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Walter Block Responds on Negative Interest Rates

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 by posted in Banking, Economics.
Hot Orange Interest Rate Border

I thank this author: Bhansali, Vineer. 2015. “Look at Negative-Yielding Bonds as Insurance.” May 20; for mentioning an old publication of mine: Block, Walter E. 1978. “The Negative Rate of Interest: Toward a Taxonomic Critique,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary

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A Portrait of the Classical Gold Standard

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.

Reprinted from “The world that disappeared in 1914 appeared, in retrospect, something like our picture of Paradise,” wrote the economist Cecil Hirsch in his June 1934 review of R.W. Hawtrey’s classic, The Art of Central Banking (1933). Hirsch bemoaned

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“Utility” in Economics vs. “Happiness” in Normal Conversation

Monday, May 25th, 2015 by posted in Economics.

In my last blog post here at Mises CA, I picked up on a dispute over interpersonal utility comparisons that involved some prominent free-market economists. David R. Henderson (whose side I had taken) linked to my post with approval at

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How Necessary is the Welfare State?

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

How necessary is the welfare state? Answering this question largely depends on assessing how the disadvantaged — here loosely defined as the poor and those who can’t work to sustain themselves — would fare in a society without a welfare

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Can We Compare People’s Utilities?

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 by posted in Economics.
scrooge mcduck

There has been a flareup in free-market economist circles over the issue of “interpersonal utility comparisons.” First Tyler Cowen wrote a post that took it for granted that a rich man got less utility from an extra dollar than a

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Man’s Greatest Invention. And His Worst.

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

We normally think of an invention as something we can touch and hold in our hands.  However, an invention can also be a process or a system – a way of doing things.  The greatest of man’s inventions isn’t the

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My letter to the NY Times re: Why laid off American workers can’t find jobs

Re: The Perils of Globalization Dear Sirs: I believe that Binyamin Appelbaum may have unwittingly answered his own question about why American workers who lose their jobs–as illustrated by the former Maytag employees in Galesburg, Illinois–have such a difficult time

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Stones into Bread: The Keynesian Miracle

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.
keynes (1) teaser

[Originally printed in Plain Talk, March 1948, and reprinted in Planning for Freedom]. Reprinted from The stock-in-trade of all Socialist authors is the idea that there is potential plenty and that the substitution of socialism for capitalism would make it possible

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Greeks get Mercedes and BMW’s; Germans get depreciating euros

Monday, May 18th, 2015 by posted in Banking, Economics.

Re: Where Greeks Are Stashing Their Cash Ludwig von Mises characterized the third and final stage of a currency’s collapse, where people are desperate to exchange their currency for almost anything of real value, as a “crack up boom”. Notice

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The War on Cash Destroys a Small Entrepreneur

Friday, May 15th, 2015 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.
100-dollar-bills-cash teaser

Reprinted from Lyndon McClellan is a small entrepreneur who owns and operates L & M Convenience Mart in Fairmont, North Carolina.  L & M comprises a gas station, convenience store, and a small restaurant serving hot dogs, hamburgers, and catfish

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Is the “Austrian School” a Lie?

Friday, May 15th, 2015 by and posted in Economics, Education, History, Philosophy.
MisesLibrary (1) teaser

Reprinted from the Freeman Do those of us who use the word Austrian in its modern libertarian contextmisrepresent an intellectual tradition? We trace our roots back through the 20th century’s F.A. Hayek and Ludwig von Mises (both served as advisors to FEE)

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“Surviving Or Thriving” – What Canada’s 40% Surge In Meat Prices Means

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Regulation.

Reprinted from Zerohedge: On the surface, Canada’s 1.2% inflation is negligible, and barely enough to keep up with the pace of overall growth as mandated by a few central bank academics. It is below the surface, however, that one finds

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Canada’s Central Bank is Headed by a Comedian

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 by posted in Banking, Capitalism, Economics.

Reprinted from Yet Another Delusional Bubble Blower Canada is home to one of the most egregious housing and credit bubbles in the world – a legacy of its former central bank governor Mark Carney, who is now blowing a

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Do Critics Think Walmart Water Bottles Fall From the Sky?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 by posted in Economics.
Walmart bottle

The latest outrage concerning the California water drought–the economics of which I explain in this short YouTube video–is that Walmart is earning an unconscionable profit in bottling and reselling water back to California residents. Here’s a RawStory summary of a

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Naomi Klein’s Vain Search For The Bullies of Branding

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

Reprinted from In happier times, Toronto’s garment district was abuzz with Trotskyite debate and the wrangling of trade union leaders, laments Naomi Klein in her book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. Now, she says, the district’s

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Was It Carly Fiorina’s Job to Create Jobs at Hewlett-Packard?

Monday, May 11th, 2015 by posted in Economics.
Carly Fiorina speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill

It caused quite a chortle in political circles when Republican presidential nominee Carly Fiorina’s campaign team failed to lock-down an important website. Specifically, a critic of Fiorina grabbed and used it to condemn the massive layoffs she oversaw while

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Unintended Consequences

Monday, May 11th, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics.

Reprinted from Prices and Markets It is trivial to say that any cardinal number can be added to another to answer the question of “how many” or “how much” of something there is. The trick lies in teasing some relevance

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Earth Day: 22 Ways to Think about the Climate-Change Debate

Friday, May 8th, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Environment.
global warming teaser

Reprinted from the Freeman Reasonable people can disagree about the nature and extent of climate change. But no one should sally forth into this hostile territory without reason and reflection. “Some scientists make ‘period, end of story’ claims,” writes biologist


Trade Autarky: Do It For the Children!

Thursday, May 7th, 2015 by posted in Economics, Trade.

Walking out of the grocery store today I saw this sticker:   What was impressive about this sentiment is that it doesn’t even focus on a trade deficit. No, just the brute fact of buying imports per se is (apparently)

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The problem isn’t overproduction; it’s malinvestment

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 by posted in Capitalism, Economics, Socialism.

Mr. Max Ehrendfreund, writing in the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, believes that he has discovered something new: that the world is producing too much and doesn’t know what to do with it. His solution, of course, is to confiscate the overproduced

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