The Making of Modern Economics

From someone who gets Keynes and Say’s Law.

Greetings from Mark Skousen to my friends in the Mont Pelerin Society.

As you know, socialism has suddenly become all the rage with the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (whom I call Castro-lite) here in the United States and in Europe.

Don’t think for a moment that the New Socialists are a flash in the pan.

The Green New Deal, Modern Monetary Policy, Medicare for All, and Free College are all being taken seriously by students, politicians, and media, unworkable and inflationary as they are.

Sanders is running for President in 2020 and would consider Ocasio-Cortez as his running mate, if she were eligible (she’s only 29 years old).

How do you fight a bad idea? With a better idea!  It’s time to start a campaign to promote the best of capitalism and free-market economics.

The Economist is convinced that pro-market forces “have all too often given up the battle of ideas” (Feb 22 issue of “The Rise of Millennial Socialism”)

Let’s hope not!

How to fight back?   I’ve started a campaign to promote my book,

“The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers.”  

Now published by Routledge in a new third edition, it’s been endorsed by Milton Friedman, Roger Garrison, Peter Boettke, Ken Schoolland and many other members of the society.

It tells the unique story of Adam Smith, the founder of free-market capitalism, and how his “system of natural liberty” comes under attack by the Marxists, Keynesians, and socialists, and is often left for dead, but then is resuscitated by the French laissez-faire school, and the Austrians and the Chicago school, and triumphs in the end.

It has five chapters that rip apart the arguments that the Socialists and the Keynesians make.

It has converted many Marxists to free-market capitalists, and one reviewer calls it “the most devastating critique of Keynesian economics ever written.”

Most importantly, my book introduces the reader to the great defenders of free-market capitalism, including Adam Smith, the French laissez-faire school, and the Austrian and Chicago schools (as represented by Mises, Hayek and Friedman).

Last November, I started the campaign by purchasing a full page ad in The Economist and received hundreds of orders from around the world. You can see the ad here: http://mskousen.com/2018/11/the-economist-publishes-new-ad-for-making-of-modern-economics/.

The Ayn Rand Institute recently ranked it the #2 most important book ever written about economics (just behind Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson”).

It won the Choice Book Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence.

It’s been translated into six languages — in Chinese (twice), Spanish (Union Editorial), Turkish, Mongolian, Vietnamese, and Arabic.

Students, fellow economists, and business leaders are fans. Professor Roger Garrison (Auburn U) says, “My students love it.  Skousen makes the history of economics come alive like no other textbook.”

“Skousen gets the story ‘right’ and does it in an entertaining fashion, without dogmatic rantings.” – Peter Boettke, George Mason University.

The late Milton Friedman wrote, “All histories of economics at BS –Before Skousen!  Lively and accurate, a sure bestseller.”

John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods Markets, said, “I have read it three times. It’s fun to read on every page. I love this book and have recommended it to dozens of my friends.”

And the late William F. Buckley Jr. told me, “I champion your book to everyone.  I keep it by my bedside and refer to it often.  Every student should have a copy.”

The story behind this book is quite extraordinary. You can read it here: http://mskousen.com/2018/10/adam-smith-and-the-making-of-modern-economics/.

“The Making of Modern Economics” is a 500-page book available in hardback, paperback, Kindle, or audio.  The quality paperback retails $53.95 by Routledge and $43.74 on Amazon, but you can buy it for only $35 directly from Skousen Books, including postage. I will autograph each copy and mail it for free. (For orders outside the US, add $30 for airmail shipping.) To order, call Harold at Skousen Books, 1-866-254-2057. Or order online at www.skousenbooks.com.

I was interviewed on C-SPAN Book TV about “The Making of Modern Economics.” Watch the 20-minute interview here:  https://www.c-span.org/video/?307279-1/the-making-modern-economics.

We can win the battle of ideas. Let the campaign begin!

Yours for peace, prosperity, and liberty, AEIOU.

Writing books for boys

This is a comment at the Instapundit thread on George Korda: Are men the new marginalized minorities on campus?

