The Best Investment You Can Make

For more than thirty years, lecturing at Mises University has been the highlight of my academic year. Students arrive filled with excitement about this experience—a weeklong intellectual feast that for many of them will be life changing. What a delight for an economics professor like me to have the opportunity to teach free market, Austrian economics to intelligent, motivated, and wonderful young people with a genuine passion for learning. Opening night at Mises University is always overflowing with excitement and anticipation. I marvel at how the students often cheer when the faculty is introduced, as if we were rock stars! The students and faculty feed off each other’s enthusiasm, which is one reason the week is so special.

Over four thousand young people from all over the world have attended Mises University. There have been a few exceptionally bright high school students, but most have been undergraduate students. There have also been some who decided to forgo college or university, “nurseries of socialism,” as Mises called them. As the influence of the Austrian School has spread over the years, more and more professors have read our literature, assigned Austrian topics to their students, used our videos and podcasts in their classrooms, and sent their students to Mises University.

Mises University has a large “multiplier effect,” if you will excuse my Keynesian terminology, in that the lessons learned have motivated many of our students to engage in lifelong learning, educate family and friends, create serious blogs with Austrian content, author mises.org articles, write for a variety of outlets, and even become scholars themselves. As a result of their Mises University experience, over half of our faculty are MU alumni today.

I’d like to share a personal story about a student that I sent to Mises University several years ago. He attended two summers in a row while working on an economics degree at the University of Chicago, where he wrote several term papers on real-world applications of the Austrian business cycle theory. We met for lunch in Baltimore whenever he was home during the breaks, and we kept in touch. One day he called to let me know that he had landed his “dream job” at a London investment bank and thanked me for it. It turns out that the man who hired him used Austrian business cycle theory in his decision-making and that my student was the only candidate who knew anything about it. That’s what I mean by the “multiplier effect” of Mises University. There are many other stories like this one.

Our faculty are just as passionate about what many of our students call “the best week of the year” because it is a joy to apply their teaching skills to a group of eager-to-learn students. This enthusiasm is contagious and is reflected in student / faculty interactions throughout the week. Lectures and informal discussions continue all day, even during meals and well into the evening, for the entire week. The faculty invite the students to contact them after Mises University is over if they have questions or seek advice about their studies. At the end of the week, students become part of a very special group: Mises University alumni.

Students who take mainstream microeconomics spend most of each semester learning all the different theories of “market failure” while government failure is barely mentioned, if at all. Then, when they take macroeconomics, it is not unusual for them to spend the entire semester building a crazy-quilt, Rube Goldberg machine–style central planning model that is supposed to teach them how to advise benevolent and selfless politicians on how to “stabilize” the economy. I’m not making this up; I taught university economics for forty-one years and am intimately familiar with all the mainstream textbooks.

The failure of mainstream economics to teach real economics, as opposed to contrived “models” of market failure and central macroeconomic planning, is why Mises University has been so successful and so helpful in the war of ideas and the battle for freedom. As Ludwig von Mises said, there has always been a remnant of intellectually curious students who do not buy into the statist theorizing of the “mainstream.” They know something is amiss in their college classrooms.

We have made it easier than ever to discover Austrian economics through our enormous library of free information on mises.org, which leads many students to become voracious readers of our literature—on and offline—and to apply to attend Mises University and enjoy that experience of a lifetime that Mises alumni boast. At Mises University they learn the proper theories of value and prices and the philosophy of science. They learn the economics of money and banking from a non- Fed perspective. They study entrepreneurship and business cycle theory. They hear all about the failures of socialism and special topics ranging from crony capitalism to energy economics to the “woke” corporation to medical socialism and much more.

The week ends with optional written and oral exams, with the top three students receiving cash prizes funded by generous donors. It is wonderfully inspiring to see these young men and women working so hard, educating, and essentially arming themselves to join in the battle against tyranny and for a free society.

Your donation can help us change another young student’s intellectual trajectory. Students can only attend Mises University with your support, so please sponsor a student if you can. Your donation covers a student’s tuition, housing, and meals. Of course, any donation is greatly appreciated. It is a vote for freedom and against the tyranny that is enveloping the world today.

Originally Posted at https://mises.org/

By Mises