Harry Browne and Steve Heller

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Steve Heller's Y2K pages : One Thread

I have learned a great deal from reading Harry Browne's books in the 'seventies and early 'eighties.

I came across one of his books in 1976, I believe it had been written a few years earlier, and at the time had predictions about "the coming" devaluation of the dollar, etc.

From this perspective in time, I could see that his anticipation of market actions had been accurate. This gave his views relevance and credibility for me, I had worked through the Nixon wage and price controls and the aggrevation they caused.

I came to appreciate his books as he was able to illustrate the views of von Mises in a straightforward and common sense manner that I could grasp and relate to. I am without a formal education. His views on markets and banking have given me the perspective to understand events over the years, how they can develope and the consequences that can result and an ability to accept government actions that weighed on their merit make no sense.

It was with confusion that I came across Browne's position on the year 2000 set of problems. Steve Heller's response at least gives me a grasp of what I see as Browne's error without declaring him totally blind or dishonest.

Browne's significant failure appears to be Heller's observation that Browne is relying on a market solution for regulated industries, ignoring the burden of that regulation. I would speculate an added burden for meeting remediation success is the tax burden and loss of needed liquidity that is placed on all corporations, especially the burden of taxation on operating income and shareholder distribution.

In any event, Steve Heller's response to Browne has been a help to me and I believe Mr. Heller has the supportable position.

Tom Beckner

-- Tom Beckner (tbeckner@erols.com), May 20, 1999


Harry Browne

I don't want to give the impression that I'm not appreciative of Harry Browne's work in popularizing sound economic principles. Although I personally haven't made a lot of money from his investment suggestions, he very definitely did give me a start in understanding how economics really works. My disagreement with him is about the nature and extent of any Y2K problems, not about economic principles or how people should plan their investments in "normal" times.

-- Steve Heller (stheller@koyote.com), May 21, 1999.

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