Author Archive for Mises Updates

Audio: Lew Rockwell Discusses Anarcho-Capitalism With Ben Swann

We don’t need a ruling class, Lew Rockwell tells Ben Swann. (Mp3, 35 minutes)

10,000 New Books at the Mises Institute

From the March issue of The Free Market: 

Gary North Donates 10,000 Books to Mises Institute

Dr. North said that he decided to donate the library to the Institute as a way to assist the Institute’s Fellows and faculty. “The Mises Institute has very bright summer interns: Ph.D. candidates working on their dissertations, with the assistance of scholars.”

The library “is heavily oriented towards history and social science,” North explained, recalling that “not many economists are gifted historians the way Murray Rothbard was. He would have loved [the library].”

The books arrived today:

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May 4 Is the Deadline for Applications to the Rothbard Graduate Seminar

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Rothbard Graduate Seminar

JUNE 8-13 2014

Sponsored by Alice Lillie

The purpose of the Rothbard Graduate Seminar is to provide an intense study of Misesian and Rothbardian economic analytics, along with the substantive conclusions of that research in related fields.

The core text is Economic Controversies, which each attendee will receive.  The schedule is forthcoming.  Welcoming remarks and discussions take place over dinner Sunday June 8. Sessions begin Moday morning June 9 and end Friday late afternoon June 13.

Attendance is limited to a small number of exceptional students who are pursuing graduate degrees in economics, history, philosophy, law, political science, and business disciplines and who seek a career in academia or research.

Apply here.

The IMF is Dead Wrong on Low Interest Rates

Hot Orange Interest Rate BorderBrendan Brown writes in today’s Mises Daily:

In its just-published World Economic Outlook the IMF trumpets the view that the real level of equilibrium interest rates worldwide has declined substantially since the 1980s and is now in slightly negative territory. There is a good Irish word to describe this story: baloney.

The IMF authors (“Perspectives on Global Real Interest Rates,” April 2014) cite three factors accounting for their hypothesized decline in rates: substantially higher savings in the emerging market economies, an increased riskiness of equity relative to bonds coupled with an increased demand for safe assets, and finally, a persistent decline in investment rates in advanced economies especially since the recent global financial crisis. They are oblivious to two huge potential errors in their analysis.

 

All Videos from ‘Inflation: Causes, Consequences, and Cure’

From the April 11 Seminar: Inflation: Causes, Consequences, and Cure. A seminar for High School and College Students

(Six Videos)

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Cognitive Dissonance on Minimum Wages and Maximum Rents

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGary Galles writes in today’s Mises Daily:

Both the minimum wage and rent control, despite the fact that the first forces prices up and the second forces prices down, reduce the quantity of the good in question exchanged. That makes them counterproductive “solutions” to the problems faced by those who are unable to sell enough of their labor services or unable to purchase enough housing services. But the rhetoric employed disguises the fact that they make the central problem worse rather than better.

For the low-skilled, minimum wage advocates frame the issue as “If you could earn more per hour, you would be better off.” But that sneaks in the false assumption that wanting to work more at higher wages means you will be able to work more, when those wages are imposed by government.

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More Photos from Friday’s Inflation Seminar

Featuring some students from Andrew College (of Georgia):

picstitch

(Thanks to Breanna.)

Video: ‘What is Money?’ with Mark Thornton

Presented at “Inflation: Causes, Consequences, and Cure”: a free seminar for high school and college students. Hosted at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on 11 April 2014.

Another Phony Budget Debate

spendingBy Ron Paul

Anyone watching last week’s debate over the Republican budget resolution would have experienced déjà vu, as the debate bore a depressing similarity to those of previous years. Once again, the Republicans claimed their budget would cut spending in a responsible manner, while Democratic opponents claimed the plan’s spending cuts would shred the safety net and leave vital programs unfunded. Of course, neither claim is true.

The budget does not cut spending at all, and in fact actually increases spending by $1.5 trillion over ten years. The Republicans are using the old DC trick of spending less than originally planned and calling that reduced spending increase a $5.1 trillion cut in spending. Only in DC could a budget that increases spending by 3.5 percent per year instead of by 5.2 percent per year be attacked as a “slash-and-burn” plan.

The budget also relies on “dynamic scoring.” This trick is where the budget numbers account for increased government revenue generated by economic growth the budget will supposedly unleash. The claims are dubious at best. Of course, reducing government spending will lead to economic growth. But real growth requires real cuts, not this budget’s phony cuts.

As important as reducing spending and balancing the budget is, focusing solely on budget numbers ignores the root of the problem. The real problem is that too many in Washington — and the nation as a whole — refuse to consider any serious reductions in the welfare-warfare state.

I have always maintained that the logical place to start reducing spending is the trillions wasted on our interventionist foreign policy. Unfortunately, there are still too many in Congress who claim to be fiscal hawks when it comes to welfare spending, but turn into Keynesian “doves” when it comes to spending on the military-industrial complex.

These members cling to the mistaken belief that the government can balance it budget, keep taxes low, and even have a growing economy, while spending trillions of dollars policing the world, and propping up some governments and changing others overtly or covertly. Thus, President Obama is attacked as soft on defense because he only wants to spend $5.9 trillion over ten years on the military. In contrast, the Republican budget spends $6.2 trillion over the next decade. That is almost a trillion more than the budget’s total so-called spending cuts.

If there are too many fiscal conservatives who refuse to abandon the warfare state, there are too many liberals who act as if any reduction in welfare or entitlement spending leaves children starving. I agree it is unrealistic to simply end programs that people are currently dependent on. However, isn’t it inhumane to not take steps to unwind the welfare system before government overspending causes a bigger financial crisis and drags millions more into poverty?

Far from abandoning those in need of help, returning the responsibility for caring for the needy to private charities, churches, and local communities will improve the welfare system. At the very least,  young people should have the freedom to choose to pay a lower tax rate in exchange for promising to never participate in a government welfare or entitlement program.

Last week’s budget debate showed how little difference there lies between the parties when it comes to preserving the warfare-welfare state. One side may prefer more warfare while the other prefers more welfare, but neither side actually wants to significantly reduce the size and scope of government. Until Congress stops trying to run the world, run the economy, and run our lives, there will never be a real debate about cutting spending and limiting government.

[The Ron Paul Institute]