I’m Grateful

I’ve been far too busy to find time for blogging so far this semester, but for now I’d like to take just a couple of moments to express some gratitude.

First to Ayn Rand, who was born on this day in 1905. I discovered her about five years ago, when I was just becoming intellectually curious. Reading her non-fiction, but especially her novels, is a great source of joy for me. If I had to identify her most important political message, it would be that capitalism is to be defended on the grounds of natural rights rather than utilitarianism. If I had to identify her most important personal message, it would be that each individual is an end in himself, and that the purpose of life is to seek joy, rather than to escape pain.

But the main catalyst to this post was to express gratitude to those who continue to carry the torch of classical liberal (in particular, Austrian) thought. I must admit that never until this day did I truly realize how important the tradition is, particularly because it’s so rare to find it in places of higher learning, such as our universities.

My class on Intermediate Macroeconomics treats interest rates as mere numbers that can and should be manipulated by a group of central bankers in order to “steer” a nation’s economy away from recession. Just today, my professor was applauding Japan’s central bank’s recent decision to adopt negative interest rates, because it will stimulate spending. The concept of saving is looked upon like a bastard child, and quickly thrown in the dustpan as if it’s going to take us back to the stone-ages. My history class teaches that the gold standard was quote stupid unquote because an economy can’t grow without an elastic money supply…

So for those of you on the outside who wonder if that Keynesian or pro-government/anti-market bias that you continue to hear about actually exists, trust me. It’s real. It exists. And it is why those who take up the task to spread the insight of classical liberal scholars is so important. The list of acknowledgments is far too long, but I’d like to name personally several of today’s most important and courageous leaders:

Tom Woods, Robert Murphy, Ron Paul, Don Boudreaux, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams.

As I said, the list was too long to do justice. But the names above are just some of those who I have been so fortunate to have stumbled upon and learn from (on my own time). I hope one day to have the opportunity to dedicate my life to continuing the example they have set and carrying the tradition of classical liberalism through a country infected with politically correct notions.

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3 thoughts on “I’m Grateful

  1. Ron_H. February 2, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    Perhaps you are wasting your time in that intermediate macro class. 🙂 You already know more real economics than your professor. Have you asked him what went wrong in 2008 if the Fed is so good at guiding the economy by manipulating interest rates?

    Speaking of Sowell, I’m currently reading “Wealth, Poverty And Politics”. Great stuff, as expected.

    Please keep doing what you’re doing. Young people like you give me hope for the future.

    Like

    • The Dismal Reviewer February 3, 2016 / 12:30 am

      Thanks, Ron. I appreciate the kind words. I struggled with Sowell’s new book, at least the beginning of it, because it’s laden with geography, and that is not a strong area of my expertise, whatsoever!

      But you’re right. I was flabbergasted when he was going on and on extolling the negative interest rates. He emphasized over and over again how it would stimulate borrowing. I raised my hand and asked him, “What incentive will there be for lenders to make those loans when they effectively have to pay to do so?!” I was incredulous. It made no sense. He gave some rambling answer, but wasn’t convincing in the least! Later in the class, he also said, and I quote, “We can think of interest rates as a price.” Well, ya don’t say! And what happens when the government manipulates prices via price controls? Rhetorical question! But apparently the price of interest has somehow been nullified by the officials from the basic laws of economics…

      I’m so fortunate to have caught on to the Austrian perspective, or else I have little doubt that I would be right there with him regurgitating the official establishment line.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ron_H. February 3, 2016 / 2:44 am

        Keynesians struggle with interest rates, the role of capital in productivity and economic growth, and Say’s law. They go on about “aggregate demand”, “deflationary spirals, and “the paradox of saving” as if those were real things.

        I imagine your econ instructor is a very intelligent, highly educated person with good intentions, but he’s mostly wrong. It’s dismaying that he spreads a disease every day in class.

        Your problem will be that you will have to provide answers you know are wrong, if you wish to pass the class.

        Like

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