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Why We Need Savings to Produce What We Need

Conventional wisdom says that savings is the amount of money left after monetary income was used for consumer outlays, implying that saving is synonymous with money. Hence, for a given consumer outlays an increase in money income implies more saving and thus more funding for investment. This in turn sets the platform for higher economic growth. Following this logic, one could also establish that increases in money supply are beneficial to the entire process of capital formation and economic...

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Gilets Jaunes: French Protesters Demand Lower Taxes and More Spending

I never thought I would see the day where Antifa would protest side by side with the National Front against the French government. The day has come, and what it means for France is unclear at best. We spent last Saturday at “Act 9” of the Gilets Jaunes protests in Paris. We marched from the Ministry of Finance to the Arc de Triomphe, growing in numbers and gathering strength as we went. The Gilets Jaunes movement, named after the yellow high-visibility vests worn by workers, started November...

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The Fallacy of the “Public Sector”

[This article is excerpted from Economic Controversies, chapter 21, "The Fallacy of the 'Public Sector'" (2011). It originally appeared in the New Individualist Review (Summer, 1961): 3–7.]   We have heard a great deal in recent years of the "public sector," and solemn discussions abound through the land on whether or not the public sector should be increased vis-à-vis the "private sector." The very terminology is redolent of pure science, and indeed it emerges from the supposedly scientific,...

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57. Neither Fisher nor Bayes: The Limits of Statistical Inference

How do we know that a treatment works or not? Billions of healthcare dollars are at stake in the answer to that question. For decades, that answer has largely hinged on theories from a field of human inquiry that combines the precision of mathematics with the accuracy of astrology. We are talking of course, about statistics and statistical inference. To help us understand better this mystical science, we have as our guest Dr. Michael Acree who has spent his entire career working for the...

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Jeff Deist on Why Socialism Persists

This is the last Mises Weekends episode! But don't despair, Jeff will soon be back with a brand new format: The Human Action Podcast. The new show is not radically different, but focuses more exclusively on Austrian economics, its great books, and its great thinkers — with longer, more in-depth interviews. But don't take our word for it, tune in next week to the first show with David Gordon! Your RSS-fed platforms like Stitcher and SoundCloud will continue to support the new show, while...

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Decentralization Is the Solution to the Government Shutdown Problem

The partial shutdown with the federal government has helped, perhaps more than any other recent political event, to illustrate some of the biggest problems that come with centralizing an ever-larger number of government activities within a single, centralized institution. Were the US government more decentralized, we'd not now be facing a nationwide systemic failure that has continues to cripple the private sector in many ways. Held Hostage by a Shuttered Regulatory State The federalization...

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No, Paul Krugman, This Shutdown is Not a “Big Libertarian Experiment”

With the government shutdown now entering its fourth week, it seems that it’s left many political pundits clamoring for an excuse to wash their party’s blame from the situation. Perhaps the most glaring example came from Paul Krugman’s recent New York Times column, “Trump’s Big Libertarian Experiment.” The Nobel-prize winning economist has never been shy about his contempt towards libertarianism, and this column only demonstrates he’s come closer to full-blown lunacy. Because, as I’ll...

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Two Definitions of “Freedom” — Only One of Them Is Right

January 6 marked the anniversary of Franklin Roosevelt’s famous 1941 “Four Freedoms” speech, and January 11 marked the anniversary of his 1944 State of the Union address, where he expanded on what he saw as its meaning. That makes this an appropriate time to recognize the cognitive dissonance in FDR’s view of freedom, cited to this day as justification for expanding government power over Americans’ lives. On the surface, an articulation of multiple freedoms would seem to be consistent with...

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How Tax Incentive Programs Distort the Economy and Drive up the Cost of Living

As humans, we want to satisfy our needs in the present rather than the future. This is a fundamental truth of human action. If we preferred to satisfy needs in the future over the present, we would never act. An individual’s time preference remains high until basic needs are met and savings can occur. This becomes incredibly important when understanding human behavior in economies. This oversight or misunderstanding of human action is why the many government economic development agencies have...

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FDR’s Worst Perversion of Freedom: The “Four Freedoms” Speech

Franklin Roosevelt did more than any other modern president to corrupt Americans’ understanding of freedom. Last week was the 75th anniversary of his 1944 speech calling for a second Bill of Rights to guarantee economic freedom to Americans. Nation magazine whooped up the anniversary, proclaiming that Democrats now have a “unique—and likely fleeting—opportunity to deliver where FDR fell short” with vast new government programs. The 1944 speech, given as the tide in World War Two was...

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