An Introduction to Austrian Economics and the Free Society

April 6, 2015—In this episode of The Libertarian Angle, we learn the origins of Austrian economics. President of the Future of Freedom Foundation, Jacob Hornberger, talks with Richard Ebeling, economics professor at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Ebeling was Hornberger’s tutor many years ago.

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Ebeling opens the conversation with a basic introduction to Austrian economics:

“The term Austrian economics was coined in the late 19th century. It was actually coined as a pejorative by the critics, those who did not like what became Austrian economics. It was founded by an Austrian economist, logically in Austria, in the 1870’s by Carl Menger. He challenged the classical labor theory of value upon which Karl Marx had built up his exploitation theory of workers by supposedly evil and greedy capitalists. He developed a theory of how prices emerge out of the subject choices and valuations and interactions of people in the society. And that grew into a school.

He had two major followers. One was a fella named Eugen Böhm von Bawerk. The other one was Friedrich von Wieser. They took Menger’s ideas and developed them, elaborated them into an entire system of understanding the competitive market process with taking the individual and his free choices and decisions as the starting point of the analysis, and explaining that we can not understand society if we don’t begin with that elementary building block, the individual himself.”

Do you think America would be in better economic shape if Austrian economics was better understood? Make your voice heard in the comments.

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