Economics

Book Review: Economic Freedom and Development

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Economic Freedom and Development: An Essay about Property Rights, Competition, and Prosperity by Wolfgang Kasper (New Delhi, India: Centre for Civil Society, 2002); 132 pages; $12.95. The Centre for Civil Society, headquartered in New Delhi, India, was founded in 1997, with the purpose of advancing the cause of classical liberalism, economic freedom, and the rule of law under limited government. Its ... [click for more]

Book Review: Economics for Real People

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Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School by Gene Callahan (Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 2002); 349 pages; $19.95. Back in 1932 an economist named Broadus Mitchell wrote an introductory principles textbook entitled A Preface to Economics. When he came to the discussion of supply and demand, he stated, “I hate graphs, anyhow. They are the only pictures economics books ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Elusive Quest for Growth

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The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2002); 342 pages; $29.95. POVERTY, UNFORTUNATELY, is the natural condition of man. And through most of his time on earth, as best as historians can determine, his standard of living has been meager and poor. But slowly over the centuries certain ... [click for more]

Book Review: Money and the Market

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Money and the Market: Essays on Free Banking by Kevin Dowd (New York/London: Routledge, 2001); 226 pages; $100. KEVIN DOWD IS ONE OF THE LEADING free-market monetary theorists today. Along with Lawrence H. White and George Selgin, he has helped to revive and refine the case for abolishing central banking and replacing it with a market-based competitive free-banking system. In 1976, Austrian ... [click for more]

What O’Reilly Doesnt Know

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Bill OReilly, populist star of the Fox News Channels OReilly Factor may be the hottest television property around, but he doesnt know beans about how markets work. The other night he charged the oil companies with conspiring to keep gasoline prices high. He quoted a 1995 Chevron memo stating that refining ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Making of Modern Economics

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The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers by Mark Skousen (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2001); 485 pages; $25. IN THE EARLY DECADES OF THE 19TH CENTURY, Thomas Carlyle was the first one to call economics “the dismal science.” He considered the study of the market economy “dismal” because it emphasized individualism and freedom of association ... [click for more]

Book Review: Basic Economics

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Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell (New York: Basic Books, 2000); 366 pages; $30. WHEN ADAM SMITH completed his criticisms of mercantilism, the 18th-century system of government planning and control, in The Wealth of Nations, he expressed a deep pessimism that the free-trade ideal that he had defended, instead of the regulated economy, would ever be ... [click for more]

Book Review: From Subsistence to Exchange and Other Essays

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From Subsistence to Exchange and Other Essays by Peter Bauer (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000); 153 pages; $24.95. FREE-MARKET ECONOMIST Peter T. Bauer is 85 years old this year. During the 55 years since the end of the Second World War, Bauer has been one of the most articulate and insightful critics of economic planning and government intervention in the ... [click for more]

Government: Creator of Uncertainty

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THE STOCK MARKET tumbles of recent months are a reminder that when it comes to economic phenomena, subjectivism reigns. One of the pillars of the Austrian school of economics is the principle that in explaining economic events, objective entities and quantities in themselves dont count. What counts is what human beings make of them. As F.A. Hayek wrote, It is ... [click for more]

Book Review: 15 Great Austrian Economists

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15 Great Austrian Economists edited by Randall G. Holcombe (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1999); 258 pages; $15.95. TWENTY-SIX YEARS AGO, in June 1974, I was fortunate enough to be invited by the Institute for Humane Studies to be one of 40 people who attended a week-long conference on Austrian economics in South Royalton, Vermont. After a decades long hiatus, ... [click for more]

ATM Tyranny

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Some years ago, when gas stations began replacing free air pumps with coin operated models, some motorists objected. "But air is free," one protested. To which a gas station owner replied, "Fine; blow the tire up yourself." I'm reminded of that story by the current flap over fees for ATMs. Here's a controversy tailored-made for demagogic political leaders looking for ... [click for more]
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