May. 9th, 2017

To continue with the book launch of RENT UNMASKED: Essays in Honor of Mason Gaffney, and specifically, to continue with what Dr. Free Foldvary was saying, the Georgist school integrates economics and ethics. Mason Gaffney has worked on (1) theory, (2) economic history, and (3) the history of economic thought.

The neoclassicals believe in false trade offs: Equality vs. efficiency; the environment vs. goods; economic freedom vs. governemnt aid and control; taxes vs. debt.

Mason Gaffney's greatest heterodox contribution was his book, The Corruption of Economics, written with Fred Harrison. Around 1900, "economic rent" was defined to include more than land rent, and "rent seeking" was used to mean seeking privileges from government. The robber barons gave money to universities, and got particular professors hired. These professors gave us the "marginal revolution" or "neoclassical revolution" in economics -- which involves some true ideas, but leaves out land.

That was from Fred Foldvary; then Frank Peddle spoke. Professor Peddle is a professor of philosophy, not economics. His own knowledge of Professor Mason Gaffney goes back to a meeting of the Eastern Economic Association; Gaffney can speak the language. Professor Gaffney is the best and most creative Georgist economist of the past several generations. He reconciles freedom with equality.

Prof. Peddle spoke of the Platonic dialogues, especially "Parmenides." Be philosophical. Gaffney is good at peeling back the surface appearances, and showing what is going on. He has a law-based, not opinion-based explanation of economic problems: they can be traced to the capture of economic rent.
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