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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2008

Max Raskin, Scott A. Kjar and Robert Rahm

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the rebuilding of the Gulf coast post‐Hurricane Katrina.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the rebuilding of the Gulf coast post‐Hurricane Katrina.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper posits that though Frédéric Bastiat passed away in 1850, the beauty of his sound economic reasoning is that it does not change over time and that his essay, “That which is seen, and that which is not seen,” is especially insightful in analyzing the rebuilding of the Gulf coast. The paper first expounds his lesson and then applies it to the conflict between the private and public sectors in order to attack the fallacies of government spending and vindicate the free‐market approach to reconstruction.

Findings

The paper finds that the areas where the government has coercively arrogated to itself a monopoly – police and fire departments to protect lives and property, courts to punish rights violators, water and sewer systems to restore potable water to homes – are the areas where recovery lags the most. Since government has diverted its attention from these services where competition is not allowed, and has instead become involved in the provision of goods and services otherwise provided on the free market – houses, food, clothing – its efforts have not only not assisted the recovery, they have actually stood in its way.

Originality/value

The paper provides a valuable overview of lessons that can be learnt from the aftermath of the Katrina disaster.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2008

William Anderson and Scott A. Kjar

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the havoc created by Hurricane Katrina from the viewpoint of Austrian Economics. The aim is to look specifically at the malinvested…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the havoc created by Hurricane Katrina from the viewpoint of Austrian Economics. The aim is to look specifically at the malinvested capital that came about because of the construction of the complex levee system around New Orleans.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies Austrian Economics, and especially the economic analysis of Carl Menger.

Findings

It is found that there indeed was much malinvested capital in New Orleans, and the situation was made worse because the levee system upon which everything else depended was unfit to withstand a storm the size of Katrina.

Research limitations/implications

Research implications include the examination of other situations in which large amounts of government capital help to leverage other investments, but the original government capital itself proves to be unsustainable.

Practical implications

The practical implications include a warning to people who we believe should base large amounts of private investment upon government projects that have a political basis, but either cannot withstand natural forces or simply are untenable.

Originality/value

The new aspect of this paper is the larger‐scale application of Austrian business cycle theory to a specific instance, as opposed to applying it to the economy at large.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Walter E. Block

The purpose of this paper is to shed critical light on micro‐finance.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed critical light on micro‐finance.

Design/methodology/approach

This scheme is managed from an economic perspective.

Findings

Micro‐finance comes to us as a left wing attack on the free enterprise system; as such, it ought to be opposed by all freedom lovers, at least in its present format. Other baggage weighing it down is, if not absolute fraud, then, what might well be considered at least serious chicanery. A further criticism is the cult‐like behavior now surrounding it. However, is micro‐finance per se necessarily fraudulent? Can it only be favored by critics of laissez faire capitalism? What of micro‐finance shorn of all such encumbrances? Should it then be supported? No. Even the Platonic Ideal of micro‐finance has serious difficulties. This claim is a matter of prudential judgment, not praxeology. But, even a pure‐as‐the‐driven‐snow variety of this scheme still violates the economic concepts of specialization and division of labor, an appreciation of the infant industry fallacy, and several other basic building blocks of the dismal science. There are other better ways to “cure poverty” than this misbegotten scheme. This one, paradoxically, exacerbates impoverishment by placing investment resources in hands less capable of making it grow than would otherwise be the case.

Practical implications

It would be unwise to invest in or support this scheme.

Social implications

Society should instead rely upon free enterprise banking, the occupy movement to the contrary notwithstanding.

Originality/value

It takes a minority position on this very popular institution.

Details

Humanomics, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2009

D.G. Brian Jones and William Keep

The purpose of this paper is to describe Stanley C. Hollander's doctoral seminar in the history of marketing thought and offer some insights into its uniqueness.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe Stanley C. Hollander's doctoral seminar in the history of marketing thought and offer some insights into its uniqueness.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a combination of personal reflections, personal interviews, and documentation from the final offering of the course.

Findings

Hollander's course was distinctive among such efforts at doctoral education and probably one of the last such seminars in North America.

Originality/value

There has been little written about teaching the history of marketing thought and to date no published account of Hollander's seminar.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

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