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Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken

Ryan W. McMaken is the editor of Mises Daily and The Austrian. He has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado, and was the economist for the Colorado Division of Housing from 2009 to 2014.

Articles by Ryan McMaken

More than Half of All US COVID-19 Deaths Occur in Only Four States

5 days ago

As of March 24, nearly 30 percent of all the COVID-19 deaths in the United States have occurred in New York state. Of the 910 deaths reported so far in the US, 271 happened in New York. Washington State was in second place, with 13 percent of the nation’s COVID-19 deaths. California comes next with …

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Financialization: Why the Financial Sector Now Rules the Global Economy

12 days ago

To read or watch the news in today’s world is to be confronted with a wide array of stories about financial organization and financial institutions. News about central banks, interest rates, and debt appear to be everywhere. But it was not always the case that the financial sector and financial institutions were considered so important. …

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The EU’s Once-Open Internal Borders Are Closing Down

13 days ago

Last month, I wrote an article exploring some of the issues associated with having completely open borders between political units within a larger single political entity. The most obvious example of how this works is the United States. Once within the US’s external borders, there are virtually no barriers at all to prevent free movement …

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Money Supply Growth Climbs to 37-Month High

13 days ago

The money supply growth rate rose again in February, climbing to a 37-month high. The last time the growth rate was higher was during February of 2017, when the growth rate was 7.9 percent. During February 2020, year-over-year (YOY) growth in the money supply was at 7.49 percent. That’s up from January’s rate of 6.32 …

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Michael Bloomberg’s Failed Ad Blitz Reminds Us That Advertisers Don’t Force People To Do Anything

18 days ago

Michael Bloomberg dropped out of the Democratic Party’s primary this week, but not before he spent more than $500 on political advertisements. According to Bloomberg (the news service, not the man),
Through Friday [Feb 21], he’s spent $505.8 million on broadcast, cable, radio and digital ads, according to Advertising Analytics. That’s an average of $5.5 million a day since he officially became a candidate.
It’s also $190 million more than all of his active Democratic rivals combined, including billionaire hedge-fund founder Tom Steyer, have spent on political ads.
This all netted Michael Bloomberg a whopping twenty-seven delegates. That’s more than $18 million per delegate. This means Bloomberg didn’t even succeed in becoming a

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The CDC’s Budget Is Larger Now Than Under Obama

19 days ago

This is how the budget process in Washington begins. Step one: the president submits his budget to Congress. Step two: Congress puts the president’s budget in a drawer somewhere and forgets about it. Step three: Congress passes a budget it likes instead. This reality, however, has been conveniently ignored in recent weeks. Some pundits and politicians …

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The US Constitution Needs an Expiration Date

25 days ago

A unique feature of the Swiss Federal Constitution is the fact that the central government’s power to impose direct taxes on citizens expires every decade or so. In fact, the current taxing authority expires at the end of 2020. Fortunately for the Swiss republic’s central government, voters approved an extension (the “New Financial Regime 2021”) …

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“Political Anarchy” Is How the West Got Rich

26 days ago

It is not uncommon to encounter political theorists and pundits who insist that political centralization is a boon to economic growth.  In both cases, it is claimed the presence of a unifying central regime—whether in Brussels or in Washington, DC, for example—is essential in ensuring the efficient and free flow of goods throughout a large …

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The Fed Slashes Rates as Powell Declares Economy “Strong”

27 days ago

The Federal Reserve this morning slashed the target federal funds rate by 0.5 percent today. According to CNBC: The Federal Reserve moved to an enact an emergency interest rate cut after officials saw the coronavirus having a material impact on the economic outlook, Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday. Powell held a news conference following the …

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Money Supply Growth Climbs to 36-Month High

February 28, 2020

The money supply growth rate rose again in January, climbing to a 36-month high. The last time the growth rate was higher was during February of 2017, when the growth rate was 7.9 percent. During January 2020, year-over-year (YOY) growth in the money supply was at 6.32 percent. That’s up from December’s rate of 5.53 …