What Glenn is referring to I see, and have seen for close to 20 yrs in of all places my P/T job at B&N – the children’s Department is a mecca for girls, take any 100 books and 98 are written for them, their interests, story lines, be it noble heroines or cupcake fairies, check out ‘boys books’ for the 6-12 or so age group and you have strict ghetto’s of topic material: nerdy doofus boy; loser outcast boy; sports boy; sci-fi fantasy boy who is just woke enough to interest girl readers so throw these in with the girl books; bullies and literal creeps that must be remediate – somehow, what woman will come to their salvation? One would think the popularity of Harry Potter would have proven to publishers that boys will read 700 page books in a wknd, that they will come begging for more, but no, the boys have less and less to read, and so they drift to the nonfiction areas or we lose them altogether – and the result? Their (female) teachers moan that they aren’t reading – because nonfiction isn’t considered reading – those adorable cupcake fairies or horse books or endless snippy girlfriend who aren’t friends books, now that is reading.

I once had a Newbery winner complain to me (Princeton, you’d be surprised how many live in Princeton) that she couldn’t ‘get’ why Harry Potter was so popular – she wrote important noble girl empowerment books, I just suggested she do something totally against the norm, like Harry Potter, write about a NICE boy, who has interesting friends, and challenges. She did not take my advice , which is why if I told you her name not one of you outside the publishing bubble would know to whom I refer. College is just an extension of what I’ve seen for years, but that expulsion of all things male started long before the Women’s Studies mania in colleges.

Particularly interesting is that the teaching profession doesn’t think reading non-fiction is a form of reading. Don’t girls read non-fiction?

Born yesterday

To truly appreciate how born yesterday politicians of the left and their followers actually are, you really do have to read Joseph Priestly’s 1791 Of the Prospect of the general Enlargement of Liberty, civil and religious, opened by the Revolution in France which is the last of his Letters to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke. He wrote these letters well before the Reign of Terror commenced, which was then followed by the Napoleonic dictatorship, which in turn led to the Napoleonic Wars which roiled Europe for almost two decades, so perhaps there is some excuse for his naive and inane views. But what excuse is there for anyone to hold similar views today. It is remarkable to read Priestly in the knowledge we have of governments by Nazis, by Communists, by totalitarians of every kind, and yet Priestly-clones continue to populate the world. You still hear the same kinds of arguments from the left to this minute, that is from people whose ignorance of history is matched only by their vicious natures, vacuous minds and lack of common sense. You can read the whole thing for yourself – it’s not particularly long – but let’s pick a few highlights.

These great events [the French Revolution], in many respects unparalleled in all history, make a totally new, a most wonderful, and important, æra in the history of mankind. It is, to adopt your own rhetorical style, a change from darkness to light, from superstition to sound knowledge, and from a most debasing servitude to a state of the most exalted freedom. It is a liberating of all the powers of man from that variety of fetters, by which they have hitherto been held. So that, in comparison with what has been, now only can we expect to see what men really are, and what they can do….

Together with the general prevalence of the true principles of civil government, we may expect to see the extinction of all national prejudice, and enmity, and the establishment of universal peace and good will among all nations. When the affairs of the various societies of mankind shall be conducted by those who shall truly represent them, who shall feel as they feel, and think as they think; who shall really understand, and consult their interests, they will no more engage in those mutually offensive wars, which the experience of many centuries has shown to be constantly expensive and ruinous. They will no longer covet what belongs to others, which they have found to be of no real service to them, but will content themselves with making the most of their own.

The causes of civil wars, the most distressing of all others, will likewise cease, as well as those of foreign ones. They are chiefly contentions for offices, on account of the power and emoluments annexed to them. But when the nature and uses of all civil offices shall be well understood, the power and emoluments annexed to them, will not be an object sufficient to produce a war. Is it at all probable, that there will ever be a civil war in America, about the presidentship of the United States? And when the chief magistracies in other countries shall be reduced to their proper standard, they will be no more worth contending for, than they are in America. If the actual business of a nation be done as well for the small emolument of that presidentship, as the similar business of other nations, there will be no apparent reason why more should be given for doing it.

If there be a superfluity of public money, it will not be employed to augment the profusion, and increase the undue influence, of individuals, but in works of great public utility, which are always wanted, and which nothing but the enormous expences of government, and of wars, chiefly occasioned by the ambition of kings and courts, have prevented from being carried into execution….

If time be allowed for the discussion of differences, so great a majority will form one opinion, that the minority will see the necessity of giving way. Thus will reason be the umpire in all disputes, and extinguish civil wars as well as foreign ones. The empire of reason will ever be the reign of peace….

