Lindsay Lohan Channels Her Inner Austrian Economist

June 29, 2011 by

Have you guys seen food and gas prices lately? U.S. $ will soon be worthless if the Fed keeps printing money! http://spn.tw/t1exbE #ad

Perhaps the Mises Institute should think about sponsoring an ad.

New Working Papers

June 2, 2011 by

The Prehistory of Modern Economic Thought: The Aristotle in Austrian Theory by Justin Ptak (Institute for Business Cycle Research)

Action, Coordination, and Exchange: Voluntary Response to Stimuli in Profit-Seeking Endeavors
by Justin Ptak (Institute for Business Cycle Research)

A Visit to Hayek’s Library

May 31, 2011 by

Hapy 112th Birthday, F.A. Hayek

May 8, 2011 by

Praise or damn a free society, mutually beneficial exchange, and voluntary actions, one must read and contend with Hayek’s The Use of Knowledge in Society.

“What is the problem we wish to solve when we try to construct a rational economic order? On certain familiar assumptions the answer is simple enough. If we possess all the relevant information, if we can start out from a given system of preferences, and if we command complete knowledge of available means, the problem which remains is purely one of logic. That is, the answer to the question of what is the best use of the available means is implicit in our assumptions. [But, how now that we live in this unknowable world of scarce resources and yet happen to find ourselves living in the relative lap of luxury and civilization despite coercive governments best efforts?…]”

Now read Mises’s 1920 paper on economic calculation under socialism.

Hayek vs. Keynes: The Fight of the Century

April 30, 2011 by

In The 21st Century You Twitter Your Credendtials

April 28, 2011 by

The Austrian Scholars Conference – Live from the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, March 10-12, 2011.

March 10, 2011 by

The ASC is the international, interdisciplinary meeting of scholars working in the intellectual tradition of the Austrian School, the oldest and yet fastest growing school of economic thought.

* Mises Lecture: Helio Beltrao, Mises Institute Brazil
* Hazlitt Lecture: David Stockman, former budget director of Reagan administration
* Hayek Lecture: William Butos, Trinity College
* Rothbard Lecture: Philipp Bagus, University Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid
* Church lecture: Mustafa Akyol, Turkish Daily News

The complete schedule including the awarding of the Lawrence Fertig Prize.

Happy 85th, Murray!

March 2, 2011 by

Today is the 85th anniversary of the birth of Murray Newton Rothbard, one of the greatest economists of the Austrian school, philosophers of liberty, and individual anarchists who defined libertarianism and provided the theoretical framework for a free-market anarchism that is known as anarcho-capitalism today.

He certainly would be overjoyed and giddy about the events of the last two months seeing a rebirth of freedom across many regions of the globe. Moreover, he would be immensely satisfied by the spread of opposition toward military, political, and economic interventionism in the affairs of man.

His ideas today are even more alive than ever before as the truths of self-ownership, natural property rights, and universal ethics expand and create greater peace, liberty, and prosperity.

Obama’s Latest $100m Budget Cut

February 24, 2011 by

YouTube on the Political Economy of Liberty

February 18, 2011 by

Moving away from pulp and into the digital age:

1. The Philosophy of Liberty – Ken Schoolland (2006)

2. The Sunset of the State – Stefan Molyneux (2010)

3. Pirates & Emperors – Schoolhouse Rock (2006)

4. Money, Banking, and the Federal Reserve – Mises Institute (1996)

5. Who Really Controls America – George Carlin (2008)

6. The Story of Your Enslavement – Stefan Molyneux (2010)

7. “Fear the Boom and Bust – A Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem” – John Papola and Russ Roberts (2010)

8. The Future of Austrian Economics – Murray Rothbard (1990)

9. The Errors of Classical Liberalism and the Idea of a Private Law Society – Hans Hoppe (2008)

10. How To Advance Liberty – Leonard Reed (1978)

Classical Readings on Anarchy

February 18, 2011 by

In response to Art’s more contemporary list of works on the political economy of liberty:

1. Gustave de Molinari – The Production of Security (1849)

2. Lysander Spooner – Natural Law or the Science of Justice (1882)

3. Auberon Herbert – The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State (1885)

4. Benjamin Tucker – Why I Am An Anarchist (1892)

5. Voltairine de Cleyre – Why I Am An Anarchist (1897)

6. Franz Oppenheimer – The State (1922)

7. Albert Jay Nock – Our Enemy, The State (1935)

8. Morris and Linda Tannehill – The Market for Liberty (1970)

9. David Friedman – The Machinery of Freedom (1973)

10. Murray Rothbard – Society Without a State (1974)

BBC Radio 4 – Radical Economics: Yo Hayek!

