You are browsing the archive for 2013 September 23.

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Mariotti on the Discovery of the Mises Papers

September 23, 2013 in Economics

By Peter G. Klein

Steve Mariotti writes in Huffington Post about the discovery of Mises’s personal papers in a Moscow archive. As discussed here, rumors that the Soviets had acquired Mises’s papers from the Nazis after World War II began swirling after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Two German scholars described the papers in a 1993 book, and American economist Richard Ebeling visited the archives in 1996 and brought back copies and a detailed report. Guido Hülsmann relies heavily on the archives in his 2007 biography of Mises. It’s an exciting story, and an indication of Mises’s importance in the eyes of his Nazi and Soviet opponents.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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What the 1937 Recession Tells Us Today

September 23, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

bubble

In his Mises Daily article today, Frank Hollenbeck takes a look at the Recession of 1937 and its causes to shed some light on the Fed’s present reluctance to cut back on endless monetary “stimulus.”

By late 1936, The Fed started to get worried, and in March 1937 the chairman of he Fed, Martin Eccles, said “[r]ecovery is now under way, but if it were permitted to become a runaway boom it would be followed by another disastrous crash.”

In December 1936, the central bank began sterilizing the gold inflows so they no longer boosted monetary growth. This was a timid tapering by contemporary standards. Monetary growth slowed from 12 percent to essentially nothing. This was the equivalent of gently tapping on the brakes.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Boom and Bust Reconsidered

September 23, 2013 in Economics

By John P. Cochran

Many argue the bigger the boom the greater the bust. More correct is:

The bigger the boom, the greater the mis-direction of production – over consumption, and malinvestment.

How devastating the bust becomes depends more on the degree of interventions which impede recovery. Thus, the greater the interventions in the economy that prevent resource re-allocation and adjustment to malinvestments and consumed capital, the more severe the bust, the slower the recovery and the greater the possibility of a renewed boom-bust.

See:

Hayek’s Law and Rothbard’s Wisdom

Capital in Disequilibrium: Understanding the “Great Recession” and the Potential for Recovery

And

Recessions: The Don’t Do List

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Laidler: The Austrians were right

September 23, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

Retired Canadian economist David Laidler is interviewed by Russ Roberts on EconTalk. It is a wide ranging interview where monetarism and the financial crisis are discussed. Laidler at several points, including around the 20 minute mark says that it was the Austrians who got it right in both 1929 and 2005 and the monetarists just missed it both times. He even admits that he can say such things because he is retired and doesn’t have to face the wrath of journal editors for his remarks.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Rand Paul Appears on Fox's Justice with Judge Jeanine – 9/21/13

September 23, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Sen. Rand Paul Appears on Fox and Friends- September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Rand Paul explains his views on restoring felon rights – Louisville Courier Journal

September 23, 2013 in Politics & Elections

As a U.S. senator for Kentucky, I believe it is my job to seek solutions for all Kentuckians. To find solutions for problems facing West Louisville, my staff holds office hours for constituents twice a month at the Plymouth Community Renewal Center and the Justice Resource Center, and I have been meeting with community leaders and citizens. At my most recent meeting last Monday, we discussed the lasting challenges facing families as a result of excesses in our criminal justice system.In an effort to look ‘tough on crime,’ politicians have imposed mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent offenders. These sentences have had the perverse and unjust effect of putting young people who make stupid decisions, usually because of drugs, in jail for a decade or more.
As I discussed in my testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, some mandatory minimum sentences don’t fit the crime. For example, John Horner was a 46-year-old father of three who sold prescription painkillers to a friend. His friend was a police informant and Horner received a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in jail. Another man, Weldon Angelos, was a 24-year-old who sold marijuana three times and received a sentence of 55 years. These two individuals will forever be branded ‘felons’ by society with little chance of living a normal life.
After individuals have served their sentence and paid their fines, the punishment and stigma continues for the rest of their life, harming their families and hampering their ability to re-enter society. Even after going decades without committing another crime, people who are sent to prison as teenagers for a nonviolent drug offense have their civil rights restricted and their ability to get a job curtailed. They can’t vote, serve on juries, qualify for many jobs, or even volunteer at their children’s schools. Under Kentucky law, this situation can easily last the rest of their lives.
Despite being named ‘Louisvillian of the Year’ by LEO, Shawn Gardner is unable to chaperone field trips with his daughter’s class and unable to find employment that will sufficiently provide for his family. While he readily admits that he committed the crime for which he served time 18 years ago, he says he has had a clean record since being released from jail and he wants his life back.After completing his sentence, Shawn earned a GED, then a bachelor’s …read more

Source: RAND PAUL

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NSA Surveillance: What We Know; What to Do About It

September 23, 2013 in Economics

Since June, news reports based on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have revealed the depth and breadth of NSA surveillance activities. The NSA scandal’s many dimensions include: mass domestic surveillance of telephone call information, allegations of official deception of Congress and the public about the nature of the NSA’s programs, alleged access to the Internet’s backbone and the traffic of major Internet companies, and systematic efforts to undercut the use of the encryption that secures communications and financial information. On October 9, the Cato Institute will be hosting a conference focusing on these issues and more, featuring keynote addresses by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), and Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI).