There will be magistrates, appointed and paid for the conservation of order, but they will only be considered as the first servants of the people, and accountable to them. Standing armies, those instruments of tyranny, will be unknown, though the people may be trained to the use of arms, for the purpose of repelling the invasion of Barbarians. For no other description of men will have recourse to war, or think of disturbing the repose of others; and till they become civilized, as in the natural progress of things they necessarily must, they will be sufficiently overawed by the superior power of nations that are so….

Government, being thus simple in its objects, will be unspeakably less expensive than it is at present, as well as far more effectual in answering its proper purpose. There will then be little to provide for besides the administration of justice, or the preservation of the peace, which it will be the interest of every man to attend to, in aid of government….

The enormous debts which our present systems of government, and the follies of our governors, have intailed upon us, like all other evils in the plan of providence, promise to be eventually the cause of the greatest good, as necessary means of bringing about the happy state of things above described. And the improvement of Europe may serve as an example to the rest of the world, and be the instrument of other important changes, which I shall not dwell upon in this place….

If the condition of other nations be as much bettered as that of France will probably be, by her improved system of government, this great crisis, dreadful as it appears in prospect, will be a consummation devoutly to be wished for, and though calamitous to many, perhaps to many innocent persons, will be eventually most glorious and happy.

To you, Sir, all this may appear such wild declamation, as your treatise appears to me. But speculations of this kind contribute to exhilerate my mind, as the consideration of the French revolution has contributed to disturb and distress yours; and thus is verified the common proverb, which says, One man’s meat is another man’s poison. If this be a dream, it is, however, a pleasing one, and has nothing in it malignant, or unfriendly to any. All that I look to promises no exclusive advantage to myself, or my friends; but an equal field for every generous exertion to all, and it makes the great object of all our exertions to be the public good.

Burke, the first conservative, was so clearly right and Priestly, and all who follow in his wake so clearly wrong, that you have to wonder whether the world will ever be cured of the madness that comes from the politics of wishing-it-were-true.

Harry Potter and the anti-semitic left

It is hard to work out whether the left is more vile than it is insane, or whether it’s the other way round, but here we have more evidence that it is one or the other: Harry Potter and the Half-Wit Dunces: The lunatic left takes on J.K. Rowling for opposing anti-Semitism. It begins:

Measured by its impact, the BDS campaign to isolate Israel has been about as successful as the Charge of the Light Brigade, say, or the theatrical run of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, or any other cataclysmic failure that still inspires us, decades later, to ponder the bottomless depths of human ineptitude. And now, not content with their floundering boycotts, the champions of the anti-Israeli left have found a new villain: J.K. Rowling.

Why? Because Rowling is an outspoken critic of the anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-Semitic Labour Party, a thought crime among those moral and intellectual degenerates who refuse to condemn hatred of Jews when it comes, as it so frequently does these days, from their side of the aisle.

National Socialists were not just socialists, which they were, but also vile and murderous anti-semites. It is obviously a thought process that is easily replicated in an entirely new era with entirely new circumstances. Socialist and anti-semitism seem to be a twin-set that will just never end.

Baby, it’s Hot Outside

Of all things, just been sitting in my favourite cafe and what do they play but the world’s most notorious Christmas song, Baby it’s Cold Outside. But let’s face it, that might work in America but it just won’t do for us here in Australia. I have therefore adjusted the words to suit. And if climate change becomes a reality, perhaps this is what they’ll have to sing everywhere.

Baby it’s Hot Outside

I really can’t stay (Baby it’s hot outside)
I gotta go away (Baby it’s hot outside)
This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)
You do inspire (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like fire)
My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the air conditioner roar)
So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)
Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some music on while I pour)
The neighbors might think (Baby it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)
I wish I knew how (Your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell) (Why thank you)
I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)
Baby it’s hot outside

Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
I like to think of it as opportunistic
I simply must go (Baby it’s hot outside)
The answer is no (But baby it’s hot outside)
The welcome has been (How lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and cool (why don’t you try the pool)
My sister will be suspicious (Gosh your lips look delicious!)
My brother will be there at the door (Waves upon a tropical shore)
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious!)
Well maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a heat wave before) (And I don’t even smoke)

I’ve got to get home (Baby it’s 40 degrees out there!)
You’ve really been grand, (I feel when I touch your hand)
But don’t you see? (How can you do this thing to me?)
There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (Think of my life long sorrow!)
At least there will be plenty implied (If you caught heat stroke and died!)
I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)
Baby it’s hot
Baby it’s hot outside

Okay fine, just another drink then
That took a lot of convincing!

