Photos from Day 2 of Mises U

Some images from Day2 of Mises U.

Roger Garrison:

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Photos from Judge Andrew Napolitano’s Evening Lecture at Mises University

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano gave his first lecture in a series at Mises University on US Constitutional law.

Waiting as he’s introduced by Joseph Salerno:

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Welcoming the students:

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Happy Birthday to a Heroine

Lew Rockwell writes:

Today is Bettina Bien Greaves’s 97th birthday. She was Mises’s personal assistant, and she’s still working to teach Austrian economics to new generations. The Mises Institute is honored by her support, as we are all honored to know her. What a great lady. (Thanks to Judy Thommesen)

Day 2 of Mises U: Lunch at the Mises Institute

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Why Faster Is Sometimes Better, But Not Always

6815Mises Daily Monday by Jonathan Newman:

We see that contemporary mainstream economics is in a holding pattern. With no new math problems, the economists have resorted to timing their computers’ efforts to solve the existing math problems… Meanwhile, from my seat in the research wing of the Mises Institute, I’m close to some interesting and — in terms of a connection to real, human market actors — relevant work in economics.

Photos from the First Night of Mises U

See our Instagram page for more photos.

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Jeff Deist welcomes the students. rsz_dsc02009

Joes Salerno introduces the faculty.

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Tom Woods delivers the introductory lecture.

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Mises University Live Webcast Schedule

muThis schedule will link you directly to each streaming video session as they happen.

Click the lecture titles below at the scheduled times to watch the live webcasts on YouTube.

July 20–26, 2014 • Mises Institute

• All times are central daylight time except where noted.

For the full PDF schedule including non-webcast sessions, click here.

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Philipp Bagus Debates Franz Hörmann on Money

In this audio debate, Philipp Bagus, author of The Tragedy of the Euro, debates Franz Hörmann. Here is
an interview with Hörmann to provide some additional context.

The debate is in German, but Dr. Bagus provided a summary of the debate for us in English:

I explained why competition is good and leads to better and cheaper products; why interest is inherent to human action; why, without prices, economic calculation is impossible; why the market is the best instrument to reduce scarcity and a means of cooperation; why our monetary system is socialist, etc.

Hoermann believes that scarcity is artificially induced by companies, and he thinks that everyone should do what he likes to do and the product of their labors can be transferred to other people who want it. Scarcity would end. No money for exchanges, interest, or prices is needed. He believes that the technology exists now to create the end of scarcity.

Congratulations to Xavier Méra

Xavier Méra, a Rothbard Graduate Seminar alum and former Mises Fellow, emails:

Two weeks ago or so, I successfully defended my PhD dissertation on the “political economy of derivatives markets” at the University of Angers. The jury was a half Austrian, half mainstream one, including a prominent professor in the field from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

I would like to take the occasion to thank the Mises Institute for the support offered through the fellowships which helped me to go through this.

Mises U Starts Tomorrow! Don’t Miss Free Live Streaming of Your Favorite Speakers

Join the Mises Institute as we welcome more than 130 students from all over the world to our Auburn campus! Mises U 2014 is a full week of Austrian scholarship that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.

Judge Andrew Napolitano, Tom Woods, Walter Block, Bob Murphy, Robert Higgs, Tom DiLorenzo, and many other other scholars are among this week’s faculty.

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Here are just a few highlights:

Tom Woods: Four Things the State is Not.
Walter Block: The Case for Privatization- of Everything.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: The Constitution and the Free Market
Guido Hulsmann: The Cultural Consequences of Fiat Money

The full schedule is here.

Stream the speakers live on YouTube here, or enroll and participate as an online student here.

The Subprime Auto Loan Bubble

A New York Times investigation has revealed another bubble, in this case, subprime loans on used cars. Of course this is not a surprise given the Federal Reserves ultra loose monetary policy and near zero percent interest rates that has forced banks, insurance companies, and just about everyone else to scamper to earn some return on their capital.

Auto loans to people with tarnished credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered subprime — people with credit scores at or below 640.

The explosive growth is being driven by some of the same dynamics that were at work in subprime mortgages. A wave of money is pouring into subprime autos, as the high rates and steady profits of the loans attract investors. Just as Wall Street stoked the boom in mortgages, some of the nation’s biggest banks and private equity firms are feeding the growth in subprime auto loans by investing in lenders and making money available for loans.

And, like subprime mortgages before the financial crisis, many subprime auto loans are bundled into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds — a process that creates ever-greater demand for loans.

Just another example of the surreptitious damage the Federal Reserve is inflicting on the economy in order to help the Big Banks.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma) Defines Today’s Progressivism

Nomination_of_Richard_CordrayWarren reviewed eleven tenets of contemporary progressivism in a July 18 speech before Netroots Nation . She should be commended. Very often progressive politicians prefer to talk about “hope and change” rather than what they really stand for. Her list is not free of exaggerated rhetoric, such as claiming the mantle of “science” for herself. When she talks about supporting fast food workers on picket lines, she doesn’t mention the millions she is collecting from labor unions. But, even so, her account contains some honest and useful information.

1. “We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.”

2. “We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”

3. “We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.”

4. “We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.”

5. “We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”

6. “We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.”

7. “We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.”

8. “We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work.”

9. “We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.”

10. “We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.”

11. “And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”

Here are a few questions for Warren.

