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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

Does the Coronavirus Make the Case for World Government?

February 28, 2020

Sometimes terrible things happen without any human malfeasance, and the novel Wuhan coronavirus may in fact be one of those things. It is entirely plausible the virus emerged from “wet markets” in the Hubei Province of China rather than as a fumbled (or worse, intentionally released) bioweapon cooked up by the Xi Jinping government.
We may never know, of course. But easy or readily apparent answers to the question of how this could have been avoided should be viewed with the skepticism appropriate to any state propaganda. Crises of all kinds, whether economic, political, military, or health, send ideologues scrambling to explain how such events fit neatly into their worldview. In fact, political partisans often attempt to paint

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Mises and the ‘New Economics’

February 25, 2020

[This article is excerpted from a talk delivered on February 22, 2020 at the Austrian Student Scholars Conference, hosted by Grove City College in Pennsylvania.]
I. Introduction
What a wonderful gathering of students today, on this impressive and beautiful campus. We can see why Hans Sennholz loved this place, and why Drs. Herbener and Ritenour so enjoy living and teaching here. You are all too young to serve as the “remnant,” so we will consider you the vanguard instead. I’m always impressed by young people with an interest in serious scholarship and ideas, who have the intellect to read 900-page books. We are told nobody reads anymore, and certainly not dense tomes about economic theory, but this raises a question: are the rare

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Mises and the “New Economics”

February 24, 2020

[This article is excerpted from a talk delivered on February 22, 2020 at the Austrian Student Scholars Conference, hosted by Grove City College in Pennsylvania.] I. Introduction What a wonderful gathering of students today, on this impressive and beautiful campus. We can see why Hans Sennholz loved this place, and why Drs. Herbener and Ritenour so …

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The Case Against Political Activism

February 18, 2020

American politics is in crisis. Is this because of the Constitution, or in spite of it? For many libertarians, the Constitution is a dead letter. Nobody alive today signed it or consented to it. And politicians ignored it almost from the beginning. What can liberty-minded people do? Recorded at Loyola University New Orleans on February …

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Jeff Deist Interviewed

January 25, 2020

TOM WOODS: This is the Tom Woods Show, and today I welcome Jeff Deist.
Everybody wants to know the sheer nuts and bolts of how somebody becomes Ron Paul’s chief of staff. I’ll tell a little story most people don’t know. About ten years ago, Dr. Paul was approached about doing an autobiography; he would have gotten a huge advance. There was big demand for it! But he just couldn’t believe people were interested in the details of his life. His heart wasn’t in it, so he decided to say no. I know you’re kind of the same way, but doggone it, Jeff Deist, there are some details I want to wring out of you!
You start off as a lawyer in California and have a successful career in the financial world, and then, somehow, you’re Ron Paul’s

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Jeff Deist: The Tom Woods Interview

January 22, 2020

TOM WOODS: This is the Tom Woods Show, and today I welcome Jeff Deist. Everybody wants to know the sheer nuts and bolts of how somebody becomes Ron Paul’s chief of staff. I’ll tell a little story most people don’t know. About ten years ago, Dr. Paul was approached about doing an autobiography; he would …

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An Austrian Frame of Mind

January 15, 2020

Professor Janek Wasserman, to his credit, is not a polemicist. His new book The Marginal Revolutionaries: How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas is indeed a critique of the broad school of economic thought now colloquially referred to as “Austrian,” but it is not only that. It is also a lively and well-paced history …

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Marginal Revolution

January 15, 2020

Originally published by Chronicles.
Professor Janek Wasserman, to his credit, is not a polemicist. His new book The Marginal Revolutionaries: How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas is indeed a critique of the broad school of economic thought now colloquially referred to as “Austrian,” but it is not only that. It is also a lively and well-paced history of the astonishing influence prewar Viennese intellectuals had on the greater world, and continue to have in areas far beyond economics. The author’s ideology intrudes at times, but never quite so obtrusively as to derail the book’s mission. The Marginal Revolutionaries first and foremost is a worthwhile historical account of major figures from the Austrian school, and not

