Economics

Velour Track Suits and the Road to Serfdom

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The Wall Street Journal looks into the intellectual resurgence of the Austrian school of economics and identifies one of the driving figures: George Mason University economist Pete Boettke. As reporter Kelly Evans writes:

Peter J. Boettke, shuffling around in a maroon velour track suit or faux-leather rubber shoes he calls "dress Crocs," hardly seems like the type to lead a revolution.

But the 50-year-old professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia is emerging as the intellectual standard-bearer for the Austrian school of economics that opposes government intervention in markets and decries federal spending to prop up demand during times of crisis. Mr. Boettke, whose latest research explores people's ability to self-regulate, also is minting a new generation of disciples who are spreading the Austrian approach throughout academia, where it had long been left for dead.

Read all about it here. Read Nick Gillespie's interview with Bruce Caldwell, biographer of Austrian icon F.A. Hayek, right here.

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  1. Peter Boettke, Pete Leeson and Steve Horwitz’s blog: The Coordination Problem

  2. “dress Crocs”

    More like “Crocs of shit.”

  3. maroon velour track suit

    Awesome. I’m iffy on the Crocs, but the track suit sounds swass.

    1. Dress crocs are so last year. The rage this season is dress jellies.

      1. I wasn’t aware they made jellies for anyone over the age of six.

        1. See, I’d split the difference and say that Crocs are adult jellies.

          1. My inside sales manager wears Crocs because she has “back problems”. Yeah, cramming 300 pounds of lard onto a 5’4″ frame gives you back problems. Apparently the solution is ugly shoes. Who knew?

    2. Track suits has a Sopranos vibe to it.

      1. As long as it’s not nylon, I think the track suit is just sort of the sane man’s bathrobe in public look.

        I imagine that it’s sort of like wearing a smoking jacket all day long.

        1. It’s like wearing a leisure suit, but people don’t point and laugh.

          1. They probably still point and laugh, but since you are swaddled in velour, who gives a fuck what the rest of the world thinks?

            1. I don’t know when the velour track suit officially became acceptable fashion, but it’s popularity is finally waning. For the past few years it has been the official costume of the Long Island housewife, and it has been the bane of MILF admiring. Gladly they’re going back to tight jeans like a good MILF should.

              Anyway, we all know the good professor would be getting even better press if he traded the velour suit for a speedsuit.

      2. John,

        You’ve been been cited in a Transterrestrial Musings posting about the Glenn Beck rally. You’re even quoted in the post!

      3. Never got into that show. In the back of my mind I would be constantly thinking ‘critics are reading way to much into this’ while watching it.

        1. Ms. Daniels in third grade would pop me on the head every time I did that and say, ‘to – going somewhere, too – for emphasis, two — one more than one’. Ms. Daniels was cute, so I liked being popped by Ms. Daniels. Worst incentive for learning grammar ever.

    3. I knew my powder blue leisure suit would come back – all economic cycles. I wish I hadn’t sold my gold chain for food

  4. I love how the article completely ignores the existence of the vastly more influential Mises institute & the member of Congress who is closely associated with it, Ron Paul.

    1. I suppose both organizations are influential when compared to being nonexistent. I don’t see the Fed adopting many Austrian theories or Congress saying it’s time to step back and not do something.

      1. Delta Tau Chi has a long tradition of existence both to its members and the community at large.

    2. Oh c’mon. Seriously?

      1) The article was primarily a personal profile.

      2) How are you measuring “influence” anyhow?

      1. Did you actually read the article?

        Peter J. Boettke, shuffling around in a maroon velour track suit or faux-leather rubber shoes he calls “dress Crocs,” hardly seems like the type to lead a revolution.

        But the 50-year-old professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia is emerging as the intellectual standard-bearer for the Austrian school of economics that opposes government intervention in markets and decries federal spending to prop up demand during times of crisis.

        The standard bearer… In other words, the most famous guy promoting the school.

        Nothing against Dr Boettke, but that’s like writing an article about Peter Criss and claiming he was the standard bearer of Kiss.

    3. The Kochs have bankrolled the Austrians at GMU while they have always been hostile to the Mises institute.

      1. That’s pretty much mutual though.

        I have a rule similar to Reagan’s, every time I have the impulse to criticize a fellow libertarian I always ask, ‘is there a democrat or republican more deserving doing something more deserving at this time.’ The answer is always yes. There are critical junctures when it is necessary to clear the air for the sake of honesty though the democrats and republicans are still doing things far more stupid.

      2. Part of that is due to Lew’s inability to say the name “Koch” without the “topus” suffix.

    4. Huh? FEE ranks so far above LvMI it ain’t funny. This pisses off Lew so much, that there is a policy at LvMI to only refer to FEE in the past tense. Really. Go read their announcement of putting some FEE literature on their site. Past tense is used.

      Want to learn Austrian economics? Avoid LvMI!!! Finding any Hayek there is like finding hen’s teeth. Go to George Mason instead. Or <gasp> F.E.E.

  5. Sounds to me like someone might be a tad bit full of themselves.

    online-privacy.it.tc

  6. I’d rather be seen in a purple bicycle helmet (with sparkles) than a velour track suit of any color.

  7. Since this has become a fashion thread:

    One of the few bright spots about college campus fashion is that the denim short short is back in style for girls.

    1. I shall have to check it out when tailgating starts next weekend.

    2. Bikinis on top?

      1. No, it’s still those gathered boat-neck shirts that often have a pseudo-empire waist. Or the ubiquitous T-shirt.

    3. No matter how bad things get, we’ll always have drunk college girls.

    4. Long live the Daisy Dukes.

  8. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but a girl in a nice lightweight summer dress backlit by the sun makes my tongue hard.

    1. I’d like to deliver a hearty “FUCK YOU” to feminism for killing dress wearing.

    2. It is difficult to communicate to women that it is what you actually want to do and her happiness has nothing to do with it. That you are not fulfilling some mutual obligation and are pretty much obsessed with doing it to the point of perversion. Sometimes you have to lay down the law and say, ‘Would you just keep laying down there, close your eyes and enjoy it. This is about what I want.’

      1. There you go mansplainin’.

    3. If I was a woman I’d wear a dress just for you. No homo.

  9. i think the genes for being good at economics are closely associated with a lack of any awareness for fashion

    1. A coordination problem, of sorts.

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