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What Does Bitcoin Mean for Austrian Money Theory?

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by posted in Economics, Philosophy.

Libertarians tend to agree with each other on most things. We all favor less government regulation, lower taxes, less involvement in international conflicts, and more personal freedom. There are a few areas, however, in which the movement remains sharply divided.

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What If We Could Sell Our Kidneys?

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by posted in Economics, Health Care, Law, Politics, Regulation.

According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, one in 10 Canadians has kidney disease. Moreover, the number of Canadians being treated for kidney failure has tripled in the past two decades – and each day, 16 people are added to

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Banks Can Perform Their Two Functions With 100% Reserves

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by posted in Banking, Economics.

In a recent post at Forbes, John Tamny made some very strong claims against the Austrian School. In the present post, I want to push back on just one of his points (though I think there are several problems with

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Justice in Nova Scotia?

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by posted in Politics, Regulation.

Justice has finally been served. No, I’m not referring to the ongoing strife in Ferguson, Missouri. Neither am I referring to the plight of the Yazidis and Christians in Iraq. I’m talking about something of far more importance; something of

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The Most Ethically Chilling Use of a “Steady State Equilibrium” I’ve Ever Seen

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

On the one hand, I obviously understand that economist Scott Sumner is being whimsical in this recent blog post where he offers “A utilitarian defense of reckless young men.” Yet on the other hand, Sumner’s analysis is horribly flawed, in

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Ludwig von Mises: Inspiring Think Tanks Across The Globe

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by posted in Uncategorized.

There is a great article that is worth checking out over at Forbes by Alejandro Chafuen on the numerous Mises instutes that have popped up around the world since the founding of The Mises Institute USA in 1982. The free enterprise

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Who Cares for Toronto’s Sidewalks?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Environment, Law, Politics, Regulation.

In Toronto an important debate is starting to stir about who controls the sidewalks – the city or the owners of the adjacent properties. Sparking this debate is a bicycle owner, Lisa Ferguson, who thought her bike was stolen when

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Does Sexism Explain Dry Cleaning Prices?

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

A recent Vox article claimed in its title: “Dry cleaners charge women more, and it matters more than you realize.” Yet as with most of these analyses, the discussion ignores basic principles of economics. Rather than viewing an initially surprising

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Mainstream Economists Rediscover the Marginal Pair

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

In his book, The Positive Theory of Capital,[1] Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk developed a theory of price formation centered around the valuations of the “marginal pairs.”[2] That is, there are four market participants whose subjective valuations play a special role in

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The Empirical Nature of the Praxeological Method

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by posted in Uncategorized.

The praxeological method has long been a category of Austrian economics that brings great interest to me. Originally, it was the “shiny” aspects of the school that drew me to Austrianism. Business cycle theory is just one such example. However,

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Bird Lovers of the World, Unite!

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Environment.

Environmentalists think there are some free lunches out there, at least when it comes to energy production. Over the past decade green alternatives, such as solar and wind, have become popular alternatives to the older providers of energy, such as

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Ferguson’s Segregated Ruling Class

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by posted in Civil Liberties, Economics.

There might not be any easy answers to what’s going on in Ferguson, Missouri, but there are points that might make it just an extreme case of a more general problem. Some commentators have chimed in to claim that the

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The Lawyers’ Guild

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by posted in Education, Law.

Last month, thousands of recent law school graduates sat for a bar examination in their chosen state of practice. They were not undertaking a harmless rite of passage but overcoming a malicious obstacle: an artificial barrier to entry in the

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Oh, no! Not lower prices!

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

From today’s Open Europe news summary: Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan has said in an interview that the ECB “has to be consistent and bring [eurozone] inflation close to 2%…which is very far from current levels.” Separately, Handelsblatt reports that the

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Germany cannot carry Europe any longer

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by posted in Economics, Politics.

From today’s Open Europe news summary: Persson: Eurozone still an awfully long way from becoming a healthy and vibrant economic bloc In the Sunday Telegraph, Mats Persson argued that while the risk of a euro breakup has subsided, “the currency zone

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Low Interest Rates Harm Everyone

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.

It’s not just poor pensioners who are harmed by central banks’ ultra-low interest rate targets. Governments are now also getting squeezed. Pension plans like social security rely on, historically, fixed-income investments to provide returns for the future payouts. With interest

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Conservatives Embrace Disparate Impact?

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by posted in Law, Politics, Regulation.

Libertarians know politics is a poor man’s way to effect long-lasting change. Voting certainly brings immediate results. But it doesn’t change attitudes. It takes a sustained didactic campaign to spread ideas. And sometimes, circumstance plays a critical role in ensuring

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Debunking Piketty’s Capital with George Reisman

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

John O’Donnell and special guest George Reisman discuss Piketty’s new book Capitol in the Twenty-First Century. They discuss Reisman’s recent review of the book entitled Wrong Theory/Destructive Program. They also discuss education and its lack of substance in the U.S.

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Against “The Pragmatic Libertarian Case for the Basic Income Guarantee”

Friday, August 15th, 2014 by posted in Uncategorized.

Self-styled “Bleeding Heart Libertarian” Matt Zwolinski is out with a new series of essays defending a “basic income guarantee” (BIG). For those who don’t know, a BIG is a program where the government gives everyone, regardless of wealth or income,

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The Economics of Immigration

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by posted in Economics.

In economist George Borjas’ new book Immigration Economics, he poses a problem, which, on the surface appears to be unexplainable using the tools of classical economics. The problem is this: if an increase in the supply of a good tends

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