It's that time of year again.
Journalists across Canada are getting a free education in Hayekian economics, courtesy of the Fraser Institute.
From May 28 to 31, the sessions take place in Vancouver.
From June 4 to 7, the "Economics for Journalists" program moves to Toronto.
Full bursaries are offered to cover the costs, including travel, accommodation, and meals. (For more details, see this article on rabble.ca.)
In his book Harperism: How Stephen Harper and His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada, Burnaby's Donald Gutstein pointed out that economist Friedrich Hayek sought to disseminate his right-wing ideas through what he called "second-hand dealers".
These included media workers as well as teachers, church ministers, artists, and filmmakers. Anyone who could tell a story to reinforce his free-market and antigovernment ideology could be useful.
If Hayek were alive today, he'd probably be proud of the Fraser Institute for doing such an exceptional job in cultivating new second-hand dealers.
Among those tweeting the #Econ4Journos hashtag this weekend were Mike McKinnon and Candace Daniel of Global News, freelance news reporter Krista Sylvester, CKNW Radio's Charmaine de Silva, and 660 News in Calgary reporter Ian Campbell.
Paul Krugman doesn't have nearly as much influence
Yesterday, I wrote a short column suggesting that B.C. premier Christy Clark and her finance minister, Mike de Jong, are practising depression economics.
It's a term popularized by Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, who's based at Princeton University. His support of fiscal stimulus in slow economic times has, at times, put him at odds with the Fraser Institute crowd.
Krugman doesn't have an army of think tanks funded by wealthy businessmen getting his ideas before Canadian journalists. Instead, you have to read his books or his popular column in the New York Times, which is behind a paywall these days.
That's why Krugman's views don't generate nearly as much attention as messages from the Fraser Institute in Canadian media outlets. That's good news for Prime Minister Stephen Harper as his Conservatives prepare for an election this October.