Like so many
Americans who have received or are expecting their tax rebate check,
you probably imagined what you’d purchase once you got the windfall
in the mail. As reported on many cable news shows, ordinary Americans
are spending their money at Wal-Mart, paying down bills, or filling
up their gas tanks to capacity.
If you are
reading this article, you are probably no ordinary American; you
are most likely someone extremely interested in learning as much
as you can about liberty and its economic counterpart, the Austrian
If you were
like me, you probably have or had a natural aversion to the subject
of economics since the mainstream school of it deals with (gulp)
math and reduces the individual down to a mere digit in some statistician’s
graph. Just turning a few pages in your average economics primer
is enough to induce the gag reflex.
I had no idea that economics had four major schools and that the
Austrian school was one of them. It’s no wonder I never heard the
likes of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Henry Hazlitt until
last year, since a cursory look in the index of any mainstream economics
book will reveal that there are only two economists of note cited:
John Maynard Keynes and Karl Marx.
It wasn’t until
last summer when I heard Ron Paul use certain phrases such as the
gold standard, inflation tax, the business cycle, and several others
that persuaded me to learn more. While researching, the sites that
popped up first were LewRockwell.com and Mises.org. In the following
months, learning about liberty and the Austrian school morphed into
a hobby of sorts, where I spent many hours of my spare time reading
books on economics and libertarianism, writing a few articles for
LewRockwell.com, and having a myriad of conversations with friends
and family about our future economic landscape.
Still, I want
to learn more. I know that as a busy teddy bear wholesaler and an
aspiring cartoon series creator, I have no will to return to school
to get an advanced degree in economics. Nor do I want to spend the
rest of my days simply scanning for new books and articles that
match my interest. Thankfully, the Ludwig
von Mises Institute has put together a self-directed program
that is the best course of action for a person such as myself.
when I receive my $600 government check in the mail, my first purchase
will be the Mises
Institute Home Study Course in Austrian Economics. If the government
wants us to use our checks to jumpstart the economy, then I shall
multiply its impact by jumpstarting my own economic education.
That same day,
I will use another $50 to renew
my membership early in the Ludwig von Mises Institute and the
remaining $200 I will use towards a road trip I will take this fall
to attend the Supporters Summit
Maybe you will
be like me and make this kind of investment towards your education.
But if you are not as ambitious, I ask you to at least donate what
you can to the Mises Institute. The institute works on voluntary
contributions alone and does not, as you might expect, accept government
grants. Even if you cannot donate today, maybe one day you will,
and in the meantime give yourself a goal and read as many of the
free books and essays you can at Mises.org. For it was Ludwig von
Mises himself who said:
we like it or not, it is a fact that economics cannot remain an
esoteric branch of knowledge accessible only to small groups of
scholars and specialists. Economics deals with society’s fundamental
problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main
and proper study of every citizen."
[send him mail] works with
his family at a wholesale
teddy bear company in Dallas. In his spare time he is furiously
working on his cartoon, "Don't Tell My Wife I'm a Cult Leader,"
which he plans to unleash on the Internet and beyond in 2008.