February 3, 2016—On this episode of The Libertarian Angle, Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling of the Future of Freedom Foundation return to the history of economic thought. Check out Part 1 and Part 2.
“As later became a major difference between the Austrian School and the mainstream of micro- or marginalist-economics, Menger challenged Léon Walras’s formulation of the new micro-economics in a mathematical formulation. He argued that while mathematics can be a tool of logic, an auxillary way of thinking, that the core of it was not mathematical,” Ebeling explains, “but understanding the intentionality and purposefulness behind the choices and decisions of the actors. And this could not be captured in a narrow, skeletal conception of reducing human activity to a mathematical formulation.”
Hornberger shared a college memory of how economics was presented to him, saying, “I remember doing all this model building, ya know, with charts and graphs, marginal utility curves, cost curves, supply and demand, and so forth. I was thinking when I go out into the real world, I’m going to be using these charts and graphs,” but, “It was all non-sense, as I realized when I got out into the real world.”
What did you learn about economics in school? Comment below!