WHERE DOES PATRICK BUCHANAN GET HIS ECOnomic ideas? When asked by TIME to name his gurus, he spoke admiringly of an obscure German economist named Wilhelm Ropke, who died in 1966. But Ropke would probably have mixed feelings about Buchanan's populism. The economist served on Germany's unemployment commission until Hitler took power in 1933 and fired him. Ropke went into exile in Switzerland but in the late 1940s served as a top adviser to Ludwig Erhard, architect of Germany's "economic miracle." Ropke warned of "the tendency for the increasingly centralized state of our times to surround like a parasitical vine both...

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