Mises Institute President Jeff Deist is interviewed in today’s Mises Daily:
Deist: At the time a small group of Austro-libertarian students had assembled in Las Vegas to study under Murray. With the addition of Hans Hoppe, UNLV clearly had become the top economics program in the US for graduate students interested in Austrian training. I was able to attend a few of Murray’s course lectures, which not surprisingly (to those familiar with his lifestyle) were held in the evening! Needless to say the lectures were fast-paced and filled with references beyond the mainstream, giving only a hint of Murray’s vast range of knowledge. Encouraged by Joe and his excitement for Rothbard’s teaching, I decided to explore further.
At the time I was already a committed libertarian, but lacked any real intellectual framework to integrate free market economics with ethics, philosophy, law, and political liberty.
Remember that much of what passed for free-market or libertarian thought at the time remained mired in 1980s Reaganite clichés. Supply-side economics was still the focus of the Right, with many otherwise sensible people talking about the Laffer Curve and maximizing tax revenue! Quasi-utilitarian arguments flourished in the economics mainstream, ceding the intellectual high ground in favor of arguments that free markets merely “worked” better.