Steven Horwitz is the Schnatter Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in the Department of Economics at Ball State University, where he also is a Fellow at the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.
He is the author of Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Routledge, 2000), and Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order (Westview, 1992). He has written extensively on Austrian economics, Hayekian political economy, monetary theory and history, and American economic history. His work has been published in professional journals such as History of Political Economy, Southern Economic Journal, and The Cambridge Journal of Economics.
Horwitz is an Affiliated Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center in Arlington, VA, a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute in Canada, and a distinguished scholar at the Foundation for Economic Education. A member of the Mont Pelerin Society, he has a PhD in Economics from George Mason University and an AB in Economics and Philosophy from The University of Michigan.
A recent trip to Cincinnati afforded me the opportunity to check out the well-known Jungle Jim’s International Market just north of the city. As a lover of all kinds of food, I was promised that here I could find everything under the sun in one location. And that promise was largely fulfilled, as Jungle Jim’s is indeed an amazing place. From its fantastic wine selection to its charcuterie to its tanks of live fish to its exotic and obscure international produce to its international dry goods area with sections containing food from countries across the globe, including some of the smallest in
As of this writing, the Sessions nomination appears as though it will go through, while DeVos is facing significant questions, especially with the defection of two Republican senators. Whatever one thinks of the qualifications of Trump’s various Cabinet nominations, a comparison between the relatively smooth sailing of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General and Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education reveals some important lessons for the role of interest group dynamics in the political process and its relationship to furthering a free and responsible society. Sessions for Attorney General For
For those who like competitive markets, the prospect of a Trump presidency has not held a great deal of promise. His love of discretionary power, his weak understanding of economics, and his long history of cronyism all suggest that the next four years will not be a good time for those of us who think that market capitalism is the best economic system for raising the overall standard of living, and especially for the least well off among us. One possible bright spot, however, has been Trump’s promise of “regulatory relief” upon taking office. There are reports that he plans to repeal a number
One of the most persistent false beliefs held by American voters is that someone with “business experience” would do a better job “running the economy” than politicians have. Let’s put aside the idea that an economy is something that needs to be, or can be, “run” and explore whether a CEO of a major company as president really would be better for the economy. Of course we have precisely this situation in front of us as Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office. There are dozens of theories about why so many voted for Trump, but surely one part of his appeal was that his apparently
Humans have long dreamed of a time when food was so plentiful that delicious and nutritious food would be easily obtained by all. The socialists of the 18th and 19th century imagined futures in which the seas flowed with lemonade and roasted chickens flew right into the mouths of all who were hungry. It turns out that socialism’s ability to feed large populations at even the most minimal level was nearly non-existent. Only the socialist leadership dined on roast chickens — while millions of their citizens starved to death. Meanwhile, market economies have continually driven down the real cost
The headlines tell us that the Dow Jones is up around 1,000 points since Donald Trump won the election on November 8th. The conventional wisdom is that this shows how much confidence people have in Trump’s ability to generate a healthy American economy. The argument is that if people are willing to buy stock in American firms, this indicates their belief that those firms will see improving profits over the next few years. They then draw the conclusion that more profitable firms indicate a healthier American economy. Although this argument is correct about stock prices reflecting an increasing
It is a constant struggle to persuade people that the market is not an arena of battle where one side defeats the other. It is a process of social cooperation built on the foundation of mutual benefit. Critics of markets continue to argue they make us meaner and nastier and that they create and exploit oppositional behavior. These arguments are at least as old as Marx, but they never seem to go away despite piles of evidence to the contrary. As Deirdre McCloskey has argued in her trilogy on the bourgeoisie, not only does the market allows us to express a variety of virtuous behavior, but our participation
Among the many complaints we have heard coming from the Trump campaign this summer is the claim that various aspects of the election might be “rigged.” Trump has already suggested that media are treating him unfairly, that certain states might have voter irregularities that would deny him his rightful share of the votes, and that Hillary Clinton has been treated with kid gloves by the FBI and Justice Department in their investigation of her email server scandal. On the other side, Democrats and progressives frequently argue that the economic game is “rigged” in favor of the rich and powerful
Sometimes the lights have to go out for us to really see the beautiful anarchy that surrounds us. As you may have seen in the news, my new hometown of Indianapolis was struck by a series of severe thunderstorms and even a tornado or two over the last few days. The rain and wind from those storms knocked out power for parts of a couple of days. Although not anything like what happened to the folks in Baton Rouge and elsewhere in Louisiana, it still caused some problems across the Indianapolis area. One of those problems was that a number of traffic lights at major intersections on the northern side
Note: This piece is dedicated to my mom, as I celebrate my first Mother’s Day without her. With Mother’s Day upon us, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the vision of motherhood that we normally celebrate on this day. The holiday’s origins, interestingly enough, come from celebrations of the role of mothers in the public arena, in particular, as anti-war activists. But in the 20th century, the holiday changed to celebrate, first, individual mothers and, now, motherhood as an institution. Even as the last 100 years have brought enormous changes to gender roles and parenting, we still
One of the key elements of a free society is that people avoid potential conflicts peacefully, using consent not coercion. One way to do this is through market exchange, but another way is through cooperative agreement, such as we see in small groups who have to solve problems (think about organizing a group project in a class) or in larger groups who have to manage a common property resource like a water source. If we can successfully avoid conflict in this way, we can avoid having to use private coercion, in the form of force or theft, or public coercion, in the form of government to get people
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