crasch (crasch) wrote,

Arnold Schwarzennegger: Austrian Economist?

"When I was in college, I was a bit of a library nerd. I used to go to UCSD’s Central Library and browse the stacks, especially the economics section. I remember picking up a small, poorly bound book that was a collection of papers presented at a very academic, very technical symposium held in the early 1980's on the Austrian school of economics. That's not actually a school, but a group of thinkers who ushered in a new free market view of economics. On the first page was a small list of attendees at the conference, and there was Arnold Schwarzenegger's name.

This actually wasn't that surprising, and not just because Arnold's Austrian. He has an undergraduate degree in business and international economics, and was very rich before he ever became an actor (he invested the money he made in body building very shrewdly).

I may still have a lot of questions about Arnold, and I'm not sure if I'll vote for him. But I strongly disagree with those (such as Charles at Little Green Footballs) who claim that no one knows what he stands for.

In fact, I'll let Arnold respond to that, in a way, with this quote from Laissez Faire Book's web page selling Milton and Rose Friedman's "Free to Choose" videos:

Milton and Rose Friedman's Free to Choose TV series has changed my life.

I came from Austria, a socialistic country where government controlled the economy. A place where you can hear 18-year-old kids talking about their pensions. I wanted more. I wanted to be the best. I had to come to America. I had no money in my pocket, but here I had the freedom to get it. I have been able to parlay my muscles into a big movie career.

Okay, so there I was, waiting for Maria to get ready for a game of mixed doubles tennis. I started flipping the television dial. I caught a glimpse of Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman whom I recognized from my studies in economics. I didn't know I was watching Free to Choose. It knocked me out. Dr. Friedman validated everything I ever thought about the way the economy works.

I became a big pain in the neck about Free to Choose. All my friends and acquaintances got tapes as well as books for Christmas after Christmas. If I had come up with Free to Choose, maybe I wouldn't have got into body building. --Arnold Schwarzenegger

(And, yes, that's Maria Shriver, whom he met in 1977 at a tennis tournament. And no, I don't really get that last sentence.)"
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