Friday, November 16, 2012

Living Economics

What a fantastic time we had last night!  The Hollywood family attended a lecture by Dr. Peter Boettke of the Economics Department of George Mason University who held forth at Loyola University (New Orleans).

We were tipped off about the talk by Dr. Walter Block of Loyola, whose enthusiastic endorsement was well-deserved!

Dr. Boettke is engaging, funny, passionate, and has the gift of making his subject come to life.  He had the packed lecture hall thinking and laughing.  He emphasizes that Economics is not a hard science, but rather an evolving and growing social science that is primarily involved with explaining human action.  It is at its heart an inquiry into human motivation through incentive, and it explains how it is that millions of people working in their own self-interest can bring goods and services to market to the benefit of all.

His love for the topic is contagious!

  • He made reference to this video, which demonstrates the effect of political and economic freedom to the well-being of humanity.  
  • He shared with us the remarkable insights and philosophy of the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City in which a year of study in free market Economics is a requirement for all students regardless of discipline, and in which the main mural on campus depicts the great tradition of Economics in the free market tradition.
  • He emphasized the changing nature of education in the world due to technology, and pointed to the Acton MBA and iTunes University as examples.  He pointed out Leo in the audience and wondered aloud what his education is going to be like.

A few quotes from his lecture:

On Economics as a Discipline:

  • "Economics is not a catechism, but rather an invitation to inquiry."
  • "Economics is the mystery of the mundane."

On the Fiscal Cliff:
"They're not going to face the fiscal cliff.  They're gonna kick the grenade down the road."

On Greed:
"Greed is like air.  It's always there."

On Curiosity:
"Your curiosity is your greatest asset.  Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it fueled the scholar."

His outstanding book Living Economics ($26 at Amazon) is available for Nook and Kindle for about $12.  And yes, I went home and downloaded it.  I found out that Dr. Boettke wrote an essay in a book called Markets, Morals, & Religion - and put a hold on it at our local library (Dr. Boettke is a Christian as well).

Thanks to Dr. Boettke for coming to New Orleans and thanks to Dr. Block for the heads up!

1 comment:

read it said...

"Your curiosity is your greatest asset. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it fueled the scholar."

Few people have any curiosity.