairman.

As we have seen Rothbard’s doubts were absolutely warranted.


And that of course was the major reason for the Greenspan appointment. It is an open secret that Nixon was relying for his political life (and perhaps, even, for staying out of jail) on conservative support in Congress. And since conservatives have historically been more impressed by rhetoric and personnel than by actual policies, what better way to insure conservative votes than by throwing them such sops as a Greenspan appointment? In the immortal words of P. T. Barnum, “there’s a sucker born every minute,” and conservatives have long shown themselves to be suckers for that sort of political ploy.

Click here for the article.