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Thoughts on Tyler Cowen’s “State Capacity Libertarianism”

January 13, 2020

George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen has penned a brief manifesto for what he calls “State Capacity Libertarianism” on the Marginal Revolution blog. In it he makes the case for libertarians to embrace “state capacity” in certain limited cases. You can read his essay here.
My initial responses, in no particular order, are as follows:
1. There is no political will or constituency for skillful technocratic state management of society. This is a pipe dream, once simply referred to as elusive “good government.” When do public choicers of all people give this up?2. There is no third way between state and market, regardless of technology or material development. Futurism is bunk; the question before us today is the same as

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The Battle in the War of Ideas

December 26, 2019

2020 is right around the corner, and it promises to be a brutal year of politics and crazed economic proposals. The candidates will promise the stars and the moon, all with your money. Several now openly label themselves socialists. They won’t talk about the Fed, or endless wars, or debt and entitlements. But they will …

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Politics Drops Its Pretenses

December 17, 2019

Can the increasing politicization of life in America be stopped, or even slowed?
To be sure, average Americans do not want this. Most people prefer not to lead overly political lives, beyond perhaps voting once in a while and grumbling about taxes or potholes. Most people prefer to focus on work, family, hobbies, sports, or a million other pursuits instead of politics. We watch the game instead of attending the Tuesday night city council meeting. But increasingly we all feel the pressure, drawing us inexorably into a highly-politicized world which demands we take binary “sides” on Trump, impeachment, abortion, guns, climate change, and far more. This politicization seeps into our jobs, family lives, neighborhoods places of

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What Would Mises Think About the West Today?

December 10, 2019

[The following is an excerpt from Jeff Deist’s talk at the Mises Institute’s recent summit in Los Angeles]
Introduction
Those of us who read and enjoy Mises, and he wrote so much about so many things, might well wonder what he would have to say about the state of America and the West in 2019. After all, he was a sociologist and philosopher and political theorist as well as an economist. Surely we could use his perspective today, and so much of what he wrote was prescient and still relevant.
Of course It is always dangerous to imagine what any departed intellectual or thinker would think about today’s world and today’s events, and this is certainly true of Mises too. We all love to do this, though. We all want to use Mises to make

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Austrian Economics Looks East

December 2, 2019

[This article contains excerpts from a presentation given at the 70th anniversary of the publication of Human Action, in Vienna, at the Palais Coburg, November 23, 2019. 
Mises surely would be pleased by the thought of this gathering today, to know that his Vienna still has a heartbeat in Europe, even as its politicians and bankers and academics all go in the wrong direction. He certainly would be pleased and amazed to know his work would become available across the world, in many languages, free and instantly online. Most of all he would be thrilled to know his name is better known today, and his work more widely read, than during his lifetime. What more could any intellectual or writer want? This alone is a huge achievement.

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Austrian Economics: Back to Vienna?

November 20, 2019

[Presentation given at the 70th anniversary of the publication of Human Action, in Vienna, at the Palais Coburg, November 23, 2019. The event was sponsored by the Mises Institute Austria, in cooperation with the Institute for Austrian Asset Management and Palais Coburg.] Mises surely would be pleased by the thought of this gathering today, to …

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What Would Mises Think about the West Today?

October 30, 2019

[The following is an excerpt from Jeff Deist’s talk at the Mises Institute’s recent summit in Los Angeles] Introduction Those of us who read and enjoy Mises, and he wrote so much about so many things, might well wonder what he would have to say about the state of America and the West in 2019. …

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What Would Mises Think of… ?

October 28, 2019

Ludwig von Mises and his work remain incredibly prescient and relevant today. The world needs his voice more than ever, and our speakers celebrate Mises as a supremely vital thinker well-suited for today’s challenges. Recorded in Los Angeles, California, on October 26, 2019.

