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Chris Calton

Chris Calton



Articles by Chris Calton

To Understand Economics, First Understand Private Property

March 12, 2021

Rothbard recognized that money and exchange could not develop without first establishing private property. So Rothbard also recognized that it was important to develop theories of how private property might come about.  Original Article: “To Understand Economics, First Understand Private Property” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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To Understand Economics, First Understand Private Property

March 6, 2021

In Man, Economy, and State, Murray Rothbard expounds the principles of economics by reconstructing an economy from the ground up. Following the practice of classical economists, he opens the book by imagining Robinson Crusoe alone on an island. After identifying the operative laws that apply even to isolated individuals, Rothbard’s second chapter considers Crusoe on …

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How the Progressives Conquered Corporate America

February 9, 2021

The concern over concentrated influence of corporate special interests is valid, but not because corporate special interests will prevent economic regulation. The problem is corporate executives consistently agitate for more government control.  Original Article: “How the Progressives Conquered Corporate America” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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How the Progressives Conquered Corporate America

February 5, 2021

In 1924, King Camp Gillette—the inventor of the disposable razor blade—coauthored a book with Upton Sinclair, the progressive journalist famous for triggering the pure foods movement after publishing The Jungle, a muckraking account of the meat-packing industry. Sinclair was lending his writing talents to Gillette in the hopes of offering a more persuasive case for …

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No, the Stock Market Isn’t a “Leading Indicator” of Economic Prosperity

October 20, 2020

In an unhampered economy, stock prices would reflect the availability of savings for investment and capital. But in an inflationary economy, rising stock prices suggest something very different. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack. Original Article: “No, the Stock Market Isn’t a “Leading Indicator” of Economic Prosperity”.

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No, the Stock Market Isn’t a “Leading Indicator” of Economic Prosperity

October 19, 2020

“STOCK MARKET UP ANOTHER 300 POINTS,” Donald Trump tweeted on October 12, with characteristic overcapitalization. “GREATEST LEADING INDICATOR OF THEM ALL!!!” President Trump’s use of the stock market as an economic indicator is hardly unusual. Democrats like to tout the stock market performance under Obama as a counterpoint to Trump’s boasting. This type of thinking, which equates stock …

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When It Comes to Masks, There Is No “Settled Science”

July 31, 2020

A survey of the research shows that the science of mask wearing is hardly “settled.” And this up-in-the-air nature of it all is a reminder of how immoral it is to impose mandates on people, backed with state violence. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: …

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When It Comes to Masks, There Is No “Settled Science”

July 28, 2020

As the “fifteen days to slow the spread” continues to extend indefinitely, the issue of mask mandates has become increasingly contentious. The debate has been exacerbated by the inconsistency of the recommendations of authorities (political, scientific, and imaginary). Early in the pandemic, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health …

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The First Socialists: The Saint-Simonians and the Utopians

July 20, 2020

While collectivism was implied in Sismondi’s idea of a “general interest,” Owen and Fourier offered the first formal expression of full socialist collectivization. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “The First Socialists: The Saint-Simonians and the Utopians​​”.

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The First Socialists: The Saint-Simonians and the Utopians

July 13, 2020

At the turn of the nineteenth century, classical economics—as represented by Adam Smith in Britain and Jean-Baptiste Say in France—seemed unassailable. The American Revolution, to many people, demonstrated the failures of the old economic order of mercantilism and colonialism. The flourishing trade after the war proved protective tariffs useless, and the rise of industrial production …

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What If We Didn’t Have Police at All?

June 10, 2020

As a thought experiment, try to imagine what people would do if there were no public police forces (as was the case in most places for much of the nineteenth century). I know some people will immediately imagine widespread looting and criminality—not unlike what we’re seeing currently despite the proliferation of police forces—but the thought …

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Why It’s Rational to Fear Cops

June 10, 2020

Not all (or even most) police are needlessly violent. But it is rational to conclude, upon seeing a person in a police uniform, that this person can—if he wishes to—abuse his power with near impunity. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Millian Quinteros. Original Article: “Why It’s Rational to …

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Why It’s Rational to Fear Cops

