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Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist is president of the Mises Institute. For many years he was an advisor to Ron Paul and a tax attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions for private equity clients.

Articles by Jeff Deist

Joe Salerno on Rothbard’s History of Economic Thought

3 days ago

We wrap up our look at Murray Rothbard’s sprawling two volume An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought with Dr. Joe Salerno, Rothbard’s friend and colleague. This show covers the second volume exclusively, starting with the Frenchman JB Say and working through Ricardo, the British Currency School, John Stuart Mill, and finally Karl Marx. Salerno has penetrating insights about all of these thinkers, from Say’s understanding of production to Ricardo’s erroneous systemization of Adam Smith. He also has great background regarding Mises and the Currency School vs. Banking School debate, on free banking and full reserve banking, and on Mill’s deep misconception of money. The show ends with a thorough look at Rothbard’s treatment of Marx over more than 100 pages:

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The Prospects for Soft Secession in America

September 23, 2021

1930, Columbia professor Karl Llewellyn published The Bramble Bush, his famous tract on how to think about and study law. Llewellyn urged readers to consider both law and custom when seeking to understand a society, to recognize the difference between the black letter legal codes and the day to day practices of state officials and citizens. Where there was no sanction, the author instructed, there was no law. In other words, we should focus on the substance of things at least as much as we focus on the form. This is an important lesson for how we view the United States today, with an eye toward what is actually happening on the ground among people and institutions, rather than legal formalisms.
A few years ago, on a panel discussion at an event in

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The Prospects for Soft Secession in America

September 21, 2021

1930, Columbia professor Karl Llewellyn published The Bramble Bush, his famous tract on how to think about and study law. Llewellyn urged readers to consider both law and custom when seeking to understand a society, to recognize the difference between the black letter legal codes and the day to day practices of state officials and citizens. …

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The Terrible Economic Ignorance behind Covid Tradeoffs: My Speech to the Ron Paul Institute

September 7, 2021

Some of you may know the name Alex Berenson, the former New York Times journalist who comes from a left-liberal background. He has been absolutely fearless and tireless on Twitter over the past eighteen months, documenting the overreach and folly of covid policy—and the mixed reality behind official assurances on everything from social distancing to masks to vaccine …

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The Covid Silver Lining

August 21, 2021

After more than a year of unprecedented state intervention in our private lives, have Americans accepted a grim “new normal”? Recorded in Colorado Springs on August 21, 2021. Special thanks to William Brennan for sponsoring this event.

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Why Rothbard Trended on Twitter This Weekend

August 16, 2021

Jack Dorsey, Vipassanā meditation practitioner and billionaire CEO of Twitter, is known for cultivating an eclectic image as a guru and deep thinker. He is also well-known as a supporter of bitcoin, having a personal stake and speaking at conferences to dedicated hodlers. But over this past weekend he used his sizable Twitter account (5.6 …

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All Quiet on the Western Front

August 13, 2021

Jeff Deist hosts a solo show to discuss one of his favorite novels from childhood, All Quiet on the Western Front. Its young protagonist Paul Bäumer, barely out of adolescence, narrates the horrors of trench warfare from the perspective only a grunt soldier can provide. Bäumer and his mates lose their innocence, along with various …

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The Real Tax Scandal

June 30, 2021

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

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Can Economics Save Medicine?

June 25, 2021

[This article is excerpted from a talk given June 17, 2021, at the Mises Institute’s Medical Freedom Summit in Salem, New Hampshire.]
Ladies and gentlemen, why are we here today?
First, in a certain sense medicine in America is broken. Doctors and patients are unhappy, the quality of care deteriorates, and costs keep increasing. Even before covid, US life expectancy declined three years running. Even before covid, too many Americans were sick, depressed, fat, and unhappy with their physical and mental health. I wonder if we’ll ever have accurate data about undiagnosed and untreated cancer and other serious illness as a result of the hospital and clinic lockdown. It strikes me this is the kind of information we might want before we consider another

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Can Economics Save Medicine?

