Nice Letter

From time to time, I get very nice letters over the transom. Here’s another one such (it refers to the 35th anniversary party held in NYC last month for the Mises Institute):

From: T
Sent: Friday, October 13, 2017 9:24 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Picture of Us
Hello Walter, As per your request, here is the picture of us taken last Saturday evening. It was a pleasure getting to meet someone who, as I alluded to, embodies so much of what it means to be a courageous custodian of libertarian principles. Judge Nap was right when he called you, “the most libertarian man in the room.” Your brief remarks on Murray were a treasure, and I’ve told all my libertarian friends, who weren’t able to attend, all about Murray’s 8 pages/hour. The entire event, from the bus tour down to Hoppe’s speech, was perfection and I’m so glad I was able to attend and be amongst others who were Conceived in Liberty. I look forward to any future correspondence! Thanks again sir,

I graduated from XYZ University this past May. My original plan was to go to medical school, but despite an MCAT score in the 88th percentile I did not get in. I was a TA during my undergrad, so I figured I’d take a gap year or two teaching before applying again. I procured an internship at a magnet school in San Antonio teaching anatomy & physiology and medical microbiology; the school is housed on Robert E. Lee’s High School’s campus. I got the pleasure of speaking to Dr. DiLorenzo about his thoughts on my district’s recent decision to rename our school after the “hostile learning environment” the name creates; you can imagine his response! Teaching in a Free & Compulsory school system is less than stellar, and I’m certainly counting the days until I can move on. If medical school doesn’t pan out yet again, Dr. Klein graciously planted the seeds about applying to graduate programs in economics several weeks ago–certainly some food for thought. Regards, T

Dear T: I urge you to get a phd in economics rather than an MD degree, assuming equal interest in both, and a desire to help people. In the latter case, you’ll help a few thousand people over a career, very directly. In the former case, you’ll help millions, maybe billions of people, albeit very indirectly, by promoting liberty and good economics.

Milton Friedman once said (paraphrase): “Thanks to our economics profession, all of us, put together, over many decades, tariffs and quotas on international trade are now 1% lower than otherwise they would have been. And, thanks to these efforts of hours, we’ve saved the world an amount ten thousand times our salaries.” A very modest claim, to be sure, but one that underscores our ability to promote the good society. I would add that thanks to economists, also, minimum wage levels are 1% lower than they would have been without our efforts, and ditto for all sorts of other regulations which stultify our economies. Thanks to us, then, poverty is less deleterious than otherwise would have been the case.

See also in this regard: Block, Walter E. 2008. “Attention Students: Should You Get Your Ph.D. and Become a Professor?” June 28; https://archive.lewrockwell.com/block/block104.html (debate with Gary North) https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/young-person-saved-from-academia/

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12:55 pm on November 13, 2017