Happy birthday to Mario, my longtime friend and associate

by Larry White

Mario and I go back many years. Decades, if truth be told. When we first met (summer 1975 Austrian Economics conference in Hartford, CT, if I recall correctly) he was a graduate student and I was an undergraduate. Six years later we became colleagues at New York University, where we shared the privilege of working with Israel Kirzner. Mario managed to stay at NYU (and it’s hard to imagine him in any other city); I had to move on in 1988. These days we frequently cross paths in New York and Fairfax and at conferences elsewhere.

Since 1992 we have co-edited the “Foundations of the Market Economy” book series for Routledge. The series has published more than 35 works. We chose the series name to signal that we are looking for big-picture and policy-relevant work and are open to more than traditional Austrian economics. I notice that Mario has since borrowed the name for the NYU program that is the institutional successor to the old Austrian Economics Program. We make a good editorial team, I think, in that (a) we have similarly high standards and (b) our interests are complementary rather than overlapping. Feature (b) may also explain why we have never co-authored. In one case we actually wrote separate “afterwords” to a volume on Austrian economics edited by others.

On Facebook Mario has lately been claiming inherited ownership rights in Roman aqueducts in France. Although he might be descended from Roman stock, Mario is not completely a Stoic. Things bug him — although not usually for very long. And not enough to make him react impulsively. (He doesn’t need any supervening authority to keep him from short-sighted behavior, no thanks to the neo-paternalists.) His usual outlook is that things are going about as well as can be expected under the circumstances. I imagine that will be his attitude about reaching the age of 70 as well.


Larry and Mario

One thought on “Happy birthday to Mario, my longtime friend and associate

  1. Thank you, Larry. Your great subtle sense of humor shines through. I remember the years you were at NYU quite fondly. It was great to have someone in the program who knew something about the minor areas of economics such as monetary theory and institutions as well as business cycle theory. The photo attached (at Laissez-Faire Books) reminds me of the days during which perhaps most of our “Austrian books” were reprints of the classics or expositions of the classics– of course, there were notable exceptions. Today, however, thanks to you and many others, there are more new books in the field than we ever would have dreamed of at that time. You have done much to re-invigorate the Austrian tradition. It has been a privilege to be part of this movement with you. (And, yes, 70 is about as good as can be expected under the circumstances.)

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