What is your name?
How do you describe yourself ideologically?
Libertarian. I’m proud to say that, like Dr. Woods, I became a libertarian despite spending my undergraduate years at the People’s Republic of Harvard. However, I had the considerable advantage of growing up in England, where politics is much less of a national obsession. When I was young, the word “politics” primarily connoted nothing more than a bunch of old guys in wigs droning on about boring topics, and occasionally saying “hear hear!” Having grown up in such a neutral environment, it was not difficult for me to see through all the blather about affirmative action that I encountered upon arriving in Cambridge, to say nothing of the ridiculous “living wage” campaign that reached its crescendo during my junior year.
I’m seriously impressed by anyone who becomes a libertarian despite having grown up in the United States, where the general nature of political discourse – let alone the formal indoctrination from public schooling – is so conducive to developing irrational attitudes on the subject.
How did you first hear about Tom Woods?
To answer this, I should first resume the story of my college years. Having heard that libertarianism had something to do with “Austrian economics”, whatever that was, I obtained a copy of Human Action. I certainly liked Mises’s approach, and encountering this book was enough to completely kill my already waning interest in the Intermediate Macroeconomics class that I was taking that semester. But to my eternal embarrassment, I didn’t entirely “get it” on this first reading – I didn’t fathom just how completely Mises was invalidating the entire mainstream framework. So as I went on to other pursuits during the next few years, I didn’t spend much time thinking about economics of any variety. And even when the financial crisis happened, it didn’t occur to me that there was any connection with what I had read back then.
All of that changed in early 2009, when during a visit to Barnes and Noble, I came across a little book called Meltdown. Suddenly, it all clicked into place – I was like a cartoon character with the lightbulb going on above my head. Since then, I have read everything I can find about Austrian Economics, and done what little I can to try to help those around me understand what a ridiculous scam the mainstream of the subject is.
Facebook and Twitter profiles?
Nothing relevant. However, I did recently purchase the domain name firepaulkrugman.com, and if my current career hiatus stretches much beyond this summer, I may start posting at this site. The point would be to offer up a daily piece making fun of the idiocy of mainstream economists. I also write for misesboston.com, though I only have one article up at present.
Other Fun facts about you?
I grew up in the borough of Runnymede, near where the Magna Carta is thought to have been signed.
Courses YOU’RE (ahem) looking forward TO (ahem)?
All of them. I’ve sampled lectures from most of them so far, and they are, without exception, thoroughly excellent.