June 23, 2021

[This article is excerpted from a talk given June 17, 2021, at the Mises Institute’s Medical Freedom Summit in Salem, New Hampshire.] Ladies and gentlemen, why are we here today? First, in a certain sense medicine in America is broken. Doctors and patients are unhappy, the quality of care deteriorates, and costs keep increasing. Even …

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The Real Tax Scandal

June 23, 2021

Federal income taxes are almost entirely about control and not revenue. The byzantine rules and selective enforcement are perfectly designed to keep ordinary people with limited means in mortal fear of the IRS. Original Article: “The Real Tax Scandal​” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.

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Can Economics Save Medicine?

June 21, 2021

A new world of medical entrepreneurship is growing. Concierge and cash-only practices, walk-in cash clinics, medical tourism, and cost-sharing plans are just a few of the ways free-market approaches are changing the landscape. Our expert speakers will discuss several of these developments, and more. Recorded in Salem, New Hampshire, on June 17, 2021.

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Matt Asher Talks to Jeff Deist about the Reality of Post Covid America

June 17, 2021

Matt Asher is an investor, writer, and host of The Filter podcast. He has a background in journalism and statistics. Matt Asher: My guest today on The Filter is Jeff Deist. Jeff is president of the Mises Institute, where he serves as a writer, public speaker, and advocate for property, markets, and civil society. He …

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What They Must Learn Now

June 7, 2021

Twenty twenty was the year college changed forever. How many US universities have been mortally wounded? Covid was the pretense. But the writing was on the wall for decades. Skyrocketing tuition. Useless majors and degrees. Leftist ideologues masquerading as professors. Woke curricula instead of rigor and truth. Many students leave with tens or even hundreds …

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A Libertarian Approach to Disputed Land Titles

June 3, 2021

The recent spate of bombing violence in Israel’s West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza demonstrates the enduring attachment both Israelis and Palestinians have to physical land in the country. Both sides make claims—legal, moral, and political—to land within Israel, from the southernmost tip of Gaza to the northernmost tip of the Golan Heights. This ongoing …

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Babbitt Is Back

May 11, 2021

Is Babbittry alive and well in twenty-first-century America? George F. Babbitt is novelist Sinclair Lewis’s protagonist in the novel of the same name. Babbitt is a real estate man, which is to say a salesman, but the newfangled 1920s term is “Realtor™.” Incurious, smug, self-satisfied, and utterly predictable, Babbitt is well pleased with his life in …

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George Floyd and Generalized Justice

April 26, 2021

Justice is specific, not general. It is individual, not cosmic.  Original Article: “George Floyd and Generalized Justice” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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George Floyd and Generalized Justice

April 22, 2021

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was tried for the crime of second-degree unintentional murder under Minnesota law. The essential questions of fact for the jury were whether Chauvin actually caused George Floyd’s death, and whether he did so while committing a felony offense with force. Quoted below is the relevant Minnesota criminal statute:
609.19 MURDER IN THE SECOND DEGREE.
Subd. 2.Unintentional murders.
Whoever does either of the following is guilty of unintentional murder in the second degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 40 years:
(1) causes the death of a human being, without intent to effect the death of any person, while committing or attempting to commit a felony offense other than

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What Clarence Thomas Gets Wrong about Big Tech

April 16, 2021

“Private companies” that openly deplatform, impoverish, and unperson dissident voices are waging a war of attrition Original Article: “What Clarence Thomas Gets Wrong about Big Tech” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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What Clarence Thomas Gets Wrong About Big Tech

April 10, 2021

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s recent concurring opinion in the Biden vs. Knight decision sent hopeful tremors across conservative legal circles and drew condemnation from libertarians. Was Thomas finally laying the groundwork for regulation of Big Tech, which conservatives correctly view as both deeply biased against them and actively biased in favor of left-wing causes?
At first blush, the case primarily concerned First Amendment questions about whether former president Donald Trump (while in office) could block certain individuals or groups from following his Twitter account.1 The Blockees argued that a sitting president should not be able to prevent access to “news” he creates on social media, especially when

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Donald Devine on the Enduring Tension

March 19, 2021

Donald Devine is a legend in Washington, DC conservative circles, where he gained fame wrestling civil service bloat as head of Reagan’s Office of Personnel Management. His new book The Enduring Tension: Capitalism and the Moral Order  starts with Schumpter’s creative destruction and asks the tough question: can capitalism alone hold America together? Channeling Hayek, …

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Why Is Economic Journalism So Bad?

