Before a Bust, There Is Always a Boom (and Malinvestment)

Frank Shostak

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

For most commentators lending is associated with money. However, is this the case? When a saver lends money, what he/she in fact lends to a borrower is final consumer goods that he/she did not consume. Therefore, what a lender lends to a borrower is savings and not money as such. 

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Vaccine Mandates: Who Will Comply, and Why?

Jovana Diković

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

The presumption of venality, as it is inscribed in new measures against the pandemic, is extremely interesting, at least from an anthropological point of view. The measures implemented over large parts of Europe include, most notably, covid certificates. Elsewhere, in addition to covid certificates there has even been an incentive for games of chance among those who are vaccinated. The purpose of covid certificates is to make the life of the unvaccinated more difficult and hence to exert additional pressure toward vaccination. The main assumption is that if people feel their quality of life is impaired (through an inability to go to restaurants, theaters, to attend or take part in sporting activities, and so on) then this response would be the easiest way out. Surely, they will act as expected and get the vaccine.

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9/11 Was a Day of Unforgivable Government Failure

Ryan McMaken

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Perhaps more than anything else, the rationale given for the necessity of the state—and the necessity of supporting the regime at any given time—is that it “keeps us safe.” This permeates thinking about government institutions at all levels, from “thin blue line” sloganeering at the local level, all the way up to jingoism surrounding the  Pentagon.

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Remember When Conservatives “Canceled” Anyone against the War on Terror? I Do.

James Bovard

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Life in American changed twenty years ago after the 9/11 attacks. Many Americans became enraged at anyone who did not swear allegiance to President George W. Bush’s anti terrorism crusade. Anyone who denied “they hate us for our freedoms” automatically became an enemy of freedom.

Continue reading “Remember When Conservatives “Canceled” Anyone against the War on Terror? I Do.”

The Moral Law versus Tyranny

Gary Galles

Originally posted on Mises.org)

It struck me recently just how frequently we use the word “law” in our conversations. I read or hear, “That’s against the law” when someone wants someone else not to do something, and “There ought to be a law” when someone wants to further restrict others. I read arguments about what it really means to say that the Constitution is the highest law of the land. But few people seem to be thinking more than a millimeter deep about law—is there any law beyond civil law? What do we mean when we say “law” in a particular context? What are the current limitations on law? What should the limits on law be?

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Why Progressives Will Never Accept Market-Based Medical Care

William L. Anderson

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

A recent article on this page highlighted a stunning situation in which a surgery clinic in Oklahoma City was able to offer outpatient procedures at less than one-tenth of what local hospitals were charging to third-party payment systems such as insurance companies and Medicare. This was a significant article in many ways, in that it presented what truly is a shocking picture of what really happens in the medical care systems in this country.

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Forced Vaccinations in France Bring Both Repression and Protest

Mihai Macovei

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

In a speech to the nation just ahead of Bastille Day on July 14 celebrating the French Revolution, President Emmanuel Macron delivered a paradoxical blow to the Republic’s famous slogan: Liberté, égalité, fraternité. He announced a series of measures to speed up the pace of covid-19 vaccinations which undermine individual liberties and threaten a strong political and economic backlash. Already during the covid-19 pandemic, the French had to cope with some of the most severe lockdowns in the world, which curtailed both economic freedom and important civil liberties.

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If the US Wants to Beat China, Why Is It Copying China’s Socialism?

Mihai Macovei

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Under the Biden administration the US continued escalating the economic and geopolitical frictions with China. At the recent G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, President Biden sought to rally a “united front” against China with traditional G7 allies and new ones such as Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa and rebuked China on economic policies, human rights, and tensions in the East and South China Seas. The US also persuaded its G7 allies to back a massive infrastructure support package for developing countries. The so-called Build Back Better World Partnership (B3W) is a de facto rival to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). But it is far from obvious what the West stands to gain by emulating China’s exorbitant and highly controversial modern “Silk Road” venture.

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Why Producer Prices (Like Lumber Prices) Are Rising Faster Than the CPI

Chris Calton

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

“Homebuilding rebounded less than expected,” NBC reported recently, “as very expensive lumber and shortages of other materials continued to constrain builders’ ability to take advantage of an acute shortage of houses on the market.”

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Sound Money versus Fiat Money: Effects on the Boom-Bust Cycle

Frank Shostak

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

According to the Austrian business cycle theory (ABCT), the boom-bust cycle emerges in response to a deviation in the market interest rate from the natural interest rate, or the equilibrium interest rate. It is held that the major cause for this deviation is increases in the money supply. Based on this it would appear that on a gold standard without the central bank, an increase in the supply of gold will set in motion boom-bust cycle.

