13 May 2011

A Satisfied Customer

Economics, Shameless Self-Promotion 26 Comments

I recently got this email from Ryan, reproduced below with permission. I like reading his email a lot more than the comments from David S. on this blog.

Good afternoon Dr. Murphy,

I am currently reading your book (as we speak in fact) Lessons for the Young Economist and am currently on page 42.

Ever since I began reading LewRockwell.com and Mises.org in early 2003 it was, to some extent, difficult to grasp the fundamental concepts that underlies so-called “economic thinking.” As a result, it was extremely difficult, though not impossible, for me to go into greater depth on the subject.

Despite reading literally 6000+ (this is not an exaggeration) LewRockwell.com articles and a couple of thousand articles at Mises.org my mind could not quite grasp the ‘scholarly” articles as well as a great deal of Mises’ work. However, after being just 42 pages into your book it is now becoming very clear. Your ability to provide substantive explanatory power to the reader is extraordinary. Many intelligent individuals are unable to instruct their students due to an inability to speak in terms a non-economist would understand. Clearly your teaching skills are exquisite as well as possessing a brilliant mind.

to conclude, allow me to present to you thanks for your hard work ad dedication to instructing others on the importance of economics as well as teaching subject itself to prospective economics students and layman alike.

a friend in liberty,

P. S. While I have the free PDF and am currently reading it on my computer I also purchased a hardback. The reason for the latter is two-fold. First, the book can be read while being away from the computer. Second, because in my opinion you deserve some form of compensation for the excellent work that is Lessons for the Young Economist.

I explained to Ryan that although I appreciated the gesture, I actually got a lump sum payment for writing the book. So he could stick it to The Man for all I cared.

26 Responses to “A Satisfied Customer”

  1. MF says:

    I’ll second what was said in that email.

    I think this book should be in every school library.

  2. Michael J. Green says:

    Isn’t ‘The Man’ the Mises Institute in this case?

  3. Jonathan M. F. Catalán says:

    So LvMI will get the profit when they sell the movie rights?

  4. Avram says:

    IMO Bob’s greatest strength is analogies. If there is one thing I have learnt from Bob its how to make a good analogy.

    I mean that.

  5. Gene Callahan says:

    “Despite reading literally 6000+ (this is not an exaggeration) LewRockwell.com articles…”

    No wonder his mind was addled! Callahan used to write for that rag.

  6. David S. says:

    This is what leads me to believe that maybe there should be a license required to be an economist.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      Wow. Then you’d be in real trouble.

    • Austro-Liberatarian says:

      Duude… you are a full-time statist, eh?

      Wouldn’t the license be issued by the government whose policies are famously Keynesian?

      • David S. says:

        Maybe an organization such as the American Economic Association could help decide or at least have input on licensing criteria and perhaps even help establish some board or boards to decide on disciplinary actions or revocation for those demonstrating sufficient lack of competency.

        This would only regulate the professional activities of economists. They can still make whatever public statements they like without losing a license, but they should be held accountable for any professional advice they offer clients or employers, including governments.

        I want to see economists have to take licensure exams which require them to actually demonstrate an understanding of empirically-supported economic theory and practice, including any established by people like Keynes, Friedman, etc.

        Of course, the Austrians would be almost entirely, if not entirely ignored and practicing based on unique elements of their “theory” would critically jeopardize one’s license. That’s just a guess though, as the AEA might decide these matters.


        • Major_Freedom says:

          You’re a closeted socialist who probably has manhood issues. You’re trying to form in your mind a world that everyone else has to be coerced into joining. Your mind is so warped that you actually believe that a monopoly authority called the state, or “licensing bureau,” has the wherewithal, and the right, to dictate and enforce who teaches economics and who doesn’t. This is straight out of some tin-pot dictator wannabe’s playbook.

          You are very scared, afraid, and upset that those who understand economics keep refuting your nonsense. You want the pain to go away, so you imagine them being controlled by some benevolent force that takes care of you and your pain.

          No wonder you don’t understand Austrian economics. Austrian economics is not designed as a fiscal, monetary, and regulatory strategy for a ruling elite, like Keynesianism, MMT, Monetarism, quasi-Monetarism, New Keynesianism, neoKeynesianism, and all the rest.

          Austrian economics is not inherently political. It does not call for specific political action. It explains action (of individuals) as such. When economics is understood, then laissez-faire naturally springs forth from that understanding.

          You seem to have a very tough time dealing with other people who disagree with you. You are unable to show exactly why your perceived enemy is wrong. All you are capable of is insults, smears, and vacuous rants that belong in the trashcan than on economics forums.

          Nothing you say even remotely approaches an adequate level of understanding how to think critically and logically. You’re the bane of this weblog, and you contribute nothing but vitriol.

        • Austro-Libertarian says:


          If you really think that brilliant Economists like The Murph shouldn’t even be licensed as economists, then why are you reading this blog and giving an unlicensed economist the time of day? Shouldn’t you stay away from unlicensed economists like The Murph? After all, when they are not licensed, you cannot tell if their economics is good or not.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Don’t you see Austro?

            That socialist “David S.” wants to have more power over other people, but since he is too much of a coward to do what he says should be done, he instead sits on his arse and contemplates living vicariously through those who are actually willing to use coercive violence. That gives him a sense of influencing the world that he cannot get through his own actions.

