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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from a 1906 electoral address by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, as shared on Facebook by Steve Davies: I hold that protection is not only bad economy, but that it is an agency at once immoral and oppressive, based as it is and must be on the exploitation of the community in the interest of favoured trades and financial groups. I hold it to be a corrupting system, because honesty and purity of administration must be driven to the wall if once the principle of taxes for revenue be...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 308 of F.A. Hayek’s brilliant 1968 lecture “Competition As a Discovery Procedure,” as reprinted in The Market and Other Orders (Bruce Caldwell, ed., 2014) – a collection of some of Hayek’s most profound essays about spontaneous order: On the other hand, advantages of the spontaneous order of the market, or the catallaxy, are correspondingly two. Knowledge that is used is that of all its members. Ends that it serves are the separate ends of those individuals, in all their...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 311 of the 2007 Liberty Fund edition (Bettina Bien Greaves, ed.) of Ludwig von Mises’s 1949 treatise, Human Action: Ownership of the means of production is not a privilege, but a social liability. Capitalists and landlords are compelled to employ their property for the best possible satisfaction of the consumers. If they are slow and inept in the performance of their duties, they are penalized by losses. If they do not learn the lesson and do not reform their conduct of...

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Some Links

Mike Munger writes on “how pathological a reliance on politics as a solution can be.” Brian Doherty remembers the late David Koch. A slice: In a 2005 interview for my book Radicals for Capitalism, Koch told me his father taught him that “big government was bad, and impositions of government controls on our lives and our economic fortunes was not good.” In the mid-1960s, with encouragement from Charles, he attended the Freedom School, an early libertarian educational institution run by...

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Even If He’s Correct, Stakeholder Capitalism Would Only Worsen Matters

Here’s a letter to a Cafe Hayek reader: Mr. Wagner: Thanks for your e-mail in response to this post (and others) of mine opposing “stakeholder capitalism.” While I don’t doubt that some corporations are mismanaged, I’m skeptical of your argument that many of them have been so poorly managed that they have become “zombies” and that the only reason they today have high capitalization is because of stock buybacks. Without a large number of investors willing to purchase and hold shares at...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 729 of the 2007 Liberty Fund edition (Bettina Bien Greaves, ed.) of Ludwig von Mises’s 1949 treatise, Human Action: The reformers, in exhorting people to turn away from selfishness, address themselves to capitalists and entrepreneurs, and sometimes, although only timidly, to wage earners as well. However, the market economy is a system of consumers’ supremacy. The sermonizers should appeal to consumers, not to producers. They should persuade the consumers to renounce...

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Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy tells the harsh truth about Social Security. A slice: It looks even worse in the long run. The Social Security Board of Trustees reports that over the next 75 years, the program will be underfunded by $13.9 trillion. To make Social Security solvent over this period would require an immediate and permanent payroll tax increase (today) of 2.78 percent of overall wages — which raises the average Social Security payroll tax bite by 25...

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No Saving Cass’s Case

Longish and wonkish, this letter is to an economics major. Ms. Shell: Thanks for your e-mail. You ask if it’s “possible to compromise with policies like the ones supported by [Oren] Cass by recognizing the tradeoff between consumers’ interests and producers’ interests.” My answer is no, if by compromise you mean for me to endorse government policies that slow consumers’ abilities to switch whatever amounts of their spending they like to imports. My reasons are many, but I’ll here mention...

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