Here are some quick comments on Richard Ebeling’s and Geoffrey Lea’s second essays on Austrian economics in South Royalton, Vermont. All of the essays can be found here.

First, Richard Ebeling.

Richard tells a hilarious story about traveling to South Royalton, Vermont from Sacramento by bus. Wow! I remember that Harry Watson and I had our air fare paid for, if I recall correctly. I don’t know why the disparate treatment. The good news is that it didn’t seem to negatively affect Richard’s attitude unless he was normally even friendlier and more excited than he appeared.

One of my favorite parts of his second essay is his reminiscence of the late Sudha Shenoy. I remember her well. At the age of 23, I had never interacted at any length with an Indian woman. I enjoyed her immensely, especially her infectious laugh. I actually had heard of her famous father, economist B.R. Shenoy, and I think I had read one or two things he wrote. Again, if I remember correctly, he was the first economist I read who was critical of India’s government’s central planning. It’s hard to  believe that she died in 2008. It seems much more recent.

Here’s a very sweet remembrance of Sudha by the late John Blundell.

Second, Geoffrey Lea.

I think Geoffrey is right to charitably interpret Milton Friedman‘s famous statement to the group in South Royalton that there’s no such thing as Austrian economics; there are only good economics and bad economics. I didn’t take him to mean that the Austrians didn’t have important insights. I took him to mean that the people gathered there shouldn’t let each other get away with incorrect statements or claims just because they sounded Austrian. And, by the way, I didn’t see people there letting each other get away with such claims.

The pic above is of Sudha. The other pic is of my late friend Harry Watson and his wife Ida Walters in front of the South Royalton hotel, the “scene of the crime.” I was visiting Harry and Ida in September 2015 in New Hampshire and we drove to the hotel to see what it was like. Harry and Ida had met at the conference and got married not long after.