It Didn't Have to Be This Way - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

It Didn’t Have to Be This Way

Why Boom and Bust Is Unnecessary—and How the Austrian School of Economics Breaks the Cycle

Written by Harry C. Veryser

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“Excellent . . . I highly recommend this book.” —RON PAUL

Why is the boom-and-bust cycle so persistent? Why did economists fail to predict the economic meltdown that began in 2007—or to pull us out of the crisis more quickly? And how can we prevent future calamities?

Mainstream economics has no adequate answers for these questions. This eye-opening book does.

“I am blown away by how much ground Harry Veryser covers in this important book, and how skillfully he covers it.” —THOMAS E. WOODS JR.

“Lively and readable . . . [Veryser shows] how thinkers of the Austrian school of economics, exiled from academia and ignored by policymakers, accurately predicted how the crisis would come.” —THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE

 
“The book deserves a vast readership and national discussion.” —FUTURE OF FREEDOM
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“Excellent . . . I highly recommend this book.” —RON PAUL

Why is the boom-and-bust cycle so persistent? Why did economists fail to predict the economic meltdown that began in 2007—or to pull us out of the crisis more quickly? And how can we prevent future calamities?

Mainstream economics has no adequate answers for these pressing questions. To understand how we got here, and how we can ensure prosperity, we must turn to an alternative to the dominant approach: the Austrian School of economics.

Unfortunately, few people have even a vague understanding of the Austrian School, despite the prominence of leading figures such as Nobel Prize winner F. A. Hayek, author of The Road to Serfdom. Harry C. Veryser corrects that problem in this powerful and eye-opening book. In presenting the Austrian School’s perspective, he reveals why the boom-and-bust cycle is unnatural and unnecessary.

Veryser tells the fascinating (but frightening) story of how our modern economic condition developed. The most recent recession, far from being an isolated incident, was part of a larger cycle that has been the scourge of the West for a century—a cycle rooted in government manipulation of markets and currency. The lesson is clear: the devastation of the recent economic crisis—and of stagflation in the 1970s, and of the Great Depression in the 1930s—could have been avoided. It didn’t have to be this way.

Economics is not a mysterious science, Veryser shows. As the Austrian School teaches, it is simply the study of human action. Mainstream economics has failed because it has forgotten this fundamental truth. Economists have tried to put economics on a par with hard sciences like physics, reducing everything to numbers. But their complex mathematical models and cherished theories have only contributed to economic collapse.

As the debate rages over the role of government in the economy, Harry Veryser presents the proper alternative to government interventionist approaches that have proved so ineffective. Too long unappreciated, the Austrian School of economics reveals the crucial conditions for a successful economy and points the way to a free, prosperous, and humane society.

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Reviews

“Harry Veryser provides an excellent introduction to the Austrian School of economics and an excellent account of the economic history of the twentieth century, chronicling the rise, fall, and (hopefully) rebirth of classical liberalism or libertarianism. I highly recommend this book to the growing number of Americans interested in learning more about sound economics.”—RON PAUL, bestselling author of End the Fed and Liberty Defined

“I am blown away by how much ground Harry Veryser covers in this important book, and how skillfully he covers it. This book will give you a quick yet solid grounding in the recent financial crisis, U.S. and world economic history, the history of economic thought, and more. I strongly recommend it.”—THOMAS E. WOODS JR., bestselling author of Meltdown, senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute

“Lively and readable . . . [Veryser shows] how the current morass was the unavoidable outcome of specific policy decisions, some of which reach back decades—and how thinkers of the Austrian school of economics, exiled from academia and ignored by policymakers, accurately predicted how the crisis would come. . . . What in fact tanked our economy was something quite simple that Veryser explains in satisfying detail: politicians eager to win votes tried to keep the economy hyperstimulated by feeding it with ever more money.”—THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE

“Veryser’s skillful weaving together of Austrian economic theory, philosophy, and recent economic history in It Didn’t Have to Be This Way would certainly have made [Ludwig von] Mises proud. . . . Veryser covers the distributional effects of inflation and its role in triggering business cycles thoroughly yet clearly enough that those without Ph.Ds. in economics will get it.”—FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION

“Once you have read this book, you will understand why such [government] ‘solutions’ [to economic problems] must not only fail but can only make matters worse. More than that, you will understand why most of what passes as ‘mainstream’ economic thinking is the furthest thing from the sound principles that could lead to prosperity. . . . The book deserves a vast readership and national discussion.”—FUTURE OF FREEDOM

“Harry Veryser has written an excellent book not only on Austrian economics but also on a century and a half of economic history. His is a penetrating analysis of the most recent economic crisis. Professor Veryser’s careful analysis of the case for the gold standard is, in itself, outstanding scholarship.”—LEWIS E. LEHRMAN, cofounder of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, author of The True Gold Standard

“Professor Harry Veryser is in the forefront of teaching sound economics in the tradition of the Austrian School. In this much-anticipated book, he powerfully demonstrates how much further advanced the United States and the world would be if our leaders had followed the grand principles of sound money and free markets. I love every page of this book.”—MARK SKOUSEN, editor of Forecasts & Strategies, author of Investing in One Lesson

“Too much of mainstream economics is rooted in dubious presumptions and outright error; at the same time it’s adorned with equations that provide a thin veneer of mathematical precision. If the insights of the Austrian School had come to dominate the profession in the past century as I expect they will in the future, many calamities could have been avoided. Harry Veryser has given us a book that not only tells all of us what we need to learn but also provides economists with truths they should never have forgotten.”—LAWRENCE W. REED, president of the Foundation for Economic Education

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