Thursday, January 20, 2011
Best Post of the Year?
I had the good fortune to hear Prof. Pongracic speak last fall, and it was one of the best lectures I've ever heard. Pongracic had been a state auditor in Tito's Yugoslavia, and told how in the course of his work he came to realize that the alleged prosperity of the state, of state firms, and ultimately of everyone around him was illusory. It was based entirely on debt...debt that could never be repaid. As he put it, "we suffered from three things: phony accounting, bad economic theories and dishonest leadership." Believing Yugoslavia would ultimately collapse, he took advantage of an opportunity to study in the United States and moved his family -- permanently -- to the U.S. It was a gripping lecture, but the punchline was the real kicker: "now, about 25 years later in the U.S., I see the same things being repeated here -- phony accounting, bad economic theories, and dishonest leadership."
In the Hillsdale-Econ.com guest post Pongracic details America's version of the phony accounting, bad economic theories, and dishonest leadership. Keep in mind that this post was first published in April 2007, before most people were even aware there was a financial crisis.
I suppose we could call Pongracic "prophetic," but I think a better way to put it is that he's an unusually perceptive observer of politics, and a darned good economist.
Read the post!