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Cafe Hayek

The Invisible Hand Relies Upon Visible Prices

In my latest column for AIER I celebrate the remarkable and indispensable – literally indispensable – role that visible prices play in enabling the successful operation of the invisible hand of the market. A slice: Just as the market order is essential to our survival, prices expressed in money are essential to the market order. Prices are among the visible results of the invisible hand’s successful operation, as well as the single most important source of this success. Each price...

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Some Covid Links

Phil Magness reports on how government officials were duped by a psychic healer into funding research on so-called “Long Covid.” A slice: So what is Long Covid, and why is it drawing so much attention and funding out of the federal government? As with any respiratory illness, Covid-19 does appear to have long-term sufferers who do not follow the normal recovery pattern and continue to demonstrate symptoms for weeks or months after an infection. At the same time however, the push to make...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 201 of Thomas Sowell’s superb 1981 volume, Ethnic America: A History (footnotes deleted): In the post-Civil War era, southern white employers and landowners sought to band together to restrict the money and discretion they had to give to blacks. Yet, despite the economic strength, political power, and organizational advantages of the whites, these restrictive agreements failed repeatedly in the face of competition for laborers and sharecroppers. Black income grew at a...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 83 of José Ortega y Gasset’s classic 1932 slim volume, The Revolt of the Masses: Liberalism – it is well to recall today – is the supreme form of generosity; it is the right which the majority concedes to minorities and hence is the noblest cry that has ever resounded on this planet. It announces the determination to share existence with the enemy; more than that, with an enemy which is weak. It was incredible that the human species should have arrived at so noble an...

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Some Covid Links

The opening paragraph of James Morrow’s essay in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reads: “It’s hard to know exactly when Australia’s pandemic response crossed the line from tragedy into farce. But future historians could do worse than pinpoint the moment when Sydney’s chief health supremo told the city’s residents to stop being friendly to one another when they ventured out to buy essentials, lest they get themselves and others killed.” Here are two more slices: Given this level of...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 348 of H.L. Mencken’s September 12, 1926, Chicago Tribune essay titled “Another Long-Awaited Book” as this essay is reprinted in A Second Mencken Chrestomathy (1995): The savage is preëminently his brother’s keeper. He knows precisely what his brother ought to do in every situation and is full of indignation when it is not done. But the civilized man has doubts….

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 151 of H.L. Mencken’s August 1927 American Mercury essay titled “Aubade” as this essay is reprinted in A Second Mencken Chrestomathy (1995): The name of the man who first made a slave of fire … is unknown to historians: burrow and sweat as they will, their efforts to unearth it are always baffled. And no wonder. For isn’t it easy to imagine how infamous that name must have been while it was still remembered, and how diligent and impassioned the endeavor to erase it from...

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On David French on Structural Racism

David French writes much with which I agree. And I agree with many particular points that he makes in his recent essay titled “Structural Racism Isn’t Wokeness, It’s Reality.” But I disagree with some other particular points, as well as with his overall theme and conclusion. Not the least of French’s errors here is his using Biblical text to justify intergenerational guilt. Immediately after quoting some Old Testament passages that justify intergenerational guilt, French writes The...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 113 of the profound 1976 Vol. II (“The Mirage of Social Justice”) of F.A. Hayek’s trilogy, Law, Legislation, and Liberty: There are, in the last resort, no economic ends. The economic efforts of the individuals as well as the services which the market order renders to them, consist in an allocation of means for the competing ultimate purposes which are always non-economic. The task of all economic activity is to reconcile the competing ends by deciding for which of them...

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