Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
Overclockers UK Custom Built PC 1 YEAR Use Review Verdict - Does it Still Work? - 16th Oct 21
Altonville Mine Tours Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 16th Oct 21
How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
The Only way to Crush Inflation (not stocks) - 14th Oct 21
Why "Losses Are the Norm" in the Stock Market - 14th Oct 21
Sub Species Castle Maze at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 14th Oct 21
Which Wallet is Best for Storing NFTs? - 14th Oct 21
Ailing UK Pound Has Global Effects - 14th Oct 21
How to Get 6 Years Life Out of Your Overclocked PC System, Optimum GPU, CPU and MB Performance - 13th Oct 21
The Demand Shock of 2022 - 12th Oct 21
4 Reasons Why NFTs Could Be The Future - 12th Oct 21
Crimex Silver: Murder Most Foul - 12th Oct 21
Bitcoin Rockets In Preparation For Liftoff To $100,000 - 12th Oct 21
INTEL Tech Stock to the MOON! INTC 2000 vs 2021 Market Bubble WARNING - 11th Oct 21
AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Wall of Worry Meets NFPs - 11th Oct 21
Stock Market Intermediate Correction Continues - 11th Oct 21
China / US Stock Markets Divergence - 10th Oct 21
Can US Save Taiwan From China? Taiwan Strait Naval Battle - PLA vs 7th Fleet War Game Simulation - 10th Oct 21
Gold Price Outlook: The Inflation Chasm Between Europe and the US - 10th Oct 21
US Real Estate ETFs React To Rising Housing Market Mortgage Interest Rates - 10th Oct 21
US China War over Taiwan Simulation 2021, Invasion Forecast - Who Will Win? - 9th Oct 21
When Will the Fed Taper? - 9th Oct 21
Dancing with Ghouls and Ghosts at Alton Towers Scarefest 2021 - 9th Oct 21
Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
Scan Computers - Custom Build PC 6 Months Later, Reliability, Issues, Quality of Tech Support Review - 8th Oct 21
Gold and Silver: Your Financial Main Battle Tanks - 8th Oct 21
How to handle the “Twin Crises” Evergrande and Debt Ceiling Threatening Stocks - 8th Oct 21
Why a Peak in US Home Prices May Be Approaching - 8th Oct 21
Alton Towers Scarefest is BACK! Post Pandemic Frights Begin, What it's Like to Enter Scarefest 2021 - 8th Oct 21
AJ Bell vs II Interactive Investor - Which Platform is Best for Buying US FAANG Stocks UK Investing - 7th Oct 21
Gold: Evergrande Investors' Savior - 7th Oct 21
Here's What Really Sets Interest Rates (Not Central Banks) - 7th Oct 21
CISCO 2020 Dot com Bubble Stock vs 2021 Bubble Tech Stocks Warning Analysis - 6th Oct 21
Precious Metals Complex Searching for a Bottom - 6th Oct 21
FB, AMZN, NFLX, GOOG, AAPL and FANG+ '5 Waves' Speaks Volumes - 6th Oct 21
Budgies Flying Ability 10 Weeks After wings Clipped, Flight Feathers Cut Grow Back - 6th Oct 21
Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
Will China's Crackdown Send Bitcoin's Price Tumbling? - 5th Oct 21
Natural Gas News: Europe Lacks Supply, So It Turns to Asia - 5th Oct 21
Stock Market Correction: One More Spark to Light the Fire? - 5th Oct 21
Fractal Design Meshify S2, Best PC Case Review, Build Quality, Airflow etc. - 5th Oct 21
Chasing Value with Five More Biotech Stocks for the Long-run - 4th Oct 21
Gold’s Century - While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed - 4th Oct 21
NASDAQ Stock Market Head-n-Shoulders Warns Of Market Weakness – Critical Topping Pattern - 4th Oct 21
US Dollar on plan, attended by the Gold/Silver ratio - 4th Oct 21
Aptorum Group - APM - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 3rd Oct 21
US Close to Hitting the Debt Ceiling: Gold Doesn’t Care - 3rd Oct 21
Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
Original Oculus VR HeadSet Rift Dev Kit v1 Before Facebook Bought Oculus - 3rd Oct 21
Microsoft Stock Valuation 2021 vs 2000 Bubble - Buy Sell or Hold Invest Analysis - 1st Oct 21
How to profit off the Acquisition spree in Fintech Stocks - 1st Oct 21
�� Halloween 2021 TESCO Shopping Before the Next Big Panic Buying! �� - 1st Oct 2
The Guide to Building a Design Portfolio Online - 1st Oct 21
BioDelivery Sciences International - BDSI - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 30th Sep 21
America’s Revolving-Door Politics Behind the Fall of US-Sino Ties - 30th Sep 21
Dovish to Hawkish Fed: Sounds Bearish for Gold - 30th Sep 21
Stock Market Gauntlet to the Fed - 30th Sep 21
Should you include ESG investments in your portfolio? - 30th Sep 21
Takeda - TAK - High RIsk Biotech Stocks Buy, Sell, Hold Investing Analysis for the Long-run - 29th Sep 21
Stock Market Wishing Away Inflation - 29th Sep 21
Why Workers Are NOT Returning to Work as Lockdown's End - Wage Slaves Rebellion - 29th Sep 21
UK Fuel PANIC! Fighting at the Petrol Pumps! As Lemmings Create a New Crisis - 29th Sep 21
Gold Could See Tapering as Soon as November! - 29th Sep 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

What Bugs University Academic Economists

Economics / Economic Theory May 15, 2014 - 11:30 AM GMT

By: Gary_North


For over 40 years, I have watched university economists attack Murray Rothbard in print. They never laid a glove on him.

