Dream On, Valiant Austrian! An Economics Sonnet

This comes from reader Alex Entz:

I wrote a Shakespearean sonnet in iambic pentameter about economics for an English class of mine at Northwestern this past quarter and, spurred on by the rash of “Fed Valentines,” thought I’d take a decidedly Austrian approach. Now that the class is done, I figured that I should pass it along to some people who, unlike my English professor, would perhaps appreciate its economic aspects more than its rhythmic and metrical aspects.

Dream On, Valiant Austrian! 

I fell asleep quite late last night, adrift

In books of Hayek’s thoughts. And dreaming was

An oddity—dollars and gold, a swift

Exchange; velocity ran flat because

It stayed constant, our friend. Inflation sat

A toothless beast by Milton’s sage theory;

There was no need for Twist, or worse, a fat

Sad QE3—of which I was leery.

There were no bubbles to be popped, no price

Distortions there, and property was ruled

By Coase—so simple and so fair. A piece

By JM Keynes no longer had us fooled.

            I woke to a report about the Fed;

            Sometimes the world runs better in my head.


Wow, I can like poetry?!?!?


Nice. Not entirely in iambic pentameter, though.

robyn goldstein

Have been thinking a bit about healthcare and one question raised. Does the mandate change the individual's relationship to the state. Yes, if it is merely economic. But is it? I thought that the state here protected the individual. Granted to the individual the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

So I thought of a few examples. Ok. As described, a man does not wish to buy insurance for himself or his daughter. He is in "perfect health" and does not think that he needs it- even though he can afford it. He gets into a car accident and is taken to the nearest hospital. Is the hospital required to do whatever is necessary to save the man's life--Yes. Must he pay for it in the end. Yes, if the expense incurred is within his' economic means. Another case, a homeless man has no insurance and is found on the street. He too is taken to the local clinic and nursed back to health. He cannot afford the plan. Must he be required to pay or be given less care because of his economic limitations- No. A third case, I lost my job and wish to buy health insurance for self and family. Yes. But what if I want maximum choice as to doctors, hospitals As I see it, there should be an instrument that allows me to buy/get what I need. there is no change here in any of these cases. The individuals freedom is relatively protected as is the state's responsibility to protect the individual. Can the state force the individual to buy insurance?No. I don't think you can force an individual into good healthcare taking as you cannot mandate proper eating. By the same token, when it comes to life and death, the state/government has a responsibility-- and if the individual wants insurance, the state should be providing it. But what if the individual ...., in any case the state has a responsibility. Ok. What about employer's. Do they have a right to say no to paying for the healthcare of their employees? Perhaps. But not to offering the the employee the ability to pay for them. But if I were an employee, and wanted a genuine commitment over time, I sure would provide such benefits as I would want happy workers.


robyn g

I meant if I were an employer- I would want my employees to be happy. And If I could not afford to pay at all, in part for their benefits, then at least I should be able to give employees the opportunity to buy insurance at an affordable rate. Perhaps some sort of a tax credit to companies who provide their employees with full benefits. So say I employ someone to take care of a relative, but cannot afford such a plan. There should be some mechanism for my employee to gain affordable insurance should they want it and if I can pay for it, a mechanism whereby I gain a benefit for the offering.

robyn ann goldstein, scientist-at-large

2) P. 876

"Whether the legal profession would take the side either of the authoritarian or the anti-authoritarian powers , once the "rule-boundaries " of the social order had been achieved, depended upon whether the emphasis was more opon mere "order," or upon "liberty" in the sense of guaranty and security of the individual." In other words, there is a bit of a choice. And in so far as "the choice" depends in the words of Radbruch, "on whether the law was viewed more as "regulation" or as the source of "rights," that the choice itself takes for granted the fact that the rights of the individual deserve a bit of protection at a certain point.

Does it not follow that when it comes to the matter of life and death of the individual, such protection should be granted. In other words, the health insurance mandate, at the very least, should allow for such real protection.

All rights reserved on this one and the previous comment. Robyn Ann Goldstein. No part of this text may be reproduced or transmitted by any means without the permission of the publisher.


David Webb, G4i Capital Partners

Would be good to see what you can do with the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises

Robyn Goldstein

Dear David;

I agree that it would be good. That said, I too have limits to what I aim to accomplish and am at the point of finishing up my `part.'