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Highlights from Tuesday at Mises U

Tuesday was another full day of lectures and talks at Mises University. for photos, see here and here. We’ve added 8 more lectures from Tuesday in mp3 format to the Mises U 2014 archives, including:

The Anarcho-Pacifism of Leo Tolstoy by 

The Economics of Fractional Reserve Banking by 

The Place of Finance and Financial Markets in a Free Society by 

Careers for Austrians by 

Monopoly, Competition, and Antitrust by 

Product Regulation by 

Calculation and Socialism by 

Entrepreneurship by 

Tuesday at Mises U, Afternoon Lectures

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Photos from Tuesday at Mises U (Lunch and Morning Lectures)

 

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How to Start Reforming the Federal Reserve Right Now

6817Mises Daily Wednesday by Brendan Brown:

All too many of the reforms being proposed for the central bank are just more of the same central planning. Real reform of the Fed begins with setting interest rates free, the abolition of deposit insurance, and ending the Fed’s position as lender of last resort.

Polish Translations of Mises Daily articles at Instytut Misesa

scotThe good people at the Polish Mises Institute (Instytut Misesa) inform me that my recent article on Scottish secession has been translated into Polish.

There are numerous other translations there as well, such as this one, a QJAE article by Thomas DiLorenzo.

What’s Next for Obamacare in the Courts?

CaduceusJacob Huebert, author of Libertarianism Today, summarizes the current situation:

Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting decisions about the future of ObamaCare on Tuesday.

In one, the Halbig v. Burwell decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the Affordable Care Act means what it says: ObamaCare insurance subsidies are only available in states that have established their own health-insurance exchanges, and an IRS rule that tried to make these subsidies available in all states – even those, such as Illinois, which did not create their own insurance exchanges – is invalid.

In the other case, King v. Burwell, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which sits in Virginia, reached the opposite conclusion, ruling that Congress intended to make subsidies available in all states – even though that’s not what the law says – and therefore the IRS rule could stand.

The decisions are important because, as Newsweek has put it, if the IRS rule is ultimately struck down, the entire ObamaCare system “could come crashing down in the 36 states that have opted not to run their own exchanges.”

But what happens now, with conflicting decisions from different courts?

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Prohibition Not Appetite is the Problem

1280px-Panama_clashes_1989Don Boudreaux  at Café Hayek highlighted yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article by Mary Anastasia O’Grady where she asks “What Really Drove the Children North”? Her answer, “Our appetite for drugs caused the violence that made life unbearable in much of Central America.” O’Grady, through Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly who now heads the U.S. military’s Southern Command, identifies the root the problem as “our appetite for drugs”. Both fail to see that the violence is the result, not of the demand for drugs, but or drug prohibition─the war on drugs.

Thus while O’Grady concludes:

Gen. Kelly writes that the children are “a leading indicator of the negative second- and third-order impacts on our national interests.” Whether the problem can be solved by working harder to bottle up supply, as the general suggests, or requires rethinking prohibition, this crisis was born of American self-indulgence. Solving it starts with taking responsibility for the demand for drugs that fuels criminality.

While it is a step in the right direction for the mainstream press to at least mention the possibility of ‘rethinking prohibition’, actually ending the war on drugs, not thinking about it is the only long term solution. Thus for better analysis developed prior to O’Grady which provides a strong case for an actual solution, readers should refer all who are concerned with this ‘crisis’ to Mark Thornton’s excellent and to the point Mises Daily, “How the Drug War Drives Child Migrants to the US Border.” Thronton’s  no holds barred conclusion:

When you try to make sense of parents sending their children on such a dangerous undertaking, just remember it is just another despicable result of the war on drugs with few solutions.

The Economist recommends the repeal of the war on drugs and the legalization of drugs globally as the solution. Its second best solution is for the United States to finance an effort to rebuild the institutions (i.e., police, courts, prisons, etc.) and infrastructure (i.e., military, transportation, and education systems) in the countries of Central America:

Such schemes will not, however, solve the fundamental problem: that as long as drugs that people want to consume are prohibited, and therefore provided by criminals, driving the trade out of one bloodstained area will only push it into some other godforsaken place. But unless and until drugs are legalised, that is the best Central America can hope to do.

In other words, ending the war on drugs is the only solution.

A Brief History of Progressivism

6819 (1)Mises Daily Tuesday by Andrew Syrios

From prohibition to eugenics to nativism and to Marxism, “progressives” throughout history have repeatedly shown a great fondness for endless social engineering and state control of pretty much anything and everything.

Mises U Day 2 Highlights: All Talks Now Online as Mp3s

Monday was the first full day for students at Mises U, and all talks are now available in Mp3 format here.  The day began with a series of lectures by Joseph Salerno, Guido Hulsmannm, and David Gordon. Students then met for lunch on the Mises Institute patio. (Photos here.)

The afternoon lecture series followed with talks by Jeffrey Herbener, Lucas Engelhardt, and Roger Garrison, followed by dinner at the Mises Institute. Robert Higgs delivered an additional lecture for graduate students on economic history and government statistics. (More photos here.)

Following dinner, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano presented (see photos here) the first in his series of lectures on US Constitutional law, followed by a social hour.

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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.