March 18, 2021

Niall Ferguson holds a PhD in philosophy from Oxford, taught history at Harvard and NYU, and wrote perhaps the definitive biography of Henry Kissinger.
So, naturally, Bloomberg hired him to write on economics.
His most recent column for Bloomberg is a strained mix of the Scot’s views on inflation, tempered slightly by a welcome skepticism toward Jerome Powell’s dismissal of the threat. Ferguson is still gun-shy from an exchange with Paul Krugman back in 2010 over inflation, but he’s at least willing to challenge Powell’s unwarranted reassurances. Yet as Ferguson wends his way through an examination of yields curves and velocity, and the “breakeven” inflation rate, readers get the strong impression he’s offering nothing more than

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Why Is Economic Journalism So Bad?

March 16, 2021

Niall Ferguson holds a PhD in philosophy from Oxford, taught history at Harvard and NYU, and wrote perhaps the definitive biography of Henry Kissinger. So, naturally, Bloomberg hired him to write on economics. His most recent column for Bloomberg is a strained mix of the Scot’s views on inflation, tempered slightly by a welcome skepticism …

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Playing Games with Stocks

March 9, 2021

The GameStop saga—can we call it an insurrection?—wants easy heroes and villains. Both are available. Original Article: “Playing Games with Stocks” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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Why Rothbard Endures

March 3, 2021

This week we celebrate the life of Murray N. Rothbard, born on the second of March 1926, a Tuesday, in the Bronx.
And what a Bronx it was, teeming with brilliant intellectuals, dedicated Communists, and rock-solid middle-class Americans like David and Rae Rothbard. The family would later become friendly with their apartment building neighbor in Manhattan, one Arthur F. Burns. Burns, an economist at Columbia, was destined for a political career at the Council of Economic Advisers under Eisenhower and as Federal Reserve chairman, appointed by Nixon. Tellingly, Burns was also the man who later nearly sabotaged Rothbard’s dissertation at Columbia. By the standards of academic economists, he certainly reached the height of his

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Playing Games With Stocks

March 2, 2021

The GameStop saga—can we call it an insurrection?—wants easy heroes and villains. Both are available.
The populist version of the story goes like this: a few thousand angry gamers, colluding via the now infamous WallStreetBets subreddit, brought at least one powerful hedge fund to its knees. Melvin Capital and other short sellers, completely blindsided, lost a reported $5 billion in what must have seemed like a sure-bet opportunity for their model of vulture capitalism.
Meanwhile GameStop, the plucky brick-and-mortar retailer thought to be going the way of Blockbuster Video, gained a reprieve from its looming execution date. Robinhood, the “free” app masquerading as a stock trading platform for the little guy, was exposed as a

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The GameStop Saga Unravels Stakeholder Theory

February 6, 2021

Suddenly the champions of stakeholder theory, like the predictably despicable Washington Post, find themselves singing a new tune about vulture capitalists, deciding that hedge fund short sellers are now the good guys. Original Article: “The GameStop Saga Unravels Stakeholder Theory” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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The GameStop Saga Unravels Stakeholder Theory

February 3, 2021

The GameStop saga shows some “equity” movements are more equal than others. Stakeholder theory, the corporate version of social justice, attempts to install this hopelessly amorphous concept of “equity” in the business world. Equity, unlike equality, demands different treatment of individuals and different distribution of resources based on need, identity, and historical injustices. But now …

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What Biden/Harris Will Do

January 22, 2021

Will Biden/Harris be a transformative administration? Original Article: “What Biden/Harris Will Do” This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.  

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