Publisher’s Note: This week’s Skousen CAFE is a little different than usual. I am Roger Michalski, publisher of Eagle Financial Publications, and I am giving Mark the week off from writing his column to make a very special announcement.
You already know of Mark’s terrific work in economic theory, history and education. And you are certainly familiar with the Triple Crown in horse racing… which Justify won this year.
But did you know that there is a Triple Crown in Economics? I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Mark Skousen was awarded the Triple Crown by Steve Forbes last week during the FreedomFest conference.
Read the details below. Please join me in congratulating Mark on this incredible accomplishment!
Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine, bestowed upon economist Mark Skousen a Triple Crown in Economics for his work in economic theory, history and education.
The presentation took place on July 11, 2018, at the Paris Resort in Las Vegas in a session entitled, “Who’s Winning the Battle of Ideas?” as part of the global economic summit at FreedomFest.
“Mark is a superb and highly original scholar,” Forbes said. “He’s a highly accomplished economist and in a normal, non-political environment, he and a handful of others would have already won the Nobel Prize for economics. He brings history to life. And he is a pioneering thinker, especially with his gross output (GO) statistic.”
Ken Schoolland, Mark Skousen, and Steve Forbes at FreedomFest session on “Who’s Winning the Battle of Ideas?” (Photo by Paul Dykewicz)
Mark Skousen is a presidential fellow at Chapman University, the author of more than 25 books on economics and finance, and the longtime editor of Forecasts & Strategies. He recently was named one of the top 20 most influential living economists.
The award was arranged by Ken Schoolland, professor of economics at Hawaii Pacific University, who has written a tribute, “Mark Skousen’s Contributions to Economics,” published by the Cobden Centre in London.
In the pamphlet, Schoolland stated that Skousen’s three major achievements in economic theory, education and history constitute a “triple crown in economics,” similar to the awards to high achievers in horse racing, baseball and surfing.
Three Contributions to Economics
Schoolland identified Skousen’s contributions as follows:
- Theory: A breakthrough alternative macro model to Keynes that introduces an Austrian/supply-side 4-stage model of the economy and gross output (GO) as the top line in national income accounting in Mark’s magnum opus, “The Structure of Production” (New York University Press, 1990).
- Education: Squaring the Mises Circle — Providing an alternative to Samuelson-style economics textbooks by integrating supply-side Austrian economics and business principles into his college textbook “Economic Logic” (Capital Press, 2017), now in its 5th ed., including the profit-and-loss income statement, the 4-stage model of the economy and gross output (GO).
- History: Creating an exciting new alternative to Heilbroner’s “Worldly Philosophers” that has a plot, a heroic figure and a good ending in the story of economics: “The Making of Modern Economics” (Routledge Publishers, 2015), now in its 3rd ed., makes Adam Smith and his “system of natural liberty” the protagonist, whereby all economists and their theories are judged by whether they build on the House that Smith built (the French laissez-faire school, the Austrians, the British and Chicago schools, etc.) or they try to tear it down and build a new model (Marxists, Keynesians and Institutionalists). And it has good ending with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the socialist central planning model, as well as the triumph of Smithian free-enterprise capitalism.
Award Presentation and Remarks by Steve Forbes
Professor Schoolland asked Forbes to make the pathbreaking award, a “Triple Crown in Economics,” to Skousen.
Steve Forbes (holding “Economic Logic”); Mark Skousen (holding “Structure of Production”); and Ken Schoolland (holding “Making of Modern Economics”).
In the presentation, Forbes made the following remarks (excerpts):
“Mark Skousen is an amazing individual. He’s a highly accomplished economist and in a normal, non-political environment, he and a handful of others would have already won the Nobel Prize for economics. But, given the political environment we have today, that’s not going to happen right now. Maybe in the future.
“He is a superb and highly original scholar. Just look at his textbook Economic Logic, now in its 5th edition, which demonstrates Mark’s ability to look at the whole economy, the real world and real people. This rigidity between micro- and macroeconomics is not for him. He realizes they’re all connected together. He began this book with a profit-loss income statement to demonstrate the dynamics of the real-world economy. No other textbook does that. He gets it.
“And extraordinarily, Mark’s book brings in many other disciplines to teach lessons of economics, underscoring crucial lessons, whether it is history, sociology, finance business or marketing management. He recognizes that this rigidity may be nice for departments created at universities. But, in the real world, it does not advance learning. They need to be combined together. In that sense, he goes back 200 years to before mathematicians took over economics. His output is voluminous, with numerous books and articles. And, what is so unusual is that he combines mastery of math-laden fields with the ability to write clearly and directly in a manner that would have elicited cheers from Ernest Hemingway. Imagine, he gets to the point.
“Mark is also an outstanding historian. He has a fascination with history, with flesh and blood individuals. Read his concise and incisive sketches of numerous economists in “The Making of Modern Economics.” He brings history to life. People are interested in people. He recognizes that stories are highly instructive.