June 5, 2020

In economics, branding serves an important purpose. Brands allow people to economize on knowledge, a scarce resource. We make decisions with imperfect information, and brand labeling and trademarks help us navigate these decisions. As Thomas Sowell writes: When you drive into a town you have never seen before and want to get some gasoline for …

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Coerced Confessions: How the Plea Bargain Replaced Physical Torture

February 15, 2020

In 2010, Chicago police commander Jon Burge was convicted on counts of perjury and obstruction of justice and sentenced to four and a half years in prison. Although he was convicted of lying under oath, his real crime was what he was lying about. Over the course of his career, he participated in or oversaw …

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Henry Ford Did More for Workers than Unions Did

January 6, 2020

A Car for the Masses When Henry Ford came up with the Model T, his goal was to build a car for the masses. Although history teachers typically present this as pertaining to price, Ford actually had to do much more than make his automobile cheaper. In fact, when the Model T was released in …

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Bernie Sanders Wants to Kill Pro Baseball

January 2, 2020

Bernie Sanders loves baseball. He loves it so much, that when he learned of Major League Baseball’s decision to phase out 42 of their 160 minor league teams, he called for the government to pressure the MLB to keep the teams, protecting the jobs of minor league players while raising their annual salaries. He has …

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All Human Beings — Not Just Capitalists — Are Self-Interested

October 22, 2019

In Why Not Socialism?, G. A. Cohen presents the scenario of a camping trip to highlight the desirability of socialism as the best form of social organization. After outlining a trip where the friends work together to provide food and firewood, rather than engaging in the division of labor and exchanging competitively, Cohen poses his …

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Reduced Sentences in Exchange for Lies: A Government Tradition

October 9, 2019

In 1992, Mark Young was sentenced to life in prison for trafficking marijuana. His conviction came from the testimonies of two other convicted marijuana dealers who turned on Young in order to get their own sentences reduced. The two informants, Ernest Montgomery and Claude Atkinson, depicted Young as a marijuana kingpin — the primary broker …

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Bring Back the Constitution’s Prohibiton of Double Jeopardy

August 23, 2019

When Donny Clark was arrested in 1990 as part of a twenty-eight-man conspiracy to grow marijuana, he was the only defendant who refused to accept a plea bargain. Clark insisted he was innocent. Five years earlier, Clark was convicted in a Florida court for growing marijuana, but he served his time and was now working …

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Government Prosecutors Are Out of Control

August 21, 2019

When Paul Hayes was arrested in Kentucky for writing a fraudulent check, he faced his third felony charge. At the time, Kentucky had a law in effect known as the Habitual Criminal Act, which imposed a life sentence for any third-time felony conviction. The prosecutor in the case, however, was at liberty to decide whether …

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The Problem with Private Prisons Is Not that They Are Private

August 15, 2019

The Brennan Center for Justice recently published a collection of essays, all written by far-left politicians, about how the United States might solve the problem of mass incarceration. Bernie Sanders contributed an essay titled “Abolish For-Profit Prisons.” His essay should come as no surprise; during the 2016 election, he made headlines after proposing the Justice …

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Federal Judges Are Waging War on the Fourth Amendment

August 8, 2019

In 1984, as part of Ronald Reagan’s renewed war on drugs, the Drug Enforcement Administration launched Operation Pipeline. This program was inspired by the strategies employed by state troopers in New Mexico who, after pulling somebody over, asked specific questions designed to determine whether the driver might be a drug trafficker. Combined with the financial …

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How Qualified Immunity Became Absolute Immunity for Police Officers

August 1, 2019

When Israel Leija, Jr. was picking up food at a drive-through in 2010, police officers approached his car to arrest him. Leija was guilty of violating his probation, and when the officers informed him that he was under arrest, he sped away. For the next twenty minutes, Leija led the police on a high speed …

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Inflation: The Soviet Tool for Destroying Money

June 19, 2019

In March 1919, the Communist Party headed by Vladimir Lenin stated in its newly drafted program that among the party objectives was the complete abolition of money. The State Bank of Russia would be “abolished and turned into the central bookkeeping office of the Communist society.”1 In theory, the ruling party could have simply decreed …

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