February 1, 2011 by

Why free market Austrian economics have inspired a rap video and attracted new fans.

Was the economic crisis caused by fundamental problems with the system rather than a mere failure of policy?

This week, Jamie Whyte and Analysis looks at the free market Austrian School of FA Hayek. The global recession has revived interest in this area of economics, even inspiring an educational rap video.

“Austrian” economists believe that the banking crisis was caused by too much regulation rather than too little. The fact that interest rates are set by central banks rather than the market is at the heart of the problem, they argue. Artificially low interest rates sent out the wrong signals to investors, causing them to borrow to spend on “malinvestments”, such as overpriced housing.

Shanghai, 1990 vs. 2010

January 24, 2011 by

2010 Economist of the Year

January 2, 2011 by

Murray Rothbard

Murray Rothbard has been named, post-humously, the 2010 EPJ Economist of the Year, specifically for his work surrounding power elite and their influence on government.

In this day and age of the internet, it is relatively easy to track and report on the comings and goings of bankers, such as Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs and Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan, as they trek to the White House and Treasury for power influence sessions. And, it is relatively easy to see and understand how they operate and dole out cash to themselves, but anyone, who read Rothbard years ago, would have been aware and understood back then.

For example, Murray Rothbard wrote in 1984 (more than 25 years ago!), my emphasis:

Businessmen or manufacturers can either be genuine free enterprisers or statists; they can either make their way on the free market or seek special government favors and privileges. They choose according to their individual preferences and values. But bankers are inherently inclined toward statism.

Commercial bankers, engaged as they are in unsound fractional reserve credit, are, in the free market, always teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Hence they are always reaching for government aid and bailout.

Investment bankers do much of their business underwriting government bonds, in the United States and abroad. Therefore, they have a vested interest in promoting deficits and in forcing taxpayers to redeem government debt. Both sets of bankers, then, tend to be tied in with government policy, and try to influence and control government actions in domestic and foreign affairs.

In 1992, Rothbard wrote (My emphasis):

What is less well-known is that this Big Business – Big Finance – Big Labor – Big Intellectuals and Media alliance has been going on for a long time: certainly since the New Deal. It is little known, for example, that such crucial New Deal statist “reforms” as the Social Security Act and the Wagner Act of the mid-1930s were put into place by a powerful and malevolent alliance of left-technocratic New Deal ideologues, and powerful Big Business leaders: notably John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s Industrial Relations Counselors and its successors, and W. Averill Harriman’s Business Advisory Council of the Department of Commerce…

We can rest assured that the power elite, the crucial special interest groups we have been analyzing, have no sentimental attachment to party labels. Republican? Democrat? Who cares, so long as they are under control by the “right” people.
“What’s good for the ______ ” is the overriding consideration, and you can fill in the blank with any one of these power elite groups.

This analysis is, of course, important to help us understand what is going on now. In 2009, Lew Rockwell wrote (My emphasis):

Good for Ron [Paul] for stirring these two establishment mullahs to oppose him. But forget their official arguments, which are always a smokescreen in the state-bankster world. Remember that Greenspan was a J.P. Morgan (i.e., Rockefeller) economist before he ascended to the Fed. Now he works for hedge funds and big banks in NYC. Volcker was vice chairman of Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank before his apotheosis. Now he runs the J. Rothschild investment bank on Wall Street. Power-elite analysis is what we need. As Murray Rothbard always said, look to where high state officials come from, and where they go after their terms in office. This is criticized as conspiracy-theorizing, since men like Greenspan and Volcker are guided only by their view of the common good. Hah! Who lines their pockets, and what are their goals? That is what we always want to know for actual political science, let alone Fed analysis…

And so, as the power-elite take over more of the economy and become bolder in stuffing their own pockets with billions, it is important to understand that this is nothing new and that Murray Rothbard understood the power-elite influence on government, decades ago.

