From the Editor—November/December 2023

  • December 20, 2023
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The Mises Institute is different. We don’t change our positions or our ideology to match the current zeitgeist. Rather, we’re in it for the long haul. Our business is to change the minds of both scholars and the general public. Victory in the battle of ideas doesn’t begin in legislative committee rooms. It begins in classrooms and living rooms.

To achieve this goal, it’s important to not sacrifice consistency to score some short-term and fleeting victories. This is why the Mises Institute hasn’t changed its core positions in the forty-plus years of its existence. Today we’re just as opposed to the state, its socialism, and its wars as we were when Lew Rockwell founded the Institute decades ago.

One of the specific positions that really sets us apart in this way is our relentless opposition to central banks and government money. Thanks to the groundbreaking research of Murray Rothbard on banking, money, the Federal Reserve, and the Great Depression, we also have a sizable scholarly arsenal with which to fight the fiat-money regime.

The message is working, too. Over the past thirty years, the Fed has suffered repeated blows to its reputation. Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns brought the idea of ending the Fed to millions of Americans. By 2011, the Fed was worrying about public relations and putting on regular press conferences. Since the return of forty-year highs in price inflation, Fed chairman Jerome Powell is regarded with suspicion when he offers his latest word salad on the state of the economy. What’s more, discussion about the weakness and future of the dollar has gone mainstream. Gone is the fantasy that the Fed technocrats have everything under control.

True to this unchanging mission, this year’s Supporter’s Summit in Auburn featured an abundance of top speakers covering the history and future of fiat money and central banks. These topics included the history of the dollar, Bretton Woods, reserve currencies, price inflation, the cultural impact of the dollar, and fractionalreserve banking. If you were unable to attend, all of the talks are available on mises.org.

But first take a look at this issue of The Austrian. We’ve included a summary of many of the talks plus photos from the Summit itself.

This issue’s featured article is by Academic Vice President Joseph Salerno. It exposes the phony debate over fiat money and policy “rules” at the Federal Reserve. For years, many defenders of the Fed have told us that we can fix central banking with special rules for when the Fed should ease or tighten the money supply. The famous Taylor rule is an example. Dr. Salerno shows that this doesn’t solve the problem at all and may actually make things worse. What really has to change is how central bankers view easy money. Central bankers do so much damage because they have bad ideas.

Readers will also find in these pages two new book reviews by the inimitable David Gordon covering economic inequality, Marxism, and the Cold War. Dr. Gordon highlights the insights and errors of these books in a way few can.

This year has been packed with academic programs, new students, and events, so look inside for a year-end review and the latest news. I’m also happy to pass along some exciting news: the Mises Institute has named Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo as our new president. Tom has been a perennial audience favorite at our seminars and events, and his commitment to rigor and consistency in defending peace, freedom, and free markets is strong. The Institute continues forward in good hands.

Come January, this publication will have a new name: The Misesian. We feel the new name better honors the Institute’s namesake and his commitment to a radical vision of freedom.

As always, we appreciate everything you do for the Mises Institute and our mission.