A Maverick's Defense of Freedom

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9780865977846: A Maverick's Defense of Freedom
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Benjamin A. Rogge's ability to speak and write about serious economic topics with humor, humility, and wit, but without difficult jargon, math, or diagrams, places him in a category all his own. This new collection of fifty-three essays, many of which have never before been published, gathers some of Rogge's most interesting talks and writings spanning the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. This volume encompasses a vast array of topics including the case for individual liberty and responsibility in maintaining the free-market economy, the nature of economics, the business system, labor markets, money and inflation, and education. By organizing the volume thematically, the editor, Dwight R. Lee, has been able to highlight and place in context the many different areas of economics that compose Professor Rogge's extensive output.

Part 1:  Individual Liberty, Responsibility, and the Morality of the Market
This opening section is composed mostly of Rogge's speeches describing his broad philosophy on liberty, responsibility, government, and the market, as well as their roles in maintaining a free-market economy.

Part 2:  The Role of Economists
With humor and insight, Rogge discusses what economists can do and cannot do to promote a free and prosperous society.

Part 3:  Education
The longest section of this volume includes Rogge's many thoughts on education, such as his ideas on the role of the student, tenure, financing higher education, economic education, and the role of the intellectual. This section includes an especially entertaining article called "Well, So You're a College Graduate:  What Tricks Can You Do?"

Part 4:  Microeconomics, Labor Issues, and Political Foibles
This seciton provides a diverse and insightful compilation of writings on government policies, discrimination, antitrust, the gold standard, and energy.

Part 5:  Macroeconomics:  Policies and Forecasts
The chapters in this section focus on macroeconomic issues such as inflation, unemployment, government stabilization policy, and economic forecasts.

Part 6:  Foreign Policy and Economic Development
Rogge's writing in this section includes several pieces on economic development that effectively argue against the prevailing view at the time of writing, which is still popular today:  that underdeveloped economies require government planning if they are to develop.

Benjamin A. Rogge (1920-1980) was Distinguished Professor of Political Economy at Wabash College. He was also the author of Can Capitalism Survive?, published by Liberty Fund.

Dwight R. Lee is William J. O'Neil Professor of Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business.

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About the Author:

Benjamin A. Rogge (1920-1980) was Distinguished Professor of Political Economy at Wabash College. He was also the author of Can Capitalism Survive? published by Liberty Fund.
Dwight R. Lee is William J. O'Neil Professor of Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business.

Review:

Given the important role Rogge played in classical liberalism in America during his lifetime (he served on the boards of both FEE and Liberty Fund), the value of this volume to students of liberty is tremendous. . . . For me, the best part of the book was the section on the role of education in a free society. In addition to including the entirety of Rogge's classic essay with Pierre Goodrich on "Education in a Free Society," this section also includes Rogge's views on the financing and administration of higher education and the role of students, businessmen, and public intellectuals in the educational process. Anyone who is interested in today's higher education reform debates would benefit from reading this section, which highlights an important issue rarely discussed today: personal responsibility by consumers of education. . . . I cannot recommend this book enough.

The Freeman
November 2011

The ability to calmly discuss instead of shout seems more and more lost on today's world. A Maverick's Defense of Freedom is a collection of essays by Benjamin A. Rogge and his passion for the free market in a time where regulation and restrictions seem to be becoming more and more commonplace. Speaking on many aspects of the economy with a respect to differing viewpoints, A Maverick's Defense of Freedom comes with much thought, a solid read for any students of economics.

The Midwest Book Review
November 2010

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