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Hayek & Koch: Free market is the greatest (for other people)

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posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 08:20 AM
This is .... wow.
Every libertarian propably knows Friedrich Hayek.
Looks like in the mid 70ies Charles Koch of Koch-brothers fame wanted him to come to the US. Yet Hayek was reluctant to leave Austrias health insurance system behind!

Hayek initially declined Koch’s offer. In a letter to IHS secretary Kenneth Templeton Jr., dated June 16, 1973, Hayek explains that he underwent gall bladder surgery in Austria earlier that year, which only heightened his fear of “the problems (and costs) of falling ill away from home"

But Koch knew the solution: Social security!

On August 10, 1973, Koch wrote a letter appealing to Hayek to accept a shorter stay at the IHS, hard-selling Hayek on Social Security’s retirement benefits, which Koch encouraged Hayek to draw on even outside America. He also assured Hayek that Medicare, which had been created in 1965 by the Social Security amendments as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, would cover his medical needs.


This in itself is mindboggling enough to me, but there is also this little footnote: Hayek didn't want to leave Austria in 1973!

That was 3 years into Bruno Kreiskys chancelorship. Kreisky wasn't only chancelor, his party also held a 2/3rds majority in parliament, meaning that they could singlehandedly add constitutional laws. He would hold both untill 1983

He was a socialist. A real socialist. Imprisoned during austrofaschism, fled during Nazi times. One of his most famous quotes, roughly translated is that "A few billion more in debt cost me less sleep than a few 100.000 unemployed"
And he meant it: He used government owned industries to keep unemployment low. Invested heavily borrowed money into infrastructure.

The austrian economy in the 70ies was pretty much everything that Hayek stood against. Yet he didn't want to leave for free market paradise...
edit on 30-9-2011 by narwahl because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-9-2011 by narwahl because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 08:56 AM
reply to post by narwahl

Interesting to be sure, but without seeing the entire letters and the context in which they were written, I have a difficult time believing anything written by Ames and Levin. They seem to have some kind of unhealthy addiction to all things Koch and should have learned to write about only what they could support after Playboy had to retract their article “Backstabber: Is Rick Santelli High on Koch”.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 11:31 AM
Ah, I see libertarians drive on roads so they are all hypocrites & stuff, lets just disregard the fact that Hayek paid into SS for many years and that Hayek himself never said he was against SS or Medicaid or anything like that.

As for Charles Koch, he isn't even a libertarian......

The austrian economy in the 70ies was pretty much everything that Hayek stood against. Yet he didn't want to leave for free market paradise...

Every economy in the 70ies was pretty much everything that Hayek stood against.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 01:13 PM
I few points of note that need to be made about that article.

I feel it is unjust to condemn Koch for his enticement of social security covering the cost of Hayek's medical needs.

Hayek paid money into the system, and as such, was clearly entitled to get his money back. Koch was absolutely justified in telling Hayek about benefits he was entitled to, even if Koch disagreed with the program itself. Libertarians have always held that the people who paid into social security are absolutely entitled to getting their money back.

Consider that Hayek may not have been in such a tight financial situation had he elected not to pay into social security during his tenure. Thus, he may have been able to afford private insurance on his own had he not paid into social security earlier in his career.

Also consider the distortions on the insurance market that the creation of medicare caused. The introduction of socialized medical insurance drives up healthcare costs above what a free market would price them at. Private insurance has to compensate for the cost inflation by increasing premiums. In other words, in the absence of medicare and social security, private health insurance premiums would be lower. Thus Hayek may have been able to afford private health insurance on his own had those programs not distorted the market. We can see quite clearly by Hayek and Koch's writings that this is precisely why they argued against socialized health care.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 01:34 PM
a real socialist hilarious there is no such thing when its all said

and done no matter what economic or political philosophy one subscribes to

in the end the only one who matters is yourself its called self preservation.

and please stop using the term "Free market" we dont have it in fact never think we did a free market exists without the intervention of goverment.

so please.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 01:48 PM
reply to post by Rockdisjoint

I must confess that I didn't know that Hayek spent the last 40 years of his life in Germany and Austria. And actually the reasons why he didn't accept the invitation don't really matter.
He could have spent the time in the US, yet he spent 13 years in Kreiskys Austria (And would have spent more if Kreisky hadn't resigned after loosing the 2/3 majority). (Kreiskys nickname was "Sonnenkaiser" after Louis the XV)

In Salzburg he even was a so called "Honorar Professor", which in an austrian uinversity means: No money. (No, not even a little. none at all)

Before I read this today I was convinced he was in the US, which would have been a lot closer to his ideals. But no: Austria.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 01:52 PM
reply to post by neo96

"Real" socialist as opposed to what you would call a socialist.
He was a member of the austrian socialist party.
Party members actually called each other comrade up into the 90ies.

posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 03:33 PM
Don't discount that Austria was his home. I'm pretty disappointed with America right now, but leaving, even if I had the money and the means, is out of the question.



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