Toward a Libertarian-Progressive Alliance

by Roger Koppl Ralph Nader recently appeared on Judge Napolitano’s “Freedom Watch” to herald the rise of a coalition between “libertarian conservatives” and progressives.  Within Congress, he says, both groups put principle above party.  The first episode in this new alliance will be cooperation on the whistleblower bill. Let’s hope it happens! Libertarians and progressives have … Continue reading Toward a Libertarian-Progressive Alliance

Hayek and Keynes Debating in Wonderland

by Thomas McQuade Here’s what Alice might have recited to the Caterpillar, had Charles Dodgson been a 20th century economist of sorts: You are old, Maynard Keynes, and your theory’s askew, It’s easy for one to see through it – Yet everyone thinks that you’ve said something new. Just how did you manage to do … Continue reading Hayek and Keynes Debating in Wonderland

Further Thoughts on The Sensory Order

by Roger Koppl Over at Austrian Addiction, Dan D'Amico responds to my recent post on The Sensory Order.  Dan wants to know "what Hayek's theory of neuorscience is really adding here that a more basic understanding of subjective preferences does not already imply?"  Dan is not the only one with this question.  I think enthusiasts … Continue reading Further Thoughts on The Sensory Order

The Sensory Order

by Roger Koppl Over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen recently said The Sensory Order is “Hayek's most overrated book.”  In part he was complaining that “many call it his most underrated book.”  Unfortunately, he does not name names.  In any event, Tyler has other gripes including the mistaken suggestion that the science in it was not … Continue reading The Sensory Order

Equality Destroyed in the Name of Equality

by Chidem Kurdas Law and government should treat people equally. This old principle may seem obvious and firmly in place, but in fact it’s much violated. Instead, the focus is on income distribution. Thus Robert H Frank in the NYT points to the bad effects of income inequality – like people spending too much money … Continue reading Equality Destroyed in the Name of Equality

Two Visions Fuel Political Attacks

by Chidem Kurdas Apparently left-liberal pundits are convinced that people oppose government expansion either out of stupidity or cupidity—not, say, out of a sincere belief in freedom. The oft-repeated story is that ignorant and misguided masses are being led by greedy business interests. Paul Krugman’s recent column is one of  many examples in the genre … Continue reading Two Visions Fuel Political Attacks

Anti-Intellectualism and Freedom

by Chidem Kurdas Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter, a historian who died in 1970, is very much part of politics several decades after it was written. The past two years brought many charges of anti-intellectualism by left-liberals against people on the other side of the political divide.  The latest in Hofstadter-inspired critiques is … Continue reading Anti-Intellectualism and Freedom

The Second Austrian Moment

by Mario Rizzo   This is an important time for Austrians. During the Great Depression and for many years thereafter, J.M. Keynes and his followers dominated macroeconomic theory (some say they created it) as well as the conventional wisdom about the historical lessons of the Depression and the New Deal.   We are now witnessing many important … Continue reading The Second Austrian Moment

Understanding Markets: Point/Counter-Point

by Thomas McQuade and Chidem Kurdas Though it should be obvious to all that markets are of immense benefit to humanity, any appreciation of these institutions is almost always hedged with a perceived need to constrain and regulate—in short, to subject them to conscious outside control.  The reasoning is understandable: the unconstrained pursuit of self-interest … Continue reading Understanding Markets: Point/Counter-Point

Still Hearing Defunct Economists in the Air: Krugman’s Misplaced Attack on Hayek

by Richard Ebeling*  On July 9th, Nobel economist and New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, gave his read on the recently unearthed letters between J. M. Keynes and F. A. Hayek in the London Times in October 1932, which have been posted and discussed on ThinkMarkets. (and in the Wall Street Journal). Krugman insists that Hayek … Continue reading Still Hearing Defunct Economists in the Air: Krugman’s Misplaced Attack on Hayek