            It’s exactly the mentality you would expect in a 5th grade schoolyard.

            • Anonymous says:

              Does “S” stand for Socialist?

              • Austro-Libertarian says:

                Oops, I forgot my name again..

        • Austro-Libertarian says:

          David, have you ever barged into The Murph’s class “Anatomy of the Fed” classes and hassled everyone by posting incongruous rants in the chatbox? Just asking, because someone with the screen name “DaveS” did just that, and the coincidence seemes too… coincidental.

  7. Austro-Liberatarian says:

    Except for the 6000+ LRC articles, I second everything Ryan said.

    And Ryan, you REALLY should take the course that The Murph offers at the Mises Academy that is based on this book.

  8. Matthew Murphy says:

    I read Lessons for the Economist earlier this year. It was excellent.

    I’ll be making my first attempt at Man, Economy, & State after I finish two other books, one being Rollback and the other PIG to Capitalism.

    Any info on your next book, Dr. Murphy?

    • bobmurphy says:

      I’m wrapping up a study guide to Mises’ Theory of Money and Credit; that should be available within a few months. I’m also wrapping up a Teacher’s Manual for the Lessons textbook.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        I have your study guide to Human Action, and found it extremely well done. I am looking forward to your study guide on Theory of Money and Credit as well.

        I know you only have so much time in the day, but are you willing to make a study guide for Mises’ “Socialism”?

        • bobmurphy says:

          I would have to take a break after TOMC. But I wouldn’t rule out doing it, if the LvMI people thought there were a demand for it.

  9. Bob Roddis says:

    em>I want to see economists have to take licensure exams which require them to actually demonstrate an understanding of empirically-supported economic theory and practice, including any established by people like Keynes, Friedman, etc.

    Neither Keynesianism nor monetarism is “empirically supported” whatsoever. Except as a set of statistics of dubious value, there is no such “thing” as “aggregate demand”. There is no such “thing” as an “output gap”. There is no theoretical, historical or factual basis to think that a free market is unstable or that it requires government “stimulus”. There is no theoretical, historical or factual basis to think that monetary or fiscal “stimulus” is anything but theft of purchasing power of others at various levels of transparency. Most of that process is surreptitious and meant to confuse average people.

    The basic Austrian axioms are really the only economic data that is empirically supported.

    1. People act.

    2. Value is subjective.

    3. No one knows exactly why people act as they do. As Madonna sang, life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone.

    4. There is really no such thing as “demand”. People engage in exchanges, each side supplying and demanding something.

    5. No one really knows exactly what value other people place on anything. All we can take away from an economic exchange is that the parties apparently believed at the time that the exchange made them better off than before.

    6. Due to innate human ignorance, free market prices are the only way to get an approximate handle on what others value economically. Mess with prices at your peril.

    7. Free market prices provide essential information regarding proper economic valuation. Money dilution and government spending distort this process.

    8. The creation ex nihilo of fiat money necessarily amounts to a theft of purchasing power from those holding the old money to those receiving the new money. Two things cannot be in the same place at the same time.

    9. The above existential and operational realities are not subject to refutation by “testing”.

    10. It is logically and empirically true that various injections of fiat funny money will occur in various, different and unique sectors of the economy. At this point, statistical data is helpful in determining where this new money is flowing and the effects it is having.

    As we have seen from the MMter and Keynesian commenters, they have no beginning or foundation for their program and they will not be pinned down even as to basic definitions. Further, they have no familiarity, much less an understanding, of the above-mentioned empirically based facts of human existence.

    So, who is it that needs a license?

    • Bob Roddis says:

      The first paragraph above was supposed to have been a quote:

      I want to see economists have to take licensure exams which require them to actually demonstrate an understanding of empirically-supported economic theory and practice, including any established by people like Keynes, Friedman, etc.

    • MamMoTh says:

      He was talking about economics, not about religious dogmas. You don’t need a license to believe in your 10 commandments, but don’t get confused with economics.

      You need a license to squander stolen gas to give meaning to your life though.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        Stop proclaiming your ignorance to the world. It’s getting creepy. But it’s real funny.

  10. Bob Roddis says:

    While on the subject of getting a license in economics, this past February, the American Economic Review (specifically Kenneth J. Arrow, B. Douglas Bernheim, Martin S. Feldstein, Daniel L. McFadden, James M. Poterba, and Robert M. Solow*) named its top 20 articles of the last 100 years. Included therein was:

    Hayek, F. A. 1945. “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” American Economic Review, 35(4): 519–30.


    Back in 1974, Friedrich Hayek won the same Nobel Prize that Krugman recently won. Hayek won it for his work on Austrian theory which basically holds that the boom/bust cycle is caused by Krugmanite policies. In the Austrian system, economics is basically a KNOWLEDGE problem, or a LACK OF KNOWLEDGE problem (you know, problems concerning the use of knowledge in society, to coin a phrase).

    Considering the importance of this article in mainstream economics, how is it that neither David S., MamMoTh nor AP Lerner have any familiarity with basic Hayekian concepts? And how do they claim that it is the Austrians who are the know-nothings?

    *basically people who did not make it in real social science according to various trolling Keynesian commenters

  11. Bob Roddis says:

    The above link to the AER top 20 articles is apparently dead. This one seems to work: