So it was interesting to read the Caplan piece this week and to hear why the Austrians are a bit off kilter (it is quite different from our typical readings). I like how Caplan began by making the distinction of Rothbard and Mises being in the same school of Austrian Economics while Hayek is in his own camp.
One of the main failures in the economic school of Austrian thought, which is presented throughout this article is plain and simple...the matter of being stubborn. It is a good practice as an economist stick to a stance. However, typically we also hold some generally accepted principles (few but yes there are some). If we reject a theory or stance it should for the reasoning that it is illogical rather than an ego thing.
I get the sense that there is an ego problem with the Austrian school. I think back to the Rothbard article we read spring semester about Keynes that was pure slander with little to no reference to how his economics made no sense but more of this emotional "your're a pansy" that's why your wrong approach. He had a personal vendetta. After all he did state about Karl Marx that, "At least he wasn't a Keynesian." This statement would have more value if it mentioned really what are the flaws in the Keynesian school rather than going for the emotional grip. Because there is one thing that economists can agree on is feelings and econ don't mix well. I do like the way in Caplan's article that he focuses on the inconsistencies of logic to explain why he disagrees with the Austrians and how he left non-applicable arguments out of story.
I don't mean to single Rothbard out here lots of economists can get caught up in this trap. And the Austrian school is not the only felon in economic schools of thought. The problem is that different schools of thought need to hear out each other before they proclaim, "Your WRONG!." As the "la la la" I can't hear you approach only can last for so long before you start to become a joke. You see this in a lot of the responses to the argument we brought up last week and also present in the reading in regards to the views of empirical analysis within the Austrian school.
I think the best approach is one which is open that that of others.