In an economic downturn, when massive business failures appear simultaneously, owners of the means of production need to find new uses for their discarded capital-intensive production processes, and investors need to find new forward-looking enterprises to place their funds, in hopes of some future return.
This is part of the recalculation necessary during the cluster of business errors called a depression.
The terminology I’m using is that of the Austrian school, of its capital theory as well as its theory of the business cycle.
And I’m applying it to this very blog.
Which has been comatose for some time.
I invite the former participants in The Lesson Applied to give Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, a careful reading. Or re-reading, as your case may be. Writers, contact me on Facebook and I’ll sign you up for Reading Matters, a Facebook group that will handle some of the technical matters of our co-ordinated reading. I propose to read this long treatise chapter by chapter, moving on when a consensus of active readers agree.
This blog will be location for our ruminations. That is, we will discuss the book and its ideas here.
Perhaps after we’ve read Human Action, the blog will revive back to its original purpose, of exploring the ramifications of policy upon market society, beyond stage one, as Thomas Sowell so neatly put it, in a Hazlittian spirit.
Always, lingering in our thoughts, will be Bastiat’s insight: where in Mises’ work does it fit?
Filed under: Economic Theory, Education, Philosophy
Diane Ravitch of NYU talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.
Here’s the money quote from the very end of the discussion:
[Cross-posted at Shrubbloggers.]
Filed under: Education
Comments: 1 Comment
From the Times report on how many of the states, bribed, are embracing “National Standards for Schools” (maybe):
Two years in the making. The kids should learn to read and add and subtract. Also, by the ninth grade, I want them doing a précis of Chapter 11 of War and Peace.
Of course, no “national standards” are necessary, no timeline. It’s okay to have the hodgepodge. It’s okay if some kids learn some things faster or slower than other kids. It’s okay if some kids and some teachers and some parents and some schools and some towns and some states do things differently from and perhaps better than other kids, teachers, parents, schools, towns and states; better with respect to some grand timeless objective scale of Means and Content of Learning and Teaching or at least better with respect to their own individual goals, abilities and situations. A country of non-slaves doesn’t need to be and perhaps would not even enjoy being subjugated to any “national standards for schools” either so generic as to be meaningless or so specific and totalitarian as to be obliterative of competition, innovation, and independent-thinking alternative ways of fostering the mental skills and moral values needed to understand that coercively imposed “national standards for schools” is a fascistic egalitarian crock.
Filed under: Education, Nanny State
For the most part, the out-of-proportion response to the suspension of five juveniles for wearing clothing emblazoned with American flags to school on Cinco de Mayo is all over but the shouting. Though this incident serves as incredibly effective fodder for the ever increasingly silly (and almost wholly invented) culture war being waged at the fringes, it also reminds those of us less prone to “the vapors” to recognize what’s important in cases such as these … and it is a central libertarian theme.
Sometimes we are put in the position where we feel obligated to defend stupidity.
Let’s not be coy about it. The act of donning over-the-top patriotic garb on Cinco de Mayo was an act of adolescent sophistry. Not that I’m opposed to such actions, were it aimed in the proper direction. But this was not an act aimed against an authority or unjust policy. It was simply aimed to, well … disrupt. Being such, it was impolite, uncouth, and a bit stupid. Certainly not an action that would elicit my sympathies. Until, that is, the Man stepped in and screwed everything up.
When the principal of the California school got involved, things got a bit surreal. Telling the students that they were welcome to wear such accoutrements any other day other than Cinco de Mayo, said principal immediately made himself out to be a bit of a buffoon. When he suspended the boys for the day and sent them home, he unwittingly thrust himself and the entire brouhaha into the national spotlight, proving to everyone in America what children have known for ages: A school administrator wielding arbitrary power is an irresistible recipe for ridicule.
Don’t let’s get caught in these culture war traps. What these boys did was silly and unwarranted, a feat begging to be ignored. Any intelligent school administrator would have recognized this stunt for what it was, and acted appropriately — that is, not at all. What we have now is a principal (and the school administrators who backed him) worthy only of ridicule and censure.
Race and immigration policies are tangential, here. This is about restraint (the wisdom of knowing when to wield and when to yield the power you have) and personal responsibility, two capacities for which individuals could stand to develop more.
[Cross-posted at Shrubbloggers.]
Filed under: Culture, Education, Nanny State
Comments: 2 Comments