My first reaction to it was a feeling of excitement and congratulations. That sort of money can go a long way in a program like this. But it was frustrating and deflated my enthusiasm to see the work of the program described this way in the announcement:
"Boettke, who was profiled in the Wall Street Journal as “the intellectual standard-bearer” for the revival of Hayek’s ideas, continued: “The failures of Keynesian economics to explain the recent economic crisis or to lead a recovery demonstrates the need for an approach that is grounded in the way the world actually works. We think our analytical framework can be that approach.”Again we have the absurd "battle of the century" mentality. There are smart people at GMU that do interesting work, particularly in this nexus of philosophy, politics, and economics. When I hear something like this, though, I worry about the prospects for good economic science (I'll leave the philosophy and politics to better judges than me) coming out of the effort. If you take the contributions of Keynesianism to economic science to be a "failure", and if you see Hayekian and Keynesian contributions as competing such that in an announcement about the F.A. Hayek Program you have to mention the alleged failures of Keynes I worry about the quality of the output of such a program.
Perhaps this is just Pete Boettke being Pete Boettke. It's the sharp turn in my reaction from excitement for the program to despair at more of this "battle of the century" claptrap as I read through the announcement that made me feel the need to blog about it.
To sum up, it just seems to suggest that we have more stupid food fights to look forward to. Hopefully I'm wrong.