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.