A Conspiracy Against Austrian Economics in K-12? What About the Fed?

From: Elizabeth
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2016 9:32 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Recommended books and articles (et al.)
Hi Dr. Block, I’m a 28-year-old who stumbled upon Rothbard, Austrian economics and the Rothbard-Rockwell Report a few years ago after college (of course, college econ itself for me was a blur of Keynesian confusion taught by a Krugmanite professor). Now, I’m practically obsessed with Austrian economics and cannot stop reading the incredible canon, conveniently available online via the Mises Institute. I started with Mises and Rothbard and am working my down the list. My questions for you (two, if you don’t mind): first, what are your thoughts regarding the veritable conspiracy to keep Austrian economics away from government school students in K-12? For those among us unlucky enough to miss being homeschooled by Tom Woods (or grow up a child of Ron and Carol Paul) it feels like this incredible academic discipline was virtually hidden from us. Secondly, what’s your recommended reading list (abridged or otherwise) for interested students on the topic of the Fed? I love reading your blog on LRC – thank you for your continually thought-provoking words and scholarship. Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth: Thanks for your kind words. Pardon me for saying this, and I hope I don’t get too much criticism on this very pro Austrian economics blog, but I really don’t see much scope for Austrian economics in high school, let alone before that. I think K-12 should be devoted to reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, and little else. Many of my freshman students could use a good bit of that. So, instead, I’ll convert your question somewhat (that’s the not so hidden secret of successful professors; when they can’t, or don’t want to, address a given question, they change it to something else). So here is the question I’m more comfortable answering: “What are your thoughts regarding the veritable conspiracy to keep Austrian economics away from (all) school students (at university).” My thoughts are, that this is true, and I am appalled. Austrian economics, praxeology, is the one true school of thought in the dismal science, and the fact that so few college students, econ majors, are acquainted with it, is highly unfortunate. However, I won’t call it a “conspiracy.” That would mean that most academics in economics have heard of it, and reject it, and try to keep it from their students. Rather, the sad state of affairs is that, despite the heroic herculean efforts of the Mises Institute to acquaint the economics profession with the thoughts of Menger, Bohm-Bawerk, Mises, Hayek and Rothbard, most econ profs have simply never so much as even heard of it. So, they are hardly “conspiring” to keep it from their students. This, however, would indeed apply to the minority of econ profs who have heard of it, reject it, and do not so much as acquaint their students with it, even to attack it. As for the Fed, do read these: Rothbard, Murray N. 1963, 1985, 1990 What Has Government Done to Our Money? Auburn, AL.: Mises Institute; http://www.mises.org/rothbard/rothmoney.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N. 1969. “The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle,” p. 78-79, in Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure, Lansing, Michigan: Constitutional Alliance
http://mises.org/tradcycl/econdepr.asp; http://mises.org/daily/3127/Economic-Depressions-Their-Cause-and-Cure

Rothbard, Murray N. 1996. “Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure.” The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and Other Essays. Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, pp. 37-64. (Originally published by the Center for Libertarian Studies, 1978.) http://mises.org/daily/3127/Economic-Depressions-Their-Cause-and-Cure

Rothbard, Murray N. 1994. The Case Against the Fed. Auburn, AL: The Ludwig von Mises Institute; http://mises.org/books/fed.pdf

Rothbard, Murray N. 1962. “The Case For a 100 Percent Gold Dollar.” Leland Yeager (ed.), In Search of a Monetary Constitution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 94 136. Reprinted as The Case For a 100 Percent Gold Dollar, Washington, DC: Libertarian Review Press, 1974. http://mises.org/rothbard/100percent.pdf

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3:43 pm on October 6, 2016

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