Hayek Sales Skyrocket

Today I got this message from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation:

I hope your summer is off to a great start! If, like me, you’re a fan of free-market economist and Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek, whose book The Road to Serfdom just hit #1 on Amazon, this has been an exciting week.

It’s true! The Cato Institute has been reporting skyrocketing sales over at their blog, providing an illuminating quote from Professor Bruce Caldwell of Duke University:

In the end, however, I think that the underlying reason for the sustained interest in Hayek’s book is that it taps into a profound dissatisfaction in the public mind with the machinations of its government. Both Presidents Bush and Obama have presided over huge growth in the size of the federal government and in the size of the federal deficit, with little obvious effect on unemployment. Things seem out of control.

I am not a fan of him at all, but one key aspect to Hayek’s rise in sales is Fox News host Glenn Beck. Beck had an extensive discussion of the late economist’s work on his show last week. With an audience of millions, Beck probably played no small role in helping Hayek shoot up to #1 on Amazon.

All I can say is that I am glad to see such economic education occurring. John Stossell has been revisiting Milton Freidman as well. Given that, new times deserve new thinkers and new economic thought and debates would be especially prescient now. Where are the programs like Freidman’s excellent PBS program “Free to Choose?”

For further learning, I personally recommend Christopher Hitchens’ talk with Russ Roberts on George Orwell on the show EconTalk. Roberts and Hitchens parlay through the relevance of Hayek, and Hitchens’ assessment of Hayek’s economic analysis, which is brought up in regards to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s speech that got him canned by the British electorate in 1945, fits mine pretty well.