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Economic Freedom and Interventionism: An Anthology of Articles and Essays (Liberty Fund Library of the Works of Ludwig Von Mises) Hardcover – 24 Jan 2007

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This work serves as both a primer of the fundamental thought of Ludwig von Mises and an anthology of the writings of perhaps the best-known exponent of what is now known as the Austrian School of economics. This volume contains forty-seven articles edited by Mises scholar Bettina Bien Greaves. Among them are Mises's expositions of the role of government, his discussion of inequality of wealth, inflation, socialism, welfare, and economic education, as well as his exploration of the 'deeper' significance of economics as it affects seemingly non-economic relations between human beings. These papers are essential reading for students of economic freedom and the science of human action.

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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Useful Anthology 22 Dec 2009
By D. W. MacKenzie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Economic Freedom and Interventionism is a collection of essays Mises wrote for general audiences. What is remarkable about this book is its prescience. Mises anticipated so much that would later be confirmed by economic freedom indexes: socialism fails abjectly and interventionism hinders progress.

Economic education is a recurring theme of this book. Mises was not clear as to how the economic literacy of the public might improve. But he did appear to think that America was setting an important example. The retention of a relatively high degree of private enterprise made the superiority of capitalism more apparent.

As such, this is easy reading, compared to other books by Mises. Part I is a defense of capitalism. Here we can see the basic reasons why private capital matters, and how socialism fails. The second part examines intervention and the business cycle. The third part contains various critiques of the writings of other economists and of specific policies by Mises. The final part is on assorted topics, including a very interesting essay on small and big business.

The editor of this anthology did us all a great service with this book. Too few people of the twentieth century learned the lessons of this book. Hopefully people of the twenty first century will take better advantage of these ideas.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Mastermind named Mises 20 Jan 2001
By Trenton Porter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was amazing. I found all of the information to be very informative and very useful. There are many great works throughout this compilation, and it would be foolish not to add this book to a collection of masterpieces. I strongly earge all people of all ages to look into the purchase this book. It will greatly increase your knowledge and understanding of just what there is out there to learn and understand.
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (1881-1973) was one of the major figures in the Austrian School of economics; Nobel Prize winner Friedrich Hayek was a pupil of his. His major works are Human Action: A Treatise on Economics and Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis. This 1990 book was edited by Bettina Bien Greaves (wife of Percy Greaves), and the writings are taken from publications such as 'The Freeman,' 'Christian Economics,' 'New Individualist Review,' etc.

He observes, "Men are unequal and the inherent inferiority of the many manifests itself also in the manner in which they enjoy the affluence capitalism bestows upon them. It would be a boon for mankind, say many authors, if the common man would spend less time and money for the satisfaction of vulgar appetites and more for higher and nobler gratifications. But should not distinguished critics rather blame themselves than the masses? Why did they... not better succeed in persuading the masses of inferior people to drop their vulgar tastes and habits?" (Pg. 25)

He says about his The Theory of Money and Credit (Lib Works Ludwig Von Mises PB) [Paperback] that "I tried to construct a theory based entirely upon the modern subjectivist methods of dealing with economic issues, the marginal utility concept... I pointed out that the phenomenon of interest, i.e., the higher valuation of present goods as against future goods, is an ineluctable category of human conduct.... If one wants to avert depressions, one must abstain from any tampering with the rate of interest. Thus was elaborated the theory which supporters and critics of my ideas very soon began to call the 'Austrian theory of the trade cycle.'" (Pg. 52-53)

He suggests, "It is paradoxical indeed that Washington is eager to spend the taxpayers' money for the benefit of European deficit railroads and does not bother about the transit deficits of large American cities. Marshall Plan aid seems to differ from charity, at least in this respect---it does not begin at home." (Pg. 64) He argues, "the great [German] inflation and the Nazi scourge both derived from the mentalities and the doctrines that long dominated German public opinion. The State... was supposed to be able to achieve anything. The omnipotent State was credited with the magic power of unlimited spending without any burden on the citizenry..." (Pg. 90-91)

Somewhat surprisingly, he says that "Unfortunately, the third part of Professor Hayek's book [The Constitution of Liberty] is rather disappointing. Here the author tried to distinguish between socialism and the Welfare State. Socialism, he alleges, is on the decline; the Welfare State is supplanting it. And he thinks the Welfare State is, under certain conditions, compatible with liberty." (Pg. 151) He says of Rothbard's Man Economy and State One Complete Volume, "Less successful than his investigations in the fields of general praxeology and economics are the author's occasional observations concerning the philosophy of law and some problems of the penal code." But he concludes, "Henceforth all essential studies ... will have to take full account of the theories and criticisms expounded by Dr. Rothbard." (Pg. 156-157)

For students of Mises, Austrian Economics, or Libertarianism, these essays will be of great interest.
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