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Jorg Guido Hulsmann



Articles by Jorg Guido Hulsmann

How Society Works: Plato’s Contribution

28 days ago

The theory of the division of labor is one of the cornerstones of economics. It is the very foundation of the scientific analysis of society and the market. According to this theory, cooperation among any number of persons is more productive than the individual efforts of the same persons in isolation from one another. It …

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The Cultural and Spiritual Legacy of Fiat Inflation

February 10, 2022

The notion that inflation is harmful is a staple of economic science. But most textbooks underrate the extent of the harm, because they define inflation much too narrowly as a lasting decrease of the purchasing power of money (PPM), and also because they pay scant attention to the concrete forms of inflation. To appreciate the …

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Carl Menger: Pioneer of “Empirical Theory”

February 5, 2022

Introduction The problems and ideas that moved Ludwig von Mises in his early years were addressed by the work of four great economic theorists: Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Friedrich von Wieser, and Joseph Schumpeter. He knew all four personally, but Menger had retired from teaching a year before Mises discovered Menger’s Principles. They met …

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Mises and the German Neo-liberals

January 13, 2022

The 1947 Mont Pèlerin Society meeting [in Switzerland] was enough to satisfy Mises’s curiosity about Europe and European scholars for quite some time. Europe lay in shambles, even Paris was in rags. He did not even wish to think about traveling to Austria. All that was good and memorable about Europe was in the past. …

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Mises in Wartime

January 5, 2022

Like many others, Mises anticipated the outbreak of World War I years in advance. Unlike many others, he dreaded it. He was a Lieutenant of the Austro-Hungarian Army and dearly loved his country, but he was no chauvinist and despised the militarism and statism that were about to drag an entire continent into catastrophe. A …

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Monetary Policy Is in Turmoil

November 26, 2021

Monetary policy is in turmoil. Ever since the financial crisis erupted eight years ago,* major central banks have fundamentally reformed the way they create and absorb money. Their activism has failed to extinguish the fires. There are already plans to equip monetary policy with new tools, such as the elimination of cash and “helicopter money” …

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Central Banks and Socialism Are Forever Linked Together

October 23, 2021

It is well known that socialism is a shortage economy. It is the economy of inefficiency and corruption, of indifferent workers and of bigwigs, of lacking spare parts, of lacking funds, of failure, of permanent reform needs and of constantly unsuccessful reforms. This concerns in particular total socialism, as it was realized in the Soviet Union or under National Socialism. But it is no less evident in the numerous partial socialisms that are featured in the real existing welfare state, in its numerous state “systems.” Budget deficits year in, year out despite high contributions—that is the reality in the state pension system and in the state health system. The state education system is similar: declining student performance and growing illiteracy despite

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Central Banks and Socialism Are Forever Linked Together

October 22, 2021

It is well known that socialism is a shortage economy. It is the economy of inefficiency and corruption, of indifferent workers and of bigwigs, of lacking spare parts, of lacking funds, of failure, of permanent reform needs and of constantly unsuccessful reforms. This concerns in particular total socialism, as it was realized in the Soviet …

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Tax Tyranny

September 10, 2021

Tax Tyrannyby Pascal SalinCheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2020, 224 pp. Jörg Guido Hülsmann ([email protected]) is Professor of Economics at the University of Angers. Pascal Salin is one of the most important Continental European economists. Throughout his career, he has developed and defended the principles of a free society against the encroachments of the state. He started …

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Secession and the Production of Defense

July 26, 2021

[Chapter 11 of The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production, edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe (Auburn, Ala.: Mises Institute, 2003), pp. 369–413.] Few people object to the private production of shoes or rock concerts. But almost everybody believes that certain goods cannot be produced on a purely voluntary basis. …

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Toward a Political Economy of Climate Change

October 17, 2020

The following thoughts have been presented on October 10, 2020, at a broader public conference in Germany. The conference was intended to discuss environmental policies from a free market perspective. Although my research does not concern this field, I have always been interested in the general theory of interventionism and therefore agreed to comment on …

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Another Kind of Liberalism

September 14, 2020

[Preface to The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton by Ralph Raico.] Religion and liberty—few issues are more controversial among current-day libertarians. At least four positions can be distinguished. One well-known position holds that religion and liberty are separate spheres that are almost hermetically sealed from one another, …

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How the State Destroys Families

July 21, 2020

The peculiar consequences that result from government intervention are similar in all areas of economic and social life. Problems such as indifference, evaporating solidarity, irresponsibility, and short-term thinking are more than often caused or exacerbated by—sometimes well-intentioned—government interventions. This holds true for interventions in the financial world and in business, and it is no different with family policy. To make this clear, we first want to make a few comments about the economics of the family and then explain how state intervention tends to destroy families from within.
A Power Plant without Equal
According to the Christian definition, the family is a community between a man and a woman, before God, with

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How the State Destroys Families

July 13, 2020

The peculiar consequences that result from government intervention are similar in all areas of economic and social life. Problems such as indifference, evaporating solidarity, irresponsibility, and short-term thinking are more than often caused or exacerbated by—sometimes well-intentioned—government interventions. This holds true for interventions in the financial world and in business, and it is no different …

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Why the New Economics Just Boils Down to Printing More Money

June 15, 2020

[Editor’s Note: this article is adapted from a 2003 essay in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics entitled “New Keynesian Monetary Views: A Comment.” As economists abandon theory in favor of makeshift plans to flood the economy with stimulus, Hülsmann here provides some helpful reminders of the fundamental problems behind the current economic consensus on money.] …

