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Mises Institute

The Mises Institute, founded in 1982, teaches the scholarship of Austrian economics, freedom, and peace. The liberal intellectual tradition of Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) and Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) guides us. Accordingly, we seek a profound and radical shift in the intellectual climate: away from statism and toward a private property order.

Articles by Mises Institute

Austrian Economics and Scientific Realism

2 days ago

Uskala Mäki is one of the leading philosophers of economics of the past half century; moreover, he is well versed in Austrian economics, though not an adherent of the school. In this week’s column, I’d like to consider some issues he raises in his paper “Scientific Realism and Austrian Explanation” (Review of Political Economy, 1990).
Mäki is unsympathetic to what he calls “instrumentalism,” the view that economic theories aren’t true descriptions of the world but rather aim at predictive success. He supports scientific realism, according to which economic theories do try to describe and explain the real world, and he sees the Austrians as important advocates of this view.
For Mäki, realism is a matter of ontology. “In contrast to typical forms of instrumentalism, any version of scientific

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Why “Natural Immunity” Is a Political Problem for the Regime

2 days ago

When asked, “‘I’ve recovered from covid, is it absolutely essential that I get vaccinated?’ many public health officials have put aside the data and responded with a synchronized ‘yes.’”
Original Article: “Why “Natural Immunity” Is a Political Problem for the Regime”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.
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Too Much Inflation? Just Raise the Inflation Target!

3 days ago

In late August, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell suggested that the Federal Reserve would begin tapering before the end of the year admit an admission that price inflation was rising above the two-percent target. Nonetheless, the Fed took no immediate action in the following month. This week, Powell again suggested a taper would begin soon, stating it would begin soon enough that the process could “conclud[e] around the middle of next year,” and maybe could begin in November. This, of course, was highly conditional, with Powell noting this taper would only happen if “the economic recovery remains on track.”
Some interpreted this as a hawkish turn for Powell, but again, we should expect no immediate action on this. Lackluster economic growth remains a concern and Powell’s qualifier on the

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Is an Educated Population Really Necessary for Innovation and Growth?

3 days ago

Lamentations that the waves of innovation are receding have engulfed policy circles. Distinguished economist Robert Gordon avers that the days of transformative innovations are over. Like Peter Thiel, he is disappointed at the incremental nature of modern-day inventions. The declinist thesis is predicated on the assumption that groundbreaking innovations like the steam engine, electricity, and the telephone are becoming exceedingly rare. Educing evidence to prove this observation has been quite easy, but we are less astute at understanding why innovation is declining.
In his 2012 paper titled “Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds,” Gordon submits that dwindling rates of educational attainment complemented by reductions in labor force participation

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Should War Be Made “Humane”?

3 days ago

Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented Warby Samuel MoynFarrar, Straus and Giroux, 400 pp.
Samuel Moyn is a distinguished intellectual historian who teaches both history and law at Yale. His earlier books were written for an academic audience, but in Humane he has an urgent message that he wishes to convey to the general public. There has in recent years been a movement to make war more humane, especially by minimizing death or injury to noncombatants. Moyn thinks this movement poses a danger:

At our stage in the coming of humane war, its advocates and audiences should reevaluate whether they have lost their way in helping to entrench continuing violence, which they could struggle to end instead. If the quest for more humane war could someday minimize not just

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“The Great Reset” Is the Road to Socialism Mises Warned Us About

3 days ago

Through the sheer power of his intellectual output, Ludwig von Mises established himself as one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century. His work Human Action remains a foundational text of the Austrian school. His critique outlining the impracticality of socialism was vindicated with the fall of the Soviet Union and remains without a serious intellectual challenge today.
Just as important, but often overlooked, is his work on the economic system that continues to infect the world today: interventionism.
Like contemporaries such as James Burnham, Mises discerned that the true threat to free markets in the West was not a true socialist revolution, but rather a “middle of the road” approach that so attracted an intellectually shallow political class.
In 1950, during one

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Review: Monetary Policy after the Great Recession: The Role of Interest Rates

3 days ago

Monetary Policy after the Great Recession: The Role of Interest RatesArkadiusz SieronNew York: Routledge, 2020, xviii + 230 pp.
Nikolay Gertchev ([email protected]) holds a PhD in economics from the University of Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas and currently lives in Belgium, where he works for an international organization.
In his second book, Arkadiusz Sieron, Assistant Professor at the University of Wroclaw, embarks on an ambitious task: to investigate the failure of expansionary monetary policy to address the challenges of the 2008–09 Great Recession. An introduction, seven chapters and a final synopsis make up the main body of a text that spreads over 168 pages. Two short six-page appendices comment upon the likely future course of monetary policy and on the fitness of interest-rate cuts to

