Washington, DC: 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,” he stated. “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.”
Mark Skousen is a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University, the author of over 25 books on economics and finance, and the long-time editor of Forecasts & Strategies. He was recently 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 he stated that Skousen’s three major achievements in economic theory, education, and history constitute a “triple crown in economics” such as in horse racing, baseball, and surfing.
Three Contributions to Economics
He identifies 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, an 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” as 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 and the triumph of Smithian free-enterprise capitalism.
You can read Ken’s encomium here: https://www.cobdencentre.org/2017/10/mark-skousens-contributions-to-economics-by-ken-schoolland-hawaii-pacific-university/
Award Presentation and Remarks by Steve Forbes
Professor Schoolland asked Mr. Forbes to present the pathbreaking award, a “Triple Crown in Economics,” to Skousen.
In the presentation, Mr. 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 lesson, 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 are 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 Mr. Forbes’s full remarks, go to www.mskousen.com.
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.
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