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The US’s “Free Trade” Isn’t Very Free

February 27, 2020

The false notion that the US has eliminated virtually all of its barriers to foreign imports has been repeated more and more in recent years. The claim is made both by advocates for free trade and by critics of free trade. For instance, Patrick Buchanan has claimed only American elites “are beneficiaries to free trade” …

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The EU’s Latest Screw-You to the UK Shows a Big Problem with Trade Agreements

February 26, 2020

All too often, discussion over trade deals focuses almost solely on tariffs. It’s true that tariffs—i.e., taxes—are always a significant barrier to free exchange at all levels, but there are also plenty of ways to block or lessen trade that are not primarily tariff-based. Recent conflicts over the pending negotiations between the UK and the …

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The WTO Is Both Irrelevant and Unnecessary

February 25, 2020

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is in a state of crisis. When it comes to trade negotiations among large states like the US, India, and China, the WTO has been shown to be an organization that is largely irrelevant. Despite grandiose dreams of a global trade organization that would enforce global bureaucrats’ broad vision for …

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Why Rothbard Wanted “Radical Decentralization”

February 21, 2020

From at least the 1960s onward, Murray Rothbard regarded secession and what he called “radical decentralization” as central to libertarian ideology. For example, in May 1969 during his supposed “New Left period,” Rothbard published an editorial in his Libertarian Forum endorsing the mayoral candidacy of Norman Mailer. Specifically, Rothbard was supportive of Mailer’s support for …

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Why Governments Hate Secession

February 20, 2020

When the Soviet Union began its collapse in 1989, the world witnessed decentralization and secession on a scale not seen in Europe since the nineteenth century.
Over the next several years, puppet regimes and states-in-name-only broke away from Soviet domination and formed sovereign states. Some states which had completely ceased to exist—such as the Baltic states—declared independence and became states in the own right. In total, secession and decentralization in this era brought about more than twenty newly independent states.
This period served as an important reminder that human history is not, in fact, just a story of ever increasing state power and centralization.
Since then, however, the world has seen very few successful

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Nationalism as National Liberation: Lessons from the End of the Cold War

February 19, 2020

During the early 1990s, as the world of the old Soviet Bloc was rapidly falling apart, Murray Rothbard saw it all for what it was: a trend of mass decentralization and secession unfolding before the world’s eyes. The old Warsaw Pact states of Poland, Hungary, and others won de facto independence for the first time …

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Why Governments Hate Secession

February 18, 2020

When the Soviet Union began its collapse in 1989, the world witnessed decentralization and secession on a scale not seen in Europe since the nineteenth century. Over the next several years, puppet regimes and states-in-name-only broke away from Soviet domination and formed sovereign states. Some states which had completely ceased to exist—such as the Baltic …

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Three Reasons Why Decentralization and Secession Lead to More Open Economies

February 15, 2020

When we hear of political movements in favor of decentralization and secession, the word “nationalist” is often used to describe them. We have seen the word used in both Scottish and Catalonian secession movement, and in the case of Brexit. Sometimes the term is intended to be pejorative. But not always. When used pejoratively — …

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Small Countries Are Better: They’re Often Richer and Safer Than Big Countries

February 11, 2020

In the wake of the Brexit vote, Scottish nationalists have renewed their calls for a new referendum on Scottish independence. But many remain unconvinced, and many claim Scotland is “too small” to be an independent country. Others claim that Scotland is too poor, since Scotland’s GDP per capita is only 90 percent that of England. But by no …

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How State Open Borders Empower the Central Government

February 8, 2020

“Open borders” is a phrase usually heard in the context of international borders only.
We hear far less about the issue of open borders between member states within a confederation or union of states.
After all, no one thinks twice of crossing the borders between member states within the United States of America. Increasingly, one is similarly unimpressed when crossing from one EU member state to another in Europe.
Often unnoticed is the way that disappearing borders between states have helped pave the way for advocates of ever greater consolidation of power in the hands of the central government.
It’s a process that has taken decades—or even centuries in some cases—but it is real.
This process of centralization often proceeds in

