Blupete's Biography Page

The Economists:

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Buchanan, James M.:
Buchanan, a professor of economics, was the Nobel Laureate in Economic Science in 1986. I recommend Buchanan's work, The Limits of Liberty (University of Chicago Press, 1975).

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Edgeworth, Francis Ysidro (1845-1926):
Professor of Political Economy at Oxford (1891-1922), Edgeworth is reputed to be the Father of the mathematical school of economics (Heilbroner, p. 164.) Edgeworth is best known for his book, Mathematical Psychics (1881). As to Edgeworth's formulae, Heilbroner was of the view: "Considerations so abstract, it would of course be ridiculous to fling upon the floodtide of practical politics." (p. 166.)

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Friedman, Milton (1912-2006):
Friedman was born in New York City. He received a Doctor of Philosophy from Columbia. He worked for the US government between the years 1935 & 1943 (US Treasury from '41 to '43). Beginning in 1946, he taught at the University of Chicago. He won the Nobel prize in 1976. He was a believer in the free market system, which will account for his views on everything, from the US army draft (he was against it) to monetary policy (floating exchange rates). He is for a negative income tax, and, thus, for the elimination of universal poverty programmes. He is part of a school of economists who associate their views to those of Friedman's. The school is known as the Chicago School of Monetary Economics, a school which stresses the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and as a determinant of business cycles and inflation, "monetarism." The Chicago School, is one which has come to its conclusions by the use of the empirical approach, viz. knowledge is gained through the use of the five senses and a process of reflection. Friedman was of the view that minimum wage laws, drug prohibition laws, union monopoly laws, government schools and other welfare state policies exploit poor people. Friedman's written work concentrates on monetary theory, including books such as the Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money (1956) and A Monetary History of the United States (1963).

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Galbraith, John Kenneth (1908-2006).
George, Henry (1839-97):
George was an American economist. "His fundamental remedy for poverty was a 'single tax' levied on the value of land exclusive of improvements, and the abolition of all taxes which fall upon industry and thrift." (Chambers.) His single greatest work, Progress and Poverty (1879) .

