By Dan Kervick
Josiah Neely enters into a recent discussion in the economics blogosphere about the potential impact of religious orientation on attitudes toward monetary policy. I find that discussion, which began with a partially tongue-in-cheek Project Syndicate piece by former Moody’s VP Christopher Mahoney, to be a bit tasteless for my tender sensibilities, and I have no intention of entering it myself. But Neely doesn’t actually spend much time on religious beliefs and instead zeroes in on cultural and political attitudes:
Still, I do think Mahoney has put his finger on one reason why many conservatives and libertarians view monetary expansion with such a jaundiced eye. If there is one economic lesson the Right has internalized, it is Heinland’s aphorism that There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. And attempts to improve the economy by what is often derisively described as “printing money” can at first blush seem like, if not a free lunch, then at least as free lunch money.