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FFF’s Austrian Economics Project

by

If you have ever wanted an easy-to-understand explanation of the principles of Austrian economics and their application to real-world economic problems — or just wanted a refresher course on the subject — you now have it. We have just launched our Austrian Economics Project, which consists of a 9-part video lecture series entitled “An Introduction to Austrian Economics” (See part 1 here) and a new ebook entitled Austrian Economics & Public Policy: Restoring Freedom and Prosperity.

Richard Ebeling, the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at the Citadel, delivers the lectures and is the author of the ebook.

I first met Richard 30 years ago in Dallas. I was practicing law and studying libertarianism and Austrian economics as a hobby.  As part of my studies, I had retained the head of the economics department at the University of Dallas, Sam Bostaph, to tutor me in Austrian economics. We had begun with a chapter-by-chapter analysis of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, proceeded to books by David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill, and then Principles of Economics by Carl Menger, the first Austrian economist who, simultaneously with William Stanley Jevons and Leon Walrus, developed the subjective theory of value, which revolutionized the field of economics.

At that point, Sam and I were ready to delve into Human Action by Ludwig von Mises, who most libertarians consider the greatest economist ever. Sam said to me, “I have decided to turn you over to a new professor I have just hired named Richard Ebeling. He is undoubtedly the most widely read person in Austrian economics in your generation.”

I met Richard and we hit it off immediately, beginning a friendship and a working relationship that is now going on three decades. Richard is the co-host of FFF’s weekly Internet show “The Libertarian Angle” and we are pleased to publish his weekly column in FFF Daily.

From the University of Dallas, Richard went to Hillsdale College, where he became the Ludwig von Mises Professor of Economics and head of the economics department. I gave up the practice of law to become program director at The Foundation for Economic Education, a libertarian economics foundation founded in 1946 by Leonard E. Read, whose writings changed the course of my life. After two years at FEE, I founded FFF in 1989. From the very beginning, Richard was FFF’s vice president of academic affairs and continued in that role until he left Hillsdale to become FEE’s president. Richard later left FEE to teach at Trinity College, Northwood University, and now, today, at The Citadel.

Richard is the author, contributor, or editor of hundreds of articles and books on Austrian economics, including Monetary Central Planning and the State, Political Economy, Public Policy, and Monetary Economics: Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian Tradition, and Austrian Economics and the Political Economy of Freedom.

He has a unique ability to communicate with audiences at both an academic level and a non-academic level. These lectures and this ebook orient toward the non-academic audience. Easy to follow and understand, they are the perfect introduction to an in-depth study of Austrian economics. Anyone who watches these videos and reads this ebook will have a better understanding of economics than most college economics professors. At the same time, however, these lecturers and this ebook will serve as a perfect refresher for academics or people who are already well-versed in Austrian economics.

Part 1 of the video series was posted yesterday. You can see it here. The other 8 parts will be posted weekly on YouTube and FFF’s website and included in our FFF Daily (subscribe for free here). The ebook cost $4.99 and can be purchased here at Amazon. If you would like to read Richard’s Introduction to the book, you can do so here. To give you an overall sense of the ebook, the table of contents for the book follows:

Austrian Economics and Public Policy: Restoring Freedom and Prosperity

by Richard Ebeling

Contents

Introduction

Austrian School Family Tree

  1. The Rebirth of Austrian Economics
  2. Austrian Economics and the Political Economy of Freedom
  3. Carl Menger and the Foundations of Austrian Economics
  4. Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk: Leading Austrian Economist and Finance Minister of Fiscal Restraint
  5. The Austrian Economists Who Refuted Karl Marx (and Barack Obama)
  6. Herbert J. Davenport’s Economics of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  7. Ludwig von Mises: Master-Builder of Austrian Economics and Political Economist of Liberty
  8. Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian Theory of Inflations and Recessions
  9. Mission to Moscow: The “Lost Papers” of Ludwig von Mises
  10. The Other Ludwig von Mises: Economic Policy Advocate in an Interventionist World
  11. Friedrich A. Hayek and the Need for Humility When Studying Mankind
  12. Is America Still on F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom?
  13. F.A. Hayek and Why Government Cannot Successfully Manage Society
  14. Hayek’s Warning: The Social Engineer’s Pretense of Knowledge
  15. Hayek on Individualism and the Free Society
  16. Israel M. Kirzner on Austrian Economics and the Pivotal Role of the Entrepreneur
  17. Why Socialism Is Impossible: Economic Calculation and the Market Process
  18. The Free Market versus the Interventionist State
  19. The Free Market versus the Bureaucratic State
  20. Free-Market Capitalism versus Crony Capitalism
  21. America’s Progressives Are Bismarck’s Grandchildren
  22. Economic Delusions, Political Demagoguery, and Ideological Deceptions
  23. Great National Purposes Means Less Freedom
  24. The Folly and Presumption of the Social Engineer in Society
  25. Free Trade Benefits versus Fears of Foreign Goods
  26. The Inequality Trap Distracts from the Real Issue of Freedom
  27. Consumers’ Sovereignty and Natural versus Contrived Scarcities
  28. The Follies and Fallacies of Keynesian Economics
  29. The Myth of Global Gluts and the Reality of Market Change
  30. Government Spending Is Not the Answer to a Slow-Growing Economy: The Importance of Savings, Investment, and Capital Formation
  31. Why Government Deficits and Debt Do Matter
  32. An Austrian Economist’s Advice for Greece and the European Union
  33. Federal Reserve Policies Cause Booms and Busts
  34. The False Promise of 2 Percent Price Inflation: Austrian Microeconomic Analysis versus Keynesian Macroeconomic Analysis
  35. Don’t Fear Deflation, Unless Caused by the Government
  36. Low Interest Rates Cannot Save a House of Cards
  37. Ending Government Monopoly Money
  38. Paper Money versus the Gold Standard
  39. Austrian Economics and Mainstream: An Interview
  40. The Importance of Austrian Economics and F.A. Hayek for Understanding the Current Economic Crisis and the Future of Freedom

Acknowledgments

About the Author

The Future of Freedom Foundation

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.