The Corner

The one and only.

The Danger of a Fifty-Year Mistake


Today on Uncommon Knowledge, Peter Thiel, who loves free markets both in principle and in practice, the latter having placed him among the Forbes richest 400 Americans.  Have the events of recent months shaken his faith in capitalism?

Not particularly.  The part that I am pessimistic about is that people will draw the wrong lessons from this.

If you look at the early 1930s, you see the trade tariffs and the varous bad decisions the Federal Reserve was making.  You could make an argument that the government made a garden variety recession into the Depression.  But people didn’t start reexaming the government’s role until Friedman wrote his book [Capitalism and Freedom].  And they didn’t start reversing the bad decisions until Reagan came along in the Eighties.

The big worry now is that people will misinterpret what has happened and it will take another five decades to get this straightened out.

For Peter Thiel’s full analysis, click here.


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review