It has been a great honour for me to have been asked to write the lead article for the Liberty Fund online discussion forum for July 2015, which is on the economics of John Stuart Mill. The article has now been published and may be found here. It will be followed by commentaries from three of the world’s great scholars on Mill, after which there will then be open discussion thread from readers. The following is the Liberty Fund’s introduction to my article and the three commentaries:
In this month’s Liberty Matters online discussion we reassess the economic ideas of John Stuart Mill as found in his classic work Principles of Political Economy (1st ed. 1848, 7th ed. 1871) and other writings. In the Lead Essay by Steven Kates of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology it is argued that in the light of the evident failures of Keynesian economics to solve the problems of the boom and bust cycle, and that of ongoing high unemployment and economic stagnation, that we should go back to Mill’s “Four Propositions on Capital” for enlightenment. In Kates’s view there is “more insight into the operation of an economy than any of the Samuelson clones that have been published to explain what Keynes meant in trying to raise aggregate demand.” The commentators are Nick Capaldi, the Legendre-Soulé Distinguished Chair in Business Ethics at Loyola University New Orleans; Richard M. Ebeling, the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina; and Sandra J. Peart, who is dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.
If nothing else, this article and the three commentaries should alert you to the virtual certainty that modern economic theory is not even near being the best economics there has ever been.