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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First Winner of Beth A. Hoffman Memorial Prize for Economic Writing Named

The Foundation for Economic Education announces that the first annual Beth A. Hoffman Memorial Prize for Economic Writing goes to Kevin A. Carson. Through the generosity of a FEE donor, the prize has been established to honor the memory of Beth A. Hoffman by recognizing the best article on economics or economic history published in The Freeman the previous year.

Carson’s article, “The Distorting Effects of Transportation Subsidies,” appeared in the November 2010 issue of The Freeman. It was selected from a list of five nominees by an outside panel of judges who knew and worked with Beth Hoffman for many years.

The prize consists of $2,000 and a plaque. A perpetual plaque will also be displayed at FEE headquarters.

The upshot of Carson’s winning article is that “subsidies to transportation have probably done more than any other factor (with the possible exception of intellectual property law) to determine the present shape of the American corporate economy. Currently predominating firm sizes and market areas are the result of government subsidies to transportation.”

Beth Hoffman (1950-2008) was the long-time managing editor of The Freeman, having joined the foundation staff in the 1970s. She also edited books, pamphlets and other materials. Over the years FEE supporters and seminar students came to know her as the friendly face or voice on the telephone ever ready to assist anyone seeking to learn the freedom philosophy.

Carson is an independent scholar and a public intellectual, whose books include Studies in Mutualist Political Economy; Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective; and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto. He is also a research associate with the Center for a Stateless Society and a prolific op-ed writer. He blogs at Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism.

Three honorable mentions were also named: James C. W. Ahiakpor,Paying the Unemployed Does Not Stimulate an Economy” (December); Warren C. Gibson,GDP: Who Needs It?” (May); and Chidem Kurdas,Financial Regulation Snake Oil” (September).