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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

Austria’s Blueprint for Covid Despotism

3 days ago

By: Georg Grassmueck
Anyone interested in what the future of the Covid pandemic looks like, should look no further than Austria. The country that was the foundational home of Ludwig von Mises, is now the home of the next chapter in the Covid hysteria. On December 12, 2021 the Austrian government finally lifted the fourth lockdown, since the Covid pandemic began, but only for vaccinated people. While the lockdown for vaccinated people was lifted, the Austrian government kept in place the lockdown for unvaccinated people. However, the Austrian government went a step further in requiring all Austrian citizens to be fully vaccinated starting February 1, 2022. Austrian residents who refuse to get vaccinated will first be fined 600 euros for noncompliance and face fines of up to 3,600 euros

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Murphy vs Weisenthal on Currency Debasement

3 days ago

Bob critiques a Guardian article from an economist favoring price controls, and explains his argument with Joe Weisenthal about the social benefit of saving actual cash.
Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:
Dr. Keith Smith (of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma) contact page.
The Guardian article advocating price controls.
Murphy Mises.org critique of Weisenthal.
Murphy article on the 1920-21 depression.
Mises essay calling inflationary war finance “undemocratic.”
BMS series on Bohm-Bawerk (1, 2, and 3).
?For more information, see BobMurphyShow.com. The Bob Murphy Show is also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and via RSS.

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The Fascist Threat

3 days ago

“There isn’t anyone around who is willing to stand up and say, ‘I’m a fascist; I think fascism is a great social and economic system.’”
Everyone knows that the term fascist is a pejorative, often used to describe any political position a speaker doesn’t like. There isn’t anyone around who is willing to stand up and say, ‘I’m a fascist; I think fascism is a great social and economic system.”
But I submit that if they were honest, the vast majority of politicians, intellectuals, and political activists would have to say just that.
Fascism is the system of government that cartelizes the private sector, centrally plans the economy to subsidize producers, exalts the police state as the source of order, denies fundamental rights and liberties to individuals, and makes the executive state the

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The Unseen Consequences of the Interstate Highway System

3 days ago

I was recently on a road trip to Missouri where I saw a sign that indicated that I was on the famed Route 66, a U.S. highway that ran from Chicago to Los Angeles from the 1920s through the 1960s. Although I grew up in South Texas, as a kid I was very familiar with Route 66 because one of my favorite television programs was “Route 66,” which starred Martin Milner and George Maharis. The show featured such guest stars as Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr., Boris Karloff, Buster Keaton, James Coburn, Ed Asner, Joey Heatherton, Tuesday Weld, Slim Pickens, William Shatner, DeForest Kelly, and many others. The show ran from 1960 to 1964.
Route 66 was established in 1926. It ultimately became one of the most famous roads in the U.S. As you can imagine, countless businesses along the highway got

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America’s Most Dangerous Unknown Man

3 days ago

By: Ron Paul
The US Senate will soon vote on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s nomination to a second term. One of the senators opposing Powell is Elizabeth Warren. I don’t often agree with Senator Warren, but I do agree with her assessment that Powell is “dangerous.” However, Warren actually doesn’t understand what makes Powell, or any Fed chairman, intrinsically dangerous to liberty and prosperity.

Warren thinks Powell is dangerous because she thinks he will not be supportive enough of imposing her desired new regulations on banks and other financial institutions. Senator Warren, like most progressives, clings to a fantastical notion that regulations benefit workers, consumers, and small businesses. The truth is most regulations benefit large corporations by imposing costs that

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The Decline of the Old Right

4 days ago

After the death of Taft and as the Eisenhower foreign policy began to take on the frozen Dullesian lineaments of permanent mass armament and the threat of “massive nuclear retaliation” throughout the globe, I began to notice isolationist sentiment starting to fade away, even among old libertarian and isolationist compatriots who should have known better. Old friends who used to scoff at the “Russian threat” and had declared The Enemy to be Washington, DC now began to mutter about the “international Communist conspiracy.” I noticed that young libertarians coming into the ranks were increasingly infected with the Cold War mentality and had never even heard of the isolationist alternative. Young libertarians wondered how it was that I upheld a “Communist foreign policy.”
In this emerging

