I have been accused of taking the Austrian School of Economics out of context. Rather than range all over the topic, I will address one Austrian economist, Friedrich Hayek, primarily with respect to his epistemology. However, his sense of ethics follows directly from his epistemology so this will be discussed. As well, his metaphysics will be touched on.
My criteria of whether Hayek is a friend or foe will primarily focus on whether he is an advocate for reason (logic and evidence) as best defined by Rand and Locke. I focus primarily on Hayek’s Theory of Cultural Evolution, which lays out his ideas on epistemology. There are dozens of papers on this subject and below
This video, The Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle | Roger W. Garrison, from the Von Mises University does a good job of explaining the Austrian Business Cycle Theory (ABCT). The key point is that increasing the rate of savings (capital) results in increased economic growth in the future. The theory was worked out by Von Mises and Hayek. The foundation of the theory is very similar to classical economics, which held that economic growth was the result of increases in capital. The video has a number of charts and graphs to make it look more scientific, however no empirical evidence is provided to support the theory. Other work may provide empirical evidence, but I know of counter evidence as well.
The Austrians, such as those on the Von Mises website, like to tout that they are pro-freedom, capitalists, and arch enemies of the socialists and Keynesians. Strangely enough this means that they have aligned themselves with socialists in opposing property rights for inventors and attacking Locke’s ideas on property. Even more fundamentally the Austrians seem to share intellectual roots with the socialist or more broadly the post-modernist movement, which is a reactionary movement opposing the enlightenment, reason, and science. I have written on Fredrick Hayek’s anti-reason, anti-natural rights, moral relativist positions in Hayek vs. Rand: Patents and Capitalism.
This documentary explains how the United States is destroying its Patent System that has been the engine on which America’s technological and economic leadership has been built. The movie can be seen in a number of cities on December 15.
Invention is as old as human existence, and no country has promoted and thrived on invention more than the United States thanks to its patent system. But is American invention at risk?
Framed around the story of two first-time inventors, Inventing to Nowhere explores the stakes in policy fights over the American innovation economy, with interviews of legendary inventor Dean Kamen, historians, members of Congress and other key players in the effort to keep the country innovating.
For more than 200 years,
The Depclaration of Independence and Individual Rights are generally assumed to be based on the concept of self-ownership. For instance, the article Who are the Real Liberals? in the American Thinker states “self-ownership entails an inviolable right to our lives, liberty, and property, which at the same time entails a prohibition from violating the rights of others.” According to the Article Jefferson was even accused of plagiarizing John Locke in writing the Declaration of independence. According to Nathaniel Branden in an article entitled Reflections on Self-Responsibility and Libertarianism argues that the United States stood “Freedom. Individualism.
According to Alyssa Bereznak of Yahoo Tech, in an article entitled The U.S. Government Has a Secret System for Stalling Patents, the United States Patent Office has a secret program called the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) designed to delay and deep six certain politically sensitive patent applications. The Patent Office only admitted to the program after a FOIA request. The program goes back to at least 2006 and therefore includes the actions and knowledge of both Jon Dudas and David Kappos. Both men should be brought up on Capitol Hill for investigations. Did Kappos favor IBM patent applications or delay IBM’s competitors? Did Jon Dudas, who is not a patent attorney and is not
An article on Cato Unbound entitled, “What’s the Best Way to Fix the Patent System’s Problems?” by law professor Christina Mulligan, argues for two different solutions of what she perceives are problems with software patents. One solution advocated by Eli Dourado is to eliminate all software patents (See CATO and Mercatus Center: Another Flawed Study on Patents). The other solution, advocated by John F. Duffy, is a more rigorous application of the obviousness standard. Ms. Mulligan comes down on the side of Eli Dourado’s solution of eliminating patents on software.
This statement is from a Peter Thiel interview. Peter Thiel is a founder of Paypal, investor in Facebook and many other technology startups. Mr. Thiel is talking about entrepreneurs and businesses and that you want to create a unique company and dominate your market space. I have just finished a manuscript for a non-fiction book that makes this point from an economy wide point of view. Wealth is not created by manufacturing undifferentiated, me-too products, it is created by new technologies. There is no contradiction between what is good for the economy and what is good for an entrepreneur, despite the statement of economists on perfect competition.
One of Peter Thiel’s interview questions is tell me something you know to be true that no one else knows is true? How would you answer that question?
- Hayek: Friend or Foe of Reason, Liberty and Capitalism?
- The Austrian Business Cycle Debunked
- The Irrational Foundations of Austrian Economics
- Dale B. Halling Invited to Debate at Freedom Fest
- Inventing to Nowhere: The Movie
- Self-Ownership: A Conservative Conspiracy?
- USPTO’s Secret Program to Deny Politically Inconvenient Patents
- Yale Law Professor’s Attack on Patents: A Comedy, Farce and Tragedy All Rolled into One
- Competition is for Losers