Log in

No account? Create an account

Arnold Schwarzennegger: Austrian Economist? - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Oct. 13th, 2003

09:18 pm - Arnold Schwarzennegger: Austrian Economist?

Previous Entry Share Next Entry


"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.)"


[User Picture]
Date:October 14th, 2003 06:48 am (UTC)

I didn't vote for Arnold myself, but I'm not disappointed he won. Unlike a lot of people who mistake a lack of native ease with a language for stupidity, I never thought Arnold was stupid. Perhaps it's because my own father has a heavy accent.

In fact he is obviously quite shrewd. I remember him from various talk shows revealing his strategy for countering negative public stereotypes with allegorical stories (often fabricated) from his life.

Example: A prevailing myth about bodybuilders in the seventies was that they actually had to starve themselves to pump up. He went on the Tonight show with stories of pastry binging before competitions.

One by one, with appearances on talk shows, he stamped out negative perception about his sport. I have to wonder if his Oprah appearance with Maria was also mostly fabrication (or does he actually bring her breakfast in bed?)

Anyway a Dummy he ain't. But is he a Governor? I'm willing to give him a chance.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
Date:October 14th, 2003 08:32 pm (UTC)
Mmmm, Friedman; you have yet opened another door for me.
I'm off to find the book...
thanks agin
(Reply) (Thread)