Economics

Keynes as Convenient Justifier of State Power

Mises makes a great point on the role John Keynes’ works played with respect to justifying state power. Rothbard (and Hoppe) later extrapolated on this theme, and I think it is important to remember. In sum, “academics” like Keynes merely offer to the politicians exactly what they wanted to hear: that the accumulation of increased […]

The Mathematization of Austrian Economics?

Comments on Marek Hudik

One of the more bizarre essays within the Austrian camp I have read recently was published in the festschrift in honor of Joe Salerno. It is titled Mises and Hayek Mathematized: Toward Mathematical Austrian Economics. As soon as I read that title, I was cynical. Herein, I do not offer a fully developed refutation, but […]

Interview with Peter Klein

On Entrepreneurship Theory in the Austrian Tradition

Peter Klein is the Carl Menger Research Fellow of the Mises Institute and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Strategy and Management at the Norwegian School of Economics. He earned his PhD in economics at the University of CA in Berkeley and is a former Associate Editor of The […]

The Economic Phenomenon of Wages

George Reisman's brilliant argument against the claim that profits are exploitation

Because the gap between my knowledge and David Gordon’s knowledge on the history of economic thought is wider than the United States’ liability deficit, I will trust him when he implies that George Reisman’s argument against the Marxist theory of the exploitive nature of profit is pretty much unique to Reisman. I have written on […]

We Live in an Interventionist Paradigm

A handful of comments on a Vox socialist/capitalist article.

Will Wilkinson interacts with varying sentiments regarding the rising (and horrifically defined) capitalist/socialist debate at Vox, which is not necessarily a free market friendly source. My comments here are swift and lack elaboration.  But his article does provide a decent launchpad to make a few observations. First of all, as I’ve been discussing in considerable […]

Socialist Propaganda and The Plight of Underdeveloped Nations

Mises: "The socialists and interventionists of the West have poisoned the mind of the East."

Mises’ article on “The Plight of Underdeveloped Nations” makes an insightful observation regarding the sad impact of western socialist propaganda on underdeveloped nations— especially during the mid-twentieth century increases of worldwide awareness and globalization. As he points out, the very possibility of “foreign investment” originated when the capitalists of wealthier nations saw profit opportunities in […]

Economic Analysis and the Limits of Empirical Data and Model Driven Conclusions

Mises: "Economics is not only not derived from experience, it is even impossible to verify its theorems by appeal to experience."

We live in the age of the anti-apriori; a complete rejection of any theory which exists independent of “the data.” This refusal to embrace or even consider the importance of theory advertises itself as a commitment to “evidence,” “hard-facts,” and independence from ideologies and biased interpretations. Any attempt to challenge the usefulness of “facts” independent […]

Bohm-Bawerk Against Marxian Exploitation Theory

As Mises predicted, government interventionism has wrought economic pain for the very people groups it was intended to benefit. This economic pain has, also predictably, resulted in a growing voice amongst an agitated public against capitalism, or at least what they perceive it to be. In its stead, many of the themes and narratives of […]

The Aleatory Contract: A Definitional Comment on Fractional Reserve Banking

This post is intended to be a quick note, and in no way a complete investigation into the matter. As I have elaborated in extensive detail in the past, modern defenders of fractional reserve banking (who go by the phrase “free bankers”) are, whether they know it or not, defending something referred to as an […]

The People's Poverty: Democracy as the New Face of Socialism

The last several articles I have posted here have been reflections on the variants of socialism: both traditional marxism and reformism. I have observed that the orthodox marxists are adamant in their opposition to deviations from revolutionary attempts to establish a system of the public ownership of the means of production. However, the fact of […]

Mises: Socialists are Against Economic Interventionism

In a further expansion of my recent posts on Marxism and socialism (here, here, and here), I want to quote from Mises himself on a particular matter that will certainly enlighten. In my previous posts, I have tried to explain that not all those who carry the label “socialist” are actually socialist in a meaningful […]

True Socialism: Has It Been Tried Yet?

Many people active on Twitter have come across, in one way or another the Twitter account for The Socialist Party of Great Britain. One of their primary themes is apparently searching for uses of the word “socialism” and then responding that “X is not true socialism because socialism is the public ownership of the means […]

Two Austrian Schools: The Mengerians and the Walrasians

Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time browsing overviews of Austrian School economics has no doubt come across the fact that Carl Menger was the Father of Austrian Economics. Mises once wrote that “until the end of the [eighteen] seventies there was no ‘Austrian School.’ There was only Carl Menger.” From this fact […]

Austrians and Empirical Evidence

I was asked recently by a Facebook friend the following: [C]an you explain to me the canard about how Austrians don’t believe empirical evidence or statistics factor into the study of economics? Is this true? It is often argued that Austrians work on presupposed axioms which may or may not have empirical evidence for it, […]

Capitalism as Mutually Beneficial Cooperation

It is precisely capitalism that provides the way for civilization as a whole to leave behind conditions of poverty, and it is capitalism that does so in a necessarily cooperative manner.

Economic Coup D'etat and German Guilt at the Dawn of the Euro

When the West’s Bretton Woods monetary agreement (see Phase V here) fell to pieces in the late 1960s, the time was ripe for the European socialists to pursue their vision for a single European currency that would be used by as many countries as possible. Because governments love fiat money that can be printed up at […]

Mises (1951): Some Observations on Current Economic Methods and Policies

By Ludwig von Mises (written in 1951, published for the first time in Money, Method, and the Market Process)

Five Misunderstandings of the Austrian View of Inflation and the Business Cycle

Some clarification is necessary regarding the Austrian view of inflation and the Boom-Bust cycle. Unfortunately, the Austrian view is often mischaracterized; sometimes by Keynesians and other economic Progressives, and other times by general critics of the Fed and those who purport to represent the Austrian view. I’ve picked a handful of them to address here. […]

Money: A Taxonomy

What is money? Most people have only a vague idea. It has something to do with the green pieces of paper in one’s wallet; but then again such paper is rarely used in our digital age. The intention of the present article is to give an overview of the different financial instruments that people often […]

Democratic Socialism and the End of Interventionism

A second group seems to be less radical. They reject socialism no less than capitalism. They recommend a third system, which, as they say, is as far from capitalism as it is from socialism, which as a third system of society’s economic organization, stands midway between the two other systems, and while retaining the advantages […]

The Expansion of the Money Supply and the Stock Market Boom

Originally published at The Mises Institute. There are many critics of the Fed’s recent money supply expansion, especially since 2008, whose chief criticism is that it will result in consumer price inflation. While proponents of the Austrian School agree that high consumer price inflation is one possible result of an expansionary monetary policy, we neither […]

Economics and Human Action: Praxeology as a Chosen Methodology

It is well known in Austrian circles that the methodology of economics is praxeology; that is, one can discover economic laws by discovering the implications of the fact that individuals act purposefully. Praxeology is the study of purposeful behavior, it is therefore not concerned with those motions and movements of the body without volitional engagement. These […]

What is Austrian Economics?

While the phrase “Austrian Economics” has become remarkably more well-known since the turn of the millennium, most people are still perplexed when they hear it.  What exactly does it refer to?  The first thing to clarify is that Austrian Economics has nothing to do with the economic policy of the country of Austria.  As one […]

Adam Smith's Invisible Hand is No Longer Invisible

Those who seek to defend the free market against government interventionism or socialism often refer to Adam Smith’s mystical “invisible hand” which somehow and miraculously helps to coordinate the wants and needs of people in society. The critics of unfettered free markets mock the idea, that we simply must “have faith” in the invisible hand, that […]

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