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Thread: Career as a Free-Market/Austrian Economist - questions

  1. #1

    Default Career as a Free-Market/Austrian Economist - questions

    Hi there - when I was in high school I originally thought of being an economist. In my second year of University, I learned about Ron Paul and TRUE economics - not the centrally planned, Keynesian non-sense they were spouting. It was so influential on me that I changed programs to the sciences to try being a doctor. Unfortunately, I don't think I want to go to school for that long.

    My question: what type of employment could one receive as a free-market/austrian economist? Why would a company want to hire an economist that pretty much says 'the future can't be quantified into a simple mathematical equation. order is spontaneous and human interaction can not be predicted accurately long term'? Any advice or opinions on the subject would be appreciated as I'm considering going back to school and economics has always fascinated me.



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  3. #2

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    Become a lead designer in creating an Economic Model?

    http://farmersi.net/

    http://www.ars-regendi.com/

    http://www.positech.co.uk/democracy2/
    Last edited by FlatIron; 02-18-2012 at 10:52 AM.

  4. #3

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    Maybe become an entrepreneur or business owner and put your knowledge into action.

    I know I was initially reading all I could about it and talking about it all over a bunch of forums, but eventually I got tired of debatetarianism and just had to do something, so I built Shire Silver. Now my primary activism (restoring sound money) is also my primary business.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhelwig View Post
    Maybe become an entrepreneur or business owner and put your knowledge into action.

    I know I was initially reading all I could about it and talking about it all over a bunch of forums, but eventually I got tired of debatetarianism and just had to do something, so I built Shire Silver. Now my primary activism (restoring sound money) is also my primary business.
    Checked out your site - pretty neat! So it's your primary business - it's where you derive most of your income? How and where are you selling it? How did you get people to trust the purity of the metal? Seems like a good idea!

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOraclePaul View Post
    Checked out your site - pretty neat! So it's your primary business - it's where you derive most of your income? How and where are you selling it? How did you get people to trust the purity of the metal? Seems like a good idea!
    I'd been involved with the Liberty Dollar since about 1999, and moved to New Hampshire for the Free State Project in 2005. I had arranged a meeting of interested folks to see if we could all get together and promote it here when the raid happened. So the meeting became "what do we do now". We realized a centralized system wasn't the way to go, so we decided to figure out how to decentralize. Most everyone else drifted away, but me and a few others continued to work on it.

    By the time the 2009 Liberty Forum came around, I had some prototypes. I went and showed them around, and got overwhelmingly positive reviews. By that PorcFest, I had the production models done and had borrowed enough cash to have a few thousand dollars worth. They sold pretty well, but since people were actually using them in trade all over the event, I had saturated the market and was left with about half of what I brought. It proved the cards were a hit, but my business model needed tweaking.

    For the next year's PorcFest I asked people to pre-order. Some did, and I did have some in stock. And of course people still had theirs from the previous year. Since it was larger, more people wanted some, and there were a lot more vendors. Now I have people pay me first, then I order the metal, when the metal arrives I create the cards and ship them ASAP - usually takes less than 2 weeks to get to the customer.

    I've also added co-branding where I make the cards with someone else's logo and info on the front, with my info on the back. I've done three of those so far.

    I haven't really started working hard to sign up merchants, but hope to soon. There's now at least a few hundred people in New Hampshire that have some of my cards, and over $30,000 worth of it in circulation. It hasn't made enough to pay my daily bills yet, but I'm hopeful it soon will. I have sold them all over the U.S. and in a few other countries; all via the website.

    As far as people trusting it, I really haven't had to do much. Most people are trusting, and accept it without much thought - just like with silver bullion or coins. (No one ever really does any serious testing of silver bullion. Most just look it over and judge the weight by hand. Some do the sonic drop test, listening for a clear ring. A very few actually weigh them. But no one ever bothers with an actual assay, which will destroy the coin.) But there's also the fact that if anyone ever found me cheating it would destroy my business, and people here know that this isn't just my business but also my mission. But there's another advantage of Shire Silver that helps as well: since the amounts (and thus values) are small, it isn't all that big a loss to assay a card here and there. You can burn away the plastic and take the remaining metal into pretty much any jewelry store and they can weigh and check it for content.

