I have returned home from the Southern Leg of my Liberty Tour Fall 2009. I gave talks this week at Mercer University and Berry College in Georgia and Loyola University of New Orleans. Thanks to Scott Beaulier at Mercer, Frank Stephenson at Berry, Nicole Youngman and Dan D'Amico at Loyola for all of their hospitality. I especially appreciate Nicole's putting up with a 90 minute lunch with three crazy Austrian types and Dan for introducing me to a GREAT restaurant in New Orleans I'd never tried before (Clancy's). Neither of them, however, could rescue me from a losing trip to Harrah's.
The tour continues later this month and in December. If you're in these areas and want to attend, all of these talks are open to the public. More info to follow:
Monday November 9: James Madison University ("Wal-Mart to the Rescue")
Tuesday November 10: American University ("The Great Recession of 2008")
Wednesday December 2: George Mason University ("Do We Really Need a Central Bank?")
UPDATE: Lode asked if any of these will be on the web. The GMU one will be after the fact. But I gave a version of the recession talk last weekend in Ottawa for the Institute for Liberal Studies. That is now on the web here. Use the pull down menu to get to my talk. It's from a funny angle and it cuts off before the very end... and you can't see the powerpoint really well... but it's there!
Tyler Cowen today predicts the future of the economics profession. What do you think? And if he is right, what does that mean for those of us who believe good economics is grounded in humanly rational choice theory and institutional analysis? Does the future of good economics lay outside of economics departments? Can the battle in economics be won within economics?
The irony is that bank executives weren't the primary cause of the crisis, the very politicians and Federal Reserve who are now on their moral high horse were.
Capping executive pay may make them feel good, but the consequences
will be that the talent needed to restore confidence in the financial
system will not see the lower pay as worth the trouble and will take
their skills elsewhere.
John Stossel writing at Townhall.com stresses how free individuals can solve problems even in the most difficult situations. In making his argument, he relies on the work of Elinor Ostrom on common-pool resources. He also references the interview with Lin and Vincent that serves as the post-script to Paul Aligica and my book on the Bloomington School.
George Soros can spend his money any way he pleases. He earned it. But he insists that economic theory and policy must be rethought. He is certainly entitled to his opinion, and I also agree with him that we need to re-examine economic theory and public policy. His new think tank is going to be named the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and it is intended to challenge current teaching in economics as a "dogma whose time has passed."
But the dogma we are told that has become entrenched in the economics profession is free market fundamentalism. And his board of advisors will consist of Jeff Sachs, George Akerloff, Ken Rogoff, and Joe Stiglitz. So to challenge the economic establishment which doesn't permit creative thought outside of free market fundamentalism, we are going to enlist 2 professors from Columbia (1 a Nobel Prize winner, and the other the closest thing the profession has to a rock star), 1 from Harvard, and another from UC-Berkeley (who also won the Nobel Prize). Because I guess the profession has been dogmatic in the treatment of their ideas, or that the US government hasn't been influenced for the past 20 years by their ideas on regulation of markets, managament of the macroeconomy, and foreign aid goals.
The Society for the Development of Austrian Economics
is pleased to announce the winners of the Don Lavoie Memorial Graduate Student
Essay Competition. Three prizes are given, each worth $1000, to be used to pay
expenses to attend the Southern Economic Association meetings this November in San Antonio, TX,
where the winners will present their work on a special panel at 10:00am,
Saturday, November 21, 2009. Prize awards are contingent on attending the SEA
meetings and the SDAE’s annual business meeting and awards banquet.
This year's winners are:
Chad Seagren GeorgeMasonUniversity
Modeling and Austrian Analysis of Accident Law”
Vasséi University of Hohenheim
Tools for Dynamic Analysis: Ludwig von Mises’s Business Cycle Theory"
Peter Boettke, GeorgeMasonUniversity Steven Horwitz, St. Lawrence University David Prychitko, Northern MichiganUniversity Emily
Chamlee-Wright, BeloitCollege Virgil Storr, MercatusCenter