Wednesday , October 27 2021
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Mises Institute USA

What Economics Is Not

The most common misunderstanding about economics is that it is only about money and commerce. The next step is easy: I care about more than money, and so should everyone, so let's leave economics to stock jobbers and money managers and otherwise dispense with its teachings. This is a fateful error, because, as Mises says, economics concerns everyone and everything. It is the very pith of civilization This is a confusion sown by economists themselves, who postulate something called "economic...

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Proponents of Forced Vaccines Want You to Think Healthcare Is a Communal Resource

One narrative currently being circulated in support of vaccine mandates is that unvaccinated people will cause an undue strain on the healthcare system because they are more likely to contract covid-19 and take up hospital beds that could be used for other people. Presumably, by “other people” they mean those who took the vaccine like they were told to do. This sentiment seems to be behind statements like the one in a recent Washington Post opinion article that “[t]he unvaccinated are killing...

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Why Censorship Advocates Are Obsessed with Stories about Yelling “Fire!” in a Theater

If one boldly asserts the importance of the right of freedom of speech, it is almost inevitable that another will respond with one of the most common apologetic arguments for the government limitation of speech, “But you can’t yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater.” The non sequitur argument is supposed to humble the right of free speech in favor of some government restriction. This argument fails logically because it does not follow that because a theater may restrict speech of those it admits...

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Speech Isn’t a “Threat” Just Because a Government Official Says So

Speech doesn't become a "threat" just because a government official calls it that. Yet the National School Boards Association (NSBA) got the Justice Department to open an investigation after labeling parents' speech as "threats and acts of violence" when it occurred in controversies over "critical race theory" and "masking requirements" in the public schools. As the Washington Examiner notes, "A few of the most outrageous examples of these 'threats and acts of violence,' according to the...

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Why Some People Are Poorer

Throughout history, until about the middle of the 18th century, mass poverty was nearly everywhere the normal condition of man. Then capital accumulation and a series of major inventions ushered in the Industrial Revolution. In spite of occasional setbacks, economic progress became accelerative. Today, in the United States, in Canada, in nearly all of Europe, in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, mass poverty has been practically eliminated. It has either been conquered or is in process of...

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Is Solidarity a Good Thing?

In his book Let’s Have Socialism Now! (Yale University Press, 2001), the French economist Thomas Piketty places great emphasis on “solidarity,” and his opposition to the free market rests to a large extent on its conflict with that purported value. In this week’s column, I’d like to examine what he says about solidarity, and, as you might expect, my conclusions are negative. Solidarity is closely related to equality, but it isn’t quite the same thing. We can get a preliminary idea of what...

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Central Banks and Socialism Are Forever Linked Together

It is well known that socialism is a shortage economy. It is the economy of inefficiency and corruption, of indifferent workers and of bigwigs, of lacking spare parts, of lacking funds, of failure, of permanent reform needs and of constantly unsuccessful reforms. This concerns in particular total socialism, as it was realized in the Soviet Union or under National Socialism. But it is no less evident in the numerous partial socialisms that are featured in the real existing welfare state, in...

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Understanding Money Velocity and Prices

The yearly growth rate of US's "Austrian money supply" jumped by almost 80 percent in February 2021 (see chart). Given such massive increase in money supply, it is tempting to suggest that this lays the foundation for an explosive increase in the annual growth of prices of goods and services sometime in the future. Some experts are of the view that what matters for increases in the momentum of prices is not just increases in money supply but also the velocity of money—or how fast money...

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