Ludwig von Mises: Defender of the Free Market Ludwig von Misis thoughts on human behavior, socialism, and money and credit have had a major impact on economic thought. He championed true free markets and is seen as a defender of liberty. Former President of the United States Ronald Reagan said Ludwig von Mises was one of the greatest economic thinkers in the history of Western Civilization. Through his seminal works, he rekindled the flames of liberty. As a wise and kindly mentor, he encourages all who sought to understand the meaning of freedom. We owe him an incalculable debt(Mises Institute). The remainder of this paper will outline the life of Ludwig von Mises. This will be accomplished by describing the social, political, technical, and economic environment that influenced his ideas. A description of his major ideas in economic thought will be presented. Next, the people and ideas that influenced his approach to economics will be addressed. Finally, the paper will conclude with an assessment of Ludwig von Mises contributions to economic thought. Overview of the Life of Ludwig von Mises Ludwig von Misis was born on September 29, 1881 in Lemberg, Austria. He attended a private elementary school, the public Akademishe Gymnasium in Vienna from1892 to 1900. In 1900 Mises entered the University of Vienna. On February 20,1906 he received a Dr. Jur degree, a Doctor of both Canon and Roman Laws, from the University of Vienna. When Mises attended the University, it had no separate economics department; the only way to study economics was through law (Mises Institute). From 1907 to 1914 Mises was employed as an advisor to the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. His first major thesis, the Theory of Money and Credit was published in 1912. In 1913 Mises was awarded the position of Privatdozent (unsalaried lecturer) at the University of Vienna (Mises Institute). Mises academic pursuits were interrupted from 1914 to …
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