Once virtually abandoned by the mainstream, many ideas associated with Austrian School economics have been increasingly in the spotlight, and in the public consciousness, in recent years. Some of the attention resulted from the popularity of Congressman Ron Paul, who, particularly during his third presidential run in 2012, captured the attention of the millennials, the last generation born in the 20th century.
The appeal of Paul’s anti-establishment economic theories is understandable: raised on expectations of upward mobility instilled in their baby boom parents, today’s young people have emerged into adulthood to face the sad reality that their prospects aren’t as good as their parents’ were, and furthermore, may never be. It is a turbulent, uncertain era that is prompting many to examine what they’ve been taught to believe about what creates prosperity and how economies function. Even if Main Street remains unfamiliar with the terms “Austrian economics” or “Keynesian economics,” its citizens can plainly see that the status quo isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and conclude that different solutions are needed.