They had certain things in common. They never published anything comparable to his book, Man, Economy, and State (1962). They never published anything comparable to America’s Great Depression (1963). They did not publish widely in any mainstream scholarly journals. Their existence was not acknowledged by Keynesians. But they knew Rothbard was a second rater, and some of them even said so.

Why was this? I offer this theory. He published in newsletters aimed at the general public. He published easy-to-read books on numerous topics. His theoretical works did not have equations. He did not rely on statistics, although he was aware of statistical trends. He was a skilled mathematician, but he did not rely on mathematics. Most of all, he took the message of Austrian School economics to young scholars and intelligent layman. He built Mises’s reputation, and he thereby built his own reputation.

I can think of one free-market economist of no particular reputation who has referred to Rothbard as a mediocre monetary theorist. He also has said that Rothbard spent his time developing a cult of himself. This man has never written a book that has had any impact, either in the economics profession or in the general public. His books are published mostly outside the country, and mostly for over $140. He has built his curriculum vitae by being published by a publisher that rakes in money by charging outrageous prices to tax-funded American university libraries. A lot of academicians use this approach. Then they grant tenure to each other, based on the fact that an academic publisher has published their books. The academic publisher is skilled at milking the taxpayers of America by means of university libraries. A book that can be published on demand and sold at a profit for $25 is instead sold in very limited quantities for $150. This is called academic publishing, and Rothbard was never part of this scam.

If an economist really wants to get his ideas to the general public, he will publish his book in PDF for free, and create a supporting blog. If he wants to play academic games at taxpayers’ expense, he will seek out obscure, overpriced academic publishers.

These men are not major thinkers. They are at best technicians. The Keynesians ignored Rothbard, so the critics have come as camp followers to the Austrian School movement, or as camp followers to the Chicago School of economics. They don’t have their own independent reputations, and they are not part of a particular school of economics. Put simply, they have no connections, no leverage, and no legacy.


Generally, they are technicians. This is not universally the case, but usually it is. They may have written a monograph or two. They may have published an article in some obscure academic journal. They have no influence in the economics profession. But they know all about some technical detail. They have spent their lives majoring in minors. They are still writing narrow monographs at age 50, because that is what is safe professionally. They don’t want to have happen to them what happened to Rothbard for at least 25 years, namely, to be a pariah within the profession because he was so closely connected to the Austrian School. He did not compromise in any way with the academic guild, and these people are terrified about not gaining acceptance by the guild. They are after tenure, which means they will never have to work hard again in order to receive above-market salaries. Rothbard was an affront to them. They gain their emotional self-respect by dismissing him as a theorist without the proper equations, or for not having written a sufficient number of monographs, published by academic publishers at $150 apiece.

What really galls them is the fact that the Mises Institute, by getting a tremendous presence on the World Wide Web, has made Rothbard and Mises famous. Around the world, Rothbard and Mises are getting a hearing, and the technicians, tenured or seeking tenure in their university positions, are unknown to their peers and unknown to the general public. The fact that Rothbard is well known galls them, and the fact that Rothbard is primarily responsible for having made Mises better known galls them even more.

The technicians know they have no influence, and they are envious of Rothbard because he has had such enormous influence compared to them. They dismiss him as ill-equipped in some narrow aspect of economics that they have devoted their lives to. They reject him because of his supposed unfamiliarity with some technical aspect of monetary policy or whatever. They are technicians who respect the details of their technical fields, yet they are incompetent in conveying the general principles of economics to a wider public, including their own students. You cannot find their books easily. You cannot find their materials on the World Wide Web. They do not have blog sites. They are invisible.

The nice thing about their invisibility is this: almost nobody knows what they are writing about, and if more people did know, hardly any of them would care. They are specialists in non-communication, and they have mastered this skill to a degree that professional writers can barely understand. They barely interact with the contemporary economic scene, because that would get their hands academically dirty.

As you may perceive, I don’t have a lot of respect for these people. If they simply spent their time burrowing into the long-ignored data, providing reputations of this or that Keynesian economist, I wouldn’t care. Neither would you. They would not be doing any harm to the cause of freedom. But this is not their approach. It’s not just that they have wasted their lives in narrow specialization; is that they have gone out of their way to attack Rothbard, precisely because he refused to do this.


I decided over 50 years ago to follow Rothbard’s model. I began reading him sometime around 1960 in newsletters, and I read all of his books in the summer of 1963. I realized that Rothbard could communicate sophisticated ideas in language accessible to anybody who had any comprehension of economic cause-and-effect. He wrote with enormous clarity from the very beginning. There is no one else like him in the history of the economics profession. Nobody else wrote that clearly — not even Hazlitt, who was not cursed with a college education. Rothbard wrote early, and he wrote until the day he died. He cranked it out, and it was always worth reading.

He wrote for us, not for academia.

To younger scholars, I recommend following Rothbard’s model. It is risky. You won’t get praise from the Keynesians. You won’t get noticed by the Chicago School. You risk being attacked by one of the Austrian camp followers. They distance themselves from Mises and especially Rothbard, because they want acceptance by the profession. I can fully understand their career self-interest, but I recommend that you ignore them. The technicians can yell and scream, but nobody is listening to them. The Keynesians are not listening. The Chicago School is not listening. The Austrian School barely knows they exist. They will leave no personal legacy. They will not re-shape the thinking of anybody, including their students.

If any man was not attempting to establish a cult, it was Murray Rothbard. He attracted people, as good writers do. He was fun to be around, in a way that few people are. He took no prisoners when he went on the attack. He left a major legacy: scholarly, clear, and uncompromising.

You should adopt this model. It is not an academic model. It is not a tenure-track model. But it is a model that at least gives you the possibility of leaving a legacy of liberty.

Gary North [send him mail ] is the author of Mises on Money . Visit . He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible .

© 2014 Copyright Gary North / - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in