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Name, Image, and Likeness

4 days ago

By: Connor Mortell
It’s the best time of the year: college football season. However, this is a particularly unique college football season because this year, for the first time ever, players will be able to be paid for their name, image, and likeness. This is the culmination of a long raging debate over whether or not college football players should be paid for the work they do. Arguments for paying players claim that they rake in cash for their schools, they give their schools valuable exposure, playing for the team is hard work, sports detract from studies, athletes need spending money, and the potential for injury compensation is a must. However, while these are initially convincing, upon further examination they are somewhat lacking. It is true that these athletes provide valuable

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

4 days ago

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. 
Take farmer Joe, who produced two kilograms of potatoes. For his own consumption, he requires one kilogram, and the rest he agrees to lend for one year to farmer Bob. The unconsumed kilogram of potatoes that Joe agrees to lend is his savings. 
By lending one kilogram of potatoes to Bob, Joe has agreed to give up for one year ownership over these potatoes. In return, Bob provides Joe with a written promise that after one year he will repay 1.1 kilograms of potatoes. The 0.1 kilogram constitutes interest. Note that

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Europe Faces a Fragile Economy as the Merkel Era Ends

4 days ago

As Angela Merkel prepares her exit from the chancellery in Berlin, a false alarm is ringing in Europe about an imminent danger of “stagflation.” This phenomenon, like dragons, belongs to mythology rather than real historical or present circumstances. 
The noise will prevent any faint alarm being heard about the true danger of post-Merkel monetary deluge in Europe—a French and Italian debt crisis culminating in euro collapse. 
The stagflation myth originates from the 1970s experience in the US. Data averages collected over the period as a whole (1973–80)—including a virulent monetary inflation and economic boom (1976–78) sandwiched between two recessions featuring energy supply shocks—show high Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation accompanying real economic sluggishness.
Fast-forward to the

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The Prospects for Soft Secession in America

4 days ago

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 Vienna, Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe made an

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Why Bureaucrats Are Sitting on So Much Money-Losing Real Estate

5 days ago

The very size and scope of the United States federal government is likely something that Ludwig von Mises could not have imagined, despite writing the book which foretold the results of such a behemoth, Bureaucracy. Early on Mises wrote, “Congress has in many instances surrendered the function of legislation to government agencies and commissions, and it has relaxed its budgetary control through the allocation of large appropriations for expenditures, which the Administration has to determine in detail.” That was in 1944. 
For instance, the federal government makes the simple process of disposing of government properties into a kafkaesque nightmare.  “The federal government has long owned more real estate than it knows what to do with—buildings that sit empty and sites that are

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In Defense of the Speculator

5 days ago

It will come as yesterday’s news that the speculator is perennially under attack by the social justice warriors. Yet speculators serve a crucial and valuable role in surviving economic disasters.
Original Article: “In Defense of the Speculator”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.
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Max Hillebrand on Free Software Entrepreneurship with Bitcoin

5 days ago

Entrepreneurs are developing a new world of innovative business models far from regulated markets, crony capitalism, and corporate control. It’s a new world of cyber security, free software, value-for-value exchange, integrated with bitcoin. Max Hillebrand operates in this new world, and he shares both his vision and his expertise on the Economics For Business podcast.
Key Takeaways and Actionable Insights
The praxeology of cyberspace.
Praxeology is timeless, with equal application in this era of cyberspace and the internet as in any other era. Individuals are in a state of unease, and they can perceive a better future in which their unease is relieved. They allocate resources to achieve that end.
Those resources can be scarce or non-scarce. Non-scarce goods are non-rivalrous; I can share

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On Powell’s Plate

5 days ago

By: Robert Aro
This Wednesday concludes September’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. It couldn’t come at a more tremulous time for Chair Powell and the Board of Governors. As of Monday, the Dow saw massive sell off, news headlines over China’s Evergrande facing bankruptcy continued, DC is facing another debt ceiling debate and COVID continues to dominate. As for the Fed, they too have been coming under scrutiny. A CNBC headline reads:

After years of being ‘squeaky clean,’ the Federal Reserve is surrounded by controversy.

And another titled:

Fed Chief Powell, other officials owned securities central bank bought during Covid pandemic.

