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.

Now in Italian: ‘How Consumers Rule In a Free Economy’

Chris Westley’s article explaining how Carl Menger put consumers front and center in determining value has been translated into Italian: “I consumatori sono i re in un’economia di libero mercato.”

Video: “Hayek and Keynes: Head to Head” with Roger Garrison

Archived from the live broadcast, this Mises University lecture was presented at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on 23 July 2014.

Live Stream, Friday at Mises U: Morning Lectures

Friday July 25 (Central Daylight Time)
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.—Common Objections to Capitalism | Terrell
10:15 - 11:15 a.m.—Hayek and Friedman: Head to Head | Garrison
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.—Gold Standards: True and False | Salerno

Should We Build a McDonald’s on the Rim of the Grand Canyon?

canyon2Mises Daily Friday by Ryan McMaken

The Navajos want to develop the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, but environmentalists are unhappy. There’s little private property involved, so don’t blame the capitalists, and it’s worth remembering that much of the tourist economy in the West is a subsidized invention of the federal government.

Shinzo Abe Got His Butter, Now Wants Guns

220px-Robert_Zoellick_meets_Shinzo_Abe_2006-01-23The guns and butter model is used by economists to contrast the costs of spending resources on domestic-economy amenities (butter) or on foreign policy and war (guns). Every government knows, however, that if it plays its cards right, this need not be one or the other. Indeed, the United States with its central banks and its high worker productivity has perfected the art of spending endless amounts of taxpayer money on both guns and butter. Another name for this is the “warfare-welfare state” in which some interest groups (such as low-income voters, agricultural interests, and Social-Security recipients) are bought off with lots of domestic spending, while other interest groups (nationalistic voters and weapons manufacturers and states with lots of military bases) are bought with endless spending on the military. This is an especially flawless model if you have a central bank like the Fed that can just keep the free money coming with seemingly no end in sight.

China has exploiting this model to the fullest in recent years, and now Japan, after years of focusing on free butter, has decided to spend more on the guns.

Shinzo Abe, the author of Abenomics (see here for a detailed takedown of Abenomics) has committed his government to numerous rounds of fiscal and monetary stimulus, plus tax increases that funnel plenty of money to his political supporters.

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Video: Robert Murphy Presents Contrasting Views of the Great Depression

Archived from the live broadcast, this Mises University lecture was presented at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on 23 July 2014.

Video: Robert Higgs on the FDA and Consumer Welfare

Archived from the live broadcast, this Mises University lecture was presented at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, on 23 July 2014.

Full Photo Album for Mises U 2014

We’re still adding photos there, but you can see what’s been added so far at our Picasa page for Mises U 2014.

How Government Uses “Efficiency” as an Excuse to Steal

6818Mises Daily Thursday by Gary Galles:

Only individuals can determine what is efficient for themselves, and they will only engage in voluntary exchange when they believe it is the efficient thing to do. Some economists, and most governments, prefer to use other standards of efficiency such as “potential compensation” which leads to government mischief.

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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