Economics as a science began to take shape in the late Middle Ages as theologians began to come to terms with laws operating within the material world to enhance human well being.
History of Economic Thought
Bagehot would certainly not qualify as very libertarian — even though his contemporary raging in favor of free trade, unregulated banking, and minimum government might suggest so.
Milton Friedman was the very model of a careful thinker, a first-rate scholar, and a clear communicator. He left an intellectual and institutional legacy that will be often imitated but likely never equaled. Our world is better because he was with us.
Yoram Hazony’s call for a conservative traditionalism supported by government through enforced public schooling and political propagandizing in the public square for developing “honorable” conduct among the citizenry is another variation on the collectivist and statist theme.
Simon Newcomb’s conclusions, after a century and a half more of failed government interferences of almost every imaginable form and type, stand as even more reasonable than when he penned them: those in government should simply leave people alone.
The state is the one institution in society that is not legally bound to adhere to the rules that it can legally impose, via the threat of violence, on everyone else within its jurisdiction.
This June marks the 45th anniversary of the revival of the Austrian School of Economics. During the week of June 15-22, 1974, the Institute for Humane Studies brought together about 50 people in South Royalton, Vermont to listen to a series of lectures by three of the leading figures of the, then, existing remnant of the Austrian School. The conference served as a catalyst for the rebirth of Austrian Economics over the following decades.
When Professor Stiglitz says that his neo-socialism is the only alternative to the failed neo-liberalism of our time, he is merely saying: let me impose upon you the economic planning schemes that I consider the good, fair, and just ones for you, in place of those other command-economy coercers who want to take you down “wrong” collectivist paths compared to mine.
The video AIER is putting together with the highest professional standards seeks to present both their views fairly and accurately but in a way that it is entertaining and informative. It will inspire further study and a real dedication to ideas.
Because economics is more complex than most of what’s studied in the natural sciences, no set of rules of inquiry will ever fully eliminate the need for judgment calls by the researcher. And judgment calls are where our biases truly have teeth.