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Biden’s Ukrainian Albatross

4 days ago

By: Daniel McAdams
Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell is given credit for popularizing the “Pottery Barn” rule of foreign policy. Though he denies using that exact phrase, in arguing against what became the disastrous 2003 US attack on Iraq Powell made the point that, as in Pottery Barn, “if you break it, you own it.”

Bush and his neocons – ironically with the help of Colin Powell himself – did indeed break Iraq and the American people as a result “owned” Iraq for the subsequent 22 years (and counting). It was an idiotic war and, as the late former NSA chief Gen. Bill Odom predicted, turned out to be “the greatest strategic disaster in American history.”

Attacking and destroying Iraq – and executing its leader – not only had no value in any conceivable manner to the United States, it

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Do We Really Need Big Corporations?

4 days ago

By: Hunter Hastings
Big tech. Big pharma. Big food. Big banks. Big oil. We’ve got questions about all of them. Big tech is surveilling us and stealing our privacy. Big pharma is exploiting us and poisoning us. Big food is compromising our health and fitness. Big banks are destabilizing boom-and-bust machines. Big oil is destroying the planet.

Do we need them? In the past, they were necessary to tackle problems of scale – the accumulation and control of sufficient capital to undertake massive industrial-era projects like building railroads or oil fields or pipelines or energy grids or fleets of ocean-going ships, or airplanes, or supplying every household in America with 1.88 vehicles.

These achievements – and many, many more – have delivered tremendous benefits and improvements in

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It’s Time to Break Up New York State

6 days ago

Neil Sedaka said it best – “breaking up is hard to do”. Ask any 16-year-old and they’ll tell you that’s certainly true, but Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) recently made headlines when she suggested not just a breakup, but a “National Divorce” on social media. Of course, there was the typical incoherent shrieking and pearl clutching from progressives, neoconservatives, and other lizard-people, but there was also general acknowledgement from many regular folks that a “National Divorce” may be the only long-term solution.
We Need to Talk…
It should go without saying that our current political arrangement is not working. 2020 saw not just the Covid-19 insanity, but political violence where people were literally shooting each other in the street. Add to that the disturbing new polling data

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Twenty Facets of Freedom from Leonard Read

6 days ago

By: Gary Galles
In 2016, I published a book titled Lines of Liberty, which featured great quotations about liberty from those who had been active and important in promoting it. To this day, one of my favorite quotes in that book is from John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty: “The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.”

For that reason, when Leonard Read opened his “Several Facets of Freedom,” Chapter 8 in his 1982 The Path of Duty—his last book—with that quote, it drew my attention instantly. And I found Read’s own opening lines an effective teaser to read more:

The quotation from Mill’s famed essay, On Liberty, published in 1859, captures the essence of

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Is the “Resource” Curse Keeping Many Developing Nations Poor?

7 days ago

By: Lipton Matthews
The impact of resources on national development has puzzled economists and political scientists for decades. Economic literature has noted that resource-rich countries conventionally fail to transform natural advantages into material prosperity. In the field of economics, this development is known as the resource curse. It has been asserted that resource abundance degrades the quality of institutions by emboldening elites to devote resources to capturing rents. Others argue that by reducing the state’s dependence on taxes, resource windfalls erode political accountability. 

