AGAINST THE TIDE by Wilhelm Roepke


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German economist Roepke was against tides of all colors: ""the brown totalitarian tide,"" ""the red totalitarian tide,"" and even the New Deal and the welfare state (""robbing Peter to pay Paul""). A liberal professor admired for speaking up boldly against Hitler (he became the first academician to leave Germany in protest against the Nazi regime), he is credited with the ideas behind the postwar economic revival of West Germany (and indirectly all of Western Europe). These essays (ranging from 1930 to 1961) reflect his central concern for humanist culture in mass society and his firm belief in a free-market economy as the most productive and potentially the most just arrangement of things. His economic orthodoxy stems from a deep commitment to Western values and principles. Roepke is no laissez-fairist; he recognizes that a socially responsible market economy requires the government to establish and maintain a stable monetary and fiscal system and secure competition by restraining monopolies. But he is anti-intervention, anti-inflation, and most emphatically anti--John Maynard Keynes. The discussions of the Marshall Plan and economic policy, balance-of-payments, the form and use of capital, luxury vs. austerity are not too technical for the average reader, and it's not every day you can find a persuasive intellectual who's gung ho for capitalism.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Regnery