Joseph T. Salerno presents this series of ten lectures on the fundamentals of Austrian economic theory, with a special emphasis on its technical aspects.
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1. Scarcity, Choice, and Value
The causal realist approach began with Carl Menger, but diminished in the 1920s. Keynesianism took over with mathematics by the 1950s. Economics was definitely on the wrong track. Salerno explores the causal realist approach which Austrians embrace.
2. Exchange and Demand
All action is exchange, even forced exchange like slavery, taxes, eminent domain and conscription, where only one party gains. The Law of Marginal Utility tells us how many exchanges will be made.
3. The Determination of Prices
What principles determine the formation of prices on the free market? The equilibrium price between supply and demand determines prices according to the value scales of sellers and buyers and their elastic or inelastic positions.
4. Price Controls: Case Studies
The immediate effect of price controls or any government intervention upon the market is shortage of goods. Price controls discourage production just when it is needed most. The economy approaches full socialization. Rent control is the easiest way to destroy a city besides bombing it.
5. Profit, Loss and the Entrepreneur
Capitalist-entrepreneurs must anticipate supply and demand conditions of future market conditions. It is the future price - the appraisement – that must be compared to the costs of factors of production (land, labor, and capital).
6. Pricing of the Factors of Production and the Labor Market
Factors of Production are economic goods: scarce means used to achieve an individual’s ends. They are land, labor and capital. Each is examined. Incomes are earned by factor owners as production takes place. There is no separated production and distribution.