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Source: CATO HEADLINES

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A Deceptive Letter to the NSA's Spy Family

September 23, 2013 in Economics

By Gene Healy

Gene Healy

“Dear NSA/CSS family,” begins a Sept. 13, 2013, letter to employees and “extended family” of the nation’s largest spy agency from NSA director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, the boss of the family (CSS stands for Central Security Service, an NSA subagency).

In the missive, published Thursday by Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake.com, Alexander and his lieutenant, John C. Inglis, fret that: “Our agency has frequently been portrayed in the news as more of a rogue element than a national treasure.”

If each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, the source of domestic strife for the “NSA family” is particularly unusual. Rollicked by former family member Edward Snowden’s exposure of secret domestic surveillance programs, NSA is suffering Watergate-era “flashbacks,” and morale “has plummeted,” the LA Times reports.

But these troubles are self-inflicted — and a letter packed with distortions isn’t likely to help.

The “Dear Family” letter repeats what the agency told Congress this summer that NSA has kept “the nation and its allies safe from 54 different terrorist plots … just part of the great work that your family members are doing every day.”

But as Gosztola points out, pressed on that claim by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., back in August, Inglis retreated, conceding that the secret programs were instrumental in only one case, a 2009 New York subway bombing plot.

Even there, the program in question (PRISM, an email and web-traffic monitoring tool) was unnecessary, since the FBI already had ample justification for a warrant.

When it comes to the call-records dragnet, the Washington Post reports, “The case that the NSA points to as its primary example of the program’s usefulness” wasn’t an interdicted terror plot — it involved a Somalia-born San Diego cabbie who sent $8,500 to a terrorist group in his home country. The NSA hoovered up every American’s calling records and all we got was one lousy cabdriver.

“We self-report [our] mistakes,” the letter boasts. But as Marcy Wheeler notes, “the most shocking disclosure from” an internal NSA audit leaked by Snowden, “that an analyst tried to pull up Egypt’s calls but got D.C.’s instead—had never been disclosed” to the FISA court.

Gen. Alexander may think it’s media bias that’s made Americans fear an NSA gone “rogue.” But Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admits “our history is regretfully replete with abuse.”

Clapper said, “There is some substantial basis for people to be suspicious,” in an interview for Mark Ambinder’s 2013 book …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Why Would Somali Militants Attack a Kenyan Shopping Mall?

September 23, 2013 in Economics

By Joseph Salerno

The U.S. government and the establishment media are in a quandary. How are they to explain the heinous attack on a Kenyan shopping mall by Al Shabab a militant Somali group with links to al-Qaida which left 59 innocent civilians dead and another 175 injured, with the victims ranging in age from  2 to 79 years old? After all, since the horrific events of September 11, 2001, U.S politicians of all stripes have repeatedly hammered home the message that “fundamentalist” Islamists hate us and want to kill us simply because we are free and prosperous. But Kenya is neither. According to the  Index of Freedom in the World that attempts to measure economic, civil, and political liberties, Kenya ranks 91 out of the 123 countries included in the index. As for prosperity, based on the CIA World Factbook 2012, Kenya’s per capita GDP was estimated to be $1,700 per year which ranks 192 out of 225 countries.

Could it be that Al Shabab was telling the truth about the reason for its murderous assault yesterday when it tweeted: “For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now its time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land.” After all 4,000 Kenyans troops invaded and have been occupying part of Somalia since 2011. But then this raises the uncomfortable possibility that terrorist attacks by militant Muslim groups on the U.S and its interests throughout the world were not motivated by envy and hatred of our freedoms and high standard of living. Maybe, just maybe, Ron Paul was right and they were provoked by incessant U.S. meddling in the Middle East since World War 2 through numerous wars and economic embargoes including on food and medicine and the billions of dollars sent to payoff and prop up tyrannical and oppressive regimes that do U.S bidding, e.g., the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE