Just like everyone, I'm like you but different. Here's part of my story:
I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but it wasn’t until I fortuitously set foot in a macroeconomics class taught by Dr. Roger Garrison in the college town of Auburn, Alabama that I found life’s key to a momentous door.
It just so happened that opening that door providentially led me to examine the foundations of Western Civilization and along with that came the discovery of the emergent thread of economics that had made that civilization so fruitful.
I thought the career path that I had previously been pursuing fit me well. I had studied forestry at Pennsylvania State University and then went to work for Georgia Pacific for four years in the pine and hardwood forests and the occasional slough in the south-central region of Mississippi; with my long term goal being to work in international forestry.
A Turning Point
To prepare for work in international forestry I decided to study fruit and nut tree production at Auburn University. A year later at a luncheon I sat next to a professor who had worked in Africa during his career. He suggested that I pursue a degree in economics. The year was 1985 when I initially became exposed to Austrian economics and that was possible only because just three years earlier Auburn had been chosen as the location for the permanent home of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Within the economics department there was thick tension in the air due to the philosophical differences between the schools of thought; which actually made it easier to investigate, to think critically, and to learn.
Moral of the story: What you are really looking for in life might present itself in a garb that you do not recognize but be sure to try it on! It may be one of life’s greatest gifts.
What drew my attention and made exceptional all those individuals who were receptively studying Austrian economics was thinking, critical thinking. Thinking leads to understanding and understanding leads to knowledge and wisdom. This application of logic to the philosophical science of economics is one of the chief features of classical liberalism. It turns out that these were my formative years; I finished my Masters in economics and carried my enthusiasm for classical liberalism with me from then on. In other words, I had found my passion. I knew that wherever my career took me I would ultimately find a way to intimately integrate Austrian economics.
Another similar experience also happened to me in 1977 when I arrived at Penn State. In brief, there I encountered and investigated the Baha’i Faith and in it I found purpose and passion. From that time on my world view was closely aligned with its all-encompassing perspective and revolutionizing guidance. The reason I mention this is because it was the blending of my interest in economics and religion that kept me in pursuit of a greater understanding of each. Never did I doubt the harmony of science and religion and so it was in that context that I read and studied the works of the great Austrian economists.
My Personal Mission Statement – 2004
Constantly I pondered. Then one night during the winter of 2004 I had a dream and in it a model appeared! I was awake enough to realize that it was quite remarkable and also awake enough to know that I should sketch it out so I would not forget it if I fell back asleep. The next morning when I looked at the sketch of the model I understood that it was a significant contribution to economic science.
I began earnestly to use my technical training in economics in the tradition of classical liberalism. What motivated me was my desire to fund a private after-school program teaching youngsters the skills associated with the virtues. I thought I could write a book and use the money from the sales to provide the necessary supplementary financing!
Whatever the motivating reason it was sufficient for me to begin to unfold the mysteries of the model. What seemed so simple (the model) quickly morphed into a beautifully complex and organic model as theory was applied to it.
I had no idea at the beginning where the model would go or what its hidden potential was. All I can tell you is that I had great fun developing it along the pathway that logic seemed to lead.
Emergence: The Divine Economy Theory
Never before in economic history had this model ever appeared. One of the monumental powers of the model is its ability to become an economic lens, making all economic theory clearer (even as it did as the divine economy theory itself was unfolding). Both the model and the theory were timely and revolutionary. It was still early, just beginning like a seed at the time of germination.
The Maturation Process
The whole theory and the associated models developed as part of a deductive process. The simple model appeared organic with characteristics that are inherent in the philosophy of classical liberalism. The first stage of its development ended with a dynamic macroeconomic model.
Pursuing further the deductive process the model fit perfectly into a structural analysis that penetrated into the very heart of economic activity all the way to the origin of where value comes from. This discovery yielded the microeconomic model.
Above and Beyond
Two major realms of the divine economy model remained unexplored. The first was the ethical strand which had to do with the connection between the human spirit expressed as purposeful human action, and transformation which is manifest in the capital structure. The perspective of the divine economy theory renewed macro and micro economics, granted, but the melding together of ethics and economics in theory and in a model had never been achieved before. What could be more desirable than ethical economics?
The last component of the divine economy model is just as earthshaking. Imagine a coherent, holistic approach to economic justice. In the final strand the relationship between law and order brings to light the role of the equilibrium forces of the economy in the advancement of civilization by balancing all aspects of social cooperation, most notably liberty and justice.