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Indispensable Economics

Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to suggest ways in which the insights of the Austrian school of economics can be applied to the understanding of exactly how institutions behave. While this question has been probed somewhat by political scientists and scholars in the field of management, the results are far from adequate. Firstly, the political scientists have been afflicted with the same positivistic plague that has infected economics. This “physics envy” has them reducing...

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Some people treat Catholic Social Teachings in the same way that the Church treats revealed dogma—as mostly unchanging, but that there can be some expansion to our understanding of those revealed dogmas, but no change in Social Teaching. But Catholic Social Teaching has three aspects:

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 The first is eternal principles. Catholic teaching of any kind has to be founded on eternal principles, or else there would be no...

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September 25, 2009
Back to Nature
By Dr. William Luckey

There are a number of Catholics, thankfully not too many, who believe that it would be more pleasing to God if we all gave up our highly technical lives, or money, vacations, etc., and lived on a subsistence level. These same folks are always championing "Western Civilization." They never ask what made Western civilization possible. The existence of great writers and thinkers does not make a civilization. A civilization is made up of all those people who have learned and accepted the values...

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September 11, 2009
Martyrdom...What?
By Dr. William Luckey

To many Catholics a martyr is one who dies for the Faith, usually by open persecution. We think of the Apostles, St. Stephen, St. Peter of Verona, and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, among so many others. Few, however, know the origin and nature of the term "martyr," and hence, the multifaceted aspects of martyrdom.

The word "martyr" means witness (martus) who gives testimony about something he witnesses (martyrian). The apostles were witnesses to Christ’s life, suffering, and...

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September 04, 2009
Population-Control Weirdos
By Dr. William Luckey

The population-control weirdos believe that people are a blight on the planet. (I am not being harsh calling them weirdos—wait until you see my argument). They think that all people do is use up resources, and eventually the planet will be void. In fact, as the late, great economist Julian Simon pointed out, national income accounting counts the birth of a calf as an increase in capital, but the birth of a baby as a decrease in capital. Those economists who worship mathematical methods...

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August 28, 2009
There’s a Bridge…
By Dr. William Luckey

"Cash For Clunkers." This, as everybody knows, was the administration’s plan to get environmentally unsound cars off the road. The idea was that if somebody had a car that had been around too long, the piston rings were probably so worn down that you could drive a car through them, burning oil was spewing through the atmosphere, they were gas hogs, and were bought before the current environmental regulations on autos were imposed. If you turned your clunker in, you got $4500 in cash from...

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August 21, 2009
What a Character!
By Dr. William Luckey

A thorough reading of the Old Testament will show that the worst, and the most persistent, sin that the Chosen People committed was that of idolatry. They did it time and time again. This, and God’s punishments that followed, were actually predicted in Deuteronomy 29, 30, and 32. The people of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, were captured by the Assyrians, never to return, and the Assyrians populated their land with other pagan peoples. The Southern Kingdom, Judah and Benjamin, were captured...

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August 14, 2009
My Money Lies over the Ocean…
By Dr. William Luckey

In our last entry we discussed the necessity of savings for economic growth. It is savings which buys capital goods so that we can have consumer goods in the future. It was also pointed out that there needed to be enough savings to repair and replace current capital equipment just to consume at current levels, and that in order to grow economically, we must save more than that.

Having said that, it was shown that the United States does not save. We have a negative savings rate. But that...

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August 01, 2009
Savings, Schmavings!
By Dr. William Luckey

Dear Dr. Luckey, I realize that savings is good for the individual—for contingencies, vacations, retirement—but why is it good for the nation as a whole??xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /

 

This is an excellent question, and one which very few people ask themselves, or know anything about. John Maynard Keynes, an economist whom I have roundly criticized in these pages, believed that there was a “paradox of thrift,” that is to say, that...

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July 24, 2009
Stimulate This!
By Dr. William Luckey

It is very seldom that economists have a laboratory in order to test theories. For an Austrian, this is not a problem because the axioms of economics are apodictic, meaning they are self-evident. But even so, to the average non-economist, some verification is nice as an illustration. Normally, a specialist in economics is necessary to delve beyond the host of activities in the economy and the government to isolate the economic factors that lead, say, to a recession. Praise God! Besides the...

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