Professor Peter Boettke is a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University; the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, Vice President for Research, and Director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at GMU.
In The Wall Street Journal, Bruce Caldwell, an editor of F.A. Hayek’s work, said Prof. Boettke has done more for Austrian economics than anyone in the last decade.
Boettke’s new book Living Economics: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow is published by the Independent Institute. When not in the classroom, he shares his great insight and wit on his blog, Coordination Problem.
Naturally a recurrent theme of this lecture was monetary policy, specifically having to do with the dollar’s spiral toward hyper-inflation in the midst of the current economic collapse. Schiff stressed that sooner than later the rest of the world, more importantly those still buying our debt would wise up to our inability to repay those fiscal obligations. He told a short story about a wily old man in a certain neighborhood who had hoodwinked the neighborhood kids into vying for the job of painting his fence. He related the metaphor by surmising, “We’ve got the world painting our fences, as if they don’t have their own fences to paint.” Essentially, he said the way it is now, we get all the stuff and they only get the jobs. He then fittingly asked, “What good are jobs without stuff?” In short, we are barreling straight toward a currency crisis.
The Lakota people of the north-central U.S. have established the Free Lakota Bank. It is touted as the “world’s first non-reserve, non-fractional bank that issues, accepts for deposit, and circulates REAL money” in the spirit of Austrian economics.
The bank charges a fee for the protection of your savings, which are measured in ounces, and for those who wish to put their savings at risk, there is an investment fund. Deposits to the fund are frozen for one year, but have a healthy return of over 7%. Loans are granted from the investment fund are distributed to applicants based on the merit of the investment - imagine that!
The 2008 Mises Institute Supporters Summit
The Gold Standard Revisited
This past weekend was a chance for many of the Mises Institute’s supporters to get together, get familiar, and get updated on the Austrian tradition’s interpretation of recent events. The focus of this weekend seminar was on the gold standard, and the increasingly desperate need for sound money in today’s fiat fiasco of an economy. Speakers, local and international, delivered the message of monetary sanity to the supporters and students in attendance, as well as those who tuned in around the world via Mises.org. Talks were given by many of today’s
From an email by Professor Mark Thornton:
Some might find this useful. Misesian economics goes a long ways! -
It’s nothing big, but this reference, which is from the most recent episode of The Simpsons, came across my Facebook feed last night and I had a good laugh, especially when Mr. Burns said, “Notice how the Keynesians climb trees, while the Austrian school economists hide under rocks”. Watch the video after the jump.
This isn’t the first time that The Simpsons have referenced free market thought. A few years ago or so, they reference Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead in much broader detail. You can check that out here.
In “FA$T CA$H: Easy Credit & the Economic Crash,” Electra tells a cautionary tale about monetary stimulus in a catchy pop-song. Enjoy:
Here are the lyrics:
The economy is tricky, it’s a coordination game.
Like driving on the highway, knowing when to switch your lane.
Traffic lights coordinate those who go and stop.
The price of credit coordinates those who save and shop.
That fast, fast, cash how fast can you get it?
Pump that gas, gas, gas, inject easy credit.
But will it last? Or will you regret…
The market crash, crash, crash, and don’t you forget it.
If consumers save up, it means they’re more willing
To wait before spending, before shedding a shilling.
What they put into banks, the banks can now lend.
Banks lower interest rates to get producers to spend.
Producers borrow big, when that interest rate’s low.
To start up big projects that take a while to grow.
They assume the low rate means consumers want to wait
Saving up for big, big purchases at a later date.
Bloomberg News tends to be a slightly more left-leaning economic news source. They often mix ‘green energy’, ‘poverty reduction’ and aid for the ‘third world’ into their news pieces. Normally I do not listen too closely, to these liberal Wall Street syndicate news-sayers. Although they have a neat free radio show in the morning, they do not interview enough American investors for my taste. But this last Monday, I was surprised that good news was again being shown.
A roughly half-hour clip, had Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul squaring economic knowledge against a New York Times columnist: big government Kaynesian, Paul Krugman. The moderator left the debate open to its flow, did not meddle with too many specifics and let the Texan politician play with ‘Krusty Krug’ like a voodoo doll. Paul Krugman seemed ill at ease, and frightfully underprepared. Over and again, Krugman tried to drown Paul in bombast, but his facts and claims lacked historical accuracy.
Contender Ron Paul looked sprightly, fresh and well-off to making his best talking points, Krugman couldn’t make him vascillate. One thing that liberals like to do, when talking about economic issues, especially spending and taxation; is set their own agenda. They do this by single-mindedly picking vantage points from the historical record. Revising history and economics for us all, as though what happened before WW2 carries no meaning. Only those out of touch with reality, make the mistake of thinking they could ‘regulate’ the economy, the world, society or anything else.
On this day in 1899, Friedrich August (F.A.) Hayek was born in Vienna, Austria. Over the course of his long life, Hayek, along with others, brought a new way of thinking to economics, challenging statists that sought more debt and spending.
Hayek laid down his economic beliefs in his book, The Road to Serfdom (1944), explaining that the predominant views of the day were essentially fascism. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1974 and was awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H.W. Bush in 1991.
He went head-to-head against John Maynard Keynes, whose economic theories were anathema to the free market. And while both economists have been gone for some time, we’re are still waging war over their views today. This battle was the focus of two videos put out by Econstories; the first being “Fear the Boom and Bust”:
And the latter being “Fight of the Century,” which focused on the after-effects and failures of economic stimulus and bailouts:
“[T]here’s something weird going on when Paul, the small-government constitutionalist, is considered the extremist in the Republican Party…” - Jonah Goldberg
Establishment Republicans have worked hard during this election to play down the impact Ron Paul is having on the race. Why? They’re scared of him. Paul, with his anti-war and passion for the Constitution, represents a change in the traditional way of thinking in the Republican Party.
Ed Crane, president of the Cato Institute, explained this recently in an op-ed at the Wall Street Journal, noting that Paul “has traction because so many Americans respond to his messages.” Crane says:
Support for dynamic market capitalism (as opposed to crony capitalism), social tolerance, and a healthy skepticism of foreign military adventurism is a combination of views held by a plurality of Americans. It is why the 21st century is likely to be a libertarian century. It is why the focus should be on Ron Paul’s philosophy and his policy proposals in 2012.
Most of us can recall Paul predicting the financial crisis and many of the problems the country currently faces from an economic perspective. And while many Republicans are quick to dismiss Paul as being loony on his claims of increasingly diminished liberty, all you need to do is, you know, pay attention to the last few weeks as Congress passed and President Obama signed the NDAA; legislation that allows for the detention of American citizens.