Study Economics, History, and Libertarian Theory

So 2011 is well under way, and January is in full force. Snow storms, frigid temperatures, and endless rainfall will plague Canadians for at least the next couple of months. But while you’re hiding from the elements near the warm glow of your computer screens, why not study Austrian theory at the same time?

The Mises Academy has been operating for about a year now, with courses in economics, history, and philosophy. I attended several of their courses last year, and all were an unbeatable value. There are live lectures every week where you can interact with the instructor, office hours, forums, free course resources, extra readings, and optional exams for credit.  If you miss a lecture, the slides, video recording, and audio recording are all provided for you. This makes it a great option for those with busy schedules.

The Mises Academy has 3 upcoming courses that might be of interest:

Networks and the Digital Revolution: Economic Myths and Realities

Dates: January 19 – February 16, 2011
Instructor: Peter G. Klein
Cost: $110
Length: 5 Weeks

What is the new, networked economy all about? What are “information goods” and how do they differ from traditional goods? How are online businesses different from brick-and-mortar establishments? Is the large firm with its centralized managerial hierarchy obsolete, to be replaced by decentralized, disaggregated, peer-to-peer communities? Is government regulation needed to keep digital markets free, fair, and open? More generally, does the new economy call for a new kind of economics, or is traditional economics still useful?

This course suggests answers to these and related questions, focusing on recent examples, applications, and illustrations, while grounding the discussion on basic economic principles. We begin by studying the growth of the Internet, wireless communication networks, and related technologies, trying to assess just how widely information technology has diffused throughout the economy. We then explore how these changes in technology, along with changes in regulation and global competition, have affected firm boundaries, competition, human resource management, regulation, sources of financing, and the assignment of property rights.

Principles of Economics

Dates: January 26 – March 30, 2011
Instructor: Robert P. Murphy
Cost: $150
Length: 10 Weeks

Ten weeks of fantastic economics instruction from the ground up. Robert P. Murphy’s book, which is sure to become a standard text in the future, will be used in this class. Enrollment in the class is $150 and covers all materials, weekly lectures, office hours, quizzes, grading, and final exam. The class is designed for high school students, but it is the ideal class for gaining a solid foundation in economic science at any age. The focus is on the Austrian understanding. The knowledge gained will establish a rock-solid basis for all future studies in economics. The goal is to present economics in the same way that it was given to Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard early in their schooling, a paradigm to inspire a lifetime of understanding and scholarship. No prior exposure to economic logic is required. Students may opt out of quizzes, tests, and grading.

Libertarian Legal Theory: Property Conflict and Society

Dates: January 31 – March 11, 2011
Instructor: Stephan Kinsella
Cost: $125
Length: 6 Weeks

Detailed discussions of the foundations of libertarian theory and related topics such as individual rights; justice, punishment and restitution; anarchy and minarchy; contract theory; inalienability; property rights and homesteading; intellectual property; legislation versus common law; legal positivism; Austrian economics and libertarianism; and causation and responsibility. Optional testing will include a multiple-choice mid-term exam and a multiple-choice final exam.

I hope you’re able to attend a class or two this winter, and look for more classes coming soon.

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