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Welcome

October 28, 2019

Ludwig von Mises and his work remain incredibly prescient and relevant today. The world needs his voice more than ever, and our speakers celebrate Mises as a supremely vital thinker well-suited for today’s challenges. Recorded in Los Angeles, California, on October 26, 2019.

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Politics Drops Its Pretenses

October 15, 2019

Can the increasing politicization of life in America be stopped, or even slowed? To be sure, average Americans do not want this. Most people prefer not to lead overly political lives, beyond perhaps voting once in a while and grumbling about taxes or potholes. Most people prefer to focus on work, family, hobbies, sports, or …

Read More »

A World of Malice

September 26, 2019

The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politicsby Michael MaliceAll Points Books/St. Martin’s Press 2019307 pages Conservatism, Michael Malice famously remarks, is progressivism driving the speed limit. Malice’s latest book, aptly titled The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics, documents a movement of sorts to change this.  Malice is a podcaster, …

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Negative Interest Rates Are the Price We Pay for De-Civilization

September 24, 2019

Do central bankers really think negative interest rates are rational?
“Calculation Error,” which Bloomberg terminals sometimes display1, is an apt metaphor for the current state of central bank policy. Both Europe and Asia are now awash in $13 trillion worth of negative-yielding sovereign and corporate bonds, and Alan Greenspan suggests negative interest rates soon will arrive in the US. Despite claims by both Mr. Trump and Fed Chair Jerome Powell concerning the health of the American economy, the Fed’s Open Market Committee moved closer to negative territory today — with another quarter-point cut in the Fed Funds rate, below even a measly 2%.
Negative interest rates are just the latest front in the post-2008 era of

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Bringing the Truth

September 20, 2019

The best people in the world support the Mises Institute. 5,112 people to be exact. Will you join them? Who are they? People just like you. Average people who happen to care deeply about human liberty and human flourishing. People who care about real economics. People who oppose state power, central banks, and war. People who …

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Negative Interest Rates are the Price We Pay for De-Civilization

September 18, 2019

Bloomberg terminals, the financial software system used by countless analysts and traders around the world, has a problem: its system cannot price callable bonds using negative interest rates. Programmers never considered such a scenario, and thus failed to code the system accordingly. So users get an error message when they attempt to force negative bond yields …

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The (Deceptively Simple) Greatness of Henry Hazlitt

September 11, 2019

[The following is excerpted from a Foreword by Jeff Deist to our upcoming hardcover version of Henry Hazlitt’s classic Economics in One Lesson. Hazlitt was indeed a self-taught economist, but first and foremost he was a journalist. As a result, everything Hazlitt wrote exhibits great clarity and economy of words– making him the perfect choice for lay readers …

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Happy Birthday, Ron

August 21, 2019

The remarkable life of Ron Paul began in Pittsburgh 84 years ago today, in 1935—seven months after Elvis Aaron Presley came into the world. We wish him a very happy birthday, and many more years of health and productivity.
It’s a rare person who peaks later in life, but Dr. Paul manages to do just that. Anyone who meets him notices his energy, his distate for waiting or standing still, honed by decades as a doctor. In his eighties he is exceedingly fit, riding his bike, walking, tending his garden, and frequently hosting family and guests at his home. His daily Liberty Report, live on YouTube, provides an excellent outlet for his pro-peace message without the constraints (and tedious travel) of Congress.
Born into the teeth of

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Happy Birthday Ron!

August 20, 2019

The remarkable life of Ron Paul began in Pittsburgh 84 years ago today, in 1935—seven months after Elvis Aaron Presley came into the world. We wish him a very happy birthday, and many more years of health and productivity.  It’s a rare person who peaks later in life, but Dr. Paul manages to do just that. …

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A World of Malice

August 12, 2019

The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politicsby Michael MaliceAll Points Books/St. Martin’s Press 2019307 pagesThis review appears in forthcoming September/October issue of The Austrian Conservatism, Michael Malice famously remarks, is progressivism driving the speed limit. Malice’s latest book, aptly titled The New Right: A Journey to the Fringe of American Politics, documents a movement …

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