The erosion of accountability is likely because windfalls minimize the need for tax revenues thereby diminishing the impetus to be accountable to citizens and implement reforms. Reliance on

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Milton Friedman Unraveled

7 days ago

Volume 16, Number 4 (2002)
Mention “free-market economics” to a member of the lay public and chances are that if he has heard the term at all, he identifies it completely with the name Milton Friedman. For several years, Professor Friedman has won continuing honors from the press and the profession alike, and a school of Friedmanites and “monetarists” has arisen in seeming challenge to the Keynesian orthodoxy.
However, instead of the common response of reverence and awe for “one of our own who has made it,” libertarians should greet the whole affair with deep suspicion: “If he’s so devoted a libertarian, how come he’s a favorite of the Establishment?” An advisor of Richard Nixon and a friend and associate of most Administration economists, Friedman has, in fact, made his mark in current

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What are the Politics of Inflation?

7 days ago

With the prices of everything rising at historic rates, no issue is shaping politics more right now than inflation. Unfortunately for Americans, Republicans in Washington appear no more serious on the Federal Reserve than the Biden Administration.
What lessons can be learned from the past? How might the Biden Administration respond? What can be done on the issue? In this Radio Rothbard, Ryan McMaken and Tho Bishop dive into the politics of inflation.
Recommended Reading
“How Easy Money Inflated Corporate Profits” by Brendan Brown: Mises.org/RR_65_A 
“The Economy May Be Finally Peaking, and the Fed Won’t Help Matters” by Brendan Brown: Mises.org/RR_65_B 
“How Asset Price Inflation Is Different from Goods Price Inflation” by Brendan Brown: Mises.org/RR_65_C 
“Monetary Inflation and Price

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The Problem with Public Goods and So-Called Economic Power

7 days ago

In this week’s column, I’d like to discuss two arguments Murray Rothbard gives that respond to influential criticisms of the free market. His answers to the two arguments follow a common strategy. In each case, he rejects the key premise of the argument.
The first of these arguments has to do with what are called “public” or “collective” goods. It may well be, supporters of the argument claim, that the market can supply efficiently most goods and services. But it cannot supply public goods, such as defense, that are nonrivalrous and nonexcludable. A nation that installs an antimissile defense system, for example, will necessarily protect the whole country, not just individuals who pay for the service of defense. Furthermore, people can’t be excluded from the good: a supplier of the good

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Why the Debt Ceiling Won’t Limit Debt or Spending

27 days ago

Not surprisingly, both houses of Congress approved another increase in the debt ceiling and have sent the bill to President Biden, who will most assuredly sign it. The bill raises the debt ceiling to $31.5 trillion. This debt ceiling is expected to last through the upcoming midterm elections so that incumbent elected officials don’t have to deal with it in their campaigns for reelection.
Here’s my prediction: none of the mainstream commentators who were screaming about the dire necessity of raising the debt ceiling will publish any articles or editorials calling for federal expenditures to be drastically reduced in order to meet the new debt ceiling a couple of years from now. On the contrary, they will ardently support current levels of spending and maybe even call for higher spending. In

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Could 2022 Bring the Collapse of the Euro?

27 days ago

Like the Fed, the ECB is resisting interest rate increases despite producer and consumer prices soaring. Consumer price inflation across the Eurozone was most recently recorded at 4.9%, making the real yield on Germany’s 5-year bond minus 5.5%. But Germany’s producer prices for October rose 19.2% compared with a year ago. There can be no doubt that producer prices have yet to feed fully into consumer prices, and that rising consumer prices have much further to go, reflecting the acceleration of the ECB’s currency debasement in recent years.1
Therefore, in real terms, not only are negative rates already increasing, but they will go even further into record negative territory due to rising producer and consumer prices. Unless it abandons the euro to its fate on the foreign exchanges

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The Misesian Case against Keynes

28 days ago

I – Classical Economic Theory
It is my goal to reconstruct some basic truths regarding the process of economic development and the role played in it by employment, money, and interest. These truths neither originated with the Austrian school of economics nor are an integral part of only this tradition of economic thinking.
In fact, most of them were part and parcel of what is now called classical economics, and it was the recognition of their validity that uniquely distinguished the economist from the crank. Yet the Austrian school, in particular Ludwig von Mises and later Murray N. Rothbard, has given the clearest and most complete presentation of these truths (Mises [1949] 1966; Rothbard [1962] 1970). Moreover, that school has presented them their most rigorous defense by showing them to

