Fringe lawmaker champions Locke Foundation’s brand of economics

The wacky stories just keep coming about freshman Republican state lawmaker, Glen Bradley of Franklin County. As we have reported in this space on numerous occasions, Bradley is a far right, anti-government ideologue who pretty clearly has doubts about traditional concepts of the American union and who spouts a lot of ideas of the kind you’d hear at a John Birch Society confab. Indeed. Bradley once publicly endorsed the Birchers on his website.

Today, Michael Biesecker of Raleigh’s News & Observer had an amusing story about Bradley’s scheme for North Carolina to establish its own currency. The overall gist of the story was that Bradley is – how shall we put this? – a little nutty.

According to the article:

While he has not taken any in-depth classes in economics, Bradley described himself as a devotee of the Austrian School, a branch of economic thought that originated in Vienna and was influential before World War I.”

Ah yes, “the Austrian school.” The article quotes arch-conservative N.C. State economist Mike Walden as describing these folks as “well outside the mainstream of modern economic thought.”

One place that Bradley’s beliefs would not be “outside the mainstream” is at the John Locke Foundation. The biographies and publications of their “fellows” and “scholars” are peppered with references to the Ludwig von Mises Institute and other far right “think tanks” that fully embrace the radical brand of market fundamentalism advanced by the “Austrian school.”

Thank goodness that Walden, a long-time Locke contributor and local media favorite, seems to have distanced himself from the truly loony right.

Let’s hope that other conservatives like House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger do likewise. In the Biesecker article, a Tillis spokesperson hedged – saying that there are a lot of “diverse opinions and diverse views” in the Republican caucus.

That ought not to be enough. If Tillis really wants to be taken seriously as a credible, mainstream state leader, at some point, he’s going to need to disavow the right-wing fringe. Publicly disavowing Rep. Bradley and his fellow travelers in the right-wing “think tanks” would be a good place to start.


  1. […] Fringe lawmaker champions Locke Foundation's brand of economics … […]

  2. Jeff

    March 17, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Looks like Glen is getting to be a burr under someone’s saddle.

    Now the real nutty quote from the NC State Economist: —“We dealt with this issue about 100 years ago when the Federal Reserve was established,” Walden said. “If North Carolina were to have its own currency, that would put us at an extreme competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis other parts of the country and other parts of the world.”

    Since the Federal Reserve started “maintaining” our money so to speak, the value of the dollar has fallen 95%. Looks to me like the dollar as it is today is not much more than glorified toilet paper. I’d much rather trade in something of true value, and the last I checked gold is running over $1400 an ounce.

  3. J. Grooms

    March 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    News stories about the likes of Bradley and comments like those from Jeff are what lead me to sometimes think this country must be under a curse or something. The U.S. doesn’t have enough deep, major problems that require cogent analyses and bold, forward-thinking responses (and that’s just to keep up with the rest of the industrialized world that has sped ahead of us in nearly every quality of life category). No, that’s not enough. We also have to have deluded ignorati like Bradley and Jeff, walking around and spouting the same tired rightwing nonsense about arcane economic theories and paleolithic interpretations of the most obscure parts of “the Carnsti-TOO-shun.” Talk about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. . . .

  4. Todd Bennett

    March 17, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    The dollar is headed the way of the dinosaur. As Bernanke prints more money, the rest of the world (believing they must keep their currency low versus the dollar) responds by printing and devaluing their currency. The result has been all fiat currencies weakening against nearly every commodity that there is. Foreign central banks have been successful in propping the dollar up against there own currencies, but the resulting food inflation they have experienced has been a major reason we have seen so many protests and attempts to overthrow governments from Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. The US has been spared the horrible food inflation compared to other nation’s fiat currency due to foreign central banks intervention to keep their exports to us cheap. Our luck is about to run out. We are starting to feel it now and with the mess in Japan, it is nearly guaranteed that the dollar will eventually continue its value plummet and inflation will heat. Additionally, Brazil and other developing economies are now tightening interest rates to stave off the food inflation. That means the inflation that we have been exporting around the world is about to come home.

    Here at home, The US Congress is failing miserably at lowering our debt. We will have to issue another trillion plus in Treasuries to continue foreign wars and paying out entitlements. That is not necessarily a death nail to the US dollar by itself, but when you consider that Japan and China are our biggest creditors it isn’t hard to see that we may struggle to sell the treasuries in full. That means more monetizing (or Quantitative Easing as Bernanke calls it) of our debt. Matters will grow far worse as Japan realizes that they cannot print money to help rebuild. If they do so, the raw materials to rebuild will skyrocket in cost since Japan has no raw materials and must import. Japan will get much financing, no doubt, from China as well. All of this adds up to less purchasing of US debt by China and Japan. But that’s not the worst of it.

    The capper is that Japan may well look at additional ways to pay for rebuilding. Can you guess where they may get the funds? I’ll give you a hint. Japan currently owns nearly 900 billion in US Treasuries. Chances are good that Japan will have to begin to sell off its US debt to pay for reconstruction at the same time we are trying to sell US Treasuries to finance our credit addicted government. We are headed ever deeper into uncharted waters. US workers are going to be the ones left holding the bag…..or perhaps I should say left holding worthless dollars.

    The bottom line is the US citizens need to be given a chance to protect themselves. The easiest and quickest way is institute competing sound currency. Of course, it would be best done on the Federal Level, as it is their Constitutional Duty, but since the Feds. need a money printing machine to keep up with their warfare and welfare state, they will not give the people a sound currency. That leaves no other choice, but for individual states to do so. Give the people a fighting chance in the worst case scenario of a currency crisis and provide a sound and competing currency. If people like Bradley are wrong, what have we lost?….but if he is right and we do nothing to prepare ourselves….God Help Us.

  5. potassium

    March 17, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Wacky, nutty, loony, fringe… ooooooooooooooooo the horror.

  6. Milo

    March 18, 2011 at 1:46 am

    Gotta say, I’m with Glen and Jeff on this 100%… and for those who want to call us the “loony fringe,” knock yourself out. There will come a day very soon when you’ll wish like the dickens you’d listened to folks like Ron Paul, Peter Schiff and Glen Bradley on these topics, and you’ll really be wishing you’d backed Glen’s sound currency bill. The people who think Glen’s ideas are ‘wacky’ are in for a real wake-up call before long. The dollar is dead already… it’s just taking some time for the rest of the world to realize it and react accordingly.

  7. theDude

    March 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    It is interesting to see Progressives call upon mainstream Republicans to distance themselves from patriots like Bradley. It lends credence to the idea that both parties are the same.

  8. Gaye

    March 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    This makes me wonder what I should do with my ‘fiat’ money before all you-know-what breaks loose!

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