Those were last week’s headlines as the story only recently broke. To their credit, CNBC is asking novel questions like:

Should the Fed

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Why the Federalists Hated the Bill of Rights

5 days ago

The Constitution had been ratified and was going into effect, and the next great question before the country was the spate of amendments which the Federalists had reluctantly agreed to recommend at the state conventions. Would they, as Madison and the other Federalists wanted, be quietly forgotten? The Antifederalists, particularly in Virginia and New York, would not permit that to happen and the second convention movement, led by Patrick Henry and George Mason in Virginia and proposed by the New York convention circular letter, was the Antifederal goal. Already the circular letter had won approval from Virginia, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. A second convention would reopen the whole question of the Constitution and allow restrictive amendments and alterations which could severely

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US Military Propaganda in Film, Sports, and TV: It’s Everywhere

5 days ago

From the darkened cinema to the football field to the airport screening line, the US government inflated the actual threat of terrorism and the necessity of an aggressive military response.
Original Article: “US Military Propaganda in Film, Sports, and TV: It’s Everywhere”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.
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Do Monarchies Have Higher Rates of Economic Growth?

6 days ago

By: Lipton Matthews
In its June edition, Cato Unbound published a feature discussing the pros and cons of constitutional monarchies. Quite surprisingly, mainstream academics are expressing a renewed interest in studying monarchies. Originally, arguing for the utility of monarchies was the reserve of libertarian intellectuals like Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Erik Kuehnelt von Leddhin. Nevertheless, during the past ten years, we have been fed a welter of empirical studies articulating the superiority of constitutional monarchies relative to democracies.

Following this trajectory, the scholars hosted by the Cato Institute proposed decisive arguments favoring their respective positions. Launching the debate lead essayist Vincent Geloso marshals a powerful justification for retaining constitutional

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From Diseases to Recessions, Government Failure Is Endemic

6 days ago

Massive government intervention in the aftermath of the global financial crisis has not prevented the Great Recession, but had actually deepened and prolonged it until the covid-19 pandemic and government lockdowns sent the economy into a tailspin in 2020. Larger monetary and fiscal growth stimuli followed, exacerbating previous economic distortions. In the same way that countercyclical macroeconomic policies have turned the financial crisis into depression, the authorities’ health response has been good at crippling markets but never seems to deliver what is promised. 
A Counterintuitive and Risky Health Response
Early on, governments embraced an overambitious paradigm of reaching herd immunity via hard lockdowns and vaccination. The famous “flatten the curve” slogan promoting lockdowns

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Covid Lockdowns Signal the Rise of Public Policy by Ransom

6 days ago

Public commentator Amanda Marcotte is “incandescent with rage”—her words—with those who refuse to be vaccinated against covid-19.1 She wants to get back to her spin class, and the unvaccinated are ruining it for her. Lockdowns and other restrictions on gymnasiums have either closed them or required masking during training sessions, and the result is that Marcotte is unable to enjoy her spin class at the gym, so she has had to cancel and exercise at home. In attributing where the blame for this predicament lies, she is unequivocal: “[B]y refusing to do the right thing, the unvaccinated are stripping freedom and choice from every other American who got vaccinated. We stand by helplessly watching restrictions pile back on and our freedoms dissipate, all to protect those who won’t protect

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Pandemic Ethics: Is Public Health Out of Control?

6 days ago

Our guest is Euzebiusz (Zeb) Jamrozik, MD, PhD, a practicing internal medicine physician and fellow in ethics and infectious diseases at the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities at the University of Oxford. He is head of the Monash-WHO Collaborating Centre for bioethics at the Monash Bioethics Centre. His academic work on infectious disease ethics is focused on vaccines, vector-borne disease, and drug resistance. Dr Jamrozik is lead author of the report of a Wellcome Trust funded project on ethical and regulatory issues related to human challenge studies in endemic settings.
SHOW NOTES?

Zeb Jamrozik, MD, PhD: Twitter and Webpage

Jamrozik E and Heriot G. “Imagination and remembrance: What rolw should historical epidemiology play in a world bewitched by mathematical modelling of

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Can Economic Data Explain the Timing and Causes of Recessions?

7 days ago

Without establishing the underlying causes of boom-bust cycles, employing policies in response to changes in economic indicators to counter economic cycles is likely to destabilize the economy.
Original Article: “Can Economic Data Explain the Timing and Causes of Recessions?”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.
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Review: Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America

8 days ago

Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in AmericaRichard K. VedderOakland, Calif.: Independent Institute, 2019, 400 + xiv pp.
Timothy Terrell ([email protected]) is T.B. Stackhouse Professor of Economics at Wofford College and a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute.
Higher education in the United States is facing a reckoning, and none too soon. Americans pay more per college student than any other country in the world, and the payoff is increasingly in doubt. The core mission of colleges and universities—teaching students—has suffered, as these institutions erect resort-like facilities, pursue politicized agendas, chase after athletic glory, and lavish resources on research of limited value. But a growing national skepticism about higher education, promising new technologies, and the

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The Makings of a Fed Chair

8 days ago

By: Robert Aro
The speculation of whether Biden will reappoint Powell has been gaining media attention, as Powell’s term expires in February of next year. A few peculiarities stand out, as reported by the New York Times when they asked:

Should he reappoint Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve when Mr. Powell’s term ends early next year, or select a replacement who is more fully aligned with the Democratic policy agenda?

