Objectivist critical of all schools of economics even Austrian on Mises site 2008
Posted 12 August 2012 - 07:22 AM
Surfing on a Sunday morning I came across an essay which appeared in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 9, no2 Spring of 2008.
I found it tucked away on The Ludwig von Mises Institute site which is a cornucopia of literature, books, articles in their various categories. This one is listed among the list of Sources in a PDF file.
Missing the Mark: Salsman's Review of the Great Depression by Larry J. Sechrest starts:
"Objectivist Richard M. Salsman has recently published a long, four-part essay on the Great Depression (2004a; 2004b; 2004c; 2005). The purpose of the essay appears to be three-fold. First, Salsman wants to disabuse the reader of any belief in the conventional Great Depression “fable”1: the assertion that laissez-faire capitalism caused the depression and that government intervention brought it to an end. Second, he wants to convince the reader that businessmen are all heroic and productive persons who, furthermore, are rarely if ever deceived by central bank manipulations of money, credit, and interest rates. Third, Salsman wishes to instill in the reader nothing less than contempt for those economists whose business cycle theories rely upon concepts such as “malinvestment,” “speculative bubbles,” “overpriced stocks,” “over-production,” or “inadequate demand.” In effect, Salsman condemns virtually all economists as being deeply misguided and anti-business: Marxists, Keynesians, Progressives, Institutionalists, monetarists, even Austrians. This last constitutes a major departure from past orthodox Objectivist2 doctrine, since Ayn Rand (1967, 339–40) herself praised the economic theories—though not necessarily the philosophical stance—of Austrians such as Ludwig von Mises and Henry Hazlitt. Obviously, though he never states this explicitly, Salsman must think that Rand was gravely in error to have had high regard for Austrian economists."
I really just wanted to make you all aware of the riches available at the www.mises.org site.
Posted 12 August 2012 - 08:36 AM
And Richard Salsman's attack on the Austrians is so embarassingly bad it isn't funny. It is a textbook case of treating real life like it were a Rand novel. As an Economist and Objectivist I think it is quite obvious that fallible businessmen do indeed exist (something Rand always acknowledged), and that the fallibility of entrepreneurs doesn't disprove Rand's case at all.
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