Harry Browne was the person who inspired me to become a libertarian. He is also the one who first got me looking into Congressman Ron Paul in the late 90’s. When he ran for president in 2000, Browne was mocked for his views. Below is an interview he did for William F. Buckley’s Firing Line in 1970 predicting the exact financial mess that we are currently in.
The situation we are in is not a surprise to anyone who has honestly studied the fiscal policies of this country closely. We have a very real inflation problem that is exacerbated by unsound government policies and the Federal Reserve. When you inflate a currency you slowly destroy that currency. The dollar has lost almost 100% of its value since the installation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 . Browne notes that inflation creates consumer uncertainty and can lead investors to invest in “industries that are not the top priority in consumer demand.” We see those very investments in the wind and solar power industries like Solyndra .
Browne references the massive dump of money that was being done in his time which is directly analogous to the so-called stimulus plans of today. And similarly the stimulus payments are showing that the Keynesian notion of State spending does not stimulate long-term economic growth. And particularly insightful is Browne’s prediction that after the damage done by government regulation and poor fiscal policies, pro-government supporters will come back and blame the “unregulated” free-enterprise system. Not only is this the viewpoint of many elected officials, but it is also a major issue specified by the Occupy Wall Street Movement 
Finally, Browne notes that the rising inflation will increase unemployment by making it impossible to work at the wages that government sets. This is very relevant to the immigration debate. It is commonly stated that immigrants are doing the jobs that Americans wont do. But this is absurd because before the immigrants did them it was the Americans who were doing them. In smaller towns one will routinely see Americans doing the landscaping, agricultural, construction work etc. that supposedly we wont do. The real truth is that Americans are more expensive to employ because of all the mandates put forth by the government. Minimum wage requirements, health insurance, OSHA restrictions etc. all raise the cost of hiring American. This is readily seen in the supposed job creation in Texas. As it turns out the majority of these jobs were low wage and went to immigrants . Without these wage restrictions more American citizens could have filled these jobs.
Browne was an integral part of my political philosophy. His writings were always well researched and embodied the spirit of freedom and individual responsibility that epitomizes libertarian ideology. Harry Browne died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis on March 1, 2006.
1. http://www.measuringworth.com/ppowerus/ (Dates must be entered)