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Tariffs Are Attacks on Property Rights and Freedom

Rothbard wrote in the Libertarian Forum (v. 1, p. 184) that “… libertarians, if they have any personal philosophy beyond freedom from coercion, are supposed to be at the very least individualists.” Indeed, libertarianism holds high the rights and responsibilities of the sovereign individual: the right to self and to justly acquired property and thus the right not to be coerced or arbitrarily restricted; the responsibility for one’s own actions and the moral duty to respect and honor other...

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The Balance-of-Payments Myth

In March, the US trade account balance stood at a deficit of $ 50 billion against a deficit of $49.28 billion in February and a deficit of $47.4 billion in March last year. Most commentators consider the trade account balance as the single most important piece of information regarding the health of the economy. According to the widely accepted view, a surplus on the trade account is considered as a positive development while a deficit is perceived in a negative light. What is the reason for...

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New Deal and Cold War: The Link of State Domination

[This article is excerpted from chapter 9 of The Betrayal of the American Right.] One of the most brilliant and forceful attacks on Cold War foreign policy in this era came from the pen of the veteran conservative and free-market publicist Garet Garrett. In his pamphlet "The Rise of Empire," published in 1952, Garrett began by declaring: "We have crossed the boundary that lies between Republic and Empire." Linking his thesis with his pamphlet of the 1930s, "The Revolution Was," denouncing the...

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The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality

The Human Action Podcast reviews another overlooked classic by Mises: The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. This book takes no prisoners, showing how envy motivates progressive and conservative intellectuals who fear dynamic capitalism. The real reactionaries, according to Mises? Socialists who want to keep everyone stuck at one station in life. Our friend Andy Duncan from Mises UK, who recently reviewed the book, joins the show to discuss. Read the book free here, or enter code "HAPOD" in our...

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How Central-Bank Interest-Rate Policy Is Destabilizing Banks

Broadly speaking, banks operate under the concept of maturity transformation. Banks take short-term – less than one year – financing vehicles, such as customer deposits, and use that to finance long-term – more than one year – returns. These returns range from the most commonly understood loans, such as auto loans and mortgages, to investments in equity, bonds and public debt. Banks make money on the interest spread between what they pay to the owners of the money and what is earned from the...

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Why the Elites Look Down on Manual Labor

Since the $15 minimum wage has become a major policy proposal in America, many politicians feel that certain forms of work are undignified. This became a controversial talking point when Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared that New Yorkers deserve “dignified jobs” after a deal to build a second Amazon headquarters in Queens fell through. In another incident, the congresswoman was aghast at how several people, some which were homeless, were paid to wait in line for lobbyists...

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3 Modern Arguments for Tariffs, Debunked

[Adapted from "Some Subtler Arguments for Tariffs," published December 2003.] Many proponents of tariffs recognize the absurdity of tariffs as a general rule. However, they feel that there are certain, special cases in which tariffs are justified, and indeed vital to a nation's survival. In  this article, I will analyze three such arguments: I. REDUCE TRADE DEFICIT Many people believe that a tariff on a specific country's goods is necessary whenever the United States suffers from a high trade...

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The Gateway Drug Myth

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article. Since Joe Biden’s recent announcement that he’s throwing his hat in the 2020 presidential ring, his abysmal stance on the War on Drugs has been the source of a great deal of criticism, even from those inclined to support him. Four years ago, he claimed that he opposed the legalization of cannabis because he still believed it to be a gateway drug — a position he appears to maintain. The gateway theory of marijuana is roughly as old as...

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The Gateway Drug Myth

The Time magazine article creating "the gateway drug" myth in the 1970s provided no citations for its claims, except ambiguous references to unnamed “experts.” The evidence remains elusive forty years later. Original Article: "The Gateway Drug Myth".

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The Lesson

The whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence: The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups. Excerpted from Economics in One Lesson, pp. 3-7.

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