You know, a thought struck me this morning. You just have to be too darn clever to be an Austrian, or at least aspire to such a position. You have to read hundreds of really heavy books, gain a degree or better in something really clever, and still you will be attacked, usually by other Austrians, for being insufficiently educated. This is no good. Economics should be for the whole of humanity, not just for those with PhD after their name. Indeed, considering the mess in the world caused by those economists with PhD after their name, perhaps we should even exclude such people from being able to contribute towards economics? Whatever the case, what I think we need is a new book for the masses. What I think we need is:
At the moment, as best as I can make out from a period of feverish activity on Google, there is nothing between Sean Corrigan's excellent Austrian Primer, and Uncle Murray's superlative Man, Economy, and State. We need something in the middle far more condensed than the 500 hours of reading required by the Austrian Study Guide.
This single 500-page book should cover the basic a priori axioms, economic calculation, time preferences and interest rates, subjective utility, the win-win situation with free trade, the gold standard, a bit of money and credit, some refutations of the lauded policies of US Presidents (particularly Lincoln and Roosevelt), and then an extensive well-crafted guide to further reading. Oh, and all the other important stuff I've forgotten to mention. There should be lots of pictures, lots of pie charts, lots of graphs, and lots of cartoons. We need to appeal to the visual centres of the right brain as well as to the auditory centres of the left brain. Though we should also have lots of bulleted lists and tables to appeal to the less intellectual part of the left brain.
The book should not try to prove Austrianism, as if playing to a hostile crowd of socialist Keynesian professors. It should just describe Austrianism simply and clearly, so that the average intelligent man or woman can pick up the book, and put it down a day or two later, with a lucid understanding of what Austrianism is. Ideally, a business traveller flying from London to Los Angeles should be able to get through the whole thing on the plane, there and back, if they skip the George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon movies.
There may already be such a book out there. If there is, I can't find it. And more importantly, even if there is such a book, Joe Public probably won't be able to find it, either. And the more of Joe Public we have on our side, the brighter the future of Austrianism will become.
So my plea is, given that Henry Hazlitt and Uncle Murray are no longer with us, we need someone brutally intelligent and acknowledged as being cleverer than a hatful of Swiss Army knives, to write this masterwork for the common man in the street. We need a Professor at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a Raico, a Reisman, a DiLorenzo, a Salerno, a Hoppe, a Block, or even dare I say it a Tucker, to create this masterwork.
The problem with being really clever though, is that it's sometimes easy to forget what it is was like to be stupid.
But fear ye not. Becuase if you need a sounding board, a co-author who could provide you with common-man questions, such as "I'm sorry, I haven't a clue about what you've just written", modesty forbids me from presenting the name of a man who hasn't forgotten what it's like to be stupid, who could easily help drag you down to the level of the common man. But I'll let you know if you contact me.
So go on, make millions for yourself (and your co-author). Push Austrianism out to the suburbs of civilisation and help propel a bright uplit future into the present age of democratic uncertainty and socialist decivilisation.
I can see it now: A book published by Mises.org and fully available online, which we can all reference when given pesky questions by non-Austrians, to clearly demonstrate the superiority of Austrian thought, without needing to read or reference the entire Mises-Rothbard canon.
It would be a Magnum Opus of a genius. Is anybody out there up to the challenge? Is there anyone out there capable of condensing Austrianism into a clear and succinct 500 pages or less, and making a good free market profit at the same time?
Dead-ender Hayekians and other socialists need not apply.