The Mises Circle in Colorado Springs

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As Tom noted, the Mises Circle in Colorado Springs today enjoyed record-setting attendance in spite of really lousy weather and icy roads.

And even though I’ve heard all the speakers give many speeches before, all the talks were fresh and entertaining.

The audience was enthusiastic, and ranged in age mostly from about 18 to 50. Plenty of people there were well-educated people in their twenties and thirties, which is always a good sign.

But most impressive of all was how much this event illustrated how Austrian Economics and libertarianism is so vitally relevant right now. No one else is offering any insight into the current crisis beyond the usual platitudes, and people know it. Austrian economics isn’t about obscure theories and historical epochs. It was about policies that have real effects on real people’s lives.

Shortly after the first bailout last fall, it suddenly occurred to me that Rothbardian and Misesian libertarianism isn’t something we’re studying for the future. It’s important, essential, and indispensable right now if we have any hope of injecting some sanity into the current policy debate.

For the first time ever in my life, one can talk about Austrian economics in mixed company and people actually are interested and open to the ideas. Austrian economics has never been more powerful, and that was certainly obvious today.

PS – don’t miss Jeffrey Tucker’s round-up of the event.

11:41 pm on April 4, 2009