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How We Will Win

28 days ago

You do not defend a world that is already lost. When was it lost? That you cannot say precisely. It is a point for the revolutionary historian to ponder. We know only that it was surrendered peacefully, without a struggle, almost unawares. There was no day, no hour, no celebration of the event—and yet definitely, the ultimate power of initiative did pass from the hands of private enterprise to government.
There it is and there it will remain until, if ever, it shall be reconquered. Certainly government will never surrender it without a struggle.1

We enter 2022 with the hope and optimism made possible only by the most clear-eyed assessment of reality. Garet Garett’s remarkable words, published in 1938, are right at home in the new year. They are also liberating. There is no going back, no

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True Competition versus the Monopolist “Minimal State”

28 days ago

According to Ayn Rand’s ethics, the only basis for value is an individual’s survival as a rational being. In order to live as a rational being, you must respect the rights of others as rational beings each aiming at his own survival. As Harry Binswanger, a leading follower of Rand, explains,

The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. No man—or group or society or government—has the right to assume the role of a criminal and initiate the use of physical compulsion against any man. Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. The ethical principle involved is simple and clear cut: it is the difference between murder and self-defense. A holdup man seeks

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An Inflation Outlook for the US Dollar in 2022

28 days ago

First, we must define inflation: it is the increase in the quantity of money, currency, and credit. It is not an increase in prices. Changes in the general price level is the consequence of a combination in changes of the quantity of deposit currency and changes in the level of the public’s retention of deposit currency relative to their possession of goods. We can record deposits statistically, but cannot quantify human behaviour.
The effect of this inflation on prices is still working through the US economy. It is important to appreciate that the inflation of bank deposits is the primary cause for the increase in raw material, production and consumer costs and prices, and not supply chain disruptions. Central bankers are being disingenuous when they insist that rising prices are a

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Last Day to Give in 2021!

28 days ago

Your gift will help us do more in 2022.
With your gift of $25 or more, you will receive a copy of Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s What Must Be Done.
Recurring donors of $5 or more will also receive a copy of What Must Be Done and renew their Membership through 2022.
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Last Day to Give in 2021!

28 days ago

Your gift will help us do more in 2022. With your gift of $25 or more, you will receive a copy of Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s What Must Be Done. Recurring donors of $5 or more will also receive a copy of What Must Be Done and renew their Membership through 2022.

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White Pill: Hoppe is Outselling Marx on Amazon

29 days ago

By: Tho Bishop
What a way to exit 2021. Democracy: The God That Failed, is currently outselling Marx’s the Communist Manifesto on Amazon.

Even better, this is despite Hoppe’s book – unfortunately not published by the Mises Institute – is priced at over $40, and the fact that there are very few college professors forcing the book on their students. This is a testament to the power of Austro-libertarian thought. The Mises Institute is often attacked by agents of the establishment – ranging for Big Tech, leftwing groups, and even some nominally-libertarian organizations – because it is our ideas that are uniquely dangerous to the regime. Our scholars’ willingness to stand unapologetically in their defense of civilization – just as Ludwig von Mises did in 1930s Vienna – is what makes

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The Rule of Planned Money

29 days ago

[Originally published in American Affairs, April 1948.]
“Public money is like holy water. Every man helps himself.”
~ Italian proverb
As the hungry dollar devours its own purchasing power we may think we are going to find out what happened to the fabulous snake that swallowed itself. But we won’t; and if we did, it would add perhaps nothing to the sum of human wisdom.
There is a long history of monetary experience. It tells us that government is at heart a counterfeiter and therefore cannot be trusted to control money, and that this is true of both autocratic and popular government. The record has been cumulative since the invention of money. Nevertheless it is not believed.
There is also a history of sound money, and if its lessons are likewise disregarded, what shall one conclude but

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Why Doesn’t Increased Demand Bring More Supply?

