Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Disappointment in a National Museum

I recently toured the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. and was greatly disappointed. Not that I have never toured through the museum; I had never toured the museum after finding the wonder of what is economics.

I wandered around the National Museum of American History finding great exhibits that ranged from the United States at war, to music, to inventions, and even to segregation. What I did not find was a single exhibit upon economics or an economist. Am I to be lead to believe that the "Muppets" are more dear to our nation's history than great economists like Coase, Buchanan, or Friedman? The names of great economists rose greatly in the 20th century. Their idealistic views helped shape economics and fought harder against the spread of communism than any war had fought. Yet these men, scientists, that study as Mises had put it in one of his many book titles Human Action, find themselves forgotten in the minds of Americans.

Asking myself why are the great economists not included in the history of the United States? Is the United States itself not a history upon economics? Decades ago, President Nixon had famously proclaimed, "We are all Keynesians now," honoring the interventionist economist, J. M. Keynes. Have we lost touch with economics since the slow decline of interventionistic views in economics?

The answer to my questions appear to be that economists do not interest the American citizen. How could American citizens not be interested in economics? Do we care more for the Julia Child Kitchen rather than the words of Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard who helped shape the United States? I hope not; as Julia Child's Kitchen did not impact my life or most citizens in any way while economists with their views have helped change the world. Don't believe me? Communist Manifesto, The Road To Serfdom, Calculus of Consent, Wealth of Nations : do any of these sound familiar? Each has helped change the world of their ideologies and these are only three of the many books upon the benefits given to society by economists...

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