"There is no question of importance, whose decision is not compriz'd in the science of man; and there is none, which can be decided with any certainty, before we become acquainted with that science." ---David Hume
Anatomy of the Fed with Robert Murphy will cover both the theory and history behind the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. Instructor Robert Murphy will first detail the theory of free-market banking, and contrast it with the distorted banking sector resulting from special government privileges. Murphy will relay the sordid tale of how the Federal Reserve Act was designed on Jekyll Island in a secret meeting of government officials and international bankers. He will also cover the mechanics of modern Fed operations and the commercial banking sector. The course will also apply Austrian business cycle theory to the stock market crash of 1929 and the recent housing bubble.
Gordon on Logic
7 weeks, January 13, 2011 - February 24, 2011
How to Think: An Introduction to Logic with David Gordon will present some of the essentials of logic—the science of correct reasoning. Deductive reasoning transmits truth from premises to conclusion. If one starts with true premises, and reasons correctly, the conclusion will be true also. We will identify common fallacies and give examples of these from discussions in politics and economics. The course will emphasize ordinary language reasoning rather than mathematical logic.Although we will stress practical applications, some of the philosophical issues that logic raises will also be covered. Whatever your field of study, you will find a grasp of logic of great help in your work.
Dilorenzo on Lincoln
6 weeks, January 18, 2011 - February 22, 2011
In Omnipotent Government (p. 268) Ludwig von Mises wrote that “the adversaries of the trend toward more government control describe their opposition as a . . . contest of states’ rights versus the central power.” To Mises, centralized governmental power was the greatest threat to liberty. And as Edmund Wilson once noted, no one is more responsible for the birth of the centralized, bureaucratic state that Americans slave under than Abraham Lincoln, the “Great Centralizer.” This course, The Great Centralizer: Lincoln and the Growth of Statism with Thomas DiLorenzo, will apply Austrian economics and Austrian social theory to understand the economic and political legacies of the real Lincoln, the man who waged total war on his own citizens, killing some 350,000 of them; who shredded the Constitution and essentially declared himself dictator; who suspended Habeas Corpus and imprisoned political opponents by the thousands; who shut down opposition newspapers by the hundreds; who intimidated federal judges and deported an opposition member of Congress; who ignored how most of the rest of the world ended slavery peacefully; who destroyed the voluntary union of the founding fathers that was based on states’ rights and federalism; and whose regime introduced America to income taxation, military conscription, decades of protectionism, corrupt corporate welfare, the internal revenue bureaucracy, and transformed the country from a republic to an empire.
Klein on the Networked Economy
5 weeks, January 19, 2011 - February 16, 2011
What is the new, networked economy all about? What are “information goods” and how do they differ from traditional goods? How are online businesses different from brick-and-mortar establishments? Is the large firm with its centralized managerial hierarchy obsolete, to be replaced by decentralized, disaggregated, peer-to-peer communities? Is government regulation needed to keep digital markets free, fair, and open? More generally, does the new economy call for a new kind of economics, or is traditional economics still useful?
This course, Networks and the Digital Revolution: Economic Myths and Realities with Peter Klein, suggests answers to these and related questions, focusing on recent examples, applications, and illustrations, while grounding the discussion on basic economic principles. We begin by studying the growth of the Internet, wireless communication networks, and related technologies, trying to assess just how widely information technology has diffused throughout the economy. We then explore how these changes in technology, along with changes in regulation and global competition, have affected firm boundaries, competition, human resource management, regulation, sources of financing, and the assignment of property rights.
Robert Murphy on the Principles of Economics
10 weeks, January 26, 2011 - March 30, 2011
Robert Murphy will again teach Principles of Economics in the Winter of 2011 , an online class for all ages that will use his book Lessons for the Young Economist. (Professor Murphy discusses his plans for the course in his article Learn Principles of Economics Online.) The class will run from January 26 until March 30, ten weeks of fantastic economics instruction from the ground up. His book, which is sure to become a standard text in the future, will be used in this class. Enrollment in the class is $150 and covers all materials, weekly lectures, office hours, quizzes, grading, and final exam. The class is designed for high school students, but it is the ideal class for gaining a solid foundation in economic science at any age. The focus is on the Austrian understanding. The knowledge gained will establish a rock-solid basis for all future studies in economics. The goal is to present economics in the same way that it was given to Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard early in their schooling, a paradigm to inspire a lifetime of understanding and scholarship.No prior exposure to economic logic is required.