Another very nice letter

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For the last 20 years, well, maybe, 30-40 years, I have been getting some very, very nice letters, like the one that appears below (I’ve also been getting some very, very nasty ones too). Up until just a little while ago, I have not been sharing these with anyone, with the sometime exception of a few friends and family members. I didn’t do this because it seemed too immodest, too much like blowing my own horn. Frankly, I was embarrassed to do any such thing.

But then, a few weeks ago, Lew got ahold of one of them, and urged me to blog it. I surmised that he thought this would be good for LRC, and/or for the Austro-libertarian movement in general. I regard his instincts on this sort of thing as superior to my own, so I have been doing this. Usually, I tell people who write me letters of this sort that I am going to blog them, and ask if they want me to do so anonymously or not. I always respect their wishes, and the following case is no exception (if they don’t reply within a week or so, I blog them anonymously). With this introduction, here is the latest in this series of missives:

—–Original Message—–
From: Larry Gies [mailto:lgies71@gmail.com]
Sent: Fri 8/22/2014 11:37 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Fwd: Education

*Below I wrote some nice things about you, Dr. Block. *

—–Original Message—–
From: Larry Gies [mailto:lgies71@gmail.com]
Sent: Fri 8/22/2014 11:37 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Fwd: Education

*Below I wrote some nice things about you, Dr. Block. *

*I tried to be polite in my response to Charles Wheelan in the way that you
are always polite. I want to interest him in competing Austrian economic
reasoning and not be confrontational or even argumentative. *

*Thank you for the lecture. You explain softly what I could not do
effectively. *

*Sincerely,*

*Larry Gies*
*If discrimination is objectionable then to be indiscriminate must be
virtuous.*

*———- Forwarded message ———-From: Larry Gies*
Date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 12:15 PM
Subject: Education
To: Charles J. Wheelan
Cc: Ryan Gies , Evan Gies

*Dear Professor Wheelan, I’ve pondered my response to you. I don’t want to
critique your book or parts of it. If asked to recommend an introductory
text on economic thinking yours would be the one because it is readable. My
introductory text was Samuelson’s Economics and it was fascinating — for
me. For many, perhaps most, of my classmates it was not. *

*I feel that you didn’t answer my question but your challenge to me is
fair. *

*I became aware of competing academic thought when one of my children
enrolled at Auburn University. He shared his classroom experiences and
books in literature, history, and economics. Something was influencing
curriculum at Auburn. That was a couple decades ago. *

*I feel that you write to be read and understood. So I thought about whose
lectures and writing on Austrian economics I most enjoy. One man above all
the others: Walter Block. *

*Please allow me to answer your question with a reference to one of Dr.
Block’s lectures: An Austrian Critique of Mainstream Economics here
.
It is sixty-two minutes in length . . . an hour that slips by. *

*And permit me to add that Walter Block is one of the most courteous and
considerate individuals I know while easily being the most thought
provoking of all. *

*Yours truly,*
*Larry Gies*

On Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 4:43 PM, Charles J. Wheelan wrote:

> Hi Larry,
>
>
>
> Thanks for your note. To the best of my knowledge, many of these
> distinctions (e.g. Keynesian or Austrian School) have lost their meaning as
> economics has taken some ideas from each and discarded some. For example,
> the most common thinking on monetary policy is neither Keynesian nor
> monetarist, but a blend of thoughts from each of those approaches. And the
> writing of Hayek is implicit in the writing of most folks who are skeptics
> of what government can accomplish (such as the chapter in my book to that
> effect). Is there a particular idea or approach from the Austrian School
> that you would point to as needing explicit coverage? It’s definitely not
> a deliberate omission on my part, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an
> omission.
>
>
>
> All the best,
>
> Charlie
>
>
>
>
>
> *From: Larry Gies lgies71@gmail.com *
> *? ?*
>
>
>
>
> * Sent: Friday, August 08, 2014 1:05 PM To: Charles J. Wheelan Cc: Evan
> Gies; Ryan Gies Subject: Education*
>
>
>
> *Dear Professor Wheelan,*
>
>
> * On a recent visit to my son’s home in Ohio, my oldest grandson – a high
> school junior – proudly presented me with his textbook, Naked Economics.
> First of all it is impressive that the study of economics, at least in
> Powell, Ohio, is introduced to high school students. Secondly, I was simply
> impressed by the easy readability of your book. (That it has been
> translated into eighteen languages is a magnificent tribute.)*
>
> *When I’d finished reading [and re-reading many chapters] I could not
> recall a single reference to the authorities that challenge Keynesian
> school thought and dogma although clearly you are aware of contradictions.*
>
> *Carefully I read the index at the back of Naked Economics and found not
> one reference to Menger, Mises, Hazlitt (a Nobel laureate), Rothbard (a
> prolific writer and astute student of history, philosophy, and economics),
> the Austrian school of economics or the wealth of resources available to
> students at the Ludwig von Mises Institute.*
>
> *It seems to me as a reader and observer that you must have made a
> conscious decision to limit exposure of students to all Austrian school
> economic though. Why?*
>
> *Yours truly*
>
> *Larry Gies*
>

2:30 am on August 23, 2014