William Easterly on the Negative Highway at Breezewood PA, reminding him of Bastiat’s essay on the “negative railway”.
The city of Bordeaux in the 1840s demanded that a railroad designed to go from Paris to Madrid break in Bordeaux to create jobs for porters, hotels, and cabs. The great liberal economist Frederic Bastiat pointed out that EVERY city along the way would want the same thing. Taken to extremes, most of the economy of France would consist of “job creation” for porters, hotels, and cabs working every few kilometers of what Bastiat called a “negative railroad,” in lieu of workers producing rather better things like wine, cheese, and railroad cars.
Mark Thornton is an Austrian economist and senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a libertarian academic organization dedicated to scholarship of the Austrian School as inspired by Ludwig von Mises. In the past, he has taught in the Economics Department of Auburn University and served as an economic adviser to former Alabama Governor Fob James. The Harvard Political Review sat down with Mr. Thornton to discuss this often-overlooked school of economic thinking.
Harvard Political Review: What is the Austrian School of economics in a nutshell?
Mark Thornton: The Austrian School is the oldest, smallest, and fastest growing school of economic thought. It is traditional in its methods, adhering to logical deduction of economic laws. It is radical in its policy espousal, generally libertarian and even anarcho-capitalist.
Recently breaking story of Kuhn’s Ashtray (compare with Wittgenstein’s Poker). Nice comments!
Tim Blair on tax breaks for everyone to offset the carbon tax. “Every dollar that is raised by the payment of a carbon price by the companies that are emitting large amounts of pollution will be used towards supporting households, with a particular emphasis on pensioners and low-income households.”
So where does the money come from? Still, it is something to look forward to, since I have recently become unemployed and hence a low income household!
How not to sell a carbon tax by Ken Parish.
US banking regulations blow up in the face of consumers. How surprising!
New in the Rathouse: Bryan Magee on how philosophy bogged down in the 20th century.
The web site and on line publications of Roger Koppl, a leading contemporary Austrian. Has done major work on “Big Players” in financial markets and problems with forensic pathology, among many other things. A Big Player!
Joan Robinson Fellowship, hurry! closing March 31.
A five year Joan Robinson Research Fellowship in Heterodox Economics has been established at the University of Cambridge, sponsored by Girton College and the Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust (which hosts the Cambridge Journal of Economics). Applications (by post only) must be received by March 31. Full details can be found at: