Josh Barro responds to the Cato Unbound discussions with, among other things, the following:
This is particularly amusing to me because of where I got my most extensive exposure to Austrian economics. It's not blogs and Internet forums. It's a series of programs put on by the Institute for Humane Studies and the Charles Koch Institute, two of the leading promoters of Austrian thinking in Washington D.C.'s nonprofit space.
Prof. Horwitz may not remember, but in the fall of 2008, we spent nine hours together in a conference room at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town. He was leading an IHS weekend seminar called "Hayek On Liberty," in which we broke down the minutiae of "The Constitution of Liberty" and a few other Hayek works.
Which, yes, I have read. I'm happy to show him my copy, filled with margin notes, if he wants proof. I also have two other copies, not filled with margin notes, because you can't walk five feet in libertarian Washington without someone handing you a free copy of a Hayek book.
I remember it well. I also remember very clearly that not once during that weekend was that seminar ever sold as being about "Austrian Economics." It was, as he notes, aptly titled "Hayek on Liberty." So the fact that Barro has read that book, or attended that seminar, is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I do hope no one claims they understand modern monetarism because they read Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom. That book, and The Constitution of Liberty, are exercises in politcal philosophy, not economics. Nowhere in TCOL is there any discussion in any notable way of Austrian economics.
So Barro can trot out that memory all he wants, but he only proves my point: there's still no evidence he's actually read any Austrian economics, and certainly not the professional contributions of practicing Austrian economists. His criticisms of "Austrian Economics" should be discounted appropriately.
Barro also argues this: "If Horwitz thinks the heart of modern Austrian economic work is empirical, he should urge groups like IHS to put down "The Road to Serfdom" and start promoting those empirical papers."
Well Josh, perhaps you should check out the reading list and lecturers for the Foundation for Economic Education's seminar in Advanced Austrian Economics then. It actually HAS the words "Austrian Economics" in the title and the lecturers include the authors of most of the work I've been discussing at Cato. You should also note that IHS is not selling what gets taught at its seminars as necessarily being Austrian economics. Having a book by Hayek on the reading list doesn't count if the book ain't about Austrian economics. Not everything he wrote was, you know, and the fact Barro seems to think it was doesn't show that Hayek was an ideologue - it shows that Barro has no understanding of what Austrian economics is.
You really do need to get out more Josh and actually read the things you claim to be criticizing.