Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Is a Free Market?

That is the question, among others, posed to me by Dan Elmendorf on his radio program A Plain Answer. That program is produced and broadcast on the radio stations in the Redeemer Broadcasting network. In the interview I do discuss the economics and morality of the free market, identify the institutions necessary to support such a market, and the consequences when governments interview via a host of measures. My goal was to introduce listeners with perhaps no formal training in economics to sound analysis. You can see if I succeeded by clicking here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Engelhardt on Monetary Independence

This year's Austrian Student Scholars Conference got off to a vigorous start with Lucas Engelhardt's delivery of the Hans Sennholz memorial lecture. Engelhardt drew upon the work of Sennholz himself to make the case for an entire free market in money and banking. He explained what he sees as the problems of our current monetary regime as well as the limitations of various monetary rules that have been proposed by economists such as Milton Friedman, John Taylor, and Scott Sumner.

He then made the case for the benefits and viability of a completely free market for money and banking in which anyone could attempt to produce and circulate money. He explained how such a system could work like the market for any other economic good. He then outlined a few steps that would take us in that direction, such as abolishing legal tender laws, taking government monetary titles off of metallic currency, and allow for freedom in the banking industry. All in all, it was a tremendous beginning to what promises to be an outstanding conference.

Part way through Engelhardt's lecture, it occurred to me that this years ASSC features three generations of Austrian economists. Tonight's Sennholz Lecture was given by a former student of mine. Tomorrow's Ludwig von Mises Memorial Lecture will be delivered by a professor I had in graduate school, Mark Thornton. What a blessing to see how economic truth has been communicated from one generation to the next.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Austrian Student Scholars Conference 2015

Tomorrow begins this years Austian Student Scholars Conference. We will hear twenty-two papers presented by students from the United States as well as abroad. We will also hear keynote lectures by Dr. Lucas Engelhardt and Dr. Mark Thornton. Admission to all lectures and paper presentations are free and open to the public.  Below is a schedule of events:

Friday, February 20, 2015
5:00-5:30 Registration. HAL Atrium.
5:30-6:30 Dinner. SU Great Room.
7:00-8:00 Hans Sennholz Memorial Lecture. Sticht Lecture Hall.
“A Case for Monetary Independence"                          Dr. Lucas Engelhardt
                                                                                    Assistant Professor of Economics
                                                                                    Kent State University, Stark
Saturday, February 21, 2015
8:30-9:00 Coffee and Pastries. HAL Atrium.
9:00-10:30 Sessions
     Legislating Morality. Chairman: Jeff Herbener. HAL 114.
                Trafficking,” Jon Nelson (Grove City College)
            • “Prohibition,” Brian O’Riordan (Grove City College)
            • “What Has Government Done to Marriage,” Ryan Brown (Grove City College)
                Claire Vetter (Grove City College)
10:45-12:15 Sessions
▪ Liberal Social Order. Chairman: Jeff Herbener. HAL 114.
                Zack Yost (Mercyhurst University)
                Kyle Kreider (Grove City College)
                Bloomington Institutional Analysis,” Chesterton Cobb (Grove City College)
▪ Foundational Issues in Economics. Chairman: Shawn Ritenour. HAL 116.
                Modern Epistemological Theory,” Jake Tinkham (Grove City College)
                Xiaolin Zhang (University of Lethbridge, Canada) 
            • “Science, Probability, and a Theory of Foresight,”
                Davis Bourne (Millsaps College)
            • “Toward a Subjective Theory of Risk,” 
                Daniel Sanchez-Piñol Yulee (King Juan Carlos University, Spain)
12:30-1:30 Lunch. SU Great Room.
2:00-3:30 Sessions
▪ Problems in Macroeconomics. Chairman: Jeff Herbener. HAL 114.
              Karl-Friedrich Israel (University of Angers, France)
              Economic Slump,” Eric Peterman (Grove City College)
• “Capital Mobility and Comparative Advantage,”
             William Casey (Grove City College)
▪ Policy, Ancient and Modern. Chairman: Shawn Ritenour. HAL 116.
                Justin Klazinga (Grove City College)
              Franco Martin Lopez (Universidad Abierta Interamericana, Argentina)
              George Lominadze (Ilia State University, Georgia)
3:45-5:15 Sessions
▪ Great Debates in Economics. Chairman: Jeff Herbener. HAL 114.
                Scott Alford (Grove City College)
              Subjective Theories of Value,” Thomas Cottone (Florida Atlantic University)
                in the Marketplace,” Jared Billings (Grove City College)
▪ Money and Banking. Chairman: Shawn Ritenour. HAL 116.
            • “The Backing of the Currency and Economic Stability,”
                Zack Morrow (Wofford College)
• “Detangling the Fractional Reserve Debate,” Dorian Rahamin (Vienna, Va.)
• “The Euro, Pros and Cons,” Evan Burns (Grove City College)
5:30-6:30 Dinner. SU Great Room.
6:45-7:00 Awarding of the Richard E. Fox Prizes for Best Papers. Sticht Lecture Hall.
7:00-8:00 Ludwig von Mises Memorial Lecture. Sticht Lecture Hall.
“What a Real Free Market in Drugs Looks Like”                           Dr. Mark Thornton