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Archive of posts published in the tag: Grand Pursuit

The Function of Depressions

While teaching at Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter organized an informal seminar with like minded thinkers called the Seven Wise Men.  They published a piece attacking the New Deal of FDR: Recovery is sound only if it does come of itself.…

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Economic Pacifism

By emphasizing the local business environment instead of natural resources, Schumpeter’s theory suggested that nations made their own destinies.  Government that wished to see their citizens prosper should give up territorial ambitions and focus on fostering a favorable business climate-…

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Unexpected Genius

In 1879 as Karl Marx was becoming popular in Europe Alfred Marshall wrote The Economics of Industry.   Marx was a reaction to the principles of Adam Smith.  Karl Marx focused on the distribution of an existing pie where Adam Smith…

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The Master of Our Circumstances

Economic truths might be less permanent than mathematical truths, but economic theory was essential for learning what worked, what didn’t, what mattered, what did not. Inflation could lift output in the short run but not the long run. Gains in…

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The Misallocation of Capital

Mises and Hayek had developed a theory blaming depressions on excessive money creation and overly low interest rates in the preceding boom that led to massive misallocation of capital- or, as Robins put it, “inappropriate investments fostered by wrong expectations.” …

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The Entrepreneur And Credit Markets

In contrast to Marx’s automaton capitalist or (Alfred) Marshall’s owner-engineer, the entrepreneur distinguished himself by a willingness to “destroy old patterns of thought and action” and redeploy existing resources in new ways.  Innovation meant overcoming obstacles, inertia, and resistance.  Exceptional…

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