As we head into the year 2011, with Ron Paul now in charge of overseeing the beating heart of the power elite’s core, as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Monetary Policy, it is important to understand what Rothbard taught, that the power elite have been influencing government for a long, long time, and they are not used to outsiders demanding an audit, poking around and understanding what they are up to. The battle that Ron Paul is taking on, when he takes on the power elite’s piggy bank, the Federal Reserve, will be of epic proportions.

It is the writings of Rothbard, more than anyone else, that help us understand the power elite machinations that allowed them to take billions. And in the year ahead, it is the teachings of Rothbard that will help us understand the battle that Congressman Ron Paul has taken on.

There is no economist who comes close to deserving the 2010 EPJ Economist of the Year Award, in these particular times, as much as Murray Rothbard. Rothbard’s writing are significant in many, many areas, but right now, what he has taught us about the power elite, should be front and center.

The Triumphant Return of Hayek

November 28, 2010 by

Bernanke says he is doing everything Milton Friedman would have had the Fed do…The public doesn’t buy it. There’s a growing backlash against the Fed’s monetary activism

In a sign of the times, some of the most popular videos on YouTube this year are satires on economic policy; the latest lampoons the Fed amid a growing feeling that policymakers are committing what economist Friedrich Hayek called the “fatal conceit” in micromanaging the economic cycle. Hayek hated policy intervention of any kind. Keynes, Friedman, and Hayek were leading lights of the three most influential schools of economic thought of the last century. Hayek was associated with the Austrian school, ascendant in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which argued that the private sector should be left free to carry out the task of any readjustment in a downturn. Faith in the market’s purging power served the U.S. well in the 19th century, when the economy emerged stronger after each recession…

Quantitative Easing Explained

November 13, 2010 by

An Interview with the President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Poland

October 26, 2010 by

From Austrian economists’ point of view, responsibility for the current breakdown lies entirely with the state and central banking. In an interview with Bankier.pl, Witold Falkowski, the president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Poland, explains where the economic crisis comes from and how to avoid the return of recessions.

[Bankier.pl] Who was Ludwig von Mises?

[WF] Mises was a distinguished economist and praxeologist. As he mentioned himself, a real economist he became after reading ‘Principles of Economics’ by Carl Menger, the founder of the Austrian school of economics. Mises was highly esteemed and respected as a researcher in the twenties and thirties. The Austrian school and Mises were forgotten though, ever since Keynes’ ideas became popular. Jörg Guido Hülsmann, author of a recent monumental biography of Mises, titled it: “Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism”. Indeed, Mises was a consistent and staunch defender of the truth which he regarded as economic liberalism, not very popular in academic circles in the U.S., where he spent over 30 years, and still unpopular in state capitalist Europe. Thanks to his consistency and intellectual activity the Austrian school has survived, and recently even been booming.

Mises was also a knight in a more literal sense. In winter 1918-1919, when the Marxists gained influence in the government of Austria, he personally persuaded Otto Bauer, the leader of the Marxists, and his wife Helena Gumplowicz to give up plans for an alliance with Moscow and the introduction of the Bolshevik regime in Vienna. Therefore we can say that Mises won an important battle in defense of civilization.

What determines the uniqueness of Austrian economics?

Its normality – we are living in abnormal times when evil is often referred to the good, theft to justice, savings to suppression of demand, good of certain interest groups to the public good. The Austrian School stubbornly asserts that there is no reason to take away people’s money in the name of some public benefit, as there is no investment without savings and capital accumulation, and the market is able to provide almost all goods and services the consumers need.

