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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 453 of Deirdre McCloskey’s June 1976 article in the Journal of Economic Literature, “Does the Past Have Useful Economics?“: Few intellectual activities are more mischievous when done poorly than economics or history.  The power of fallacious economic reasoning or fallacious historical example to damage society is obvious: the pseudo-economics of mercantilism has [...] [...]

Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 31-32 of the 1967 reprint of Frank Knight‘s important 1933 volume, The Economic Organization (footnote excluded): One of the most conspicuous features of organization through exchange and free enterprise, and one most often commented upon, is the absence of conscious design or control.  It is a social order, and one of unfathomable [...] [...]

Krugman: Government Spending Surged If It Helps My Case, Otherwise It’s a Dirty Right-Wing Myth

I am really busy with work deadlines, so not much blogging for another two weeks or so. But in the meantime, I wanted to point something out, though I don’t have time to buttress my claims with links. Here is my observation: Paul Krugman will say that government spending has surged under Obama (and Bernanke [...] [...]

Some Links

Here’s the great Bob Higgs on money, monetary theory, and Austrian theory versus theories that rest on overly large – and, hence, highly misleading – aggregates. In this post, Bob Higgs asks the sensible question: What is the difference between a government and a criminal gang or protection racket such as the mafia? Chris Mayer [...] [...]

The economics that’s in demand

In the latest EconTalk, Pete Boettke makes the case (based on his book, Living Economics) for what he calls mainline economics–the tradition going back to Adam Smith via Hayek and others, with a strong emphasis on spontaneous order. He also has a very nice tribute to Jim Buchanan–we recorded this just after Buchanan passed away. [...] [...]

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 292 of Vol. 19 (Ideas, Persons, and Events [2001]) of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan; specifically, it’s from Jim’s 1996 essay “Adam Smith as Inspiration”: To suggest, with welfare economists, that market failure supports politicization, there must be not only departures from the necessary conditions for efficiency, but also some presumption that [...] [...]

Krugman Ignores His Own Theory and Misses An Important Piece of European History

This whole “what danger is there for a country issuing its own currency?” argument is really slippery. First of all, what these people really mean is, “What danger is there for a country issuing its own currency and in which most of its debts are denominated in this currency?” I.e., even on their own terms, [...] [...]


==> Nick Rowe agrees with me that Steve Landsburg’s analysis of paying down government debt is only true if we assume perfect certainty. (Steve I think would totally agree, and that’s why I said in my original post that this was an argument over specifying assumptions for the reader, not about the implications of those [...] [...]

Yes Gene, Keynesians *Do* Focus on Consumption More Than Investment

Gene Callahan is mystified: So, I’m teaching Keynesian economics for the second time. And once again, I’m telling my students that, per Keynesians, recessions occur when intended investment falls short of savings. And the best way to fix this, per Keynesians, is for the government to invest in roads, bridges, parks, education, etc. I’m fine [...] [...]

Did Milton Friedman Win Two Nobel Prizes?

I was googling some stuff to prepare for my second lecture in my Mises Academy class on the Great Depression, and I was skimming Princeton University Press’ blurb on the famous Friedman/Schwartz monetary history of the US. I was surprised to see this: “Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2000 for work [...] [...]