And in case you are unsure of the tune, I am providing two more traditional versions so that you can sing along with the lyrics found above.

And in case you are worrying about the politically incorrect implications, of the song, there is also this.

Plenty of laughs and few rules

A depraved story – Woody Allen’s Secret Teen Lover Speaks: Sex, Power and a Conflicted Muse Who Inspired ‘Manhattan’ – but this is the best bit.

Despite the initial shock of jealousy, Engelhardt says she grew to like Farrow over the course of the “handful” of three-way sex sessions that followed at Allen’s penthouse as they smoked joints and bonded over a shared fondness for animals. (“When Mia was there, we’d talk about astrology, and Woody was forced to listen,” she laughs.)

They sat around talking about astrology!!! But come on. Woody was born on December 1 and look at what it says:

A Sagittarius born on December 1 is theatrical and flamboyant, with all-too-human flaws. They use their sense of humor to showcase their bubbly personality. They are impulsive, sometimes to their detriment. Despite warnings from loved ones, these feisty people are determined to live life on their terms. That generally means plenty of laughs and few rules.

As for her, whatever her start, she seems to have come out all right. Must have been in her stars.

MY OWN BIRTHDAY HOROSCOPE: The science is settled:

You are unpredictable and friendly, thus a charming companion, especially when it’s time to party. At the same time however, duty is duty and this is often shown in your persistence and determination to make things right.

Here’s the rest:

People born on this date are loving, loyal and aiding of those around them and this makes them a great go to help when others have obstacles of all kinds. They appreciate confidence and have a great sense of justice therefore they try to surround themselves with people who carry the same values as them. They are amicable but not extremely social because they are often put off by immaturity and vanity. They enjoy spending time in peaceful places, away from noise and disruptions.

Positive traits: Relentless, neat and orderly, these natives have great self control. Capricorn people are usually active task achievers but also very calm and accommodating persons. Those born under this sign are also diligent and honest. They tackle everything they have to do with great attention and always having in mind the people around them.

Negative traits: Narrow minded and often prone to mood swings, these natives are hard to deal with at times. They are fixed in their ways and when things show the slightest sign of unpredictability they transform themselves altogether. They also have suspicious natures and are reticent to change although once things are being explained to them properly and they accustom themselves to novelty, they are quick to promote it everywhere.

Love and Compatibility

Lovers born on this date are dependable and romantic. They seek for a lifetime partner to whom they can commit and create a balanced and accomplishing relationship. They are attracted to enthusiastic and imaginative people that are as reliable as they are. You can conquer the heart of Capricorn if you are trustworthy and energetic. When they are single they are in no hurry to enter a relationship if they don’t feel it’s the right thing to do, they focus instead on their own self development.

They’re a gentle and reserved lover that would rather suffer from unrequited love than fight to win the heart of the one they love. Their relationships are likely to grow on friendships as they need time to know the person that stays beside them. Despite the fact that they are friendly and a generally happy person it is quite difficult for them to settle for someone, probably because they are expecting things to happen instead of making them happen. They are most compatible with those born on 1st, 2nd, 10th, 11th, 19th, 20th, 28th and 29th.

People born on this date are most attached to the other two earth signs: Taurus and Virgo as they tend to share the same vision of life. In love, Capricorn is in a constant search for an attractive and creative companion who can enrich their life and the best to offer them this is the native in Cancer. The least compatible with people born on January 16 are those born under Sagittarius. As for the rest of compatibilities between the other star signs and Capricorn, you know what they say, stars predispose but people dispose.

Well, I am married to a Taurus and we are heading towards our 40th! But as I like to remind people, being a Capricorn means one is generally sceptical which means we don’t take astrology seriously.

How to turn A Life Untold into a living personal history

What I know about my grandparents today are hit and miss memories of people who were already really old by the time I entered into their lives (although around 25 years younger than I am right now). What I truly wish is that I could have somehow captured their life stories while they were still amongst us. Very late in the piece I was able to video my parents and get them to tell at least some of their own stories before a camera. It wasn’t systematic and it wasn’t comprehensive, but at least for them and for posterity we have that.

And while some may think this is shameless advertising, I will bring this to your attention because my son has put together a business idea so remarkable that it would be a major error of omission not to let you know this business of his exists as we head into the Christmas-present season. And what we have here is something that will be as much a potential treasure for those who receive the gift as it is for those who give the gift to others.