But what about Fed independence?

We’ve long been told the Fed acts independently, ensuring the President and his cabinet does not control the nation’s fiscal and monetary policies. This reads as though the Fed should properly align itself to carry out the bidding of the ruling party.

It gets stranger! Earlier this week, two Democrat Senators, John Dodd and Barney

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Debunking Biden’s Claim We Must “Protect the Vaccinated from the Unvaccinated”

8 days ago

The official line on vaccines is that they are extremely effective at protecting against serious illness. And yet these same people are also claiming that the unvaccinated are a major threat to the vaccinated.
More specifically, President Biden claimed on September 10 that vaccine mandates were to “protect the vaccinated workers from unvaccinated workers.”
In other words, it is claimed that vaccines are remarkably effective, and that the vaccinated must also be protected from the unvaccinated. How can both claims be true at the same time? They can’t. The idea that vaccinated people are being frequently harmed by the unvaccinated is a complete fabrication, based on the promandate crowd’s own mainstream data.
As Robert Fellner points out, according to the official data,

The odds of a

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Foreign Policy: Against Liberal Hegemony

9 days ago

For the foreign-policy non-interventionist, some schools of thought in international relations are much better than others. “Liberal hegemony” (the favored school of neoconservatives) has long supported endless war and intervention by the US regime worldwide. We discuss how we can use “realist” research to move the foreign policy needle away from liberal hegemony and toward a more sane foreign policy.
Guest: Zachary Yost (Mises.org/Yost) is a Marcellus Policy Fellow with the John Quincy Adams Society.
Be sure to follow Radio Rothbard at Mises.org/RadioRothbard.
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Is Self-Ownership Necessary?

9 days ago

Chandran Kukathas is one of the best contemporary political philosophers, and one of the few sympathetic to libertarian views. Unlike Murray Rothbard, he does not consider self-ownership fundamental but instead defends libertarianism from a different standpoint that is skeptical of principles considered apart from their expression in particular societies. In this week’s article, I’d like to look at an extended statement of Kukathas’s position on this issue, his article “Libertarianism without Self-Ownership” (Social Philosophy and Policy, 2019).
Societies are many and various, and few are libertarian; if you reject standards considered apart from their expression in particular societies, how do you get to libertarianism? Kukathas answers in this way: “At the heart of the libertarian view,

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You’ll Be Shocked the Learn There’s Corruption at the Fed

9 days ago

Fed Chaiman Jerome Powell has decided the Fed ought to “review” its ethics policies after it was revealed that high-ranking personnel at the Fed were actively trading stocks even as the Fed was busy pulling the levers on monetary policy.
CNBC reported today:

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell directed staff to review the central bank’s ethics rules for appropriate financial activities after disclosures that several senior central bank officials made multiple multimillion-dollar stock trades in 2020, while others held significant investments. …
Last week, financial disclosures filed by the Fed’s 12 regional presidents revealed some had actively traded in 2020, while others held million-dollar financial positions without making changes to their portfolios.

Specifically, Dallas Fed

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Social Justice and the Emergence of Covid Tyranny

10 days ago

Signs of incipient totalitarianism impulses have been evident since the rise of political correctness.1 Yet, warnings from those who saw the character of contemporary “social justice” went largely unheeded. Nevertheless, even before degenerating into “wokeness,” social justice bore the seeds of civilizational decline and the simultaneous rise of social and political tyranny. The weaponization of mostly feigned fragility by snowflake totalitarians has been marshaled to abrogate the rights of those deemed offensive, injurious, and even “dangerous.” It also has evinced “paralogistic discourse,” or “[d]iscourse that is out of touch with reality, involving illogical, fallacious, unwarranted premises and conclusions.”2 Such thinking is characteristic of societal hysteria.3 This weaponization

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The Fed’s Plan Is Failing: Stagflation Looms as Job Growth Stalls

10 days ago

The Fed’s apparent plan to somehow get to full employment and then deal with inflation sounds nice, but reality could easily derail the plan. Meanwhile, job growth is low and prices are rising.
Original Article: “The Fed’s Plan Is Failing: Stagflation Looms as Job Growth Stalls”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.
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