Archive for interviews

I Only Read It for the Articles! Rothbard’s Penthouse Interview

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G-Rated (Almost) Edit of October 1976 Cover

In the 1970s, Penthouse magazine had a reputation for featuring the ideas of unorthodox political thinkers and movements. That’s why in October 1976 it interviewed Murray Rothbard to ask about the rapidly-growing philosophy of libertarianism. This interview is now difficult to find, but was recently excavated from the archives at the Mises Institute.

The article begins with an introduction that provides a great snapshot of both Rothbard’s work and personality:

The Murray Rothbard wall poster depicts a graying professor pecking at a typewriter. His words rise magically from the machine and blend into a black flag of anarchy rippling above his head. Beneath the drawing is this caption: “Murray N. Rothbard—the greatest living enemy of the state.” The poster, like almost everything else relating to politics, causes Rothbard to laugh… If someone mentions the name of almost any establishment economist or political figure, Rothbard will respond with a nasal guffaw… Jerry Ford, John Kenneth Galbraith, Alan Greenspan, Ronald Reagan—they all receive the same response: a laugh followed by a theoretical disputation in which Rothbard employs buzz-saw logic to rip into these persons he views as enemies of liberty, prosperity, and the common good.

There are some entertaining stories as well. For instance, the interview points out that Rothbard’s criticism of conventional economics made him an unpopular choice for private consulting, which is often a lucrative line of work for economists. In Rothbard’s case though, “Only one firm—a mushroom factory—has called on him for consulting advice in the past twenty years.”

The bulk of the interview consists of Rothbard offering up his trademark analysis of economics and public policy. He tackles a long list of objections to the free society, explaining how government causes war, depression, poverty, and pollution, and how the market fixes these problems.

One of his best responses, especially relevant today, regards socialized medicine:

Penthouse: What about efforts to socialize medicine in America?

Rothbard: That would be a monstrous development. In countries with socialized medicine, for instance, Britain, the result has been a tremendous decline in the quality of the medical service and a huge burden of taxes on the public and on the economy. The usual advance estimates of how much socialized medicine would cost are always extrapolated from the current number of people going to doctors and other statistics. What most people don’t realize is that if a visit to a doctor were free, then many people would consult a doctor all the time. There would be an enormous increase in demand for medical service, most of it unnecessary, and then the doctor’s time would have to be rationed in some way and the quality of medical care would decrease. That happened in England, with the result that the people who can afford to do so avail themselves of private medical care. They have to do this in order to get decent treatment.

The current government intervention in the medical field in the United States has created most of the problems that now exist. By creating licensing requirements—state regulations restricting the number of doctors and medical schools—the government creates a medical monopoly and increases the cost of medicine. In the last decade or so, the government has created the Medicaid-Medicare program, which has enormously increased the cost of doctors and hospitals by an almost indiscriminate disbursement of money to doctors. At first everybody thought the program would be a big bonanza. “Now we’d be able to get most of our medical bills paid,” they thought. But what actually happened? Medical bills simply increased, and so we’re really no better off than we were before.

In fact, we’re worse off. Any further government intervention would compound the damage. And I advocate the elimination of licensing requirements for doctors and hospitals and the loosening of restrictions on other aspects of medicine. The cost of drugs could be cut by eliminating the requirement for prescriptions, which creates a pharmacy monopoly so that people have to go to licensed pharmacies in order to get their drugs. I don’t think there’s any real need for that.

There are plenty of other gems sure to interest fans of free-market economics. The entire interview will be published in The Rothbard Reader, forthcoming in 2015, edited by Joseph Salerno and myself. The collection will provide an introduction and overview of Rothbard’s thought, and will feature several of his lost and out-of-print writings alongside some better-known works.

Murray N. Rothbard: The Man and His Work

murrayoct2Mises Daily Thursday:

Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods discuss Muray Rothbard, his life, writings, students, and career.

 

Mark Thornton: How Skyscrapers Can Indicate Economic Contraction

In this podcast, Wall Street for Main Street recaps on Dr. Thornton’s article from 2004 predicting the housing bubble and the reaction from the public. Also, we discussed Dr. Thornton interesting theory on how Skyscrapers is a good indicator for economic contraction.

Mark Thornton on ‘Butler on Business’ This Week

Mark Thornton discusses recent economic indicators with Alan Butler.