My son has begun a business in which anyone at all can be guided through a process at the end of which they have written their own entire life story which has then been published as a book with as many photos and artefacts from the past included as those who are actually doing the writing have the presence of mind to include. Everyone, it is said, has one great story in them. Most people do not know how to get that story down onto paper. This is how it can be done. And if those to whom you give this gift are not happy to do the writing themselves, this will provide you with the opportunity to sit with them, you at the keyboard, and hear them tell their own life story while you record it for yourself, and for every descendant who will be forever grateful for having these details for them to know.

So much of the problem is that we live in a present that we think will be largely unchanged only a few years from now. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is less true than that. Everything will change and what is commonplace now will become a precious recollection of memories of time past. This is a present you will never regret giving, and which everyone who receives this gift will see the opportunity it has presented to them.

The business is A Life Untold, with their web address here. I have read the many letters my son has received from people all across the world who have completed their own autobiographies and are happy beyond imagination that they have been given this opportunity to tell their story to their children and their wider family.

For many it may be the best present they ever gave and for as many others it may be the best present they have ever received.

Law of Markets Literary Awards Christmas Present Suggestions

It is a sad fact that neither of my books made it into the finals of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards this year. Given who the Prime Minister was at the time, and the subject matter of the books, I was not entirely surprised, but nevertheless disappointed. Still, it is not too late for you to turn these publications into just the right sort of Christmas gift for just the right sort of friends and relations.

The book that explains the election of Donald Trump as president is The Art of the Impossible. It was the complete collection of my assembled blog posts that began in July 2015 and through to the day of the American election in 2016.

Rightly, wrongly, I think there is no book like it to explain why and how PDT became president. And because it was written day-by-day through the election campaign by someone who actually wanted PDT to become president, it tells a story in a way that can never again be told, with all the tension and the deep uncertainty that came with following the events as they happened and where the alternative was Hillary Clinton.

Also not short-listed in the Children’s Literature section by the former PM was my Economics for Infants illustrated by the enormously talented Liam Capello.

This one at least won’t make you any enemies if you give it to their children, but whether it ever gets to their children once their parents have read it through is another story. One of the few pro-capitalist, free market children’s book anywhere. And if you read it, you will see why it could never make it past the adjudicators at the PMLAs. For children eight or older, but there is no upper age limit for which the book might not be instructive.

The return of the samizdat

The modern form of the gulag in the West is ostracism and exclusion. In extreme cases, such as with Tommy Robinson, they might even put you in jail. But with virtually all those who earn their living by writing or within academic institutions working for the government, you pay attention to what it is forbidden to say and conform without deviation to the ruling far-left ideology or you are out. You have to be relatively old by now even to have heard of the term “samizdat” but it was the means for what was a genuine resistance in the Soviet Union and the captive states of Eastern Europe pre-1989 to communicate with each other. Manuscripts were hand-typed by individuals who passed various subversive documents amongst themselves since actually having these works published was literally impossible. Today we can publish, but the consequences to one’s career can be devastating.

Oddly, and I am certain that this is pure coincidence, two prominent bloggers have used samizdat in titles of their posts just this week. First, at Powerline, Steve Hayward wrote on: IT HAS COME TO THIS: ACADEMIC SAMIZDAT. It begins:

We have come to the point where even liberal academics in good standing will feel the wrath of leftist orthodoxy if they depart from the party line. So what to do? Imitate the late Soviet Union, and start a samizdat literature.

And then this from The Other McCain: Reading Samizdat. Here he quoted from a book that is in many ways toxic but in which the following passage may be found that could not be written by anyone who wished to stay within the ruling class ideology of our current elites.

With the passing of the Melting Pot fantasy has come the anti-fantasy — the American Mosaic. The intellectual mise-en-scène has suddenly been rearranged to accommodate a new sociological fad, the pluralistic society, in which all races and nationality groups live harmoniously side by side, all maintaining and strengthening their racial and cultural identity, each making its own contribution in its own way to the total picture of American life.

Like the promoters of the Melting Pot, the salesmen of pluralism have misread history, which teaches that pluralistic societies are static and caste-ridden and a standing invitation to disorder and disaster. Historically disoriented, the voices of pluralism are also dramatically contradictory. They are opposed to racism in theory, but support minority racism in practice. They uphold group identity, but demand integration. They approve of racial quotas, but are against racial discrimination.

Basically, these are thoughts you cannot say in public if you value your career.