In the scientific sense, what determines the peculiarity of the school is: its methodological individualism (we study various phenomena, and not their aggregates, the average statistics, etc.); subjectivism (no objective economic values, price depending on supply, demand, preferences of the seller and buyer); realism (these are units who work, rather than collectives, aiming to improve the situation of acting). Austrian economics is firmly rooted in praxeology, a philosophical study on the effectiveness of action. It indicates certain rules, which control human action, and warns against the consequences of violations of these rules. Such violations include, for example: dictating to people what is good for them; forcing entire populations to follow certain regulations and economic compulsions (maximum prices, minimum wages, tariffs, state insurance, subsidizing certain spheres of the economy, fiat money, and many others).

Austrian economics, unlike the British tradition and all of today’s mainstream, is actually not divided into macroeconomics and microeconomics. Economic laws are universal and the activity of all market participants ultimately boils down to the actions of individuals. Reflections on the aggregates, models and the shape of the national and the world economy are the areas of speculation which the Austrians do not enter.

There is one more distinctive feature of Austrian economics. Austrians believe that economics is the science which everyone can and should learn, because it concerns everyone. Practicing economics, as something between social engineering and creative accounting, is in our opinion a blind alley or rather a way that leads to increasingly serious crises and large scale manipulations. Economics should be taught from kindergarten.

Are achievements of Austrians still valid?

As valid as the law of gravity. Austrians do not announce anything sensational, they rather call not to be against human nature, which is analogous to the force of gravity, which affects all animate and inanimate objects. They remind us that man is not an electron brain but a being with the specific evolutionary constraints. Accumulated in the human mind is both discursive knowledge, that can be used to create clear plans, and practical knowledge (Hayek called it ”Metis” from Greek, after James Scott), which is rather encoded in the mind and body, passed in culture and customs, distributed within society. If all human knowledge is brought to the discursive layer, we will not only deprive it of substantial resources but also allow dangerous abuse, which Hayek called the ‘fatal conceit of reason’.

The Austrian theory of money and business cycles is especially current during the smoldering crisis. Austrians consistently preach that fiat money, created “ex nihilo” paper money as the credit, has to destabilize the economy because it gives a man the power that no one should have, a temptation which no power can oppose…

Larry White Interview at the Daily Bell

October 24, 2010 by

Daily Bell: What is free banking and why has it been controversial with Austrians?

Lawrence White: A free banking system means a monetary system where private, competitive, unregulated banks are responsible for providing all kinds of payment instruments and intermediation. So generically it means the absence of restrictions on banking and – in other words laissez-faire banking. An implication is banks and not the government will provide currency as well as transferrable deposits. It implies the absence of the central bank and central banks are everywhere in the world today. That’s the big difference from the status quo. F.A. Hayek was somewhat ambivalent — and I wrote a paper about that – about free banking, out of the concern that banks might be inherently unstable pro-cyclically.

Some people questions deny that free banking would or should be allowed to function with fractional reserve accounts. Murray Rothbard was the leader of the point of view that fractional reserve banking ought to be outlawed. He thought the fractional-reserve bank was inherently defrauding the customer. Some of his followers have switched to some other kinds of objections. I don’t hear the fraud argument as often these days, but I do hear the argument that there is something absurd about a fractional reserve generally because it implies that two people are exclusive owners of the same coin; which is I think is the misunderstanding of the arrangement between the bank and its customer. Another objection is that it reduces the value of gold held by third parties, but there are all kinds of changes in the value of your property that come about through market forces, and we can’t outlaw those consistent with properties property rights.

Daily Bell: Do you consider yourself an Austrian Economist?

Lawrence White: Yes. If Austrian means heavily influenced by Ludwig von Mises and Hayek, then certainly yes. And on my CV, you will see that I was part of the Austrian Economics program at NY University and I am now part of the Austrian economics program at George Mason. I was on the committee that wrote and evaluated the Austrian economics field exams. So I don’t think I can deny being an Austrian.

Daily Bell: Is free-banking the freest kind of money association available?

Lawrence White: Well that’s how I think of it. It’s a system based on a free contract without third- party legal interference between banks and customers. Various kinds of contracts are available. The ones we observe historically are the ones that we presume would prevail if free banking were re-established today. So it’s usually described as being based a gold or silver standard, which we saw historically before governments began to interfere.

Daily Bell: The idea is to let the market decide on the amount of reserves?

