‘We live at a time when politicians and bureaucrats only know one public policy: more and bigger government. Yet, there was a time when even those who served in government defended limited and smaller government, one of them being the Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk who was born 165 years ago today, on February 12, 1851.
Böhm-Bawerk is famous as one of the leading critics of Marxism and socialism in the years before the First World War. He is equally renowned as one of the developers of “marginal utility” theory as the basis of showing the logic and workings of the competitive market price system, and as the early formulator of the “Austrian” theory of capital and interest.
But he also served three times as the finance minister of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, during which he staunchly fought for lower government spending and taxes, balanced budgets, and a sound monetary system based on the gold standard.‘