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Why Open Borders Between States in America Might Lead to Disaster

February 7, 2020

“Open borders” is a phrase usually heard in the context of international borders only. We hear far less about the issue of open borders between member states within a confederation or union of states. After all, no one thinks twice of crossing the borders between member states within the United States of America. Increasingly, one is …

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Brexit: Why the Threat of Higher Tariffs Wasn’t Enough To Prevent It

February 6, 2020

Chris Johns at the Irish Times is dismayed by all the support he sees for Brexit among the Brits. Brexit has always been a divisive issue, with about half the voters supporting it. But Johns is vexed by the fact so many of Brexit’s boosters are — in Johns’s eyes—rooting against their own economic interests.
Johns notes, for example, that Brexit is likely to take a significant toll on British manufacturing, and will be problematic for incomes and tax revenues. Resigned to Brexit as a fact, Johns suggests trying to make the transition as painless as possible, but insists, “Britain will either be poorer or much poorer.” In other words, in the best case the UK will find a way to minimize the damage of Brexit.
That Brexit will be a

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Brexit: Why the Threat of High Tariffs Wasn’t Enough To Stop It

February 5, 2020

Chris Johns at the Irish Times is dismayed by all the support he sees for Brexit. He’s vexed by the fact so many of Brexit’s boosters are — in Johns’s eyes—going against their own economic interests. Johns notes, for example, that Brexit may take a significant toll on British manufacturing, and may be problematic for …

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Brexit: Predictions of Economic Doom Show Why People Ignore “Experts”

February 3, 2020

The headline was unambiguous: “Brexit Is Done: The U.K. Has Left the European Union.” As of January 31, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act of 2018 has become law and the United Kingdom has begun the withdrawal process from the European Union. The transition process will continue throughout 2020 as the UK and EU governments negotiate …

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Franz Jägerstätter: Conscientious Objector

January 31, 2020

Last month, Fox Searchlight Productions released Terrence Malick’s new film A Hidden Life about Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter. Jägerstätter was executed in 1943 for refusing to fight for the German state. Malick’s film portrays the effects of this act of resistance, especially the devastating effects on Jägerstätter’s wife and his children. It is an important film which shows the real-life implications of resisting the state in a totalitarian world. The film shows us the great difficulty of holding to one’s principles in the face of draconian and violent punishment heaped upon those who refuse to participate in the state’s designs.
Unfortunately, the film’s subtlety and focus on the emotional states of the protagonists left many reviewers

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Franz Jägerstätter: Conscientious Objector

January 29, 2020

Last month, Fox Searchlight Productions released Terrence Malick’s new film A Hidden Life about Austrian conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter. Jägerstätter was executed in 1943 for refusing to fight for the German state. Malick’s film portrays the effects of this act of resistance, especially the devastating effects on Jägerstätter’s wife and his children. It is an …

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Why ‘One Man, One Vote’ Doesn’t Work

January 28, 2020

The US Senate is increasingly targeted by left-wing think tanks and legislators for the fact it is based on “voter inequality.” According to critics, the Senate ensures small states are “overrepresented,”and the body favors voters in smaller and more sparsely populated states. In contrast, reformers hold up the concept of “one man, one vote” as an ideal and a solution.
“One man, one vote” is not a clearly defined concept, but it is often used to oppose legislative schemes used in federal political systems.  Among these schemes is the US Senate in which each state is given an equal vote so as to balance out the interests of small states against the interests of large states. Large states, of course, dominate legislatures in

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After November Surge, Money Supply Growth Slows in December

January 27, 2020

The money supply growth rate rose in December slowed after a November surge of nearly six percent.  During December 2019, year-over-year growth in the money supply was at 5.53 percent. That’s down from November’s rate of 5.9 percent, but was up from December 2018’s rate of 3.90 percent. The increase in money supply growth in …

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