This year marks the 25th anniversary of Mark Noll’s book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Christianity Today magazine called it the most influential book of the decade in 2004. The next year Time magazine listed Noll among the top 25 most influential evangelicals. The problem, Noll wrote, “... is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.”
But the real scandal of the evangelical mind is the left’s phobia of economics and Noll offers evidence. In his 1994 book he wrote, “Increasingly throughout the period before the Civil War, evangelicals came to assume the God-given character of liberal political economy... this was done without a great deal of thought.”
But Noll was wrong. Paul Heyne wrote in “Are Economists Basically Immoral?” and Other Essays on Economics, Ethics, and Religion,
One of the big financial news stories of the past month has been the inverted yield curve, which means that the interest rate on long-term government debt is lower than that on short-term debt. During expansions, interest on short-term government debt is lower than long-term. In other words, things are upside down. Inverted yield curves are rare events and often predict a recession within two years, although a couple of recessions have happened without the curve inverting.
John Tamny recently chastised market pundits for claiming that the Fed’s monetary policy is too tight and caused the inverted yield curve. The writers and talking heads who make that claim are followers of a school of macroeconomics known as monetarism. Milton Friedman was a famous monetarist. Monetarists believe that monetary policy drives everything. They have no objective measure of “tight” or “loose” monetary policy. Policy is too tight if the economy is slowing and too loose if inflation gets out of control.
Socialists’ reflex reaction to the election of a Republican president has always been to compare him to Hitler and their treatment of President Trump follows the script. In their minds, he must be the American Hitler because, they claim, he is a racist; he is a capitalist; and he dictates policy instead of consulting socialist experts in federal agencies. Socialists miss the irony in their comparing Trump to Hitler because of their ignorance of history.
The closest the US has come to an American Hitler was President Roosevelt and the left in his day understood it. The evidence comes from their reaction to FA Hayek’s most famous book, The Road to Serfdom. The book came out in 1944 before Roosevelt’s death and socialists in the US saw it as an attack on his policies of central planning so they attacked Hayek for writing it. Several publishers rejected it. But it sold 230,000 copies and a Reader’s Digest version sold 600,000.