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Mises Institute USA

Brett Kavanaugh, The Duke Lacrosse Team, and Déjà vu

American politics seems to revolve around claims of sexual assault, be it the recent fight over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh (and whether or not he did everything but run a sex trafficking ring at a pizza shop), the past escapades of President Donald Trump, or the sexual exploits of Bill Clinton who also was accused of brutally raping a campaign worker while he was attorney general of Arkansas. Politics not only plays the central role about who is accused, but also about...

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In Defense of Payday Lending

The Free Market 23, no. 9 (September 2003) As the payday lending industry has grown rapidly over the past decade, particularly in lower-income and minority communities, the usual critics of free-market commerce have found yet another capitalist whipping boy ripe for attack. These critics, often posturing as "consumer advocates," charge that payday lending exploits the poor and lower-income customers that comprise its target market, preys on their lack of financial sophistication, leads them...

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William Nordhaus vs. the U.N. on Climate Change Policy

In my previous IER post, I pointed out the huge contradiction in the major media treatment of climate change policy. The same day William Nordhaus shared the Nobel Prize in economics, the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report. The media lauded Nordhaus and his support of a carbon tax, while it credulously repeated the IPCC calls to quickly phase out fossil fuels in order to limit warming to 1.5°C. Yet Nordhaus’ own work shows that such a...

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On “Grievance Studies” and Academic Book Burning

In 1768, the Portable Theology, or Brief Dictionary of the Christian Religion was published under the authorship of Abbé Bernier. It claimed that all of the “dogmas of the Christian religion are immutable decrees of God, who cannot change His mind except when the Church does.” Posing as an authority on Church doctrine, the piece was actually satire, and the true author was Baron d’Holbach. In the twentieth century, following the birth and growth of academic publications, hoax articles showed...

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The UN’s Plans for More “Charity” Won’t Solve the World’s Problems

At the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, the President of the European Council of the European Union, Donald Tusk, recently gave an address on the EU’s participation in global efforts, and the future directions in which he believes it should move. In recent decades, Europe has been increasingly involved in numerous international missions, often focusing on immigration, environmental, and search-and-rescue endeavors. According to Tusk, though, Europe has far too small an...

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3 Reasons Why the Federal Government Should Handle Only Foreign Affairs

In an 1800 letter to Gideon Granger, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "The true theory of our constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations. Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only..." In other words, the only job of the federal government ought to be foreign affairs. In expressing these sentiments, however, Jefferson was summing up a line of argument based on...

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Patrick Newman: Rothbard in the 21st Century

Almost twenty-five years after his death, unpublished material by Murray Rothbard is still being released. Professor Patrick Newman, editor of The Progressive Era, is hard at work on the long lost fifth volume of Conceived in Liberty—Rothbard's epic history of colonial America. How did one man write so much, and what can he still teach us today? Don't miss this terrific talk from a leading Rothbard scholar.

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The Problem with Prescriptive “Rationality” in Economics

Behavioral economics is becoming more and more popular. After Daniel Kahneman, who in 2002 received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science, another representative of this current of thought, Richard Thaler, joined the group of laureates of this prestigious award last year. But what is the difference between behavioral economics and mainstream economics? After all, economics...

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