Lawrence White: Yes, in the sense that there would be competition among banks. Banks have a trade- off to consider between earning more interest and holding more reserves. Holding more reserves makes the bank safer. Being safer may be important for attracting customers. Not all banks may follow the same policy but people will sort themselves among banks according to how safe they think the banks are versus how big a return the bank pays. Most people want a very safe bank, so there is a market force that compels banks to act prudently. Remember deposits would not be guaranteed in a free banking system, so banks have to convince potential customers that they are trustworthy…

Sparks Goes to the White House

October 16, 2010 by

The New Anarcho-Capitalist Paradigm

October 6, 2010 by

Lew Rockwell on the unstoppable.

Famed liberal journo Joe Conason is worried about the increasing influence of Rothbardian “anarcho-capitalism” and the related “Austrian school of economics.” As well he should be. It is these radical ideas–undistorted by the journos–that enthrall the young, and indeed any thinking person. We all know there is something desperately wrong–morally and economically–with the US empire and its police state, welfare state, and banksterism. We are, after all, living in yet another Federal Reserve depression. The average family’s income has not increased in real terms since the 1970s, the first decade of full Fed power. The state and its related corporations are enriching themselves by making us poorer.

“The Austrian craze is particularly curious because it has displaced a school of economics that ought to be more appealing to the proud and patriotic, especially those who claim to be true to the views of the nation’s founders. That would be the school known as ‘the American system’…[a]s articulated by thinkers from Alexander Hamilton to Henry Clay to Abraham Lincoln….” Very funny. Why can’t you people just be government-loving, trade-warring, state-building mercantilists? Then journos could praise you.

“If the ‘Austrian’ ideology prevailed in tearing down government, extirpating regulation and destroying public institutions, what would be left standing? Not much except giant corporations, mammoth banks and hedge funds, whose proprietors would then be able to completely dominate an increasingly impoverished, uneducated and undefended people.” Say, isn’t that the current system, as made possible by the apparatus of aggression known as the state? We, on the other hand, understand that civilization itself, as well as international peace and prosperity, depend on private property and laissez-faire. We are sick of government and its allied merchants of death and fractional-reserves, its wars and its secret police, its taxes and inflation, its bailed-out buddies. We don’t want military socialism, school socialism, or road socialism. We don’t want Wall Street, big bank, MIC, or petro fascism.

The Consason article is, of course, just another indication of how worried the ruling class is. Not about Koch thinktanks, neocon magazines, or coordinating state universities. Not because Republicans will soon replace Democrats, but because the climate of opinion is changing. Joe Conason recognizes that it is works like these that are responsible. He doesn’t yet recognize that our ideas are unstoppable.

Mises, Hayek, and Bastiat, Oh My!

October 5, 2010 by

The New York Times on the movement of the moment looks to long-ago texts.

Books like “The Law,” from 1850, and “The Road to Serfdom” from 1944, have risen to best-seller status among liberty lovers and those in favor of a peaceful and prosperous society.

War and Central Banking

September 8, 2010 by

Scott Horton interviews Lew Rockwell on mass killing and mass counterfeiting, and less government interference in the economy and our lives.

Scott Horton and Lew Rockwell on AntiWar Radio/

The Sunset of the State

September 8, 2010 by

The Anarchy of “You Can’t Take it With You”

September 8, 2010 by

The Story of Your Enslavement

September 8, 2010 by

The Old Austrian New Economics

September 7, 2010 by

Robert Wenzel on four Austrian economic primers for a much deeper understanding of the causal-realist perspective [A PDF of 3/4 included in the links].

Dr Eamonn Butler, Director of the Adam Smith Institute, is out with a new book, Austrian Economics: A Primer.

It would be difficult to overestimate how valuable of a book this is as an introduction to Austrian Economics. I now consider it part of a four-book set that one needs to read to develop a basic understanding of Austrian economics.

To get an understanding of correct economics, a beginner should start off by reading the first eight chapters of Andrew and Peter Schiff’s How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes. Reading the first part of the book is the easiest way to get a quick grasp of basic economics from an Austrian perspective. (Note: I advise to read only the first roughly 100 pages because following that the Schiffs go on to explain monetary inflation in a confusing fashion that will only befuddle the reader.)