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A Protest from France

May 2, 2020

The lockdowns of the past month have not been conducive to the common good. While they have saved the lives of many people, they have also endangered—and are still endangering—the lives and livelihoods of many others. They have created a new and dangerous political precedent. This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. …

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A Protest from France

April 30, 2020

After WWI, the distinguished British economist Edwin Cannan was asked, somewhat reproachfully, what he did during the terrible war years. He replied: “I protested.” The present article is a similar protest against the current lockdown policies put into place in most countries of the Western world to confront the current coronavirus pandemic. Here in France, where I live …

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What the COVID-19 Crisis Means for Europe and the Eurozone

April 30, 2020

[An interview with Dr. Hulsmann, originally published in German by Die Freie Welt.]
As a result of the corona crisis, economic life was severely restricted in many countries. How long can the economy take this?
As long as stocks last. In other words: as long as you can allow yourself to live off previous savings. There is no difference between a family and the overall economy in this regard.
The German federal government has passed a bailout fund of around €750 billion to stabilise the economy and save companies from bankruptcy. Can such measures mitigate the economic downturn?
No. Such measures have two very different effects, which only give the brief appearance of a cushion. On the one hand, income and wealth will be massively

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What the COVID-19 Crisis Means for Europe and the Eurozone

April 27, 2020

[An interview with Dr. Hulsmann, originally published in German by Die Freie Welt.] As a result of the corona crisis, economic life was severely restricted in many countries. How long can the economy take this? As long as stocks last. In other words: as long as you can allow yourself to live off previous savings. …

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A Protest From France

April 23, 2020

After WWI, the distinguished British economist, Edwin Cannan was asked, somewhat reproachfully, what he did during the terrible war years. He replied: “I protested.” The present article is a similar protest against the current lockdown policies put into place, in most countries of the western world, to confront the current coronavirus pandemic.
Here in France, where I live and work, President Macron had announced on Thursday, March 12th that all schools and universities would be shut down on the following Monday. On that Monday, then, he appeared on TV again and announced that the entire population would be confined, starting the very next day. The only exceptions would be “necessary” activities, especially medical services,

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Nicholas Oresme and the First Monetary Treatise

August 17, 2019

The practical offshoot of the Austrian theory of money is that the production of money should best be left to the free market. Government interventionism does not improve monetary exchanges; it merely enriches a select few at the expense of all other money users. And on the aesthetic side, the disaster is of course complete: …

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Bastiat’s Legacy in Economics

March 20, 2019

Claude Frédéric Bastiat (1801 — 1850) is one of the greatest economists ever. His role as organizer of the French, and inspiration of the nineteenth- century continental European free-trade movement is not controversial, and all historians recognize him as a great pamphleteer — some even calling him “the most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived.” …

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Ludwig von Mises and the Nature of Money

February 14, 2019

As a true disciple of Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises began the presentation of his theory of money with an analysis of the nature of money itself. He then went on to deal with the determination of money’s purchasing power and with the impact of what he called Umlaufsmittel (fiduciary media) on the monetary system. …

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Why Austrian Economics Is More Reality-Based than the Neoclassical Approach

February 3, 2019

[Originally published as “Economic Science and Neoclassicism” in the Review of Austrian Economics: Winter 1999] For more than forty years, economists have routinely rejected the postulate that economic theory should be realistic. Ever since Milton Friedman (1953) sketchily outlined a positivistic methodology for economics, most students of our science have come to endorse Friedman’s view …

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Against the Neoliberals

January 9, 2019

The Mont Pèlerin Society had begun as an “ecumenical” undertaking, bringing together purebred liberals of the classical tradition and neoliberals, who endorsed interventionist schemes to one degree or another. From the beginning, Mises had been skeptical about the ecumenical concept, but for the first five or six years his apprehensions seemed unwarranted, even though the …

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The Morality of Fiat Money

January 4, 2019

[Excerpted from chapter 13 of Guido Hülsmann’s The Ethics of Money Production (2008).] 8. Some Spiritual Casualties of Fiat Inflation Fiat inflation constantly reduces the purchasing power of money. To some extent, it is possible for people to protect their savings against this trend, but this requires thorough financial knowledge, the time to constantly supervise …

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The Evolution of Mises’ Monetary Thought

November 20, 2018

In this 32-minute talk, Jörg Guido Hülsmann examines and summarizes Mises’s insights and innovations in understanding money, its origins, and its purposes. Presented at the 2011 Supporters Summit in Vienna, Austria, on 20 September 2011. Includes an introduction by Douglas E. French.

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Why Ludwig von Mises Advocated Nationalism

November 15, 2018

In his criticism of imperialist policies in the service of socialism, labor-unionism, and the socialist war economy Ludwig von Mises could not restate many conventional arguments. He faced an unprecedented task in confronting the claim that imperialism can enhance the welfare of a nation. His pioneering analysis brilliantly confirmed Carl Menger’s insight that methodological individualism is able to analyze even large collective phenomena.
The main thesis in the first chapter of Nation, State, and Economy is that governments are incapable of improving the condition of the nations they rule. The reason is that the origin, emergence, growth, flowering, and decline of nations are subject to natural laws. The operation of these laws

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Why Ludwig von Mises Advocated for Liberal Nationalism Following WWI

November 14, 2018

In his criticism of imperialist policies in the service of socialism, labor-unionism, and the socialist war economy Ludwig von Mises could restate many conventional arguments. He faced an unprecedented task in confronting the claim that imperialism can enhance the welfare of a nation. His pioneering analysis brilliantly confirmed Carl Menger’s insight that methodological individualism is …

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