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Tag Archives: Featured

Why Obamacare Repeal Failed

“Farewell the plumed troop and the big wars That make ambition virtue! O, farewell!” – Othello Republicans lost, big league. On the one solid promise they’ve repeated ad nauseam for seven years and running, the party of Reagan came up short. The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is here to stay. Congressional Republicans, despite a million vows to the contrary, failed to repeal it. Disagreement within the ranks proved too much; members couldn’t find a way to reconcile...

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Economic Analysis and the Great Society

Reprinted from Independent Institute Although the Great Society should be understood as primarily a political phenomenon—a vast conglomeration of government policies and actions based on political stances and objectives—economists and economic analysis played important supporting roles in the overall drama. Even when political actors could not have cared less about economic analysis, they were usually at pains to cloak their proposals in an economic rationale. If much of this rhetoric now...

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The Meaning of Competition

Excerpted from Individualism and Economic Order (1948), this essay reproduces the substance of the Stafford Little Lecture delivered at Princeton University on May 20, 1946. Reprinted from FEE.org There are signs of increasing awareness among economists that what they have been discussing in recent years under the name of “competition” is not the same thing as what is thus called in ordinary language. Competition is a process which involves a continuous change in the data and...

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From God or the Sword?

[This article is excerpted from chapter two of The Rise and Fall of Society.] Reprinted from Mises.org Is the State ordered in the nature of things? The classical theorists in political science were so persuaded. Observing that every agglomeration of humans known to history was attended with a political institution of some kind, and convinced that in all human affairs the hand of God played a part, they concluded that the political organization of men enjoyed divine sanction. They had a...

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Mankiw vs. Rothbard on Tax Reform

Reprinted from Mises.org In a recent New York Times piece, bestselling textbook author, Harvard professor, and Mitt Romney advisor Greg Mankiw offered four principles of tax reform that are almost universally endorsed by professional economists, even extremely free-market ones. In the present article, I’ll critique Mankiw’s views from a Rothbardian perspective. The ostensible consensus viewpoint among economists on fixing the tax code shows the perils of groupthink. False...

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Property Rights and “Human Rights”

[Excerpted from For A New Liberty: For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto] Reprinted from LewRockwell.com Liberals will generally concede the right of every individual to his “personal liberty,” to his freedom to think, speak, write, and engage in such personal “exchanges” as sexual activity between “consenting adults.” In short, the liberal attempts to uphold the individual’s right to the ownership of his own body, but then denies his right to “property,” i.e., to the ownership of...

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Health Costs Are Rising Because of Price Controls

Reprinted from International Liberty When discussing government involvement in the health sector, I usually focus on the budgetary implications. Which makes sense since I’m a fiscal wonk and programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare are diverting ever-larger amounts of money from the economy’s productive sector. I also look at the tax side of the fiscal equation and complain about how the healthcare exclusion mucks up the tax code. Though it’s important to understand that government...

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The West Is a Portable Idea, Not Blood and Soil

Reprinted from FEE.org Not everyone who goes around celebrating the achievements of The West and decrying its destruction is a true friend of freedom. We’ve known this since at least a century ago, when the acclaimed German historian Oswald Spengler wrote his magisterial tome The Decline of the West (1919). The book goes on for 800 pages about the magnificence of Western arts, sciences, literature, and wealth, but that’s not its thesis. The purpose of the treatise was to issue a dark warning:...

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Reflections on the Misesian Legacy in Economics

21[Review of Austrian Economics, 1996] Reprinted from Mises.org As I begin this paper for the issue of The Review of Austrian Economics published in honor of the memory of Murray N. Rothbard, my mind goes back over 40 years, to the first time that I met him. It was at the opening session of the Seminar in Economic Theory which Professor Mises conducted in the fall semester of 1954. That occasion was also my first meeting with Ludwig von Mises, and it is etched deeply in my memory. Two...

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Mises’s Vision of the Free Society

[Foreword to Liberalism by Ludwig von Mises] Reprinted from Mises.org Any political philosophy must address itself to a central question: under what conditions is the initiation of violence to be considered legitimate? One philosophy may endorse such violence on behalf of the interests of a majority racial group, as with the National Socialists of Germany. Another may endorse it on behalf of a particular economic class, as with the Bolsheviks of Soviet Russia. Still another may prefer to...

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