F.A. Hayek and Tyler Cowen

Do we have more evidence of the continuing great debate between Hayek and Keynes? In the now "famous" 1932 letter to The Times of London signed by F.A. Hayek, Lionel Robbins, T. E. Gregory and Arnold Plant, we read:  The signatories of the letter referred to [by Keynes, Pigou et al.], however, appear to deprecate … Continue reading F.A. Hayek and Tyler Cowen

Hayek versus Keynes in the Wall Street Journal

by Mario Rizzo The discussion of the Hayek-Keynes letters of 1932 in The Times of London continues in 2010 in the Wall Street Journal in today's issue. The opinion piece is by Jerry O'Driscoll, a frequent blogger at ThinkMarkets. My previous TM discussion is here. Update: For the ungated version of the WSJ article, place the … Continue reading Hayek versus Keynes in the Wall Street Journal

Keynes versus Hayek: Past is Prologue

KEYNES HAYEK 1932 Cambridge vs.LSE by Mario Rizzo   My friend economist Richard Ebeling has discovered two extremely important letters. (Click the link above.) In 1932 before John Maynard Keynes’s General Theory was written, these letters appeared in The Times of London regarding the appropriate economic policies for Britain to follow during the slump.   There are … Continue reading Keynes versus Hayek: Past is Prologue

Quick, More Stimulus!

by Mario Rizzo   More than thirty-five years have passed since Friedrich Hayek said in his Nobel speech, “The Pretence of Knowledge" (1974):   “The theory which has been guiding monetary and financial policy during the last thirty years… consists in the assertion that there exists a simple positive correlation between total employment and the size of … Continue reading Quick, More Stimulus!

Understanding Efficient Markets

By Chidem Kurdas Headline topics like derivatives are part of the larger issue of how markets function.  About this big question there’s been profound confusion in the past two years.  Peter Boettke's article in the Winter 2010 issue of the Independent Review clarifies the muddle. A particular mathematical interpretation of what an efficient market is … Continue reading Understanding Efficient Markets

Hayek after 35 Years

by Jerry O’Driscoll   Today I reread F. A. Hayek’s Nobel Lecture, “The Pretence of Knowledge.”  Hayek was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in 1974 and delivered his lecture on December 11, 1974. I was amazed at how modern it was, and appropriate once again for the times.   The 1970s were terrible times: stop-go demand management … Continue reading Hayek after 35 Years

Berlin on Hayek

by Chidem Kurdas Reading a volume of Isaiah Berlin’s letters – Enlightening Letters 1946-1960,  edited by Henry Hardy and Jennifer Holmes (London: Chatto & Windus, 2009) – I came across a puzzling comment on Friedrich Hayek. It is not obvious that Berlin and Hayek, both of them critics of communism and in particular of the … Continue reading Berlin on Hayek

Austro-Wicksellian Theory of the Business Cycle: An Informed View

by Mario Rizzo There has been recent discussion in the blogosphere of the so-called Austrian Business Cycle Theory (ABCT). (We must not forget to give the Swedish economist Knut Wicksell credit as well.) Some of it is interesting (mostly because of the comments) but much of it is ill-informed since the bloggers don't like to read … Continue reading Austro-Wicksellian Theory of the Business Cycle: An Informed View

Why do we trade with strangers?

by Roger Koppl Bill Butos edited the latest volume of Advances in Austrian Economics, which is devoted to “The Social Science of Hayek’s The Sensory Order.”  It is a terrific volume demonstrating that Hayek’s classic 1952 book in psychology matters for the social sciences, including economics. Contributors include G. R. Steele, Leslie Marsh, Lorenzo Infantino, Francesco Di … Continue reading Why do we trade with strangers?

Methodological Individualism Reconsidered

by Gene Callahan Many Austrian economists embrace the doctrine of ‘methodological individualism,’ as I myself did, for instance, in my book Economics for Real People. But subsequent study on my part, most significantly of the work of Tony Lawson in his philosophy of economics project he calls ‘Critical Realism,’ as well as my readings of … Continue reading Methodological Individualism Reconsidered