Following the Schiffs’ book, the beginner should read Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. This book is a tour de force of how proper economic thinking should be done.

This should be followed by Murray Rothbard’s What Has Government Done to Our Money. This is the best introduction to money and how the government distorts money in ways that ultimately result in inflation. In fact, this slim book is the perfect substitute for the chapters on inflation where the Schiffs would leave you confused.

The final book of the four-book set is Butler’s book. This book is as hardcore of an introduction to Austrian economics as you can get. Whereas the Schiffs and Hazlitt discuss basic economics, they do not identify the thinkers behind the theories they are using. Butler names the names. They all here, Menger, Böhm-Bawerk, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Kirzner and others.

Butler in a non-technical easy to follow fashion discuses and explains such original Austrian concepts as marginal utility, opportunity cost, the importance of time and ignorance and the business cycle. He also provides an important short history of the Austrian School of economics, as he explains the concepts the ‘Austrians’ have developed.

Thus, Butler’s primer is a very important addition to understanding Austrian economics as it ties the basics to the various important Austrian players and the contributions they have made.

Butler’s book can also be valuable beyond the role it plays for the introductory economics student. Often I find when running into graduate students in economics or MBA students, many are only being taught mainstream Keynesian economics and are, amazingly, unfamiliar with Austrian economics at all. These students may grasp parts of what the Schiffs and Hazlitt teach, so that for these students they may be directed directly to Butler’s book. I’m sure that they will be quite surprised as to the role Austrian School economists have played in even such basic concepts as marginal utility and opportunity cost. (They may even associate the name Menger with the discovery of marginal utility, along with Jevons and Walars, but never realize that Menger was the founder of a school of economic thought that went well beyond marginal utility.)

Finally, Butler’s book can play an important role as a reference guide for the student of Austrian economics who is just past the basics, but may need a quicker refresher on a specific topic. Butler’s book is without question the most accurate and honest depiction, at the basic level, of Austrian economics and its theorists.

The Rothbardian School

September 3, 2010 by

The Rothbardian School by Ryan McMaken

…Rothbard carried on the radically anti-interventionist economics of Ludwig von Mises who denied the value of government intervention in markets virtually 100 percent of the time. Rothbard takes this even further in his political economy, but for the educated layman, the economics of Mises and Rothbard will differ very little.

Hayek, on the other hand, was far more accepting of government interventions, even going so far as to speak well of tax-funded old-age pensions and government regulation of food production. Hayek was a great popularizer of many Austrian ideas, and he was the most famous critic of Keynes in his day, but his policy prescriptions are not what animate the reformers of today.

Note that I do not expel Hayek into the outer darkness for these sins, but it is nevertheless clear that this division between the Rothbardians and the Hayekians is one between radical reformers on the one hand, and those who are far more accommodating of the status quo on the other.

Given the rhetoric surrounding the libertarian mass movement today, however, it is clear that it is the Rothbardian branch and the Ron Paul movement that is the animating force behind the spread of the ideas of Austrian Economics…

Lila Rajiva on the WSJ Austro-Treatment

September 3, 2010 by

http://mindbodypolitic.com/2010/09/01/more-on-the-wsjs-austrian-moment/

LILA: One article does not make a promotion, true. But over the last 3 years, I’ve collected dozens/scores of articles by academic libertarians (see here and here) doing the same thing to the Mises Institute folks, I have seen enough evidence to suit me. Many journalists apparently think they’re fighting the good fight against racism or sexism or anti-Semitism by attacking the Mises folks….as they also did with Rothbard. And as they believed they were going when they revived various innuendos about Ron Paul .

The day the WSJ publishes an article accurately citing the Mises folks by name for their contributions (love ‘em or hate ‘em), treating their output and accomplishments fairly and even-handedly, is the day propaganda in the US will give way to journalism.