29 days ago

By popular thinking, the key driver of economic growth is increases in the total demand for goods and services. It is also held that the overall output increases by a multiple of the increase in expenditure by government, consumers and businesses.
Following this way of thinking it is not surprising that most commentators are of the view that by means of fiscal and monetary stimulus it is possible to prevent the US economy falling into a recession. For instance, by increasing government spending and central bank monetary pumping it is held that this is going to strengthen the production of goods and services, i.e., the overall supply.
It follows then that by means of increases in government spending and central bank monetary pumping the authorities can grow the economy. This means that

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The Problem with “Left vs. Right”

29 days ago

As a libertarian, I have long objected to being characterized on a left-right political spectrum (as with studies of political affiliations that group libertarians with republicans or conservatives on the right). In response to inquiries about where I fit in that framework, over the years, I have taken to saying that my views were orthogonal (meaning at right angles or perpendicular) to the framework. Since almost no one knows what that word means, those I say it to are puzzled, and ask for clarification, which allows me to explain why I fit in neither category.
I had done that for years when I came across Leonard Read’s “Neither Left Nor Right,” in the January, 1956, issue of The Freeman. Long before I came to believe what I do, Read was way ahead of me, including a more complete view of

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The Gold-Exchange Standard in Operation: 1926–1929

December 29, 2021

[Excerpt from Murray N. Rothbard, A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II (Auburn, AL: Mises Institute, 2005), part 4, pp. 400–24.]
By the end of 1925, Montagu Norman and the British Establishment were seemingly monarch of all they surveyed. Backed by Strong and the Morgans, the British had had everything their way: they had saddled the world with a new form of pseudo gold standard, with other nations pyramiding money and credit on top of British sterling, while the United States, though still on a gold-coin standard, was ready to help Britain avoid suffering the consequences of abandoning the discipline of the classical gold standard.
But it took little time for things to go very wrong. The crucial British export industries, chronically

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How to Avoid Depressions? Foster Saving and Investment

December 29, 2021

In his writings, the leader of the monetarist school of thinking, Milton Friedman, blamed central bank policies for causing the Great Depression of 1930s. According to Friedman, the Federal Reserve failed to pump enough reserves into the banking system to prevent a collapse of the money stock. Because of this, Friedman held, the M1 money stock, which stood at $26.34 billion on March 1930, fell to $19 billion by April 1933—a decline of 27.9 percent.1

According to Friedman, as a result of the collapse in the money stock, economic growth also dropped off. By July 1932, industrial production had fallen by over 31 percent year on year (see chart). Also, year on year the Consumer Price Index (CPI) had plunged. By October 1932, the CPI had declined by 10.7 percent (see chart).

A closer

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The Fundamentals Point to Inflation That’s Much More than “Transitory”

December 29, 2021

The Fed may slow or eliminate new bond purchases but is not planning to sell. Meanwhile, producer prices have skyrocketed and Americans are consuming more but producing less. Get ready for entrenched price inflation.
Original Article: “The Fundamentals Point to Inflation That’s Much More than ‘Transitory’”
This Audio Mises Wire is generously sponsored by Christopher Condon. Narrated by Michael Stack.
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America’s Radical Revolution and the Constitutional Coup

December 29, 2021

How did a handful of colonies created by the European Old Order establish a unique nation conceived in liberty? In Episode 2 of the Liberty vs. Power Podcast, Patrick Newman and Tho Bishop discuss the lasting tension between the Spirit of 1776 and the Constitution of 1787. The results of America’s successful war for independence is one of the most important victories for the cause of liberty, but the forces of power adapted to new opportunities.
Patrick and Tho also discuss the career of the infamous Robert Morris, and follow the rise of two men who are determined to mold America into the European nationalist tradition: Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.
Articles
“America’s Libertarian Revolution” by Murray Rothbard — Mises.org/LP2_A
“Bacon’s Rebellion” by Murray Rothbard —

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