Best Economist? Do I Ever Disagree with Murray Rothbard?

The other day I posted a note on this blog thanking Matt McCaffrey for his splendid support of Murray Rothbard, saying that his essay struck home with me since I, too, am a strong devotee of his work and career. In that note I said that Murray was the second best economist, ever, in my view, and listed some dozen or so articles I have published in support of him. Since then I have had several queries asking me two things. First, who in my opinion was the best economist, all time? My answer is, Ludwig von Mises, of course. That is a no-brainer for any Rothbardian, such as myself. The second question was, given my strong support for Murray, have I ever publicly disagreed with him? My answer is that, Yes, I have. We are not a Randian cult: we are allowed to disagree with the master, and still stay on good terms with him; still be part of his Austro-libertarian movement. Below, see a list of my publications in which I part company with my friend, mentor and guru. But, let me say that I agree with Murray, enthusiastically, on probably 99.9% of all issues that arise in political economy.

Block, 1998, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014; Barnett and Block, 2005, 2005-2006, 2006A, 2006B, 2007; Block, Barnett and Salerno, 2006; Block and Callahan, 2003; Block, Klein and Hansen, 2007; Block, Futerman and Farber, 2016.

Block, Walter E. 1998. “A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration,” Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, summer, pp. 167-186;

Block, Walter E. 2003. “Toward a Libertarian Theory of Inalienability: A Critique of Rothbard, Barnett, Gordon, Smith, Kinsella and Epstein,” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol.17, No. 2, Spring, pp. 39-85;

Block, Walter E. 2007. “A Libertarian War in Afghanistan?” July 30;

Block, Walter E. 2009. “Libertarian punishment theory: working for, and donating to, the state” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 1;;

Block, Walter E. 2011. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623;

Block, Walter E. 2011. “The Human Body Shield” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22 , pp. 625-630;

Block, Walter E. 2014. August 5. Interview with Daniel Rothschild: a critique of fractional reserve banking and of Murray N. Rothbard’s analysis of Israeli land claims;

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2005. “Money: Capital Good, Consumers’ Good, or (Media of) Exchange Good?” Review of Austrian Economics. 18 (2): 179-194;;

Barnett, William II, and Walter E. Block. 2005-2006. “Mises, Rothbard and Salerno on Costs.” Corporate Ownership & Control, Winter, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 204-206

Barnett, William II, and Walter E. Block. 2006A “Rothbard on V shaped average and
total cost curves.” Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, Vol. 9, No. 3, Fall, pp. 61-66;

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2006B. “On Hayekian Triangles.” Procesos De Mercado: Revista Europea De Economia Politica; Vol. III, No. 2, Fall, pp. 39-141;;;

Barnett, William II and Walter E. Block. 2007. “Saving and Investment: A Praxeological Approach.” New Perspectives on Political Economy, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 129 – 138;;;
no future goods (fn 16)

Block, Walter E., William Barnett II and Joseph Salerno. 2006. “Relationship between wealth or income and time preference is empirical, not apodictic: critique of Rothbard and Hoppe,” Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 69-80;;

Block, Walter E. and Gene Callahan. 2003. “Is There A Right to Immigration? A Libertarian Perspective,” Human Rights Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, October-December, pp. 46-71;

Block, Walter E., Peter Klein and Per Henrik Hansen. 2007. “The Division of Labor under Homogeneity: A Critique of Mises and Rothbard” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, April Vol. 66 Issue 2, pp. 457-464;;

Block, Walter E., Alan G. Futerman and Rafi Farber. 2016. “A Libertarian Approach to the Legal Status of the State of Israel.” Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law. Vol. 3, Issue, 2, June, pp. 435-553;


1:28 pm on August 14, 2016