Do I think Mises is being revived? Actually, yes. But I think the revival is being positioned so as to cut the Mises Institute and Mises.org out of it, along with all the other positions/people believed to be associated with them…

That is, Mises will be repositioned in a way more acceptable to academia. I have no quarrel with that, since that is partly my interest, which is why I try to take into consideration issues of gender, race, and language that libertarians (including The Bell) scorn as PC.

My issue – contra The Bell – is not with Boettke or Kelly Evans – but with the WSJ’s intellectual honesty about Austrian economics.

On that question, the case has long ago been decided…

Mises Shakes the World!

September 3, 2010 by

The Daily Bell on Mises Shakes the World

Free-Market Analysis: We are returning to the “Spreading Hayek, Spurning Keynes” Wall Street Journal article to answer the question that Ryan McMaken asks in his fine article at LewRockwell.com (and then answers judiciously as well). We are returning as well because this is an incredibly important issue from our point of view as a periodical that analyzes power-elite dominant social themes from a free market perspective. We do have a slightly different take on the answer; in fact we feel, collectively, a tad passionate about the article from a libertarian standpoint.

The question, again: Why did the Wall Street Journal write an article about the history of Austrian finance without mentioning the Mises Institute or Lew Rockwell? Our answer to the question is not so eloquent as Mr. McMaken’s but is almost as heartfelt. Our answer would be that “people who are interested in freedom should care very much about this article and the surrounding debate.” Why? Because we think the Austrian economic movement is one of the longest-lived and most important intellectual and ideological conversations in history. And whatever misrepresents it is of similar import, especially if it represents a larger trend…

WSJ on the Austrian School and the Resulting Controversy

September 2, 2010 by

Spreading Hayek, Spurning Keynes

…[T]he 50-year-old professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia is emerging as the intellectual standard-bearer for the Austrian school of economics that opposes government intervention in markets and decries federal spending to prop up demand during times of crisis…


Robert Wenzel on the WSJ article on the Austrian Revival

It would probably be best to describe Pete [Boettke] as the standard-bearer of the Uptight Wing of the Austrian School of Economics. The Uptights tend to promote the work of Noble Prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek, over the work of the Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.

Disscussing Hayek but ignoring Mises is something akin to discussing Scottie Pippen when talking about the championship years of the Chicago Bulls and not mentioning Michael Jordan. Nothing wrong with Pippen, but Jordan was “The Man.”

In economics, there’s nothing wrong with promoting the work of Hayek, in general he was a great economist. But “The Man” is Ludwig von Mises. The Uptights tend to push Mises down the memory hole because according to them he was “too stubborn.” Translation: He was a man of principle in the face of severe establishment pressure to bend.

Notice there is no mention of Mises in the profile on Boettke.

[Wenzel update on Boettke.]

Tom DiLorenzo on Lying about LewRockwell.com and the Mises Institute

…There is a group of economists there who are ashamed of the name “Austrian economics” who nevertheless claim to be, well, sort of, kind of, anyhow, Austrian economists, but they keep desperately trying to come up with a new name for themselves. Their latest ridiculous name is “coordination problem economists.” Sounds like a marketing nightmare, but hey, they’re academics…

The Daily Bell: The WSJ Discovers the Austrians & Boettke but not the Mises Institute

…The Journal’s corporate heart is not collectively in its work. While those who work there have commenced writing about the Austrian school, the institution as a whole is not yet up to speed. This is the only explanation that occurs to us (other than outright antipathy) given that the Journal can present an article about the modern history of the Austrian school (and Boettke) without a single mention of the global on-line Ludwig von Mises Institute or even Lew Rockwell who founded it along with his mentor Murray Rothbard. This is a little bit like writing a history of America without mentioning founding fathers. It is not just a reportorial lapse; it is a lacunae the size of a continent. We have interviewed prominent Mises’ fellows at the Daily Bell and even a cursory review of the Internet would yield a plethora of information about the Institute…

Lew Rockwell on Austrians Again

…One side, which has made its peace with the Fed and the rest of DC, has Koch oil billions and subscription-only newspapers on its side. The other has the free Internet and the man whose very name can still make Charles Koch go apoplectic, as happened not too long ago in Aspen. For more than 50 years, it’s been Power vs. Murray. I know where I’m putting my money…