“And he’s a pioneering thinker. This is what I think he’s a really going to be noted for. He’s pushing the concept of the gross output. I prefer the acronym GO. What does GO mean? It’s a more comprehensive way to measure the entire economy. It’s better than GDP to take a picture of our economy. It’s like the difference between an X-ray and an MRI. GDP is the X-ray; GO is the MRI.
“The GDP is like looking at a carton of milk in the supermarket and ignoring all the cows that you had to raise, and pasteurize the milk, then bottle the milk and deliver the milk. GDP gives you a very incomplete picture. It’s just final output. Alone it’s misleading and that’s why you read time and time again, GDP shows that 70% of the economy is consumption. That is absolute nonsense.
“What makes consumption possible is people’s income, which comes from investment. And so, GO looks at the whole economy from production to final output and show that investment is the big part of the economy, not consumption. Also, GO knocks government down to size. In terms of GDP, they say the more government spends the better the economy is. Ask the old Soviet Union how well that worked.
“The BEA — the Bureau of Economic Analysis — is finally beginning to recognize the value of GO. Thanks to Mark, GO is now being published by the federal government, and eventually is going to replace GDP as a much more accurate picture, much more sensitive and full picture of what is actually happening in the economy.
“So enough of my verbiage. Mark has done many other things. He’s a great investor, he’s written great books on investing, he created FreedomFest. All tributes to his creativity. He also married Jo Ann, best thing he ever did, which is why we’re all here today.”
To read Forbes’ full remarks, click here.
For More Information
For a list of Dr. Mark Skousen’s books and articles on economics and finance, go to www.mskousen.com.
For more information on his investment newsletter and services, go to www.markskousen.com.
For details about gross output (GO), go to www.grossoutput.com.
To interview Dr. Mark Skousen, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ned Piplovic, media relations, at email@example.com.
You Nailed It! Offering Highlights of FreedomFest
FreedomFest was a big success this year, with more than 1,900 investors, business leaders, authors, professors, politicians, think tank organizers and concerned citizens convening in Las Vegas.
More than 400 signed up in the last week! The exhibit hall (what John Mackey calls the “trade show for liberty”) was jammed and there was an electricity in the air from the Wednesday pre-conference events to the Saturday night banquet and dance.
As one attendee observed, “I’ve always heard about FreedomFest but until you experience it, you can’t describe how excited it is to be here.”
Many said it was the best FreedomFest ever, with the high caliber of speakers, topics and debates. We had over 250 speakers and exhibitors this year.
Here are some highlights:
— Senator Mike Lee told us that President Trump was “serious” when he met with the junior senator from Utah to be a Supreme Court justice in the future. This time around he chose Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative federal judge, whose only serious weakness (I was told at the conference) is his lack of support for the 4th amendment (the right to privacy).
— Grover Norquist announced at his special “Wednesday Meeting” at FreedomFest that the President is likely to sign an executive order indexing capital gains to inflation. Norquist, president of the influential Americans for Tax Reform, has been promoting this idea for years, and now it’s likely to happen. This could be very positive for the stock market.
— The debate on Bitcoin and digital currencies was fierce. Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock, said that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology were revolutionary, while Gary Smith, professor of finance at Pomona University, predicted that the bear market in Bitcoin is not over and that eventually it will go to zero, a classic case of “tulip mania.” As subscribers to Mark’s newsletter know, we have profited from this speculation in the short term, but do not have a current position.
How to Order: You can get the audio recordings of the entire conference in a MP3 flash drive for only $162.50. To order, call Harold at Ensign Publishing, toll-free 1-866-254-2057.
FreedomFest in the News This Week
Breaking News: FreedomFest was mentioned prominently in the past two days on ABC News, CNN and other news outlets regarding the arrest of the alleged Russian spy Maria Butina.
Below is a link to a clip from ABC News that mentions FreedomFest and shows her at FreedomFest 2015 giving an interview, as well as asking Donald Trump a question.
The FreedomFest portion starts around the 00:56 mark in the video: Russian activist linked to NRA charged with conspiracy.
Also, halfway down the article below the video is a mention of FreedomFest and a link to a YouTube video showing the entire FreedomFest 2015 interaction with Donald Trump:
“Butina actually crossed paths with both President Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., during the 2016 campaign, including a moment at the FreedomFest conference in Las Vegas in July 2015 when she asked the Republican candidate directly about his views on U.S. sanctions against Russia.”
Maria Butina was an attendee at FreedomFest, but we did not invite her, nor sponsor her. She was on her own.
Announcement about Next Year’s FreedomFest
It’s not too early to get on board for next year’s FreedomFest!
In fact, Investor CAFE subscribers can sign up this week only for next year at the incredible rate of $395 per person/$695 per couple.
FreedomFest 2019: The Wild West will be held July 17-20, 2019, at the Paris Resort in Las Vegas. Do not miss this awesome opportunity to attend FreedomFest for the absolute lowest price.
And we can GUARANTEE that FreedomFest 2019 is going to be EVEN BETTER than this year!
Don’t miss it! We want you there! To register, simply click here.