Today would have been the 97th birthday of Murray Rothbard, considered by those who know of him and his writings as the greatest economist of the second half of the 20th century. (The greatest economist of the first half was Ludwig von Mises. There is a great organisation dedicated to the work of both of them and other economists of their “Austrian” school of thought.)
On this occasion, Allan Stevo writes in a newsletter:
Never heard of him?
There’s a reason for that.
Sometimes the establishment wants you to hear about the losers, the court jesters, and court economists who will doubtless serve the interest of the establishment.
To hear from someone who gives you recipes for success and freedom alongside basic principles for using economics to enfeeble government — well, the establishment doesn’t want that. They do not want you strong.
If you’ve never heard of Rothbard and have a favorite economist, I can almost guarantee you that your favorite economist is a buster, a court jester, a court economist, someone who will only take the argument so far.
That is not Rothbard.
Confined to a no-name school in an outer borough of New York for part of his career and then sent out to the deserts of Las Vegas to teach economics at UNLV for another portion of his career (the best American school that would accept this incredibly intelligent and prolific economist), the man was blackballed by academia for not having off limit topics.