Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peter Boettke

Whoa! If this were the New York Post, I'd be running a Peter Boettke picture on the front page for the second day in a row.

I received emails from all sides and very heavy traffic to yesterday's post on Boettke. Who would think that an intra-school academic battle would generate such interest?

Yesterday, I couldn't even get away from the story at lunch.  I had lunch with a top Congressional researcher and the first thing he brought up was that post.

For the record, I received emails from many former and present Boettke students who assured me that Boettke does use the texts of Mises and Rothbard in his classes.

Boettke, himself, emailed me, questioning some of the points I made in my post.  I asked permission to publish his email, but he declined stating that he did not want to start a flame war.

Kelly Evans, the reporter who profiled Boettke, emailed and said:
 By the way, your post on the piece is spot-on – there is much, much more I could/should have added but in Pete’s defense I’ll just mention this: one of his favorite quips to students is that they should “love Mises to pieces”
David Kramer weighed in with this piece. Most important in Kramer's comment is that he points out that in the WSJ interview Boettke states:
“The Fed, he [Boettke] says, should be to make money “as neutral as possible, like the rule of law, which never favors one party over the other.”
I'm not sure what Pete was thinking here. I would think that almost any Austrian would argue that money is never "neutral". Indeed, the entire basis for the Austrian Business Cycle Theory is that money is not neutral and that central bank interference distorts the structure of the economy. The best interpretation of this for Pete is that he did not choose his words carefully, especially for a professor of economics. The less charitable interpretation is, well, not a charitable view at all.

Thomas DiLorenzo also weighed in with a post, Lying About LewRockwell.com and the Mises Institute, following a comment made at my original post by Brian Bedient.

Finally, several people emailed this earlier Joe Salerno piece centering on Boettke.


  1. I think what pete was referring to when he said make money neutral was what Hayek meant by neutral money, aka as a "market coordinating money rate of interest which does not create a boom and bust cycle by falsely misdirecting investment through the time structure of production goods."