Saturday, October 16, 2010

Don't make any loud sounds around the Mises Institute...

OK so a little while ago I blogged on how fricken paranoid people over at the Mises Institute were. You had a great New York Times article covering the influence of Hayek and Bastiat and they managed to be insulted by it. They just knew there had to be some sort of nefarious motive behind the Times article. The author was a known liberal, and the thinking was that that liberalism had to spill over into what she was writing. There was no way that a liberal could be dispassionately interested in reporting on the influences on the Tea Party. And they even admitted that you had to "read between the lines" (i.e. - make shit up) to get this.

So they're back at it. First is Jeff Tucker responding to Ben Bernanke's speech. In any other economics blog you could have woken up this morning to lots of good commentary about the economics of Bernanke's speech. Jeff pulls out one passage where Bernanke highlights the simple point that inflation is a function of both (1.) the money supply and (2.) expectations - he takes the point about expectations and he says that Bernanke is saying "If inflation goes wild, it is your fault for not trusting the Fed". Persecution complex, just like before. Something is seriously wrong with the way Jeff Tucker sees the world.

The next one is J. Grayson Lilburne who writes a long post disputing a year and a half old anonymous Youtube video criticizing the Austrian school. Lilburne makes some good points - the video was a little sloppy on some claims. The thrust of the video, though, is fine and similar to points I've made on here. But the point is it's an anonymous Youtube video that's pretty old as Youtube videos come. How defensive do you have to be to see that and think "I need to go and write a response to this thing!"? If I wrote an extended critique of every poorly reasoned video disputation of Keynesianism it would (1.) be all I write about on here, and (2.) probably crash the server from all the searching I'd be doing on their video library.

Paranoia and hypersensitivity is not a healthy quality to have in a community of scholars. There are days I wish the Mises Institute would just convert into a publishing house and leave it at that. And I've thought of saying this out loud for a while but have withheld - I really think Jonathan Finegold Catalan's considerable talents are wasted on the Mises Institute. I understand it's a great venue to get started at. God knows breaking into publishing is tough for young scholars. But I think Jonathan would be better off getting out of the Mises echo chamber. Or at least submit things to the QJAE if you submit there.

Speaking of publishing in Austrian venues, I got the official word last weekend that my article on the 1920-21 depression was accepted for publication in the Review of Austrian Economics (it had been in an R&R holding pattern for a while). They're typesetting and all that right now - very exciting stuff.


  1. I visited the Mises Institute earlier this year and attended the Austrian Scholars Conference. Although the conference was good, it was also a bit disappointing. The highlight was John Papola's presentation of his "Fear the Boom and Bust" rap video.

    Perhaps it was to be expected, but there was nobody seriously challenging Austrian economics. Too many of the attendees were comfortable just to ridicule and laugh about non-Austrian points of view. I prefer a little more disagreement!

    In the spirit of disagreement, you'll be pleased to know that, during the question and answer session after a talk, I actually made a case for fiscal stimuli. Yep, and they didn't even try and Lynch me.

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  3. Congrats on the publication acceptance, Dude... Look forward to seeing it in there and the response you get :)

  4. I'm not quite sure what Lee Kelly expected to find at an "Austrian Scholars Conference" sponsored by an organization whose mission is "Advancing the scholarship of liberty in the tradition of the Austrian School".

    When you go to a meeting of the NAACP, are you disappointed when all you hear is a bunch of talk about the plight of black people and no argument is made for how oppressed Chinese orphans are?


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