Friday, February 3, 2012

A Brief Introduction

I'm delighted to begin blogging here at Austrian Economics and Literature. As my shiny new Blogger profile will tell you, I'm a writer, a poet, and a Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. My background is in English Renaissance and Reformation literature, but I will not hesitate to go all medieval (or 18th, 19th, 20th, or 21st century) on you if it seems necessary. I earned my MA and PhD at the University of Chicago and did my undergraduate work at Wesleyan University. I have published on topics from George Herbert to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and my writing textbook "Writing with a Thesis" is in college classrooms across the country. 

If you've heard of my blog, Modified Rapture, it's either because of my post on How the Grinch Stole the Free Market or my post of the ten best economics pick-up lines. It is, I suspect, that kind of geeky literary/economic hijinks that persuaded Troy to invite me to blog here. I'll try to keep it up.

In addition to the hijinks, however, I plan to spend a lot of time pointing readers of this blog to literary and pop cultural works that provide complex and nuanced views of free markets and free societies. I'm much less theory-driven than Troy, so I'll be spending a lot of time jumping up and down and pointing you toward interesting source material and neglected perspectives. And I'll be doing my very best to mount a continuous campaign against the notion that free markets and literature are natural enemies.

And just so I don't leave you with only introductory material, and a completely content-free blogpost, here's a sophisticated little piece on money and value, from one of my favorite economists--Shel Silverstein.


My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes--I guess he don't know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head--
Too proud of me to speak!

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