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The Ratification Debate: A Standing Army vs. the Militias

Murray N. Rothbard

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

[This passage is excerpted from Murray N. Rothbard’s Conceived in Liberty, vol. 5, The New Republic: 1784–1791.] 

One of the most important aspects of the proposed Constitution was its authorization for a permanent national standing army, a striking contrast to the simple reserve constituting the state militia. The standing army was a particular objection of the Antifederalists, who, in the liberal antimilitary tradition, believed such an army to be inimical to the liberty of the American people. In contrast, the ex-Continental Army officers, particularly the higher officers, yearned for the power, the pelf, and the prestige that would come to them once again, and this time permanently, should there be a standing army. The leading and most aristocratic ex-army officers were cohesively organized in the ultra-reactionary and militaristic Society of the Cincinnati, which looked for a European-type army established, preferably led by a hereditary officer caste. The ex-Continental Army officers and particularly their upper strata in the convention, eagerly welcomed and fought for the proposed Constitution as their long-awaited conduit to a caste status in a standing army. Elbridge Gerry, indeed, feared the power of the Cincinnati, and this was one of the reasons why Gerry (and George Mason) opposed the popular election of the president at the convention:

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The Fed Plans to Raise Interest Rates—Years from Now

Ryan McMaken

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee voted to continue with a target federal funds rate of 0.25 percent, and to continue with large-scale asset purchases. According to the committee’s press release:

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Capitalism Isn’t a Modern Invention. It’s Medieval.

David Gordon

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

During the eighteenth century, capitalism in Europe “took off” in a way it had not done before, and as a result the West surpassed all other areas of the world in economic growth. What led to this transformation? Max Weber offers the most famous answer. In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905), he traces the new system to the Puritans. Before them, though there were rich merchants, substantial savings and investment by private individuals was unusual. The Puritans changed matters. They viewed the self-disciplined pursuit of wealth without indulgence in luxury consumption as a sign that God had predestined them to salvation. 

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Consent of the Governed?

Robert Higgs

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

What gives some people the right to rule others? At least since John Locke’s time, the most common and seemingly compelling answer has been “the consent of the governed.” When the North American revolutionaries set out to justify their secession from the British Empire, they declared, among other things: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.” This sounds good, especially if one doesn’t think about it very hard or very long, but the harder and longer one thinks about it, the more problematic it becomes.

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Governments Are Failing at Their Most Basic Duties—While Promising Free Stuff

Gary Galles

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

Three city blocks were systematically burned to the ground as hundreds of the local police stood by and viewed the violence. They were obeying orders not to harm the arsonists. The National Guard was called, adding more armed watchers. A passive gendarmerie consorting with open rebellion has rarely been seen in American history, until recently.

Except for variation in detail and numbers, this sort of thing is happening today.

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In Defense of Debt Collection

Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

You know hypocrisy, as when the pot calls the kettle black? Well, this news report gives new meaning to the idea:

The rise in American consumer debt has been accompanied by a sharp increase in complaints about aggressive and sometimes unscrupulous tactics by debt collection agencies, a phenomenon that has government regulators increasingly concerned.

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Thanks to Federal Megaspending, the Trade Deficit Has Only Gotten Worse

Mihai Macovei

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

President Trump’s protectionist trade measures against China and other external partners have not caused a reduction of the total US trade deficit. The latter actually grew further as China’s exports found indirect ways into the US and massive domestic spending schemes were expanded during the pandemic.

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Why America’s Oligarchs Are Moving Left

José Niño

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

These days it’s not your typical latte-sipping millennials who are going woke. Taking a stroll around America’s largest metro areas will have one believe social justice is the latest fad that’s sweeping across corporate boardrooms. Much has been written about woke capital—businesses’ recent pivot to signal their affinity for leftist movements—and what it means for society at large. Suffice it to say that since last year, this trend has accelerated at breakneck speeds.

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World’s Richest Face Tax Blow After 40% Wealth Surge to $8.4 Trillion

(Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos has the resources to launch himself into space. Elon Musk does, too.

In many ways, though, the richest people left the vast majority of the world behind long ago.

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The Real Tax Scandal

Jeff Deist

(Originally posted on Mises.org)

The self-styled investigative journalism outlet ProPublica recently published private IRS tax information—presumably embarrassing private tax information—for a host of ultrawealthy and famous Americans. I say “self-styled” because the organization claims a pretty lofty and self-important mission to use the “moral force” of journalism on behalf of the public interest against abuses of power. But does this apply to state power, such as when a federal agency employee illegally leaks sensitive material to media? And why is it presumed to be in the public’s interest to have rich billionaires pay more in taxes? Maybe we’d rather have them investing in their companies, or at least buying megayachts and Gulfstream jets, rather than sending more resources to the black hole of DC? Why is the public interest always defined as “things progressives like”?

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