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Making Economic Sense Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
These essays cover a wide range of topics, from the welfare state to Clintonomics to fiat money to U.S. intervention in the Middle East -- and Rothbard is uniformly sharp, clear, incisive, and witty wherever he turns his pen.
This collection should also be of interest to those of Rothbard's readers who have heard that he somehow changed his views near the end of his life; the fact is that Rothbard was as strongly laissez-faire and libertarian in his later years as he had ever been.
Some of his readers had simply failed to recognize that the earlier Rothbard was not at all "libertine" but socially quite conservative; they were therefore surprised that he found anything good to say about Pat Buchanan (as he does here, several times) or against allowing illegal aliens to have access to the vast machinery of the welfare state (as in a passage regarding California's Prop. 187 in the book's final essay, a previously unpublished commentary on the November 1994 elections).
As the essays in this volume make clear, it was those readers, not Rothbard, who were guilty of inconsistency. Rothbard was uncompromisingly and consistently devoted to liberty throughout his entire career; he simply did not, as some of his readers have done, confuse antifederalism with moral nihilism.
Also, the penultimate essay provides an overview of the history of the Ludwig von Mises Institute (Auburn, AL), of which Rothbard was Academic Vice President until his death. By the time readers reach this essay, they will be unsurprised that, when Austrian economics sprang again to life in the 1980s and 1990s, it was wearing a rumpled jacket and a bow tie.
The 100+ articles in the book are relatively brief and deal with a broad range of economic and political issues. The uniqueness of this compendium is the decidedly Austrian economic perspective of the writer, which emphasizes liberty, free markets, and private property.
Although an economist, Rothbard writes very well and very honestly as he critiques the government's enfringment on liberty and private enterprise. He makes a lot of sense and much of what he says is echoed by the few lone voices calling out for freedom in the political wilderness (e.g., Ron Paul) today.
Making Economic Sense is a great, non-technical introduction to Austrian Economics, providing a nice overview of the Austrian perspective as applied to a diverse array of economic and political issues.
This book also contains a few unpublished pieces. The best is Rothbard's analysis of the 1994 elections. As usual, Rothbard gets to the crux of the issues involved, dealing with the characters whose actions (often behind the scenes) were decisive. Reading this piece reminded me of how much we lost in Murray's death - not just a brilliant theoretician, but a man whose comments on the events of the day were a constant source of illumination. Make sure you also get THE IRREPRESABLE ROTHBARD, his collection of essays from the Rothbard-Rockwell report.