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Hayek, Friedrich A. (1900-92):
Born in Vienna, Professor Hayek was the director of the Austrian Institute for Economic Research (1927-31); from there he proceeded to teach at London, Tooke professor of Economic Science, 1931-50; University of Chicago, to 1962; and to the University of Freiburg, up until 1969. Hayek rooted his philosophical thought in Hume, one of the Scottish moralists, and the English common law. In spite of his belief in liberty and that society could only work if men were free to pursue their own interests, Hayek (and this is the reason some libertarians do not put Hayek very high on their list) thought, nonetheless, that government's role extended to conscription, taxes, welfare safty-net programs, and support for the arts. Professor Hayek, in 1974, was awarded the Nobel prize in Economics. For those of you generally interested in the human condition and on ideas on how it might be improved, -- well, you have to read Hayek: three works, for sure: The Road to Serfdom (1944); (A "most acute and impressive analysis of the modern drift to totalitarianism ...") (University of Chicago Press, 1976), Capitalism and the Historians (University of Chicago Press, 1963), The Fatal Conceit (1988) (University of Chicago Press, 1989). The University of Chicago Press and Routledge (in London) are both bringing out, volume by volume, all of Hayek's writings. For more on Popper and Hayek, see a blupete essay, "Vienna: Hayek and Popper."
Hazlitt, Henry (1894-1993):
Though Hazlitt is better known as a journalist, I place him here among the economists: I think he might have been pleased with this placement. Hazlitt began his writing career in 1913 with the Wall Street Journal and eventually became the Literary Editor of the New York Sun in 1925, of the Nation in 1930, and in 1933 succeeded H. L. Mencken as Editor of the American Mercury. In later years Hazlitt wrote for the New York Times and for Newsweek. Though any of Henry Hazlitt's writings deserve a reading, the book that must be read and which will go down on the long time book's list will be his Economics in One Lesson (1942). (In this one small volume, written in plain English, one will easily find out all that is needed to come to grips with the subject of economics, a subject which the egg heads in our various universities have torn, much to our misery, completely to shreds.) A worth while book for your library, if you can find it, is Henry Hazlitt's The Free Man's Library (Princeton, N.J., Van Nostrand, 1956), a book size reading list.
Heilbroner, Robert L. (1919- ):
Heilbroner wrote a most interesting book in 1953, The Worldly Philosophers. Though I would question its philosophic basis, the book is well worth the read. In his work, Heilbroner deals with the lives and works of, among others: Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Veblen, Marx, and Keynes.
Hutt, W. H. (1899-1988):
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Hutt joined the University of Cape Town faculty where he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Commerce in 1931. Hutt was a "a classical liberal economist." He was to spend most all of his working life in South Africa. "He cared not a fig for the vested interests he offended (although he defended the system by which they lived) ..." (Seldon.) Hutt attacked the politicians and the Keynesian policies which they adopted for their own use; as far as Hutt was concerned politicians sacrificed principles for expediency. Of his studies he said: "I recognized, sadly, that the obvious implications of dispassionate orthodox analysis render it obnoxious to those who are committed to popular policies of to-day. I knew that, no matter how valid my argument might be, there would be virtually no chance of its acceptance by a sufficient number of persons of influence to permit of its bearing in any practical way upon contemporary affairs." (Preface, The Economists and the Public.)
READ: Keynesianism - Retrospect and Prospect (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1963); The Keynesian Episode: A Reassessment (Indianapolis: Liberty Press, 1979); The Theory of Collective Bargaining (London: P. S. King & Son, 1930) ["The bottom line of Hutt's analysis is that any gains made by members of any particular labor union must come primarily be at the expense of other workers and consumers -- not owners of capital and entrepreneurs. Far from being the instruments of social justice that they are routinely considered to be, labor unions (however legal) are merely conspiracies in restraint of trade that make most people poorer than they would be otherwise." (Charles W. Baird's preface to the Cato's ed. of 1980.)]; and The Economists and the Public (London: J. Cape, 1936).

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Jevons, William Stanley (1835-82):
Jevons is credited with the introduction of mathematical methods into economics. (Chambers.) He wrote the Theory of Political Economy (1871); his book, Principles of Economics came out posthumously in 1905.

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Keynes, John Maynard, Lord (1883-1946):
"After attending Eton, Keynes went to Cambridge. His first dissertation (King's) was on the theory of probability. And while it certainly did look like Keynes, at first, was going to concentrate his abilities on mathematics, it was to economics he was to turn."
Knight, Frank H. (1885-1972):
He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1916. Over the next fifty years, he taught at Cornell, the University of Iowa, and the University of Chicago. Frank Knight is credited as being one of the founders of the Chicago school of economics: his students included Nobel Laureates Milton Friedman and James Buchanan.

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Lutz, Harley Leist:
Lutz was Professor of Public Finance, Princeton. In his work Public Finance Lutz points out the dangers of deficit financing and makes the case for balanced budgets (New York: Appleton-Century, 4th ed., 1947).

