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
A major problem with the mainstream framework of thinking is that people are presented as if a scale of preferences were hard-wired in their heads. Regardless of anything else this scale remains the same all the time. Valuations however, do not exist by themselves regardless of the things to be valued. On this Rothbard wrote,
“There can be no valuation without things to be valued”.
Valuation is the outcome of the mind valuing things. It is a relation between the mind and things. Purposeful action implies that people assess or evaluate various means at their disposal against their ends.by
by John Charalambakis
We have entered an era where currency values may move markets into uncharted territory. At the same time complacency and the fact that investments are driven by central banks’ moves, has created an atmosphere where investment activity is more reactive rather than anticipatory. As I wrote in the November 7th commentary I believe that the strength of the greenback will continue and that the gains seen so far in the last five-six months represent a prelude to future advances.by
by Jeff Deist
Lara-Murphy Report: How did you become interested in Austrian economics?
Jeff Deist: I definitely discovered libertarianism first, which then led me to Austrian economics. I was a hardcore libertarian fairly early in life, going to see Ron Paul at a 1988 Libertarian Party campaign event when I was in college. A few years later my close friend Joe Becker enrolled at UNLV for the express purpose of studying under Professor Murray Rothbard in the graduate economics department, and I was able to sit in on a few of Murray’s classes.by
The waiting is over. It is hard to imagine a jury with a more difficult task than that had by the twelve people on the St. Louis County Grand Jury who decided Monday evening not to indict Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown last August. Over twenty-five days, the Grand Jury had heard more than seventy hours of testimony from sixty witnesses. They considered five possible charges, ranging from first degree murder to involuntary manslaughter. They spent two days deliberating the charges.
They were not sequestered so were fully aware of the momentous nature of their decision. They had to withstand extraordinary political pressure, both direct and implied. The easy way out would have been to indict and pass on the job of determining guilt or innocence to a trial jury. But they adhered to their responsibility of sifting through all the information and material and decided that there was not enough evidence for a court case to go forward.by
by Thorsten Polleit
The referendum on the Swiss Gold Initiative will take place on November 30. The Initiative demands the following: (1) The Swiss National Bank (SNB) shall be prohibited from selling any of its gold reserves; (2) the SNB’s gold reserves must be stored in Switzerland; and (3) the SNB must keep at least 20 percent of its assets in gold (i.e., the “20-percent rule”).
The balance sheet of the SNB currently amounts to 522.3bn CHF (Swiss francs), with its gold holdings and claims from gold transactions amounting to 39.4bn CHF. The share of gold of the SNB’s assets is therefore about 7.5 percent — substantially lower than what the Initiative calls for.by
The American continent faces severe economic problems, particularly currency instability, and the Fifth International Conference of Austrian Economics — held in Rosario, Argentina, on November 17-19 — zeroed in on solutions. The 140 attendees heard prescriptions such as the closure of central banks, a return to the gold standard, and trade liberalization under the premise that such freedom produces wealth.
The biennial event, organized by the Bases Foundation of Rosario at the Catholic University of Argentina, spanned economics, political philosophy, epistemology, and methodology.by
by Sydney Williams
A funny thing is happening on the way to the 2016 election. Youth, excitement and new ideas increasingly seem to be the province of Republicans. For decades – at least since Jack Kennedy – the Democrat Party has been the one associated with youth, vitality and concern for the needs of real people. However, with the long years they have spent in Washington, Democrats have morphed into a cynical, sanctimonious group of aging professional politicians. The smug Jonathon Gruber, now dismissed by Democrats for telling the truth, perfectly captured their Pecksniffian ways when he spoke of the “stupidity” of the average voter, of his and her inability to understand the magnanimity of what the Left was doing for the good of the common man.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