On Tuesday evening, distinguished Professor, Economist, Historian and Author Deirdre McCloskey was awarded the 2014 Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award by the Austrian Economics Center at their annual Charity Gala at Gartenpalais Liechtenstein.
In accepting her award, McCloskey praised the Austrian School of Economics and explained her introduction to the field. “As soon as I understood Economics, I became, in essence, an Austrian Economist. Before I even knew much about it, I understood that markets work without centralised erection, and they work through the cooperation of millions [of people]”.
McCloskey began her career in academia as an assistant professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where she stayed for 12 years. McCloskey has since gone on to contribute to over 400 scholarly works and texts, including her recent trilogy The Bourgeois Era, which provides an engaging and highly persuasive argument for the existence of ‘ethical capitalism’.by
As governments expand their control over society, it can be easy for liberty advocates to get discouraged. As Obamacare imposes mandates and price controls on private health care, as the Federal Reserve manipulates currency, and as stories of police abuse become more common, one can be forgiven for thinking that freedom is on the decline.
But in many ways, freedom is on the rise. Laws pile up, but entrepreneurs increasingly innovate around them. The evolution of the Internet — and the entrepreneurs who have capitalized on this platform to develop new technologies — are enabling users to do an end-run around government and offer competition to the State. In many areas where the State once held a monopoly, new technologies are offering people choices.by
by Sydney Williams
Caveat – I am not an economist, so the opinions expressed are mine based on little education, some experience and selective readings. Those more knowledgeable than I might properly challenge my findings. My bottom line is that modest deflation and inflation, by which I mean one or two percentage points, are not reasons for concern. It is when we get rapid changes in either direction that trouble ensues, as the U.S. experienced in the 1930s with deflation and in the 1970s with inflation, and which other countries have undergone to far greater extremes.by
The term “anarcho-capitalism” has, we might say, rather an arresting quality. But while the term itself may jolt the newcomer, the ideas it embodies are compelling and attractive, and represent the culmination of a long development of thought.
If I had to boil it down to a handful of insights, they would be these: (1) each human being, to use John Locke’s formulation, “has a property in his own person”; (2) there ought to be a single moral code binding all people, whether they are employed by the State or not; and (3) society can run itself without central direction.by
by Tim Worstall
Perhaps we should be having more competition with government services?
A businessman who built his own £325,000 toll road to bypass roadworks is to close the shortcut after the local council invested £660,000 to finish repairs five weeks early. Mike Watts, 63, claims he will now not make a penny and will lose out on a profit of several thousand pounds after Bath and North East Somerset completed the work ahead of schedule.by
A freed market has the effect of peaceful cooperation controlling the means of production.
Does it mean that libertarians are social nonconformists on principle? Not at all. Some few libertarians may aspire to be, but most would see that as undesirable because it would obstruct their most important objectives. Lots of libertarian men have no problem wearing a jacket and tie, or shoes, socks, and a shirt, on occasions when that attire is generally expected.
Virtually all libertarians observe the common customs of their societies, just as they conform to language conventions if for no other reason than they wish to be understood. I don’t know a libertarian who would regard this as tyranny.by
by John Charalambakis
When we compare equity and oil markets over the course of the last four years it is easy to see that markets in the US are reaching record highs while oil prices are reaching record lows. Obviously, the Fed’s intervention has been a catalyst for the markets’ performance and the accompanying financial repression with zero-bound interest rates. We anticipate that the swing from quantitative easing to reverse repos in US monetary policy – at a time when the EU and Japan follow a path of quantitative easing – will result in waves of instability characterized by short periods of credit and liquidity freezes.by
by Sydney Williams
Mottos carved in granite over our nation’s universities carry words like “wisdom,” “truth,” “knowledge,” “virtue,” and “justice.” They are generally inscribed in Latin, which emits an even greater sense of solemnity and reverence. They are noble words that convey impartiality, places where contrary opinions can be debated and knowledge is imparted didactically. They suggest institutions from which students will graduate with unlimited possibilities.
Unfortunately those words lie. It is ideology not knowledge that students today are taught and that they master. Most of today’s great universities no longer search for an illusive “truth.”by
In a recent paper cited last month in The Economist, a trio of economists ran a kitchen sink’s worth of correlations on investment numbers. Kothari et al. concluded that profit growth and stock price boost investment, but that interest rates have a negative effect. This claim runs counter to Austrian business cycle theory, so let’s have a look.
Despite their data actually saying that lower rates actually lower investment, Kothari, et al. conclude there is “little evidence” of a relationship. I guess they have to say this because, otherwise, people would laugh.by
by Guy Sorman
The American economy is back, with a remarkable growth rate above 3% and an unemployment rate under 6%. Every political leader, central banker or economic pundit claims to be the one who vanquished the 2008 financial crisis. What if none of the above claimants played any role in the recovery? Looking at long trends in economic growth, in any country, does not provide a clear relation between economic long term successes and economic policies. The reverse is more easy to demonstrate: destroying the animal spirits of a nation is easier than to stimulate them: wrecking private property, expelling entrepreneurs, over-regulating activities and closing borders are all confirmed methods that kill growth. How to rekindle it is another matter as the US current story shows.by