Jump to content

Good book or text about Austrian economics


yadayada
 Share

Recommended Posts

I read "Keynes Hayek : The Clash that Defined Modern Economics" and it has a pretty good summary of the key differences between the two approaches and their origins. I did not actively look to read about Austrian economics but I found this side by side comparision much more easy to understand.

 

Vinod

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not new at all, but I think Hazlitt's Economics in one lesson is considered the gold standard (pun intended) primer.

 

+1 for Hazlitt.  This is probably is the only good, yet short and easy, book on Austrian economics.

 

And it is available on-line for free:  PDF

 

+2 for Hazlitt.

 

Enjoy that great book!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the PDF link.

 

A few problems I have with the libertarian views of completely free markets (allthough they do make a lot of good points as well) are:

 

-Somehow unions are bad. But corporations should not be restricted by government at all. But it seems Unions usually arise when corporations start to have too much leverage. And so they are easily a result of a free market as well. Yet in a libertarian eyes, Unions are bad.

 

-They fail to take into account ignorance, fear and greed. They make sort of the same mistake as socialists. Socialists forget that humans generally think of themselves first. And Libertarians fail to see that humans generally short cut their decisions, and are very much affected by fear and greed. For example if you don't insure bank deposits, you can easily have some crash, or rumor cause a collapse of the financial system. Even when there is not much wrong with it...

 

Same with regulation, and things like patents. I fail to see how patents would be a net negative. And certain regulations are good. Allthough most of current regulation is bad in my opinion. It also seems that you should have some sort of safety net. Sometimes people's skills become obsolete. It doesn't hurt if there is some sort of safety net to transition them to a new profession..

 

Finally they ignore the problem of politics. You cannot study economics without taking politics into consideration. As long as politicians have huge incentives to promise 'free' stuff, you will have a problem with government debt. And thus you will need a printing press. Unless there is something that keeps government spending in check.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the PDF link.

 

A few problems I have with the libertarian views of completely free markets (allthough they do make a lot of good points as well) are:

 

-Somehow unions are bad. But corporations should not be restricted by government at all. But it seems Unions usually arise when corporations start to have too much leverage. And so they are easily a result of a free market as well. Yet in a libertarian eyes, Unions are bad.

 

-They fail to take into account ignorance, fear and greed. They make sort of the same mistake as socialists. Socialists forget that humans generally think of themselves first. And Libertarians fail to see that humans generally short cut their decisions, and are very much affected by fear and greed. For example if you don't insure bank deposits, you can easily have some crash, or rumor cause a collapse of the financial system. Even when there is not much wrong with it...

 

Same with regulation, and things like patents. I fail to see how patents would be a net negative. And certain regulations are good. Allthough most of current regulation is bad in my opinion. It also seems that you should have some sort of safety net. Sometimes people's skills become obsolete. It doesn't hurt if there is some sort of safety net to transition them to a new profession..

 

Finally they ignore the problem of politics. You cannot study economics without taking politics into consideration. As long as politicians have huge incentives to promise 'free' stuff, you will have a problem with government debt. And thus you will need a printing press. Unless there is something that keeps government spending in check.

 

1) Unions are not bad.  Not sure where you got that from.  The libertarian position is that people have a right to unionize and companies have a right to fire them if they do.  There shouldn't be government laws giving more power to one side over the other.  Laws requiring closed union shops take away the right of every individual who wishes to work for a company from making his/her own decision whether or not to be part of any collective bargaining group or agreement.  Most libertarians I know support unions under those conditions and yet don't support the entire idea of corporations to begin with.  There is nothing wrong with partnerships and even joint stock companies, but there should be no way to shield individual human beings from being held fully accountable and fully personally liable for the entirety of his actions.  There should be no situation where an Angelo Mozilo walks away scott free with his millions while outside shareholders are left holding the liability for his actions.  Along with increasing responsibility and increasing compensation, comes increasing liability.

 

2) I disagree. It is those who think giving unlimited money and power to a limited number of human beings and think that they will solve all the worlds problems are not taking into account ignorance, fear, and greed. As well as racism, sexism, nationalism, and pure power lust.  The market puts these things  into check somewhat, where government lets these things run amuck completely unchecked.  The market will never be perfect, because human beings will never be perfect, but government is a disaster.

 

3) See above.  You can't give people unlimited power over others, with the almost unlimited ability to steal money and property, give favors to one group over another, all backed up by overwhelming force and think that they won't be subject to all the base human desires like greed and power lust.  This is a recipe for disaster.

 

4) Politics = crime (theft, racketeering, and violence).  What you are saying is that you can't study economics without taking into account the effects of crime, especially organized crime.  This is indeed true, but it shouldn't be legitimized and encouraged, it should be called what it is, an unfortunate cost of being human and living among other humans.  A cost that can not be eliminated, but should be minimized whenever possible.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...