1.  Since you are willing to fight for stronger rules and tougher enforcement for Wall Street, are you willing to fight for an end to government bail-outs? How will you end them if Wall Street is operated as a subsidiary of Washington? How will you end them if Washington needs big Wall Street firms to buy its bonds with money created by Washington, since Washington is barred from buying its own bonds directly but can do so indirectly through Wall Street? In general, how will you keep government control from wrecking the internal disciplines of the market, which include loss and bankruptcy as well as profit?

2. How will an increase in the minimum wage help those who can’t get any job because of the minimum wage? How will this help teenagers or other young people get their first job?

One of your favorite presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, intervened to keep wages high during the Great Depression. The result was that those who succeeded in keeping their jobs were even better off than before while millions of others were thrown out of work and had nothing.

3. Hasn’t the federal student loan program driven up the cost of a college education, leaving many students worse off than before it existed?

And why is the federal government borrowing at a low interest rate and then charging the students a much higher rate? How can it be right to make a profit off the students and then apply it to the federal budget under a line called “ deficit reduction.”

4. Since you hold that “equal means equal… in all of America,” why do federal programs discriminate in favor of one group over another? Why, to choose just one of many examples, are non-unionized companies barred from federal construction contracts?

5. If corporations are not people, does that mean the government can not only tell them what to do, but even gag them or tell them what to say?

Having reviewed what Warren believes to be the eleven tenets of contemporary progressivism, what does she think that conservatives and libertarians believe? Here it is: “I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.”

Is this what either conservatives or libertarians teach? Is this what markets teach? They teach us to be selfish? Or do they teach us that we had better put our selfishness aside and tend to the needs of customers and employees first if we want to be successful?

People who run businesses are serving the needs of others. And people who work for the government may be just as selfish as anybody else.

Did Senator Warren describe all the tenets of contemporary progressivism? No, she described the ones she wanted to describe. But it’s helpful to have her eleven.

Jeff Deist and Will Grigg Discuss ‘Police State Keynesianism’

Mises Weekends: Jeff Deist and Will Grigg discuss “police state Keynesianism,” how the once embryonic American police state became overt, how military equipment, personnel, and mindsets increasingly find their way into local law enforcement agencies, and why there are more than 100 SWAT deployments every day in the US.

Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/mises-institute/mises-weekends/episode/34836821

iTunesU: https://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/mises-weekends/id884207568?mt=10

New Audio Articles from ‘Mises Daily’

Be sure to visit the Audio Mises Daily page if you prefer audio versions of the Daily articles. Some recent titles:

Industrial Policy Is Still a Loser by  & 

Jean-Baptiste Say: An Underrated Revolutionary by 

How To Have Law Without Legislation by 

Audio: Mark Thornton on Immigration and the War on Drugs

Here is another interview about his recent article on immigration and the war on drugs. This one is with The Heartland Institute.

Intolerant US Professors Call Out China for Intolerance

91729433_8b0420c6da_oOne of the least tolerant places around is the US university campus, with its speech codes, disdain for dissenting social and cultural opinions, voluntary self-censorship, and slavish devotion to political correctness. “Diversity” is the mantra, but diversity of opinion on economics, history, and politics is generally unacceptable. So, what are US professors worried about? China, of course. The Association of American University Professors recently issued an official statement of concern about Confucius Institutes, Chinese government-affiliated nonprofits that promote Chinese culture on US university campuses such as Stanford, Chicago, Texas A&M, UCLA, Michigan, and many others. “Confucius Institutes function as an arm of the Chinese state and are allowed to ignore academic freedom,” says the AAUP, most of whose members work for state universities or are paid from government grants and other funds. “North American universities permit Confucius Institutes to advance a state agenda in the recruitment and control of academic staff, in the choice of curriculum, and in the restriction of debate.” Perhaps they learned from the CIA, which has many years of experience advancing US state interests in the guise of educational and cultural programs. In any case, the irony of the largely intolerant US professoriate calling out the Chinese for intolerance has been lost on most observers.

The Right Way to View Entrepreneurship

6814Mises Daily Weekend by Peter Klein and Nicolai Foss:

Much of the existing research on entrepreneurship focuses only on start-ups and small business. But entrepreneurship is a much broader topic and entrepreneurs appear everywhere as drivers of greater wealth and economic growth. Peter Klein and Nicolai Foss discuss new ways to study this phenomenon.

Keep Up With the Week’s Events on the Blog, Twitter, and Instagram

We’ll be regularly updating you on upcoming talks and events all week during Mises University beginning Sunday evening. See here for the free live video feeds, and the Twitter feed, and the Instagram feed.

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Mark Thornton on the Scott Horton Show

Mark Thornton discusses his article “How the Drug War Drives Child Migrants to the US Border.”

Audio file, 22 minutes.

The Trouble with Pop Economics

FreakonomicsJohn Lott writes in Barron’s that we should be sceptical of the populist economics trend that’s been prevalent in the past few years. Specifically, Lott criticizes Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of Freakonomics, for peddling a kind of “naïve economics” that fascinates readers, but doesn’t hold up to serious scrutiny (rather than “naïve economics,” maybe “economics for the naïve” would be better).

I’ve been working through some similar ideas myself, especially in a new paper criticizing aspects of the pop econ literature. I should point out that these books—including Freakonomics and its many imitators—do have a reasonable goal, namely, to bring the economic point of view to the general public. Now, the fact that economics needs a special literature to explain its ideas to the public is telling, and to some extent an indictment of how the profession has developed (e.g. into an abstract and often excessively technical discipline). Still, as writers like Hazlitt show, it’s a great advantage to be able to communicate economic ideas simply and powerfully. But while in general we should welcome economic writing for non-economists, too often pop econ forgets to stop when descending the ivory tower, and ends up on the intellectual parking sublevel.

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