Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Best Economics Blog Post on Huff Post. . . .Ever

Steve Mariotti has written what has to be the best article about economics to appear on Huffington Post. In "The Economic Philosopher's Outcast: Mises," Marriotti makes a compelling case for listening to Mises and economics in the Misesian tradition. Given the debt problems faced by several municipalities--not to mention our national govermnent--the time is long past for us to pay attention to Mises' arguments about the negative consequences of economic statism.

Mises, the modern day creator of the Classical Liberal movement (today also called libertarianism) destroyed the intellectual arguments of socialism by proving that it was impossible to allocate scarce resources effectively without private property and free-market prices. He showed that the more the state limited economic incentives to individuals, the greater the harm to low-income people and the general population. Centralized planning, something that was characteristic of all three types of socialism: the Nazis, the Fascists and the Communists, led to the ruin of an economy, and resulted in more and more tyranny and the rise of the totalitarian state. What economists failed to understand was that massive government spending and a authoritative centralized government would bring economic ruin to Germany, Russia, and many other countries.
Mariotti goes on to quote Peter G. Klein who gave the Mises Lecture at the most recent Austrian Student Scholars Conference.

"People are increasingly disenchanted with mainstream Keynesian views of the economy. Keynesians were blindsided by the housing bubble and the financial crisis. Their response was to pump the economy with cheap credit and huge government spending which has only prolonged the agony. The Austrians led by Mises offer a compelling alternative explanation in which booms and busts are caused by central-bank manipulation of interest rates in vain attempts to stimulate or stabilize the economy."
The entire article is highly recommended. My only quibble is Mariotti's closing in which he directs those wanting to learn more to the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama and to Hillsdale College that houses Mises' personal library. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. The Ludwig von Mises Institute has especially been the beacon for Misesian economics over the past 35 years.

My concern is what Mariotti failed to mention--that Grove City College houses the archive of Mises' American correspondence and papers. Five years after Mises' passing, his widow made Grove City College the permanent home to his papers, at the request of Mises' student and chairman of the Grove City College economics department, Hans Sennholz.

Additionally, Grove City College remains a leading institution for students to learn Austrian economics where they can study under Jeffrey Herbener and myself. At GCC the entire curriculum is rooted in Misesian Praxeology. Required reading includes my own Foundations of Economics for Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, and Foundations of Economics; Sections of Rothbard's Man, Economy, and State in Intermediate Microeconomics; Rothbard's The Mystery of Banking in Money and Banking, Rothbard's Power and Market in Public Finance, Sections from Mises' Human Action in Foundations of Economics and Money and Banking, Huerta de Soto's Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles in Intermediate Macroeconomics, Hoppe's A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism in Comparative Economic Systems, Holcombe's edited Great Austrian Economists in Austrian Economics; and various supplemental articles by Roger Garrison, Jeffrey Herbener, Guido Hulsmann, and Joseph T. Salerno, and Rothbard just to name a few.  Finally, as alluded to above, Grove City College hosts the annual Austrian Student Scholars Conference. All in all it is a veritable cornucopia of causal-realist economics no interested student would want to miss. 

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