Mark Thornton Talks About His Article “How the Drug War Drives Child Migrants to the US Border”

From Natural News Radio:

Guest Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. We’ll talk [Mp3 file] about his article, “How the Drug War Drives Child Migrants to the US Border” We’ll also discuss the current economic conditions. Mark Thornton was way ahead of economist predicting the crash of the housing bubble back in 2004.

George Reisman to Discuss Critique of Piketty’s ‘Capital’ tonight at 6 EST

George Reisman is scheduled to be on Power Trading Radio this evening at 6 PM EST. He will be discussing his newly published critique of Thomas Piketty’s book.

Mark Thornton on Power Trading Radio Tonight at 6 EST

UPDATE: Here’s the archived show: http://www.tradingacademy.com/resources/radio/power-trading-radio-video-archives.aspx?showid=1129#.U-uFAmaz77E.facebook 

Writes Mark: “I will be on Power Trading Radio http://www.tradingacademy.com/resources/radio/ Tuesday at 6 pm Eastern.”

Audio: Mark Thornton on ‘Butler on Business’

Mark Thornton on Butler on Business, August 4, beginning at 1:30:00. Mark discusses the most recent government economic data, including Gross Output measures vs. GDP.

Audio: Matt McCaffrey on the Economics of Toll Roads

Matt McCaffrey follows up this article with a conversation with Paul Molloy of the Freedom Works podcast.

Walter Block On Controversies Throughout His Career

(Summary by Luis Rivera III)

Here, Dr. Walter Block reveals what he believes is his most controversial view as well as what has been the harshest response he has ever received. Dr. Block talks about his books Defending The Undefendable I and Defending The Undefendable II. He touches on some of the chapter including prostitution, drug legalization, blackmail, WalMart, child labor and private roads. This and more in this great interview!

For more on why blackmail should be legal and how it distinguishes itself from extortion read Legalize Blackmail (ebook.)

New online interviews with Mark Thornton and Walter Block

On the “Wake Up Call Podcast”:

Mark Thornton.

Walter Block.

Mises Weekends: Soviet Defector Yuri Maltsev on the Loss of Freedom in America

Jeff Deist and Yuri Maltsev discuss not only his defection from the former USSR, but also his defection from the Marxist economic mindset, the crime of reading Hayek, why so many westerners still have a naïve, uninformed, and romantic view of socialism, how the Ruble was nothing more than a fiat rationing coupon, and why people with contempt for consumerism never visited a Soviet grocery store.

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

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.

Mark Thornton on GDP and the Present ‘Recovery’

Beginning at 2:20:00, Mark Thornton talks with Butler on Business host Alan Butler last week about current economy trends and business cycles.

Walter Block: Libertarianism from A to Z

6792Walter Block’s new book Toward a Libertarian Society covers a wide variety of topics from the death penalty to secession, and from war to macroeconomics. Dr. Block recently spoke with the Mises Institute about just a few of these.

Ron Paul on Capitol Hill

6786 (1)Jeff Deist talks with Tom Woods about Congressional staffers and the DC establishment’s grudging respect for the Ron Paul revolution.

Ron Paul Discusses the Future of the US Dollar

In this audio interview, Ron Paul touches on recent developments affecting the value of the dollar, the potential for currency collapse, gold, war, Russia, and more.

The Ron Paul portion begins at 2:30 and ends at 17:30.

(Note: My posting of this video is not an endorsement of any of the advertised products that appear on screen in the course of the interview.)

Walter Block Interviewed on Libertas Media Project Podcast

Summary by Luis Rivera:

Podcast host and libertarian, Brian Wilson talks to Walter Block about Defending The Undefendable II, “thick libertarians,” and recent articles written by Dr. Block on LewRockwell.com. Block talks about his favorite character from Atlas Shrugged. Does leering violate the non-aggression principle? Walter Block answers this in this podcast. Being an anarchist and defending Ron Paul for running for president. Block suggests what the best way to promote liberty is. He goes on to talk about government war propaganda. This and much more in this great interview that covers many subtopics within libertarianism.

Walter Block Podcast Interview

Peter Klein on Power Trading Radio

John O’Donnell interviews Dr. Peter Klein of Mises.org on the critique of the popular new book “Capital in the 21stCentury” by Thomas Piketty. The topics include income inequality cause and effect, role of Fed intervention in capital markets, malinvestment in boom/bust cycles with anemic price discovery and the 99% vs the 1% myth. They also discuss why boomers are working longer and the impact of youth joining the workplace.