Archive for economics
I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of my friend Jeffrey Tucker’s new book Bit by Bit: How P2P is Freeing the World, and I wanted to share thoughts on the book with you. As you may recall, Mr. Tucker is a long-time friend of LCC and his work was highlighted in Doug Stuart’s recent blog post as well. Here is my brief review on Amazon.com:
Jeffrey Tucker is a fantastic essayist whose work I have admired for nearly a decade. This latest book collects a number of his most excellent pieces over the past few years discussing how technology is enabling more and more liberty in the world. For example, the technological innovation of the Bitcoin system is easily one of the most exciting developments for freedom in the past few decades, and Mr. Tucker explains why in a concise yet erudite manner.
The essays in this piece are quite fun to read, but do lack a bit of cohesive flow over the course of the book. Overall, I recommend that one reads it one essay per sitting, taking a moment each time to reflect on the joy that Mr. Tucker builds into his work.
My favorite piece in the book is about how capitalism is ultimately an act of love and community. This unique take on something most of us take for granted is illuminating and exciting. I cannot recommend this single essay enough to you. Many of these pieces can be found online throughout the web and especially at Liberty.me. I recommend that all readers take a look at Mr. Tucker’s regularly updated blog there and continue learning from him.
I tend to find myself in the minority among friends with the viewpoints I hold as a libertarian and a Christian. I can frustrate my conservative and progressive friends at the same time in a single statement. I have had to learn to navigate the high seas of conservativism and progressivism, knowing that I can find some common ground among both.
A progressive friend of mine is the supervising an independent study for a doctoral student, and asked me to suggest some reading materials from the free market/Austrian economics perspective. There are plenty of materials I had to forego, not because I found them lacking in value (I really wanted to suggest everything ever written by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.!), but because it was a doctoral student looking for some academic works. After consulting with Art Carden and Norman Horn, I responded with the following list:
Bastiat Collection – Best works from within are The Law and That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen
Human Action by Ludwig von Mises
Man, Economy, and State by Murray Rothbard
Capital and Interest by Bohm-Bawerk
Principles of Economics by Carl Menger
Applied Theory of Price by Donald McCloskey
Individualism and Economic Order by F.A. Hayek
Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith
There’s also a wealth of materials on econlib.org
I also added the following: “You can read Keynes’s General Theory, but honestly Keynes is part of the reason we have a consumerism problem (The whole, ‘Feed the addiction to keep economy growing’ approach!).”
For those of you looking to suggest reading materials for your friends, mind your audience. If the author labels every minor deviation from complete and total free markets as “socialist,” then that author will be unlikely to speak meaningfully to the progressive. Likewise, a conservative reader may be rather turned off by harsh criticism of those who adhere to a “God and country” viewpoint. Remember that everyone is at a different point in a journey, and if you wish to reach them, then meet them where they are. Otherwise, you are probably wasting your time.