Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hitler's Economics

According to the Anti-Defamation League, "Regardless of the economic arguments, Hitler's economic policies cannot be divorced from his great policies of virulent anti-Semitism, racism and genocide."

Lew Rockwell explains what those economic policies were: "He suspended the gold standard, embarked on huge public works programs like Autobahns, protected industry from foreign competition, expanded credit, instituted jobs programs, bullied the private sector on prices and production decisions, vastly expanded the military, enforced capital controls, instituted family planning, penalized smoking, brought about national health care and unemployment insurance, imposed education standards, and eventually ran huge deficits. The Nazi interventionist program was essential to the regime's rejection of the market economy and its embrace of socialism in one country."

Nixon dealt the final blow to the gold standard. The rest of the list sounds like a list of what the last and present administrations did, are doing, and are planning to do.


LemmusLemmus said...

Your point being?

Troy Camplin said...

Perhaps the ADL overstate the point a bit, but history shows that there is a clear connection between the economic system a government has and the way it treats members of its citizenry. The fact that our government is and has been moving our economy toward being the same kind of economic system as Hitler and Mussolini supported does not mean we are moving toward anti-Semitism -- but it does suggest that individuals and groups who do not "fit in" with the system should be aware of the situation.

I will say that in Venezuela, where the economy is moving closer and closer toward outright socialism, anti-Semitism is definitely on the rise.

LemmusLemmus said...

I don't have a dataset on societies here, but it seems to me that if we look only within societies that have some sort of a market system, the correlation is the other way around. The scandinavian countries are the standard examples for both big governments and tolerance. Within the US, government used to be smaller before 1970 or so. Were that better times for people who didn't "fit in", such as African Americans and gays?

Troy Camplin said...

There are various kinds of market economies. The U.S. South, for example, was not a market economy insofar as it had laws that prevented economic interactions based on race. The federal government made such anti-market laws in the U.S. illegal. There happened to be a coincidental rise in government power and anti-racist thinking in the U.S., but the two are not causally related.

Scandinavia is extremely homogeneous.