This should be a more regular event but I am still getting into a routine to handle long-term unemployment.
This is Stephen Hicks, libertarian philosopher, speculating on the reason why so many ex-colonies of Great Britain are high in the economic prosperity league table. Of course I am inclined to attribute this to the way that cricket promotes the “bourgeoise virtues”, as in “its not cricket (old chap)!”. This theory is undermined by the economic performance of some of the nations competing in the World Cup at present (Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) and even more by the discovery of the large number of nations that are affiliated with the International Cricket Board.
Why are so many of the economists at George Mason University also bogging? I think of them as the “Boettke Boys” a la the Beagle Boys of comic book fame (don’t ask me why). More on the Beagle Boys here and here. It is not because they are bored, or academic failures.
None of us discovered economics in a mainstream econ class, found it fascinating, then decided to try to ascend the academic hierarchy. Instead, our inspiration came from libertarian books, libertarian friends, and libertarian intellectuals, plus our broader reading in philosophy, history, and the history of economic thought. Once we fell in love with ideas, we asked, “How can I make a career out of this?” We would have preferred to be instantly anointed as public intellectuals. But the best realistic path, we learned, was “Become a professor of economics.”
Once you know these biographical patterns, you should be amazed if lots of GMU economists hadn’t started blogging. Think about it: Here’s a forum where you write for a sizable, high-quality audience about anything that interests you. Here’s a forum where you can eternally debate other people obsessed with ideas. Here’s a forum where you can instantly pose as a public intellectual – and try to “fake it till you make it.” Here’s a forum that actually penalizes atrocious academic writing!
Archival material on the impact of WW2 on the US public.
The principles of classical liberalism.