  7. #6

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    This is a great question, one that hasn't been asked on these forums. I can tell you first hand that Austrian Economics isn't a topic that can be discussed during an interview for a job, because of the reputation it has among academic practitioners, who have indoctrinated our best business minds into thinking that their way is the only way to analyzing an economic decision. In order to explain austrian theory, you have to speak on some political issues that may be contentious and not the kind of stuff you want to address on the job. I can tell you personally that its virtually impossible to integrate austrian theory into economic decisions, because there is very little math or calculations involved. If you were to become a macro economic analyst, your boss is obviously going to need to produce a deliverable, or an excel spreadsheet model, or analysis of a large data set in SAS or SPSS. The need for cold hard mathematical analysis in the business world is justifiable, as the guys who make the financial decisions need to present intricate models and projections in order to justify their opinions and get money from stockholders or capitalists to fund their operation. Without having these types of mathematical models, it is very difficult to present a case to those from whom you are asking for millions of dollars of capital. I have spent endless hours trying to develop financial models that can determine direction, (ie allocation of resources toward individual industries and projects) and I can tell you that it is virtually impossible. It is IMPOSSIBLE to model how and when money is going to be spent, as it should be. If we could model the exact rate of inflation or the effects of misdirected resources on an geographic area, we would be able to solve many production-related problems, which would in turn lead to socialism.
    Last edited by The Binghamton Patriot; 02-19-2012 at 07:42 AM. Reason: typo

  8. #7

    Default turn around

    Go back to studying medicine and pursue economics on the side. Healing is a skill you will be able to use in almost any imaginable situation. Economics is nearly the opposite - a very few niche jobs and most of those in academia or working for the Fed. And being an Austrian School economist makes you ineligible for most of those.

    Yes, the road to an MD seems long and arduous when you are looking at it from your end. But I'll bet you would have a hard time finding an MD who regrets having done it. Think about that. Those years will pass whether you go to med school or not. Where will you be when they HAVE passed? With a portable skill in demand the world over? Or with some theoretical knowledge that most people don't care about and the rich and powerful will actively discourage?

    If you really can't stomach med school, try alternative medicine.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

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  9. #8

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    Entrepreneur...With a solid grasp of Autstrian Economics you should be able to see where there are problems - if you apply your creativity you can bring solutions to the market. Pick something you are good at and better yet, passionate about.

  10. #9

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    What about Geology, Geographic Information Systems(GIS), or any other earth sciences? You can use Austrian economics in these fields. For geology, you could use austrian theory to understand natural resources and its involvement in the economy and business of the world. In GIS, which is the mapping and analyzation of data in a spatial context; you could use austrian theory to help with analyzation. Become a meteorologist, and you could help evaluate the commodities market as weather effects commodities. Earth sciences offer a good place to use your knowledge of Austrian economics.

  11. #10
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    Don't bother. Get a real job.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Calhoun View Post
    Don't bother. Get a real job.
    What is a "real job" massa?

  13. #12

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    Academia or think tank. Both pretty much require a PhD and therefore you will spend just as much time in education.

  14. #13

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    Become a professor. Lord knows we need more economics professors who actually understand economics.
    Adam Mcquaid is one tough hombre.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by dongkong View Post
    Become a professor. Lord knows we need more economics professors who actually understand economics.
    Not very simple .

    As long as you don't go full Austrian too often, Academia is absolutely the best route.

    Many of the people who speak for Learn Liberty are Professors at many different universities. Learn Liberty is classical liberal. Look around their videos and look at the career paths of the Professors on the biography page of the site. That would be a good start.

    Looking at the list of speakers for Learn Liberty, the economics department at George Mason is very free market orientated.

  16. #15
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    My advice. Have a fall back position or skill. Mine is Physical Therapy Asst, while I go to school for my PhD. It pays pretty well ~24-29$ a hour, and doesn't take that long to learn (2 year degree). That way you can shoot for your goal while not being SOL in the event you fall short. In life, it's generally good to have redundancies and back up plans.
    School of Salamanca - School of Austrian Economics - Liberty, Private Property, Free-Markets, Voluntaryist, Agorist. le monde va de lui mÍme

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