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Malthus, Thomas Robert (1766-1834).
Mandeville, Bernard (1670-1733):
Born in Holland, Mandeville was to move to London, there to live and die. He was a medical doctor. He is known for his book, The Fable of the Bees (1714); in it, Mandeville proposed that private vices are public benefits and that "every species of virtue is at bottom some form of gross selfishness, more or less modified." The book sort of grew in the author's hands through the years 1705-24. The authorities at the time denounced this work. In 1723, Mandeville's book was convicted as a public nuisance by a grand jury in Middlesex. (See Chambers; and see Heilbroner's short reference to Mandeville in The Worldly Philosophers.)
Marshall, Alfred (1842-1924):
Marshall, after a distinguished academic career, became a professor of Political Economy at Cambridge (1885-1908). Marshall's work, Principles of Economics (1890) is (according to Chambers) "still a standard text-book." Heilbroner quotes Marshall: "The social and economic forces already at work are changing the distribution of wealth for the better... The socio-economic organism is more delicate and complex than appears at first sight; and ... large, ill-considered changes might result in grave diaster." (The Worldly Philosophers, pp. 197-8.)
Menger, Carl (1840-1921):
Menger was the founder of the "Austrian school" of economics. His work, Principles of Economics, has recently been reprinted by Libertarian Press, 1994 (Grove City, PA) (this reprint includes an introduction by F. A. Hayek.)
Mises, Ludwig von(1881-1973):
Mises was born in Austria. After having studied law, he clerked and eventually became an associate at a law firm. In 1903 Mises read Carl Menger's Principles of Economics, it profoundly effected him. One of his earlier and expressed beliefs, was that universities were but state institutions and the instructors therein civil servants. This view led to a problem that plagued Mises for the rest of his years: the "refusal of academia to grant him a full-time, paid position" -- and, this, in spite of his Ph.D. By 1909, however, he had a full time job, one he kept for 25 years, as an economist with the Vienna Chamber of Commerce (which in Austria, is a very influential government body). He had a terrible time of it when the Nazis took over in Austria and fled to the United States. His best works are Socialism (1932) (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1981) and Human Action (1949) (said to be "unquestionably the most powerful product of the human mind") (Chicago: Contem. Bks., 1966).

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Parkinson, Cyril Northcote (1909- ):
Educated at Cambridge, Parkinson went on and taught at Malaya, Harvard and Illinois. Parkinson's Law -- that work expands to fill the time available for its completion and subordinates multiply at a fixed rate, regardless of the amount of work produced -- has now passed into the language. He put it in a book, Parkinson's Law (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, The Riverside Press Cambridge, 1957).

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Quesnay, Francois (1694-1774):
Quesnay founded an 18th century French school of thinkers who evolved the first complete system of Economics. Being a physician to Louis XV, Quesnay came fully under the protection of the royal court. He began his economic studies in 1756, when he wrote for the Encyclopédie. His chief work is The Economical Table (1758), which he and his followers (the physiocrats) believed summed up the natural law of economy. The physiocrats stressed that absolute freedom of trade was essential to guarantee the most beneficial operation of economic law, which they considered immutable. The physiocrats influenced later advocates of laissez faire including, of course, Adam Smith.

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Ricardo, David (1772-1823):
The second most well known economist of the time; the first being Adam Smith (1723-1790).

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Samuelson, Paul A.:
At the time of the publication of his book, 1948, Professor Samuelson was at M.I.T., Cambridge, Massachusetts. His work: Economics: An Introductory Analysis (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1948).
Say, Jean Baptiste (1767-1832):
Say was a French political economist. He passed part of his youth in England. He expounded the views of Adam Smith. Say's Law is: that ultimately goods and services must be paid for by other goods and services, this truism proceeded his declaration that "supply creates its own demand."
"He was a man of the later period of the French Revolution, a fine specimen of the best kind of French Republican, one of those who had never bent the knee to Bonaparte though courted by him to do so; a truly upright, brave, and enlightened man. He lived a quiet and studious life, made happy by warm affections, public and private." (John Stuart Mill, Autobiography.)
Schumpeter, Jos. A.:
Schumpeter was an Austrian-American economist. His principal work, written in 1942, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (Harper & Row), is the "classic pessimistic work on the future of capitalism." Since its appearance it has been much disputed by scholars and many of Schumpeter's propositions have since been refuted by world developments. Incidently, Schumpeter, in spite of the many problems he found with it, favoured capitalism over socialism.
Seldon, Arthur (1917- ):
A graduate of the London School of Economics and Vice President of the Mont Pelerin Society. One ought to read Seldon's Capitalism (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991).
Smith, Adam (1723-1790).

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Veblen, Thorstein (1857-1929).

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